Exclusive: Americans are proud that their Declaration of Independence was also a declaration of universal rights. But the hard truth is that, in 1776, the words were mere propaganda cloaking the fact that a third of the signers were slaveholders, including the famous author, Thomas Jefferson, as Robert Parry recalls.
From the Archive: Mother’s Day has become a time to thank mothers for the hard work they do raising children and keeping families together, surely a worthy message. But the original Mother’s Day in 1870 had a more political intent, urging mothers to stop the horrors of war, as Gary G. Kohls wrote in 2011.
Even after the Emancipation Proclamation freed African-American slaves in the Confederacy on Jan. 1, 1863, racial bias was common even far from the rebellious South. Later that year, blacks fought to get access to horse-drawn streetcars in San Francisco, writes William Loren Katz.
Exclusive: Many on the American Right insist federal actions from the Civil War to recent banking regulations were encroachments on states’ rights and personal liberties, but underlying these claims – in the 1860s and today – is the greed of the richest 1 percent treating the 99 percent as chattel, writes Mark Ames.
As the United States commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War – fought over the South’s secession in defense of slavery – today’s irony is that the U.S. government is experiencing a resurgence of the divisions that empowered secession in 1861, as Danny Schechter notes in this guest essay.