Saturday, March 15, 2014

How did slavery end in the USA?

My family enjoyed watching the movie Lincoln. Although it is a little long and slow at times it gives a fascinating portrayal of how Abraham Lincoln was able to use his moral vision, political nous, and arm twisting to get the US Congress to pass the 13th Amendment to the constitution banning slavery.

The historical details were new to me. I did not realise how "touch and go" it was, how unconvinced may legislators were, and how offer of plum government jobs was necessary to persuade some to vote in favour of the amendment. I naively thought many were overwhelmingly persuaded by the moral vision. That was certainly not the case. Indeed, it was disturbing to see how even many of those who voted in favour had racist sensibilities. Furthermore, the notion of giving the right to vote to blacks and women was anathema to many. The movie also illustrates how far the Republican Party has drifted [or turned its back?] from its origins.

No comments:

Post a Comment