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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 25, 2011 / 21 Nisan, 5771

The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it

By David M. Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the penultimate paragraph of perhaps the second-greatest speech ever delivered on American soil, Abraham Lincoln set forth the reason the nation was engaged in a great Civil War.

"One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it," Lincoln said in his second inaugural address. "These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war."

That's pretty clear: The Civil War was fought because of slavery. So if that were so evident at noon on March 4, 1865, why has there been such controversy for a century and a half over the real cause of the Civil War?

That is a far more difficult question. For reasons economic, social, political and historical, both sides in the Civil War have portrayed the struggle as one over states rights, or the size of government or the economic destiny of the country. Slavery was the cause that dared not speak its name.

These other issues were factors, to be sure. But they all grew out of slavery and the great divide that slavery created -- first between black and white, then between landowner and laborer, next between North and South, finally between the Union and the Confederacy.

Strains of these struggles and these divides still mark us. Perhaps they will persist longer than Lincoln's prescription, when he suggested later in that splendid inauguration paragraph that the fighting would last "until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword."

But we cannot erase those divisions until we face, forthrightly and courageously, the issue that seems so obvious 150 years later and that still seems so difficult to confront. Slavery, and not economic and political independence, was at the center of the war. To those who deny it, consider this question: Would there have been a civil war on American soil if for some reason slavery were not planted on this continent along with tobacco and cotton?

"When you talk to people around the country and ask them the causes of the Civil War you get the same answers you would have gotten in 1861," says Andrew E. Masich, president of Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center. "Some white people in the South think it was a war to protect their homeland and states rights. Some blacks can't believe the war was about slavery because they don't believe white people would fight for them. And in the North there are the Unionists, who think the war was fought to preserve the country. There's still no agreement on the root causes of the Civil War."

In truth, it is possible to search the remarks of Abraham Lincoln and to find in them multiple causes of the Civil War. He began his presidency hoping to restrict the spread of slavery. Then he struggled to preserve the Union. Only later did he decide the fight was about freedom. And by freedom, he meant freedom for all, a broad freedom as envisioned in the Declaration of Independence but -- and here is where Lincoln charted new territory -- applied to all Americans, white and black.

In the greatest speech ever delivered on American soil, Lincoln spoke of "unfinished work," and he was not talking only about the task of winning the war. He was speaking, too, of winning that broader definition of freedom. That is what he meant by the phrase "new birth of freedom." And his opening, speaking of what happened fourscore and seven years earlier -- in 1776 -- makes it clear that he is taking the Declaration of Independence and grafting it onto the American Constitution, or at least onto the American conscience, with its timeless celebration of the Enlightenment principle that "all men are created equal."

But even the American Constitution was marked by slavery. The specter haunting the Constitutional Convention, along with the fecklessness of the doomed Articles of Confederation, was slavery. The founding fathers did many things, but they punted on slavery, leaving it to a future generation to settle. That future generation dealt with it by fighting over the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act and then fighting the Civil War.

"Race was a central factor in the nation until the Civil War, through the Civil War and beyond the Civil War," Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., the Illinois Democrat who has proposed a national commission to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, said in an interview. "There never has been a moment that slavery and race was not a factor, and yet both sides were able to subvert the issue of race and not deal with the role of slavery in the war."

During the war, the primacy of slavery was incontrovertible. In its commentary on the firing on Fort Sumter, the Chicago Tribune said "that barbarous institution" was "the cause of the rebellion which months of effort has ripened into the bloody strife this day commenced." Frederick Douglass said at the war's start that the cessation of slavery should be the price of secession from the Union.

We have to face this issue not only to get our past right. We also have to answer it to get our future right. "The past," Harvard historian Niall Ferguson has written, "is our only reliable guide to the present and to the multiple futures that lie before us, only one of which will actually happen."

Understand slavery and you understand the Civil War. Understand the Civil War and you understand America. The New Freedom, the New Deal, the great prosperity that followed World War II, the youth and women's movements of the 1960s, the Reagan Revolution -- they're all important. But not one of them defines us the way the Civil War did, and does. That's why the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is not only a commemoration. It also is an opportunity.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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