Tag Archives: United States

African Americans 15th Amendment and SCOTUS


www.crf-usa.org

Following the Civil War, Radical Republicans in Congress introduced a series of laws and constitutional amendments to try to secure civil and political rights for black people. This wing of the Republican Party was called “radical” because of its strong stance on these and other issues. The right that provoked the greatest controversy, especially in the North, concerned black male suffrage: the right of the black man to vote.

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In 1867, Congress passed a law requiring the former Confederate states to include black male suffrage in their new state constitutions. Ironically, even though African American men began voting in the South after 1867, the majority of Northern states continued to deny them this basic right.

In the North, the Republican’s once-huge voter majority over the Democratic Party was declining. Radical Republican leaders feared that they might lose control of Congress to the Democrats.

One solution to this problem called for including the black man’s vote in all Northern states. Republicans assumed the new black voters would vote Republican just as their brothers were doing in the South. By increasing its voters in the North and South, the Republican Party could then maintain its stronghold in Congress.

The Republicans, however, faced an incredible dilemma. The idea of blacks voting was not popular in the North. In fact, several Northern states had recently voted against black male suffrage.

In May 1868, the Republicans held their presidential nominating convention in Chicago and chose Ulysses S. Grant as their candidate. The Republicans agreed that African-American male suffrage continued to be a requirement for the Southern states, but decided that the Northern states should settle this issue for themselves.

Grant was victorious in the election of 1868, but this popular general won by a surprisingly slim margin. It was clear to Republican leaders that if they were to remain in power, their party needed the votes of black men in the North.

The 15th Amendment

When the new year began in 1869, the Republicans were ready to introduce a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the black man’s right to vote. For two months, Congress considered the proposed amendment. Several versions of the amendment were submitted, debated, rejected and then reconsidered in both the House and Senate.

Finally, at the end of February 1869, Congress approved a compromise amendment that did not even specifically mention the black man:

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Once approved by the required two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, the 15th Amendment had to be ratified by 28, or three-fourths, of the states. Due to the reconstruction laws, black male suffrage already existed in 11 Southern states. Since almost all of these states were controlled by Republican reconstruction governments, they could be counted on to ratify the 15th Amendment. Supporters of the 15th Amendment needed only 17 of the remaining 26 Northern and Western states in order to succeed. At this time, just nine of these states allowed the black man to vote. The struggle for and against ratification hung on what blacks and other political interests would do.

The Blacks

Only days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox in April, 1865, black abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. In his speech, Douglass explained why the black man wanted the right to vote “in every state of the Union”:

It is said that we are ignorant; admit it. But if we know enough to be hung, we know enough to vote. If the Negro knows enough to pay taxes to support government, he knows enough to vote; taxation and representation should go together. If he knows enough to shoulder a musket and fight for the flag for the government, he knows enough to vote ….What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice.

While Congress debated the 15th Amendment early in 1869, 150 black men from 17 states assembled for a convention in Washington, D.C. This was the first national meeting of black Americans in the history of the United States. Frederick Douglass was elected president of the convention.

The delegates praised the Republicans in Congress for passing the reconstruction laws and congratulated General Grant on his election to the White House. They also pledged their continued support of the Republican Party.

Those attending the convention also spent time meeting with members of Congress, encouraging them to pass a strong amendment guaranteeing black male suffrage nationwide. When the meeting adjourned, the delegates were confident that a new era of democracy for the black man was about to begin.

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A poster celebrates the passage of the 15th Amendment. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Democrats

The Democrats realized they were fighting for political survival. They feared ratification of the 15th Amendment would automatically create some 170,000 loyal black Republican voters in the North and West.

In debates over the amendment, Democrats argued against the ratification by claiming that the 15th Amendment restricted the states’ rights to run their own elections. The Democrats also charged the Republicans with breaking their promise of allowing the states, outside the South, to decide for themselves whether to grant black male suffrage. Democrat leaders cited the low level of literacy in the black population and they predicted black voters would be easily swayed by false promises and outright bribery.

Victory, Then Tragedy

Despite Democratic opposition, the Republicans steadily won ratification victories throughout 1869. Ironically, it was a Southern state, Georgia that clinched the ratification of the 15th Amendment on February 2, 1870.

On March 30, President Grant officially proclaimed the 15th Amendment as part of the Constitution. Washington and many other American cities celebrated. More than 10,000 blacks paraded through Baltimore. In a speech on May 5, 1870, Frederick Douglass rejoiced. “What a country — fortunate in its institutions, in its 15th Amendment, in its future.”

The jubilation over victory did not last long. While Republicans acquired loyal black voters in the North, the South was an entirely different matter. The Ku Klux Klan and other violent racist groups intimidated black men who tried to vote, or who had voted, by burning their homes, churches and schools, even by resorting to murder.

When the election for president in 1876 ended with a dispute over electoral votes, the Republicans made a deal with the Southern Democrats. First, the Southerners agreed to support Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes for president. In turn, the Republicans promised to withdraw troops from the South and abandon federal enforcement of black’s rights, including the right to vote.

Within a few years, the Southern state governments required blacks to pay voting taxes, pass literacy tests and endure many other unfair restrictions on their right to vote. In Mississippi, 67 percent of the black adult men were registered to vote in 1867; by 1892 only 4 percent were registered. The political deal to secure Hayes as president rendered the 15th Amendment meaningless. Another 75 years passed before black voting rights were again enforced in the South.

For Discussion and Writing

  1. What was the “Republican dilemma” in 1868?
  2. During the ratification of the 15th Amendment, women’s suffrage leaders were told that it was “the Negro’s hour.” What did this mean? How did Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony respond to this argument? Do you think they did the right thing? Why or why not?

For Further Reading

Douglass, Frederick. Frederick Douglass; selections from his writings, edited, with an introduction, by Philip S. Foner. New York International Press, 1964.

Gillette, William. The Right to Vote: Politics and Passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1965.


A C T I V I T Y


Voting Rights Convention

In this activity, you will have a chance to re create history by going back to the year 1868 to participate in a voting rights convention. You will be assigned to a group that had a particular viewpoint on voting rights in 1868. Your group and four others at the convention will write a voting rights amendment to recommend to Congress. In this way, your class will have the opportunity to improve upon the original 15th Amendment that was passed by Congress early in 1869. For the purposes of this activity, it does not matter what your own sex or race is when you are assigned to one of the convention groups listed below.

Voting Rights Convention Groups: Republicans, Blacks, Abolitionists, Woman Suffragists, Democrats

  1. At random, assign each student to one of the five groups listed above.
  2. You should first re read the section of the article relating to your group (For example, Republicans should read “The Republican Dilemma.”)
  3. Next, discuss with your group what you think your purpose should be at this voting rights convention. For example, is your group in favor of a voting rights amendment? If so, what should it include? Write your purpose on a sheet of paper and have your teacher check it.
  4. Now re read the section titled, “The 15th Amendment.” If you are a member of the “Blacks” or “Abolitionists” also re-read the last section, “Victory, Then Tragedy.”
  5. With the other members of your group, write your own voting rights amendment. Remember to pay attention to the views and purpose of your group at this convention. You can use the wording of the actual 15th Amendment as a guide, but try to change or improve it from your group’s point of view.
  6. All the amendments written at the convention should now be put on the board. Each group with a proposed amendment should explain it to the entire convention. Members of other groups may ask questions or argue against it at this time.
  7. Finally, the convention members should vote on which voting rights amendment to recommend to Congress. However, the rules of the convention require that in order for an amendment to be recommended, two thirds of the convention members must approve it. If none of the proposed amendments receives at least two thirds of the convention votes, the group members should try to negotiate a compromise amendment that will attract the support of the other groups.
  8. After completing this activity, contrast your convention’s amendment with the original 15th Amendment. How are they different? Is the convention amendment better? Why? If the convention amendment had been ratified in 1870, would it have made any difference to black voters, women or other groups in American society?

Return to Black History Month Home Page

On 1/31 ~ The House passes the 13th Amendment


Amendments 13-15 are called the Reconstruction Amendments both because they were the first enacted right after the Civil War and because all addressed questions related to the legal and political status of the African Americans.

On 1/31 in 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in America. The amendment read, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

When the Civil War began, President Abraham Lincoln’s professed goal was the restoration of the Union. But early in the war, the Union began keeping escaped slaves rather than returning them to their owners, so slavery essentially ended wherever the Union army was victorious.

In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in areas that were still in rebellion against the Union. This measure opened the issue of what to do about slavery in border states that had not seceded or in areas that had been captured by the Union before the proclamation.

In 1864, an amendment abolishing slavery passed the U.S. Senate but died in the House as Democrats rallied in the name of states’ rights. The election of 1864 brought Lincoln back to the White House along with significant Republican majorities in both houses, so it appeared the amendment was headed for passage when the new Congress convened in March 1865. Lincoln preferred that the amendment receive bipartisan support–some Democrats indicated support for the measure, but many still resisted.

The amendment passed 119 to 56, seven votes above the necessary two-thirds majority. Several Democrats abstained, but the 13th Amendment was sent to the states for ratification, which came in December 1865. With the passage of the amendment, the institution that had indelibly shaped American history was eradicated

Amendments 13-15 are called the Reconstruction Amendments both because they were the first enacted right after the Civil War and because all addressed questions related to the legal and political status of the African Americans.

blackpast.org

The Hyde Amendment … a reminder~~STARTED 12/13/1971 ENDED 1/22/1973 internet


Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

I received a like & a few comments from someone from the extreme right, well, a breitbart team member.  I have no respect for what breitbart represented.

I also have issues with FOX being considered a news program that is actually a Republican station, so any use of them as a resource is just not going to fly. When it comes to Election2012, I am definitely concerned about the folks that Ryan represents the fact that he not only follows, but also quotes Ayn Rand while quietly plotting out a plan to overturn roe V wade. The top of the ticket is an even scarier thought because Ryan like Romney along with other Republicans have planned NOT to give Americans the necessary information to make intelligent choices. Though folks are starting to tune in this – is the most important election Americans have had to participate in and Republicans are doing whatever they have to in order that left leaning folks right to vote is suppressed in election2012. I am, particularly concerned about a woman’s right to choose as Republican Governors  took it upon themselves to pass unacceptable legislation ,screamed about their religious freedoms have been violated. While women all over the World watched in horror as a panel of men who not only refused to listen to Sandra fluke, they denied Eleanor Holmes Norton a seat at the table as well. I don’t know about you but I was pissed, scared and determined not to let a group of men turn back the clock in a fight for by women who suffered from a lack of Equality in all its forms, I mean are these men serious? do they think women are too stupid to make their own health care decisions or is there another reason for the sudden need to ban birth control possibly trash roe V wade.  Maybe. I know Women’s suffrage was about a whole lot more than reproductive rights and we all must remember VAMA and the Equal pay Act are bills sitting waiting to become laws. While those in Congress, specifically republicans have decided, no business is good for their Elections there is a lot of Republican talk out there about birth control and abortion, which should scare Women. As VP Joe Biden stated in the debate, roe V wade is only as safe as the Supreme Court justices allowed to sit on the court are objective.    The Hyde amendment was a knee jerk reaction from a man or group of men who believed that had the right to invade a Woman’s personal space, life and their right to choose. Unfortunately, in the end it became a law. We all know 98% of women use birth control. I know plenty girls (women) who have had abortions at 18, some are now married , have kids doing quite well thank you… went to college have good jobs and some are in that 47% because they are single parents . As a person of colour and mom, I am more than scared to be governed by Romney/Ryan … imagine that finger wagging Gov. Brewer did ; only it will be Romney/Ryan after having eliminated all social programs warning all of us brown, black ,mixed and whites folks considered a part of that low life 47%.  So, as we gasp at most if not at all of what Conservatives are saying  we hear so-called Republican, Trump and the rest of the new Republicans the notion that the time has come for the Rich to Rule America is in full effect this very moment.

I grew up thinking America was a good place to live for everyone but given the push from the “have it all” but it’s not enough seem to be trying to buy Election2012 Votes, we must all stay the course, fight back with our votes to fight the mission to turn back the clock or change our democracy.  I have some serious doubts, especially with what I am reading on your blog – Republicans have taken a big risk and trashed 47% ,do not forget this includes Vets, teachers, firefighters police …City County and State workers have been cut, slashed and burned by the GOP.

I know the write up was negative … Though it might be a good opportunity to trade information, find out exactly why ideology rates higher than the greater good … well, at least ask.

FYI … from the Center for American Progress

Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

… birth control become controversial?” In some ways, we can thank former Rep. Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) for setting us on this path. The attacks on contraceptive coverage can be traced back to an amendment of his that turns 36 years old today. The Hyde Amendment…

By Jessica Arons | Monday, October 1, 2012

  • Introduction: 30 Years is Long Enough, by Jessica Arons
  • Part One: Hyde Amendment History, by Marlene Gerber Fried
  • Part Two: Dignity and Justice for Some?, by Sarah Horsley
  • Part Three: Does the Hyde Amendment Violate Human Rights?, by Patty Skuster and Jamie D. Brooks
  • Part Four: Expanding Reproductive Choice, by Susan Jenkins
  • Part Five: The Future of Hyde, by Toni M. Bond Leonard

In the library … Edgar Allen Poe


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http://www.biography.com/people/edgar-allan-poe-9443160/videos

Born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of mystery and horror initiated the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unrivaled in American fiction.

and on January 29 Raven receives accolades

His The Raven (1845) numbers among the best-known poems in national literature.

1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 1941 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS (“THE FOUR FREEDOMS”) (6 January 1941)


[1] Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Seventy-seventh Congress:Voices of Democracy

[2] I address you, the Members of the members of this new Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word “unprecedented,” because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today.

[3] Since the permanent formation of our Government under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our domestic affairs. And fortunately, only one of these–the four-year War Between the States–ever threatened our national unity. Today, thank God, one hundred and thirty million Americans, in forty-eight States, have forgotten points of the compass in our national unity.

[4] It is true that prior to 1914 the United States often had been disturbed by events in other Continents. We had even engaged in two wars with European nations and in a number of undeclared wars in the West Indies, in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific for the maintenance of American rights and for the principles of peaceful commerce. But in no case had a serious threat been raised against our national safety or our continued independence.

[5] What I seek to convey is the historic truth that the United States as a nation has at all times maintained opposition, clear, definite opposition, to any attempt to lock us in behind an ancient Chinese wall while the procession of civilization went past. Today, thinking of our children and of their children, we oppose enforced isolation for ourselves or for any other part of the Americas.

[6] That determination of ours, extending over all these years, was proved, for example, in the early days during the quarter century of wars following the French Revolution.

[7] While the Napoleonic struggles did threaten interests of the United States because of the French foothold in the West Indies and in Louisiana, and while we engaged in the War of 1812 to vindicate our right to peaceful trade, it is nevertheless clear that neither France nor Great Britain, nor any other nation, was aiming at domination of the whole world.

[8] And in like fashion from 1815 to 1914–ninety-nine years–no single war in Europe or in Asia constituted a real threat against our future or against the future of any other American nation.

[9] Except in the Maximilian interlude in Mexico, no foreign power sought to establish itself in this Hemisphere; and the strength of the British fleet in the Atlantic has been a friendly strength. It is still a friendly strength.

[10] Even when the World War broke out in 1914, it seemed to contain only small threat of danger to our own American future. But, as time went on, as we remember, the American people began to visualize what the downfall of democratic nations might mean to our own democracy.

[11] We need not overemphasize imperfections in the Peace of Versailles. We need not harp on failure of the democracies to deal with problems of world reconstruction. We should remember that the Peace of 1919 was far less unjust than the kind of “pacification” which began even before Munich, and which is being carried on under the new order of tyranny that seeks to spread over every continent today. The American people have unalterably set their faces against that tyranny.

[12] I suppose that every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world–assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace.

[13] During sixteen long months this assault has blotted out the whole pattern of democratic life in an appalling number of independent nations, great and small. And the assailants are still on the march, threatening other nations, great and small.

[14]Therefore, as your President, performing my constitutional duty to “give to the Congress information of the state of the Union,” I find it, unhappily, necessary to report that the future and the safety of our country and of our democracy are overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders.

[15] Armed defense of democratic existence is now being gallantly waged in four continents. If that defense fails, all the population and all the resources of Europe, and Asia, and Africa and Australasia will be dominated by conquerors. And let us remember that the total of those populations in those four continents, the total of those populations and their resources greatly exceeds the sum total of the population and the resources of the whole of the Western Hemisphere–yes, many times over.

[16] In times like these it is immature–and incidentally, untrue–for anybody to brag that an unprepared America, single-handed, and with one hand tied behind its back, can hold off the whole world.

[17] No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion–or even good business.

[18] Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. “Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

[19] As a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are softhearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed.

[20] We must always be wary of those who with sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal preach the “ism” of appeasement.

[21] We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests.

[22] I have recently pointed out how quickly the tempo of modern warfare could bring into our very midst the physical attack which we must eventually expect if the dictator nations win this war.

[23] There is much loose talk of our immunity from immediate and direct invasion from across the seas. Obviously, as long as the British Navy retains its power, no such danger exists. Even if there were no British Navy, it is not probable that any enemy would be stupid enough to attack us by landing troops in the United States from across thousands of miles of ocean, until it had acquired strategic bases from which to operate.

[24] But we learn much from the lessons of the past years in Europe-particularly the lesson of Norway, whose essential seaports were captured by treachery and surprise built up over a series of years.

[25] The first phase of the invasion of this Hemisphere would not be the landing of regular troops. The necessary strategic points would be occupied by secret agents and by their dupes- and great numbers of them are already here, and in Latin America.

[26] As long as the aggressor nations maintain the offensive, they-not we–will choose the time and the place and the method of their attack.

[27] And that is why the future of all the American Republics is today in serious danger.

[28] That is why this Annual Message to the Congress is unique in our history.

[29] That is why every member of the Executive Branch of the Government and every member of the Congress face great responsibility and great accountability.

[30] The need of the moment is that our actions and our policy should be devoted primarily–almost exclusively–to meeting this foreign peril. For all our domestic problems are now a part of the great emergency.

[31] Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all of our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small. And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.

[32] Our national policy is this:

[33] First, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to all-inclusive national defense.

[34] Second, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to full support of all those resolute people everywhere who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our Hemisphere. By this support, we express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail; and we strengthen the defense and the security of our own nation.

[35] Third, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people’s freedom.

[36] In the recent national election there was no substantial difference between the two great parties in respect to that national policy. No issue was fought out on this line before the American electorate. And today it is abundantly evident that American citizens everywhere are demanding and supporting speedy and complete action in recognition of obvious danger.

[37] Therefore, the immediate need is a swift and driving increase in our armament production.

[38] Leaders of industry and labor have responded to our summons. Goals of speed have been set. In some cases these goals are being reached ahead of time; in some cases we are on schedule; in other cases there are slight but not serious delays; and in some cases–and I am sorry to say very important cases–we are all concerned by the slowness of the accomplishment of our plans.

[39] The Army and Navy, however, have made substantial progress during the past year. Actual experience is improving and speeding up our methods of production with every passing day. And today’s best is not good enough for tomorrow.

[40] I am not satisfied with the progress thus far made. The men in charge of the program represent the best in training, in ability, and in patriotism. They are not satisfied with the progress thus far made. None of us will be satisfied until the job is done.

[41] No matter whether the original goal was set too high or too low, our objective is quicker and better results.

[43] We are behind schedule in turning out finished airplanes; we are working day and night to solve the innumerable problems and to catch up.

[44] We are ahead of schedule in building warships but we are working to get even further ahead of that schedule.

[45] To change a whole nation from a basis of peacetime production of implements of peace to a basis of wartime production of implements of war is no small task. And the greatest difficulty comes at the beginning of the program, when new tools, new plant facilities, new assembly lines, and new ship ways must first be constructed before the actual materiel begins to flow steadily and speedily from them.

[46] The Congress, of course, must rightly keep itself informed at all times of the progress of the program. However, there is certain information, as the Congress itself will readily recognize, which, in the interests of our own security and those of the nations that we are supporting, must of needs be kept in confidence.

[47] New circumstances are constantly begetting new needs for our safety. I shall ask this Congress for greatly increased new appropriations and authorizations to carry on what we have begun.

[48] I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations.

[49] Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves. They do not need man power, but they do need billions of dollars worth of the weapons of defense.

[50] The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them all in ready cash. We cannot, and we will not, tell them that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have.

[51] I do not recommend that we make them a loan of dollars with which to pay for these weapons–a loan to be repaid in dollars.

[52] I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to continue to obtain war materials in the United States, fitting their orders into our own program. And nearly all of their materiel would, if the time ever came, be useful in our own defense.

[53] Taking counsel of expert military and naval authorities, considering what is best for our own security, we are free to decide how much should be kept here and how much should be sent abroad to our friends who by their determined and heroic resistance are giving us time in which to make ready our own defense.

[54] For what we send abroad, we shall be repaid, repaid within a reasonable time following the close of hostilities, repaid in similar materials, or, at our option, in other goods of many kinds, which they can produce and which we need.

[55] Let us say to the democracies: “We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you, in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and our pledge.”

[56] In fulfillment of this purpose we will not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that they will regard as a breach of international law or as an act of war our aid to the democracies which dare to resist their aggression. Such aid . . . such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should unilaterally proclaim it so to be.

[57] And when the dictators, if the dictators, are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an act of war on our part. They did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit an act of war.

[58] Their only interest is in a new one-way international law, which lacks mutuality in its observance, and, therefore, becomes an instrument of oppression.

[59] The happiness of future generations of Americans may well depend upon how effective and how immediate we can make our aid felt. No one can tell the exact character of the emergency situations that we may be called upon to meet. The Nation’s hands must not be tied when the Nation’s life is in danger.

[60] Yes, and we must all prepare–all of us prepare–to make the sacrifices that the emergency– almost as serious as war itself–demands. Whatever stands in the way of speed and efficiency in defense–in defense preparations of any kind–must give way to the national need.

[61] A free nation has the right to expect full cooperation from all groups. A free nation has the right to look to the leaders of business, of labor, and of agriculture to take the lead in stimulating effort, not among other groups but within their own groups.

[62] The best way of dealing with the few slackers or trouble makers in our midst is, first, to shame them by patriotic example, and, if that fails, to use the sovereignty of government to save government.

[63] As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone. Those who man our defenses, and those behind them who build our defenses, must have the stamina and the courage which come from unshakable belief in the manner of life which they are defending. The mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard of all things the worth fighting for.

[64] The Nation takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things which have been done to make its people conscious of their individual stake in the preservation of democratic life in America. Those things have toughened the fibre of our people, have renewed their faith and strengthened their devotion to the institutions we make ready to protect.

[65] Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world.

[66] For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

[67] Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

[68] Jobs for those who can work.

[69] Security for those who need it.

[70] The ending of special privilege for the few.

[71] The preservation of civil liberties for all.

[72] The enjoyment . . . the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

[73] These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

[74] Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement.

[75] As examples:

[76] We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

[77] We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

[78] We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

[79] I have called for personal sacrifice. And I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call.

[80] A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my Budget Message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed, to get rich out of the program; and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.

[81] If the Congress maintains these principles, the voters, putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks, will give you their applause.

[82] In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

[83] The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

[84] The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

[85] The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

86] The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

[87] That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

[88] To that new order we oppose the greater conception–the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

[89] Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change–in a perpetual peaceful revolution–a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions–without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

[90] This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

[91] To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

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