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The sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. January 1, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As CL noted in comments yesterday.

[Today] marks the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.
‘The cause of the slaves, the working class and the poor – North and South – were, for Marx, the same cause.’

‘From Oakes’s perspective, emancipation should never be presented as a singular turning point in the war, nor should Abraham Lincoln ever stand alone in our discussions as the Great Emancipator.’


1. yourcousin - January 1, 2013

While I fail to see why we are constantly reminded of certain dates in American history I would reccommend reading The Spirit of 1848: German Immigrants, Labor Conflict and the Coming of the Civil War. Good book that sheds a light on connections that have been to my knowledge neglected (other than cursory footnotes).


WorldbyStorm - January 1, 2013

It’s always good to remember that there’s a progressive tradition in the US, so for an external readership perhaps that’s no harm. Sounds like an interesting work.


2. WorldbyStorm - January 1, 2013

I seem to remember reading that line some while back, but I can’t remember that it was first hand. So it’s definitely familiar. Some of Albert Boime’s The Unveiling of the National Icons: A Plea for Patriotic Iconoclasm in a Nationalist Era deals with not dissimilar themes, particularly in relation to the generation of a national ‘shared’ iconography and discourse relating to same.


3. CL - January 1, 2013

“The past is never dead. Its not even past.”-William Faulkner.

‘The sesquicentennial is being marked by speeches, ceremonies, books, exhibits, conferences and services.’

‘Growing up in Alabama after World War II, the boy who became the civil rights hero John Lewis spent New Year’s with his sharecropper family at services in a small cinder block Baptist church outside town.
He heard grandparents repeat their grandparents’ stories about plantation life — bondage, resistance, escape. The congregation sang spirituals, field songs, freedom songs. The story of emancipation was told in skits, with congregants dressed as heroes such as Tubman, Douglass and Lincoln.

This was Watch Night, when the faithful waited for the new year as their ancestors had waited for midnight on Dec. 31, 1862. The following day, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves across the South.’

As the European correspondent of the New York Tribune put it:
” Up to now we have witnessed only the first act of the Civil War,-the constitutional waging of war. The second act, the revolutionary waging of war, is at hand.”-Karl Marx

:The emancipation process continued until December 1965 when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

The movie ‘Lincoln’ with Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role deals with the political process needed to get this amendment passed.

” Lincoln asked the nation to confront unblinkingly the legacy of slavery. What were the requirements of justice in the face of this reality? What would be necessary to enable former slaves and their descendants to enjoy fully the pursuit of happiness? Lincoln did not live to provide an answer. A century and a half later, we have yet to do so.”-Eric Foner


4. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 2, 2013


5. Starkadder - January 3, 2013

This month also sees the anniversary of the Haitian slave

The historical importance of the Haitian revolution is often left unstated. In gaining its independence Haiti superseded the French and American revolutions that came before it, in the words of Professor J. Michael Dash, the Haitian revolution, above all else, became “the first and most dramatic emergence of the ideal of human rights – beyond race, nation or gender – in the modern world. The French Revolution was about social justice. The American Revolution sought an end to colonial rule. Neither seriously considered putting an end to human slavery.”



CL - January 3, 2013

It took almost almost 60 years for the U.S. to recognize Haiti with Lincoln finally establishing diplomatic relations in 1862.


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