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Text & History Blog
Blog Post Series
Text & History Blog
At last night’s Iowa Town Hall, an audience member asked Hillary Clinton which President inspired her most. After using humor to deflect the question away from her husband (Bill Clinton) and her former boss (Barack Obama), Clinton gave the same answer many of us would have given: Abraham Lincoln.
Americans are drawn to Lincoln for a variety of reasons—Lincoln as wartime President, Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator,” Lincoln as martyr—and Clinton initially captured Lincoln’s allure quite well, praising him for his leadership during the Civil War and his use of the government to serve the common good. She then veered into more perilous terrain—exploring one of American history’s great “what ifs”: What if Lincoln had lived long enough to lead the nation through the challenges of Reconstruction?
Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court is making national headlines again, and once again it's because of his disdain for the U.S. Constitution. On Wednesday, Moore ordered the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S.
This week, the U.S. Treasury Department renamed the Treasury Annex in Washington, D.C. the Freedman’s Bank Building, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, a federal bank created during Reconstruction to benefit the newly freed slaves and their descendants. The Freedman’s Bank Act was one of many race-conscious federal statutes passed, contemporaneous with the Fourteenth Amendment, to foster equal opportunities and help realize the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of equal protection of the laws for all persons. The Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment understood that race-conscious measures were necessary to fulfill the promise of equality contained in the Fourteenth Amendment. Today, however, conservatives bent on eliminating affirmative action in education are turning a blind eye to this history.