World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

Chapter 4: Decent into Chaos :: The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “’For thirty years the army was my pride. For it I lived, upon it I laboured, and now, after four and a half brilliant years of war with unprecedented victories, it was forced to collapse by the stab- in- the- back from the dagger of the revolutionist, at the very moment when peace was within reach!‘”
  • “No enemy has overcome you!”
  • “Moreover, the American President Woodrow Wilson had declared, in his celebrated ‘Fourteen Points’ which he wished the Allied powers to be working for, that every nation should be able to determine its own future, free from interference by others. If this applied to the Poles, the Czechs and the Yugoslavs, then surely it should apply to the Germans as well? But it did not. … The Austrians wanted union; the Germans were prepared to accept union; the principle of national self- determination demanded union. The fact that the Allies forbade union remained a constant source of bitterness in Germany and condemned the new ‘Republic of German- Austria’, as it was known, to two decades of conflict- ridden, crisis- racked existence in which few of its citizens ever came to believe in its legitimacy.”
  • “Versailles was condemned as a dictated peace, unilaterally imposed without the possibility of negotiation. The enthusiasm which so many middle- class Germans had demonstrated for war in 1914 flipped over into burning resentment at the terms of peace four years later.”
  • “On 15 November 1918 I was on the way from the hospital at Bad Nauheim to my garrison at Brandenburg. As I was limping along with the aid of my cane at the Potsdam station in Berlin, a band of uniformed men, sporting red armbands, stopped me, and demanded that I surrender my epaulettes and insignia. I raised my stick in reply; but my rebellion was soon overcome. I was thrown (down?), and only the intervention of a railroad official saved me from my humiliating position. Hate flamed in me against the November criminals from that moment. As soon as my health improved somewhat, I joined forces with the groups devoted to the overthrow of the rebellion. … I shall never forget the scene when a comrade without an arm came into the room and threw himself on his bed crying. The red rabble, which had never heard a bullet whistle, had assaulted him and torn off all his insignia and medals. We screamed with rage. For this kind of Germany we had sacrificed our blood and our health, and braved all the torments of hell and a world of enemies for years.”
  • “The First World War legitimized violence to a degree that not even Bismarck’s wars of unification in 1864-70 had been able to do. Before the war, Germans even of widely differing and bitterly opposed political beliefs had been able to discuss their differences without resorting to violence.”
  • “It was in this atmosphere of national trauma, political extremism, violent conflict and revolutionary upheaval that Nazism was born.”
  • “provided the spur to translate extreme ideas into violent action.”

Thought Questions

  • What were the consequences of defeat for Germany?
  • How did Germans react to the consequences of defeat?
  • In what ways did defeat specifically impact German nationalists and conservatives?
  • In what ways did defeat specifically impact German Social Democrats?
  • In what ways did gender impact the experience of defeat?
  • Explain and Expand: “In November 1918 most Germans expected that, since the war was being brought to an end before the Allies had set foot on German soil, the terms on which the peace would be based would be relatively equitable. … Given the extent of what Germans had expected to gain in the event of victory, it might have been expected that they would have realized what they stood to lose in the event of defeat.”
  • What were the circumstances and terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
  • What were the circumstances and terms of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which ended the military conflict and how did it impact the eventual treaty
  • What were the circumstances and terms of the Treaty of Versailles and how did it start a political and social conflict
  • What is the “Stab in the back” myth?
  • Explain and Expand: “principal aim was to make the world safe for democracy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “As a far from incidental by- product, Ludendorff also reckoned that if the terms were not so acceptable to the German people, the burden of agreeing to them would thereby be placed on Germany’s democratic politicians rather than on the Kaiser or the army leadership. … The army simply melted away as the Armistice of 11 November was concluded, and the democratic parties were left, as Ludendorff had intended, to negotiate, if negotiate was the word, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.”
  • In what ways did the union of Germany and German- speaking Austria impact the post war situation?
  • Explain and Expand: “The idea took root in Germany that the whole concept of war crimes, indeed the whole notion of laws of war, was a polemical invention of the victorious Allies based on mendacious propaganda about imaginary atrocities.”
  • What was the purpose of Article 231 in the treaty and how was it interpreted by the German public and misrepresented by German nationalists
  • Explain and Expand: “In many ways, the peace settlement of 1918- 19 was a brave attempt at marrying principle and pragmatism in a dramatically altered world. In other circumstances it might have stood a chance of success. But not in the circumstances of 1919, when almost any peace terms would have been condemned by German nationalists who felt they had been unjustly cheated of victory.”
  • Who were the “Pan- Germans”
  • Who was Wolfgang Kapp?
  • Explain and Expand: “What transformed the extreme nationalist scene was not the war itself, but the experience of defeat, revolution and armed conflict at the war’s end. A powerful role was played here by the myth of the ‘front generation’ of 1914- 18, soldiers bound together in a spirit of comradeship and self- sacrifice in a heroic cause which overcame all political, regional, social and religious differences.”
  • How did the experience of defeat in 1918 shape German nationalism?
  • What role did paramilitary organizations fill for German World War I veterans
  • What role did paramilitary organizations fill for German men who were too young to participate in World War I?
  • Explain and Expand: “Germany failed to make the transition from wartime back to peacetime after 1918. Instead, it remained on a continued war footing; at war with itself, and at war with the rest of the world”
  • What paramilitary organizations identified with particular political parties?
  • How did the existence and activities of paramilitary organizations impact German democracy?
  • Who were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht
  • In what ways did the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia impact the German revolution in 1918-19
  • Explain and Expand: “These events left a permanent legacy of bitterness and hatred on the political left, made worse by another major outbreak of political violence in the spring of 1920.”
  • Explain and Expand: “shot while trying to escape”
  • Explain and Expand: “Political violence reached fresh heights in 1923, a year marked not only by the bloody suppression of an abortive Communist uprising in Hamburg but also by gun battles between rival political groups in Munich and armed clashes involving French- backed separatists in the Rhineland.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading


Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 3 (Part 2) :: The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 by Bernard Bailyn

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “His soldiers, mimicking an Indian gesture of hospitality, lured the Kecoughtan villagers into the open with the piping, dancing, and drumming of a young taborer, then killed fourteen of the men, women, and children who had come out to watch, and looted their lodges and fertile maize fields. A month later De La Warr sent Percy and seventy men to avenge the Paspaheghs’ failure to return arms and captives. Nothing and no one was spared. Percy’s troops killed fifteen or sixteen natives on the spot, burned down the village houses, and destroyed the crops. Returning downriver with the tribe’s “queen,” her children, and a male Indian captive in tow, Percy, criticized by his troops for burdening them with these encumbrances, “cawsed the Indians heade to be Cutt of[f],” and then was persuaded by his troops to allow them to kill the children, which they did by throwing them overboard and “shotingge owt their Braynes in the water.” The queen, for the time, was spared. After a foray inland to burn another village’s houses and crops and to destroy their “Spacyous Temple, cleane and neatly kept” though it was, Percy arrived back in Jamestown, to be told that the governor was “discontente” because the queen had not been disposed of. De La Warr thought it best, Percy was told, “to Burne her.” But “haveinge seene so mutche Blood shedd thatt day,” Percy “desired to see noe more,” and in any case, burning, he felt, was not “fittinge.” He therefore decided that if the queen was to be murdered it should be “by shott or Sworde to give her a quicker dispatche.” So Capt. James Davis, a remorseless “taskmaster” at the forts, took the woman into the woods and “putt her to the sworde.””
  • “When De La Warr suspected that some natives visiting the Jamestown fort were spies, he “caused one to have his hands cutt of[ f], and so sentte [him] unto his fellowes to geve them warneinge for attemptinge the lyke.””
  • “No longer thinking, as Smith had done, simply of the desperate need for life- saving supplies, Dale, a participant in the ruthless slaughter of noncombatants in Ireland on the ground that “terrour… made short Warrs,” launched a program of deliberate military provocation and savage harassment. His campaign to reduce the natives to the status of subject people and drive them off the most valuable lands was part of what has been called England’s “First Anglo- Powhatan War (August 1609 to April 1614).””
  • “translated England’s ad terrorem tactics from the Irish wars of the late sixteenth century—specifically the use of deception, ambush, and surprise, the random slaughter of both sexes and all ages, the calculated murder of innocent captives, and the destruction of entire villages … [The attacks] neither discriminated between combatant and noncombatant victims nor between hostile and friendly tribes.”
  • “Having succeeded, however, in gaining these major goals and in creating terror among the Indians, Dale drew back in 1612–13 to secure his victories and develop a strategy for the next moves. The English received an unexpected advantage when, in March 1613, they captured Pocahontas and found her susceptible both to conversion to Christianity and to John Rolfe’s romantic, and missionary, interest.”
  • “The first, failing experiments that had been made in growing tobacco were not of the native, local plant known to the Indians but of a Spanish variety imported from Trinidad, for which a market was known to exist in Europe. Two years later John Rolfe’s efforts to produce the plant that grew natively in the Chesapeake region were beginning to look promising, though the quality of the tobacco shipped was still judged too poor for English consumption. It was, however, easily produced on partly cleared land, and the farmers, desperate for some kind of cash crop, persisted. The quality of the crop gradually improved, especially as a result of experiments carried on by experts sent to Bermuda, and production rose in every planting season. In 1616, a mere 1,250 pounds were shipped to England; in 1617, almost 10,000 pounds; in 1618, almost 25,000; in 1620, almost 60,000. In all, by 1621 over 100,000 pounds of Virginia tobacco were sent to England; by 1625, almost 400,000.”

Thought Questions

  • Who were the Kecoughtans?
  • Who was George Percy, what role did he fill in Jamestown and how did he impact relations with the Native Americans?
  • Who were the Appomattocs
  • Describe the general state of relations between Native Americans and Jamestown during the period of De La Warr
  • Describe the general state of relations between Native Americans and Jamestown during the period of Thomas Gates
  • Compare and Contrast: Thomas Gates and De La Warr
  • How and why were the Virginia settlements collected together and (re)organized by Thomas Dale and Thomas Gates?
  • What was Dale’s Law and how did it impact Jamestown?
  • Describe the relationship between Thomas Gates and Thomas Date
  • Describe the circumstances leading to and the evolution of the First Anglo- Powhatan War?
  • Who was Bartolomé de Las Casas, what was the “Black Legend” and how did it impact English colonial expectations?
  • Explain and Expand: “The need for some such rationale grew with the escalation of conflict.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Some kind of reciprocity had been achieved. But the Indians saw it as the end of a process; the English saw it as a beginning.”
  • Explain and Expand: “While Gates and Dale were clamping a rigorous work routine on the colony’s settlers and while their “hammerours” were bringing devastation and terror to the Powhatans, the company’s fortunes at home had badly declined.”
  • How did circumstances and events change in London and Virginia that altered the situations for the colonists in Virginia
  • Who was John Rolfe
  • Describe the evolution of tobacco agriculture in early Virginia during the Jamestown period
  • Explain and Expand: “At that point the company entered its final phase, which for a few short years seemed to be leading to the brilliant success so long delayed. But it was a false dawn that led to another dark passage of bloodshed and terror—which might have been predicted.”

Articles and Resources


Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 3 (Part 1): The “Hammerours’ ” Regime :: The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 by Bernard Bailyn

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “It was no doubt a remarkable coincidence that Gates, moving downstream with his rescue party and the survivors of Jamestown, met the advance boats of the rest of the delayed fleet of 1609, including the new governor, the third Baron De La Warr.”
  • “By 1609 Newport’s and others’ accounts of the internal squabbles in Jamestown and race conflicts in Virginia, together with the failure of the settlers to produce valuable goods or a new route to the Pacific, led Smith and his coinvestors to recast the entire venture. Their original idea of a fort, trading station, and base camp for exploration would never succeed. A permanent, self-supporting, and productive colony was needed, and they drew up plans to achieve it. The land would be owned by the company and worked by servants sent out and maintained at the company’s expense. The company would have a complete monopoly of all marketing of goods shipped home and would establish a severely coercive regime in the colony to overcome any future factionalism and enforce an effective work regime.”
  • “Besides ordinary laborers and four “honest and learned ministers,” artisans in thirty- three specified occupations were listed as necessary for the colony’s success. The most urgently needed were sawyers, fishermen, and “iron men for the furnace and hammer”: ten of each were required. Then came blacksmiths, carpenters, shipwrights, gardeners, fowlers, coopers, and vine- dressers— six of each; then turners, brickmakers, rope makers, pitch boilers, and “sturgeon dressers and preservers of the caveary [caviar]”— four each; and all the rest, including surgeons, druggists, “minerall men,” “planters of sugar- cane,” and “pearle drillers”— two each.”
  • “Hakluyt’s description of them as “hammerours” who would know how to “prepare” the Indians for “our preachers’ hands.””

Thought Questions

  • Summarize the experience of the Jamestown settlement under the original council
  • Summarize the experience of the Jamestown settlement under the management of John Smith
  • Describe the period between John Smith leaving Jamestown and the aborted abandonment of Jamestown
  • What is the meaning of The “Hammerours’ ” Regime
  • Who were Baron De La Warr, Thomas Smith, Thomas Dale and Thomas Gates
  • Describe the first relief expedition to Jamestown
  • Describe the second and third relief expeditions to Jamestown
  • In what ways did the supply and quality of labor impact the settlement of Jamestown
  • In what ways did the first financial restructuring of the company impact the settlement of Jamestown in 1611
  • Explain and Expand: “In the first six months after De La Warr’s arrival, one-third of the settlers had sickened and died or were killed by the Indians.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 1: Community and Family :: Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950 by Vicki L. Ruiz

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “By 1930 Los Angeles had the largest concentration of Mexicans in the United States, and by 1940 only Mexico City could claim a greater number of Mexican inhabitants. Spanish-speaking communities throughout southern California grew at a phenomenal pace during the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1900 only 3,000 to 5,000 Mexicans lived in Los Angeles, but by 1930 approximately 150,000 persons of Mexican birth or heritage had settled into the city’s expanding barrios.1 Los Angeles firms employed one-half of the state’s Mexican industrial labor force, and two-thirds of California’s Mexican population resided in five southern counties. On a national level, by 1930 Mexicans formed the “third largest ‘racial’ group,” outnumbered only by Anglos and blacks.”
  • “Women contributed to the family income through their seasonal labor in agriculture and food processing, and many were employed in the growing service sector associated with California tourism. Mexicanas also performed a variety of home tasks for pay, taking in sewing, washing, ironing, and boarders. Some practiced the art of curanderismo (or folk healing) as a means of economic, as well as cultural, survival.”
  • “In Los Angeles, the old “Sonoratown,” pushed by the commercialization of the downtown area, gradually declined as a residential section. In its stead, suburban barrios grew up east of the Los Angeles River.”
  • “Between 1931 and 1934, rhetoric exploded into action as an estimated one-third of the Mexican population in the United States was either deported or repatriated to Mexico even though many had been born in this country. Mexicans were the only immigrants to be targeted for removal. The proximity of the U.S.–Mexico border, as well as the physical distinctiveness of mestizo peoples, fostered the belief that Mexican immigrants could be easily identified and—perhaps more important—inexpensively transported back to their homeland. Mexicans were viewed alternatively as foreign usurpers of American jobs and as unworthy burdens on local relief rolls.”
  • “Yet, the threat of deportation did not touch all Mexican families equally. Historian Camille Guerin-Gonzáles argues that farm workers newly arrived in Los Angeles from rural California were more likely candidates for removal than long-term urban residents. The food processing workers I have interviewed certainly were aware of the fear permeating the barrios, but their own families were not directly affected.”
  • “Red bandannas [sic] I detest, And now the flappers Use them for their dress. The girls of San Antonio Are lazy at the metate. They want to walk out bobbed-haired, With straw hats on. The harvesting is finished, So is the cotton; The flappers stroll out now For a good time.”
  • “I fought with my parents . . . but I didn’t try to sneak out because I didn’t want our neighbors to talk about me the way they talked about some other girls. That kind of chisme would hurt my family.”
  • “Like many female factory workers in the United States as well as in England and France, most Mexican cannery operatives were young single daughters who lived at home and contributed all or part of their pay checks to the family income … Teenage daughters often entered the labor market first, followed by their mothers if additional income was needed.”
  • “The wages garnered by Mexican women industrial operatives were modest; those employed in canneries and packing houses averaged from $2.30 to $2.70 per day. In contrast, their male counterparts received from $3.50 to $4.50 per day. Yet, the earnings of Mexican women food processing personnel were comparable to those garnered by immigrant women on the East Coast. In 1930, for example, the median weekly wage of immigrant women workers in Philadelphia (primarily Jews, Poles, and Italians) was $15.35, or $2.56 per day.”
  • ““I wanted to be a housewife, but I wanted to work. I wanted to see the world . . . I didn’t have any intentions of just . . . getting married . . . and raising kids . . . and being behind the stove. That was out of my line. I didn’t believe in that.”56 Motivations for married women’s employment were certainly as diverse as the women themselves and defy easy categorization.”
  • “While English and French wives often withdrew from the labor force to manage the family income, Mexican and European ethnic wives in the United States (particularly if second generation) continued working so as to accumulate extra funds.”
  • “While one woman might rationalize her wage-earning role as an extension of her family responsibilities, her U.S. born daughter might visualize her own income as an avenue to independence.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Barrio life nurtured traditional values and customs. The barrio, like the family, offered security and refuge”
  • Explain and Expand: “a dynamic entity which fosters a sense of self-respect and dignity.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Ethnic pride as exhibited in secular and religious groups served as a psychological bulwark against the grinding poverty experienced by the majority of barrio residents in southern California.”
  • Explain and Expand: “the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan”
  • Explain and Expand: “The impact of flapper styles on the Mexican community”
  • Explain and Expand: “Though times were lean, many women had dreams of fame and fortune, nurtured in part by their proximity to Hollywood.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Viewed within the construct of a family wage economy, women’s outside employment was an extension of their role in the family.”
  • Explain and Expand: “For some women, however, wages were not supplements to family income. As female heads of households, Mexican women depended on their meager earnings to support not only their children but also their parents.”
  • Explain and Expand: “While most youthful Mexican Americans maintained their cultural identity, many yearned for more freedom, particularly after noticing the more liberal lifestyles of self-supporting Anglo coworkers.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Thus, the household could no longer be characterized as a family wage economy, but as a family consumer economy”
  • Explain and Expand: “items perceived as conferring American respectability. … Sometimes the desire to become “good Americans” resulted in a rejection of Mexican identity.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Mexican women sought employment in food processing firms for a multitude of reasons depending on age, generation, and marital status.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading


Historical Primary Source

The Potsdam Declaration – July 26, 1945

Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945

  1. We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.
  2. The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.
  3. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.
  4. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.
  5. Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
  6. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.
  7. Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan’s war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.
  8. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.
  9. The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.
  10. We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
  11. Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.
  12. The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.
  13. We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.
(The Ministry of Foreign Affairs “Nihon Gaiko Nenpyo Narabini Shuyo Bunsho : 1840-1945” vol.2, 1966)
The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 4) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The Puritan-pietistic religious tradition so powerful in America had perpetuated and disseminated millennialism in the United States. Catholic rejection of the doctrine of the millennium affected the attitude of the church in America in at least two ways. It meant that the church lacked the millennial sense of urgency, widespread among evangelical Protestants, to remake the world and fit it for Christ’s return; it also meant that Catholics did not share in the belief that the United States had a special role, analogous to that of ancient Israel , as an example of divine providence to the rest of the world. While Protestant churches synthesized Christianity with the Enlightenment’s science, individual rights, and faith in progress, the nineteenth-century Church of Rome did not. In an age when Americans’ belief in progress was typically associated with millennial hopes, Catholic doctrine accepted neither the idea of secular progress nor the millennium.”
  • “Nat Turner listened to “the Spirit that spoke to the prophets in former days” and interpreted signs of divinity in the world around him. Like Isaiah, he heard the Spirit tell him to “proclaim liberty to the captives” and “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61: 1– 2). Turner decided that “the great day of judgment was at hand,” when he would become God’s instrument.”
  • “Conservatives conceded that the state would be better off with fewer slaves and a more industrial-commercial economy, but argued that the domestic slave trade would suffice to drain off surplus black laborers from Virginia to the trans-Appalachian Southwest, without legislative intervention.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Alone among major religious denominations in the antebellum United States, the Roman Catholic Church did not teach the doctrine of the millennium.”
  • Explain and Expand: “When a politically conservative association in the Austrian Empire set about raising funds to proselytize for Catholicism in the United States, it set off alarm bells among certain American evangelicals.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Morse’s strident warnings were among the earliest expressions of a movement known as nativism that would become more powerful after Catholic immigration increased during the late 1840s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In the wee hours of Monday, August 22, 1831, a trusted family slave climbed through the window of his master’s house and unbarred the door for six companions armed with axes.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Turner’s Uprising provoked a huge debate among white Virginians over what lessons they should draw from it.”
  • Explain and Expand: “A Calhoun Democrat, like his Carolina mentor he had long backed public funding for internal improvements.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 3) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “True or not, the Book of Mormon is a powerful epic written on a grand scale with a host of characters, a narrative of human struggle and conflict, of divine intervention, heroic good and atrocious evil, of prophecy, morality, and law. Its narrative structure is complex. The idiom is that of the King James Version, which most Americans assumed to be appropriate for a divine revelation.”
  • “He continued to receive revelations from God (sometimes using a seer-stone) that amplified what was in the Book of Mormon and provided guidance to the faithful; these the LDS Church has codified as their Doctrine and Covenants.”
  • “They tended to be people of New England birth or heritage, carrying the cultural baggage of folk Puritanism (as distinguished from Calvinist theology): communalism, chiliasm, identification with ancient Israel, and the practice of magic. Often they had been involved in other Christian restorationist movements, but no particular denominational background predominated. The prophet and his followers perpetuated traditions of a culture, Richard Bushman explains, “in which the sacred and the profane intermingled and the Saints enjoyed supernatural gifts and powers as the frequent blessing of an interested God.””
  • “The Mormons did not passively await Christ’s millennial kingdom but worked to prepare for it. Their brand of premillennialism was as activist as any postmillennialism, and even more certain of a special millennial role for America.”
  • “His notorious order to the militia of October 27, 1838, reads: “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.””
  • “The militia commander ordered Joseph Smith shot after a brief illegal court-martial, but the officer charged with the execution refused to carry it out. Turned over to the civil authorities, the prophet escaped custody five months later and joined his refugee people on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. There they immediately turned their faith and talents to building up another new community, larger and more beautiful, which they named Nauvoo.”

Thought Questions

  • What is millennialism? What is restorationism?
  • What was the “burned-over district” of western New York state
  • Who was Joseph Smith Jr.?
  • Describe the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during Smith’s leadership
  • Explain and Expand: “in 1831 the Saints moved into the Western Reserve area of northeastern Ohio, to a town called Kirtland.”
  • Explain and Expand: “For the next several years there would be two centers of Mormon settlement, one in Ohio and one in Missouri.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The speculation that American Indians constituted some of the Lost Tribes of Israel had been expressed by many writers over the years and was current in Smith’s milieu. Native Americans themselves sometimes endorsed the Lost Tribes theory of their origins.”
  • What was “the Word of Wisdom” and how did it impact the development of the latter day saints?
  • How did the economic crisis of 1837 impact the development of the latter day saints?
  • Describe the process that created the Mormon War of 1838?
  • Describe the events of the Mormon War of 1838
  • How was millennialism connected to the founding of the latter day saints?
  • In what ways did American “exceptionalism” impact the founding of the latter day saints?
  • In what ways did American “manifest destiny” impact the founding of the latter day saints?
  • Who was Alexander Campbell?
  • Who was Charles Finney?
  • Compare and Contrast: Charles Finney, Alexander Campbell and Joseph Smith Jr.
  • Compare and Contrast: Pre-millennialism and Post-millennialism
  • Explain and Expand: “premillennialism appealing to the disinherited of this world”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading


The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 2) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “All contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic saw him as an emissary of liberal values between New and Old Worlds; Americans regarded him as an agent of their international mission. The president had invited Lafayette in order to affirm his Monroe Doctrine’s defiance of the Holy Alliance and to celebrate his Era of Good Feelings. The event succeeded beyond his dreams.”
  • “Tocqueville was very quick to generalize from his experiences, and for all his insight, his interpretations have their limitations. In praising America’s strong traditions of local self-government, he seemed not to notice how often local democracy tyrannized individuals.”
  • “a man of violent temper and very moderate talents.”
  • “She criticized the United States for not living up to its ideals, in particular in its oppression of black people and in the “political nonexistence” of women.”
  • “She conceived an ambitious plan to make Cincinnati a more lively, cosmopolitan city by constructing a building something like a modern shopping mall plus cultural center and ballroom, which she called a “Bazaar.””
  • “Years later, Mark Twain would declare that “candid Mrs. Trollope” deserved American gratitude for her forthrightness. “She knew her subject well, and she set it forth fairly and squarely.” But his observation, made in Life on the Mississippi, was suppressed.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Contemporaries viewed not only utopian communities but all America as an experimental society”
  • Compare and Contrast: 19th century American “exceptionalism” with varieties of 19th century European “exceptionalism”
  • In what ways was the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette symbolic of the age of “exceptionalism”
  • Who was Samuel F. B. Morse
  • Explain and Expand: “Foreign observers also often viewed the United States as an indicator of future developments in their own countries. The German philosopher Hegel called America “the land of the future” and predicted that “in the time to come, the center of world-historical importance will be revealed there.””
  • Explain and Expand: “What Tocqueville meant by “democracy” was not simply political (“ one man, one vote”) but broadly social: “equality of condition.””
  • In what ways did newspapers contribute to American “exceptionalism”
  • Explain and Expand: “Above all, Tocqueville recognized the crucial importance of America’s numerous and diverse voluntary associations.”
  • Who was Gustave de Beaumont?
  • Who was Harriet Martineau?
  • Who was Frances (Fanny) Wright?
  • Compare and Contrast: Frances Wright and Harriet Martineau
  • In what ways was communal experimentation connected to various forms of evangelical millennialism?
  • Who was Robert Owen?
  • Who was Frances Trollope?
  • Explain and Expand: “persuaded Parliament to make the Atlantic slave trade illegal”
  • Explain and Expand: “American opposition to slavery owed a good deal to encouragement from overseas.”
  • Who was Maria Weston Chapman?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

Chapter 3: A Cruel Romance: The Nazi-Soviet Alliance And Soviet Expansion, August To November 1939 – Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Until 1933, long-term cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union was far from unthinkable. Hitler’s accession changed that, but cooperation was still necessary in the short term. Nor, at the time, did it seem so absurd. Politics, like the world, is round. If you go far enough west, you reach the ‘far east’. And, if you travel far to the political ‘left’ or ‘right’, you end up in the same place: some form of totalitarian dictatorship where state security is not only paramount, but actually threatens the very people whose lives, liberties and aspirations the state exists to protect. So it was with National Socialism under Hitler and Soviet communism under Stalin.”
  • “The struggle against the Jewish Bolshevisation of the world demands that we should declare our position towards Soviet Russia. We cannot cast out the devil through Beelzebub… the future goal of our foreign policy ought not to involve an orientation to the East or West; but it ought to be an eastern policy which will have in view the acquisition of such territory as is necessary for our German people. 18 The last sentence encapsulates Hitler’s desire for Lebensraum (living space)”
  • “In all, 3 out of 5 Marshals of the Soviet Union died, 3 out of 5 Army Commanders (komandarm), First Class, all 10 Second Class, 50 out of 57 Corps Commanders (komkor), 154 out of 186 Divisional Commanders (komdiv), 401 out of 456 colonels, plus almost all corps and divisional commissars.”
  • “The Soviet Union’s ruling elite probably, and not unreasonably, thought that the West was willing to let Hitler get away with anything as long as he delivered on the promise, made in Mein Kampf, to eliminate Bolshevism.”
  • “In the face of such consummate diplomacy, on 14 August 1939 Marshal Voroshilov declared that ‘without clear and unambiguous answers to these questions, further negotiations are pointless. The Soviet military delegation cannot recommend that its government participate in an undertaking so clearly doomed to failure.’ Compared with this sorry state of affairs, the proposal which had come from Germany seemed to be a breath of fresh air.”
  • “Either Molotov was playing a cynical game, or he really had little idea what the Red Army was up to, or the Soviets were trying desperately to organize a military response. Reports of the state of the Soviet forces which moved into Poland suggest the latter is probably the case.”
  • “Russian military administration remains much as it used to be. Train timings are chaotic, motor transport is seldom available at the right time and place, petrol supplies break down, and no one has any clear idea at what time anything is going to arrive. In spite of it all something happens … the Red Army was faced with hardly any opposition, so … the defects in administration did not have their full effect, but even so one is left with the impression that the Russian genius for piecemeal improvisation will always carry them through to a strictly limited extent.”
  • “The weakness of leadership and of the administrative machine are evidently still very serious, and combined with the apathy and loss of initiative of the rank and file, must render the army a somewhat amorphous mass which may be capable of taking hard blows but is not capable of delivering them, at any rate when faced with a large scale organised opposition.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the development of the agreements between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia regarding spheres of influence generally and the division of Poland specifically
  • What logic was Germany following in developing the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact
  • What logic was Russia following in developing the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact
  • What were the seven articles of the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact?
  • What were the purposes of the secret protocols attached to the pact?
  • In what ways was the protocol exchanging the Lithuania area for a Polish area significant
  • Affirm or Refute: “The biggest and worst war in history had become inevitable when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Nor did the leaders who exercised unprecedented power over these self-confident superstates appear so different from one another.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Ribbentrop’s foreign policy goals were more traditionally German”
  • What was The German Condor Legion
  • How did the Spanish Civil War impact informal and formal relations between Russia and Germany
  • Explain and Expand: “For the victors of the First World War, the Soviet Union was potentially a greater threat than a resurgent Germany.”
  • What was the 1938 Munich agreement and how did it impact relations between Russia and the West
  • What international ‘collective security’ arrangements were in place in 1939
  • Describe the post 1938 negotiations between Russia and the western powers
  • Explain and Expand: “was at this meeting that the idea of a non- aggression pact was first raised.”
  • Describe the Soviet 1939 invasion of Poland by Russia
  • Who was Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria?
  • What was a Russian ‘Operational-Chekist’ group and what role did they perform in Poland
  • What role did prisoner of war slavery have in the destruction of Poland
  • Explain and Expand: “As a result of the observations in Poland and the Baltic States, most foreigners believed that ‘the value of the Red Army for war remains low’.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

History Primary Source

Woodrow Wilson – Proclamation 1445—Decoration Day, 1918 – May 11, 1918

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas, the Congress of the United States, on the second day of April last, passed the following resolution:

“Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That, it being a duty peculiarly incumbent in a time of war humbly and devoutly to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God and to implore His aid and protection, the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, respectfully requested to recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of our cause, His blessings on our arms, and a speedy restoration of an honorable and lasting peace to the nations of the earth;”

And Whereas, it has always been the reverent habit of the people of the United States to turn in humble appeal to Almighty God for His guidance in the affairs of their common life;

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, the thirtieth day of May, a day already freighted with sacred and stimulating memories, a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting, and do exhort my fellow-citizens of all faiths and creeds to assemble on that day in their several places of worship and there, as well as in their homes, to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins and shortcomings as a people and purify our hearts to see and love the truth, to accept and defend all things that are just and right, and to purpose only those righteous acts and judgments which are in conformity with His will; beseeching Him that He will give victory to our armies as they fight for freedom, wisdom to those who take counsel on our behalf in these days of dark struggle and perplexity, and steadfastness to our people to make sacrifice to the utmost in support of what is just and true, bringing us at last the peace in which men’s hearts can be at rest because it is founded upon mercy, justice and good will.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in the District of Columbia this eleventh day of May, in the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred and eighteen and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-second.


By the President,

Robert Lansing 
Secretary of State.

The American Revolutionary Era Reading and Study Group

Chapter 8: The Making of an American Revolution, 1772–1776 (Parts 3-4) :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “… let us frustrate their present desperate and wicked attempt to destroy America, by joining with our injured fellow subjects, and bravely striking one honest and bold strike to destroy them … let us not leave the pursuit till we have their heads and their estates.”
  • “asserting “that freedom will triumph in this country, over all its enemies,” such that “the Americans will soon be objects of universal admiration and applause,” kindling the spirit of liberty in other nations “until the most servile kindreds of the earth will be warmed into freedom.””
  • “If persecuted in the cities, the Americans could flee into the country and carry on the fight. Then, too, the Americans had weapons and were practiced in their use, unlike the average Englishmen, who had been disarmed by law. Certainly, thousands of “brave musqueteering Americans” were unmatched by the British army of 1775, described as “a number of mercenary, hacknied, tattered regiments, patched up by the most abandoned and debauched of mankind, the scum of the nation, the dregs of Irish and Scottish desperados.””
  • “If America is an humble instrument of the salvation of Britain, it will give us the sincerest joy; but, if Britain must lose her liberty, she must lose it alone.”
  • ““The Time is come,” he wrote William Palfrey in July 1774, “… that we are independent. By the passing of the late Acts in the British Parliament, every Tye is cut, and we set adrift.” In September of 1774, Patrick Henry also told the Continental Congress that government was dissolved and “we are in a state of nature.” The outbreak of war in 1775 led more people to the same conclusion.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did colonial leaders seek to involve the Irish in the cause against Britain
  • Compare and Contrast: the support for the American cause in the urban centers of Dublin and London
  • Compare and Contrast: the reaction of the rural poor in Britain and Ireland with the reaction of the urban poor
  • Compare and Contrast: the reaction of the gentry in Britain and Ireland to the American cause
  • What circumstances created the pauses between the outbreak of political rebellion in 1774, military rebellion in 1775 and the declaration of independence in 1776

Primary Sources

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 2: Death on a Coastal Fringe (Section 3-5) :: The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 by Bernard Bailyn

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “They called this quasi- island Jamestown, and on May 14, 1607, they unloaded their men and equipment, threw together tents and huts behind a brushwood barrier, and set about building “a triangular palisade of posts, rails, and poles, with bulwarks at the corners where cannon were mounted.” The three years that followed was a period of violent dissension within the tiny palisaded settlement, confusion of purpose, physical devastation, and the emergence of a permanent pattern of race conflict. Death was everywhere.”
  • “By August, three months after the expedition’s arrival, the settlers in their small encampment were facing annihilation. The indispensable and inspirational organizer Bartholomew Gosnold died on August 22, one of dozens whose names George Percy recorded despondently day after day—victims, he explained, “of the bloudie flixe … of the swelling … of a wound”—in sum, of many “cruell diseases … and by Warrs … but for the most part they died of meere famine.” The groans “in every corner of the fort [were] most pittifull to heare,” he wrote; it made one’s heart “bleed to heare the pittiful murmurings and out-cries of our sick men.” Some fled to the Indians to avoid starvation, but soon straggled back from that strange world. For six weeks, until some relief came in from the Indians, three or four died each night, and “in the morning their bodies [were] trailed out of their cabines like dogges to be buried.” By September, 46 of the 104 settlers had died, and among the survivors there were not 6 able-bodied men. By January 2, 1608, when Newport arrived back from England in one of the two vessels of the “first supply,” only 38 were still alive—and only barely alive.”
  • “he knew there was a scattering of several hundred Algonquian villages, organized into some thirty chiefdoms, each village with less than one hundred souls, totaling perhaps fifteen thousand people. They were led, with imperfect authority, by the “chief of chiefs,” Powhatan and his warrior brother Opechancanough”
  • “Two episodes, minuscule events in a confused world, seemingly mere curiosities in the bloody struggles for survival, reveal the mutuality, the parallelism, of hopes and expectations, reasonable in themselves but that would prove to be contradictory, ultimately the source of bitter conflict.”
  • “These were calm passages in a tumultuous sea of uncertainty and conflict. And there were others. Young boys were exchanged on both sides, to learn the languages, the “designs,” and the ways of life of the other people.”
  • “Smith, in his Elizabethan love of drama and pageantry, may have relished the feasts and ceremonies, but most of his contacts with the natives were ruthless raids on their villages to extract corn and other supplies for the starving settlers. When his demands were not met, he threatened murder, took hostages at gunpoint, “negotiated” by intimidation, and without hesitation seized from the natives precious supplies that were necessary for their tribes’ survival. Believing the Indians to be inherently barbarous, he attributed to them deceits and plots they did not have and provoked them in ways they did not understand.”
  • “Then the ultimate catastrophes began. A few of the “gastely and pale” inhabitants of the fort— we do not know how many— did “those things w[ hi] ch seame incredible, as to digge upp deade corp[ s] es outt of graves and to eate them… and some have Licked upp the Bloode w[ hi] ch hathe fallen from their weake fellowes.” And even beyond that, Percy wrote, one man murdered his wife, “Ripped the Childe outt of her woambe… Chopped the Mother in pieces and sallted her for his foode.” Forced to confess “by torture haveinge hunge by the Thumbes w[ i] th weightes att his feete a quarter of an howere,” the murderer was executed. Many of those who “To eate… did Runn away unto the Salvages” fared no better: “we never heard of [them] after.””

Thought Questions

  • What was the organization of the company that sent the Jamestown Colonists?
  • What were the instructions, principle objectives and advice issued to the Jamestown Colonists?
  • How did religious circumstances generally and Catholic missionaries particularly impact the initial Jamestown settlement plan and Colonists?
  • Describe the initial contact and reactions between the Chickahominy Indians and the Jamestown settlers and Colonists.
  • Explain and Expand: “Partly the confusion was generated by conflicts of purpose.”
  • Describe the condition of the Jamestown settlement at by the time of the first relief shipment and how this condition came about
  • Describe the first relief shipment and how it impacted the Jamestown settlement
  • In what ways did John Smith contribute to European knowledge of the Chesapeake and New England. What were the strengths and weaknesses of this knowledge?
  • How did John Smith’s knowledge of the Chesapeake and New England impact future English settlement?
  • Who are the Chickahominies?
  • Who were the Monocans?
  • In what ways did the experience of the English in Ireland impact the Jamestown settlement
  • Describe the decline in relations between the Jamestown settlement and the Chickahominies
  • Explain and Expand: “By such means a marginal survival was preserved”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Indians were not even bothering to attack the protected blockhouse since they assumed the people within it would shortly perish.”
  • Describe the setting leading up to the First Anglo- Powhatan War

Articles and Resources

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 8

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 14, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, C. S. Army,
Commanding Army of Tennessee:

        GENERAL: Yours of September 12 is received and has been carefully perused. I agree with you that this discussion by two soldiers is out of place and profitless, but you must admit that you began the controversy by characterizing an official act of mine in unfair and improper terms. I reiterate my former answer, and to the only new matter contained in your rejoinder I add, we have no negro allies” in this army; not a single negro soldier left Chattanooga with this army or is with it now. There are a few guarding Chattanooga, which General Steedman sent to drive Wheeler out of Dalton. I was not bound by the laws of war to give notice of the shelling of Atlanta, a “fortified town” with magazines, arsenals, foundries, and public stores. You were bound to take notice. See the books. This is the conclusion of our correspondence, which I did not begin, and terminate with satisfaction.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 6

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.

Representing City Council of Atlanta:

        GENTLEMEN: I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a petition to revoke my orders removing all the inhabitants from Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your statements of the distress that will be occasioned by it, and yet shall not revoke my orders, simply because my orders are not designed to meet the humanities of the case, but to prepare for the future struggles in which millions of good people outside of Atlanta have a deep interest. We must have peace, not only at Atlanta but in all America. To secure this we must stop the war that now desolates our once happy and favored country. To stop war we must defeat the rebel armies that are arrayed against the laws and Constitution, which all must respect and obey. To defeat these armies we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose. Now, I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, and that we may have many years of military operations from this quarter, and therefore deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use of Atlanta for warlike purposes is inconsistent with its character as a home for families. There will be no manufactures, commerce, or agriculture here for the maintenance of families, and sooner or later want will compel the inhabitants to go. Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for the transfer, instead of waiting till the plunging shot of contending armies will renew the scenes of the past month? Of course, I do not apprehend any such thing at this moment, but you do not suppose this army will be here until the war is over. I cannot discuss this subject with you fairly, because I cannot impart to you what I propose to do, but I assert that my military plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away, and I can only renew my offer of services to make their exodus in any direction as easy and comfortable as possible. You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty and you cannot refine it, and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.  But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war. The United States does and must assert its authority wherever it once had power. If it relaxes one bit to pressure it is gone, and I know that such is the national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes <ar78_419> back to that of Union. Once admit the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the National Government, and instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion such as swept the South into rebellion, but you can part out so that we may know those who desire a government and those who insist on war and its desolation. You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home is to stop the war, which can alone be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.
        We don’t want your negroes or your horses or your houses or your lands or anything you have, but we do want, and will have, a just obedience to the laws of the United States. That we will have, and if it involves the destruction of your improvements we cannot help it. You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers that live by falsehood and excitement, and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters the better for you. I repeat then that by the original compact of government the United States had certain rights in Georgia, which have never been relinquished and never will be; that the South began war by seizing forts, arsenals, mints, custom-houses, &c., long before Mr. Lincoln was installed and before the South had one jot or title of provocation.  I myself have seen in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi hundreds and thousands of women and children fleeing from your armies and desperadoes, hungry and with bleeding feet. In Memphis, Vicksburg, and Mississippi we fed thousands upon thousands of the families of rebel soldiers left on our hands and whom we could not see starve. Now that war comes home to you, you feel very different. You deprecate its horrors, but did not feel them when you sent car-loads of soldiers and ammunition and molded shells and shot to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee, and desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people who only asked to live in peace at their old homes and under the Government of their inheritance. But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can now only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success. But, my dear sirs, when that peace does come, you may call on me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter. Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and nurse them and build for them in more quiet places proper habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad passions of men cool down and allow the Union and peace once more to settle over your old homes at Atlanta.

Yours, in haste,
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 7

September 12, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN, 
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

        GENERAL; I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th [10th] instant, with its inclosure, in reference to the women,  children, and others whom you have thought proper to expel from their homes in the city of Atlanta. Had you seen proper to let the matter rest there, I would gladly have allowed your letter to close this correspondence, and without your expressing it in words would have been willing to believe that whilst “the interests of the United States,” in your opinion, compelled you to an act of barbarous cruelty, you regretted the necessity, and we would have dropped the subject. But you have chosen to indulge in statements which I feel compelled to notice, at least so far as to signify my dissent and not allow silence in regard to them to be construed as acquiescence. I see nothing in your communication which induces me to modify the language of condemnation with which I characterized your order. It but strengthens me in the opinion that it stands” pre-eminent in the dark history of war, for studied and ingenious cruelty.” Your original order was stripped of all pretenses; you announced the edict for the sole reason that it was “to the interest of the United States.” This alone you offered to us and the civilized world as an all-sufficient reason for disregarding the laws of God and man. You say that “General Johnston himself, very wisely and properly, removed the families all the way from Dalton down,” It is due to that gallant soldier and gentleman to say that no act of his distinguished career gives the least color to your unfounded aspersions upon his conduct.  He depopulated no villages nor towns nor cities, either friendly or hostile. He offered and extended friendly aid to his unfortunate fellow-citizens who desired to flee from your fraternal embraces. You are equally unfortunate in your attempt to find a justification for this act of cruelty either in the defense of Jonesborough, by General Hardee, or of Atlanta by myself. General Hardee defended his position in front of Jonesborough at the expense of injury to the houses, an ordinary, proper, and justifiable act of war. I defended Atlanta at the same risk and cost. If there was any fault in either case, it was your own, in not giving notice, especially in the case of Atlanta, of your purpose to shell the town, which is usual in war among civilized nations. No inhabitant was expelled from his home and fireside by the orders of General Hardee or myself, and therefore your recent order can find no support from the conduct of either of us. I feel no other emotion than pain in reading that portion of your letter which attempts to justify your shelling Atlanta without notice under pretense that I defended Atlanta upon a line so close to town that every cannon shot, and many musket balls from your line of investment, that over-shot their mark went into the habitations of women and children. I made no complaint of your firing into Atlanta in any way you thought proper. I make none now, but there are a hundred thousand witnesses that you fired into the habitations of women and children for weeks, firing far above and miles beyond my line of defense. I have too good an opinion, founded both upon observation and experience, of the skill of your artillerists to credit the insinuation that they for several weeks unintentionally fired too high for my modest field-works, and slaughtered women and children by accident and want of skill.
        The residue of your letter is rather discussion. It opens a wide field for the discussion of questions which I do not feel are committed to me. I am only a general of one of the armies of the Confederate States, charged with military operations in the field, under the direction of my superior officers, and I am not called upon to discuss with you the causes of the present war, or the political questions which led to or resulted from it. These grave and important questions have been committed to far abler hands than mine, and I shall only refer to them so far as to repel any unjust conclusion which might be drawn from my silence. You charge my country with “daring and badgering you to battle.” The truth is, we sent commissioners to you respectfully offering a peaceful separation before the first gun was fired on either side. You say we insulted your flag. The truth is we fired upon it and those who fought under it when you came to our doors upon the mission of subjugation. You say we seized upon your forts and arsenals and made prisoners of the garrisons sent to protect us against negroes and Indians. The truth is, we, by force of arms, drove out insolent intruders, and took possession of our own forts and arsenals to resist your claims to dominion over masters, slaves, and Indians, all of whom are to this day, with a unanimity unexampled in the history of the world, warring against your attempts to become their masters. You say that we tried to force Missouri and Kentucky into rebellion in spite of themselves. The truth is my Government, from the beginning of this struggle to this hour, has again and again offered, before the whole world to leave it to the unbiased will of these States and all others to determine for themselves whether they will cast their destiny with your Government or ours? and your Government has resisted this fundamental principle of free institutions with the bayonet, and labors daily by force and fraud to fasten its hateful tyranny upon the unfortunate freemen of these States. You say we falsified the vote of Louisiana.  The truth is, Louisiana not only separated herself from your Government by nearly a unanimous vote of her people, but has vindicated the act upon every battle-field from Gettysburg to the Sabine, and has exhibited an heroic devotion to her decision which challenges the admiration and respect of every man capable of feeling sympathy for the oppressed or admiration for heroic valor. You say that we turned loose pirates to plunder your unarmed ships. The truth is, when you robbed us of our part of the navy, we built and bought a few vessels, hoisted the flag of our country, and swept the seas, in defiance of your navy, around the whole circumference of the globe. You say we have expelled Union families by thousands. The truth is not a single family has been expelled from the Confederate States, that I am aware of, but, on the contrary, the moderation of our Government toward traitors has been a fruitful theme of denunciation by its enemies and many well-meaning friends of our cause. You say my Government, by acts of Congress, has “confiscated all debts due Northern men for goods sold and delivered.” The truth is our Congress gave due and ample time to your merchants and traders to depart from our shores with their ships, goods, and effects, and only sequestrated the property of our enemies in retaliation for their acts, declaring us traitors and confiscating our property wherever their power extended, either in their country or our own. Such are your accusations, and such are the facts known of all men to be true.
        You order into exile the whole population of a city, drive men, women, and children from their homes at the point of the bayonet, under the plea that it is to the interest of your Government, and on the claim that it is an act of “kindness to these families of Atlanta.” Butler only banished from New Orleans the registered enemies of his Government, and acknowledged that he did it as a punishment. You issue a sweeping edict covering all the inhabitants of a city and add insult to the injury heaped upon the defenseless by assuming that you have done them a kindness. This you follow by the assertion that you will “make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best born Southerner.” And because I characterized what you call a kindness as being real cruelty you presume to sit in judgment between  me and my God and you decide that my earnest prayer to the Almighty Father to save our women and children from what you call kindness is a “sacrilegious, hypocritical appeal.” You came into our country with your army avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race in any country in all time. I must, therefore, decline to accept your statements in reference to your kindness toward the people of Atlanta, and your willingness to sacrifice everything for the peace and honor of the South, and refuse to be governed by your decision in regard to matters between myself, my country, and my God. You say, “let us fight it out like men.” To this my reply is, for myself, and, I believe, for all the true men, aye, and women and children, in my country, we will fight you to the death. Better die a thousand deaths than submit to live under you or your Government and your negro allies.
        Having answered the points forced upon me by your letter of the 9th [10th] of September, I close this correspondence with you, and notwithstanding your comments upon my appeal to God in the cause of humanity, I again humbly and reverently invoke His Almighty aid in defense of justice and right.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, 

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 5

ATLANTA, GA., September 11, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN:

        SIR: We, the undersigned, mayor and two of the council for the city of Atlanta, for the time being the only legal organ of the people of the said city to express their wants and wishes, ask leave most earnestly, but respectfully, to petition you to reconsider the order requiring them to leave Atlanta. At first view it struck us that the measure would involve extraordinary hardship and loss, but since we have seen the practical execution of it so far as it has progressed, and the individual condition of the people, and heard their statements as to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending it, we are satisfied that the amount of it will involve in the aggregate consequences appalling and heart-rending. Many poor women are in advanced state of pregnancy; others now having young children, and whose husbands, for the greater part, are either in the army, prisoners, or dead. Some say, “I have such an one sick at my house; who will wait on them when I am gone?” Others say, “what are we to do? We have no house to go to, and no means to buy, build, or rent any; no parents, relatives, or friends to go to.” Another says, “I will try and take this or that article of property, but such and such things I must leave behind, though I need them much.” We reply to them, “General Sherman will carry your property to Rough and Ready, and General Hood will take it thence on,” and they will reply to that, “but I want to leave the railroad at such place and cannot get conveyance from there on.”
        We only refer to a few facts to try to illustrate in part how this measure will operate in practice. As you advanced the people north of this fell back, and before your arrival here a large portion of the people had retired south, so that the country south of this is already crowded and without houses enough to accommodate the people, and we are informed that many are now staying in churches and other outbuildings. This being so, how is it possible for the people still here (mostly women and children) to find any shelter? And how can they live through the winter in the woods? No shelter or subsistence, in the midst of strangers who know them not, and without the power to assist them much, if they were willing to do so. This is but a feeble picture of the consequences of this measure. You know the woe, the horrors and the suffering cannot be described by words; imagination can only conceive of it, and we ask you to take these things into consideration. We know your mind and time are constantly occupied with the duties of your command, which almost deters us from asking your attention to this matter, but thought it might be that you had not considered this subject in all of its awful consequences, and that on more reflection you, we hope, would not make this people an exception to all mankind, for we know of no such instance ever having occurred; surely none such in the United States, and what has this helpless people done, that they should be driven from their homes to wander strangers and outcasts and exiles, and to subsist on charity? We do not know as yet the number of people still here; of those who are here, we are satisfied a respectable number, if allowed to remain at home, could subsist for several months without assistance, and a respectable number for a much longer time, and who might not need assistance at any time. In conclusion, we most earnestly and solemnly petition you to reconsider this order, or modify it, and suffer this unfortunate people to remain at home and enjoy what little means they have.

Respectfully submitted.


History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 4

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.

General J. B. HOOD, C. S. Army, Comdg. Army of Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date [9th], at the hands of Messrs. Ball and Crew, consenting to the arrangements I had proposed to facilitate the removal south of the people of Atlanta who prefer to go in that direction. I inclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am satisfied, accomplish my purpose perfectly. You style the measure proposed “unprecedented,” and appeal to the dark history of war for a parallel as an act of “studied and ingenious cruelty.” It is not unprecedented, for General Johnston himself, very wisely and properly, removed the families all the way from Dalton down, and I see no reason why Atlanta should be excepted. Nor is it necessary to appeal to the dark history of war when recent and modern examples are so handy. You, yourself, burned dwelling-houses along your parapet, and I have seen to-day fifty houses that you have rendered uninhabitable because they stood in the way of your forts and men. You defended Atlanta on a line so close to town that every cannon shot and many musket shots from our line of investment that overshot their mark went into the habitations of women and children. General Hardee did the same at Jonesborough, and General Johnston did the same last summer at Jackson, Miss. I have not accused you of heartless cruelty, but merely instance these cases of very recent occurrence, and could go on and enumerate hundreds of others and challenge any fair man to judge which of us has the heart of pity for the families of a “brave people.” I say that it is kindness to these families of Atlanta to remove them now at once from scenes that women and children should not be exposed to, and the “brave people”  should scorn to commit their wives and children to the rude barbarians who thus, as you say, violate the laws of war, as illustrated in the pages of its dark history. In the name of common sense I ask you not to appeal to a just God in such a sacrilegious manner; you who, in the midst of peace and prosperity, have plunged a nation into war, dark and cruel war; who dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag, seized our arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable custody of peaceful ordnance sergeants; seized and made “prisoners of war” the very garrisons sent to protect your people against negroes and Indians long before any overt act was committed by the, to you, hated Lincoln Government; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into rebellion, spite of themselves; falsified the vote of Louisiana, turned loose your privateers to plunder unarmed ships; expelled Union families by the thousands; burned their houses and declared by an act of your Congress the confiscation of all debts due Northern men for goods had and received. Talk thus to the marines, but not to me, who have seen these things, and who will this day make as much sacrifice for the peace and honor of the South as the best born Southerner among you. If we must be enemies, let us be men and fight it out, as we propose to do, and not deal in such hypocritical appeals to God and humanity. God will judge us in due time, and He will pronounce whether it be more humane to fight with a town full of women, and the families of “a brave people” at our back, or to remove them in time to places of safety among their own friends and people.

Major-general, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 3

September 9, 1864.

Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN.
Commanding U.S. Forces in Georgia:

GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday’s date [7th] borne by James M. Ball and James R. Crew, citizens of Atlanta, is received. You say therein “I deem it to be to the interest of the United States that the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove,” &c. I do not consider that I have any alternative in this matter. I therefore accept your proposition to declare a truce of two days, or such time as may be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, and shall render all assistance in my power to expedite the transportation of citizens in this direction. I suggest that a staff officer be appointed by you to superintend the removal from the city to Rough and Ready, while I appoint a like officer to control their removal farther south; that a guard of 100 men be sent by either party, as you propose, to maintain order at that place, and that the removal begin on Monday next. And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprecedented measure you propose transcends, in studied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever before brought to my attention in the dark history of war. In the name of God and humanity I protest, believing that you will find that you are expelling from their homes and firesides the wives and children of a brave people.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD, 

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 2

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 7, 1864.

General HOOD, 
Commanding Confederate Army:

GENERAL: I have deemed it to the interest of the United States that the citizens now residing in Atlanta should remove, those who prefer it to go South and the rest North. For the latter I can provide food and transportation to points of their election in Tennessee, Kentucky, or farther north. For the former I can provide transportation by cars as far as Rough and Ready, and also wagons; but that their removal may be made with as little discomfort as possible it will be necessary for you to help the families from Rough and Ready to the cars at Lovejoy’s. If you consent I will undertake to remove all families in Atlanta who prefer to go South to Rough and Ready, with all their movable effects, viz, clothing, trunks, reasonable furniture, bedding, &c., with their servants, white and black, with the proviso that no force shall be used toward the blacks one way or the other. If they want to go with their masters or mistresses they may do so, otherwise they will be sent away, unless they be men, when they may be employed by our quartermaster. Atlanta is no place for families or non-combatants and I have no desire to send them North if you will assist in conveying them South. If this proposition meets your views I will consent to a truce in the neighborhood of Rough and Ready, stipulating that any wagons, horses, or animals, or persons sent there for the purposes herein stated shall in no manner be harmed or molested, you in your turn agreeing that any cars, wagons, carriages, persons, or animals sent to the same point shall not be interfered with. Each of us might send a guard of, say, 100 men to maintain order, and limit the truce to, say, two days after a certain time appointed. I have authorized the mayor to choose two citizens to convey to you this letter and such documents as the mayor may forward in explanation, and shall await your reply.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.

History Primary Source

Sherman-Hood-Atlanta Correspondence – Part 1

Atlanta, Ga., September 20, 1864.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit copies of a correspondence between General Hood, of the Confederate army, the mayor of Atlanta, and myself touching the removal of the inhabitants of Atlanta. In explanation of the tone which marks some of these letters I will only call your attention to the fact that after I had announced my determination General Hood took upon himself to question my motive. I could not tamely submit to such impertinence, and I have seen that in violation of all official usage he has published in the Macon newspapers such parts of the correspondence as suited his purpose. This could have had no other object than to create a feeling on the part of the people, but if he expects to resort to such artifices I think I can meet him there too. It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness; that it has been attended by no force, and that no women or children have suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors and friends. My real reasons for this step were, we want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation. We want to contract the lines of defenses so as to diminish the garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital parts instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs. This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by families as residences. Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended and fairly captured. As captors we have a right to it. The residence here of a poor population would compel us sooner or later to feed them or see them starve under our eyes. The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and hurtful to our cause, and a civil population calls for provost guards, and absorbs the attention of officers in listening to everlasting complaints and special grievances that are not military. These are my reasons, and if satisfactory to the Government of the United States it makes no difference whether it pleases General Hood and his people or not.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding

Historical Primary Source

Robert E. Lee Resignation Letter to General Winfield Scott

To General Winfield Scott

Commander-in-Chief, United States Army

Arlington, Washington City P.O.

April 20, 1861


Since my interview with you on the 18th instant I have felt that I ought not longer to retain my commission in the Army.  I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance.

It would have been presented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted all the best years of my life & all the ability I possessed.

During the whole of that time, more than 30 years, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors, & the most cordial friendship from my companions.  To no one Genl have I been as much indebted as to yourself for the uniform kindness & consideration, & it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation.

I shall carry with me to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind consideration, & your name & fame will always be dear to me.  Save in the defence of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword.

Be pleased to accept my most earnest wishes for the continuance of your happiness & prosperity & believe me most truly yours.

R.E. Lee

Primary Source Documents

The Emancipation Proclamation

Using his authority as Commander and Chief, President Lincoln frees all slaves living in areas continuing in insurrection, while Congress drafted Constitutional amendments to effect the freeing of all slaves. 

January 1, 1863

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

History Primary Source

Woodrow Wilson :: Proclamation 1364 — Declaring That a State of War Exists Between the United States and Germany :: April 6, 1917

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas, the Congress of the United States in the exercise of the constitutional authority vested in them have resolved, by joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives bearing date this day “That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared”;

Whereas, it is provided by Section 4067 of the Revised Statutes, as follows:

Whenever there is declared a war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of a hostile nation or government, being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States, and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies. The President is authorized, in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject, and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any such regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public safety;

Whereas, by Sections 4068, 4069, and 4070 of the Revised Statutes, further provision is made relative to alien enemies;

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim to all whom it may concern that a state of war exists between the United States and the Imperial German Government; and I do specially direct all officers, civil or military, of the United States that they exercise vigilance and zeal in the discharge of the duties incident to such a state of war; and I do, moreover, earnestly appeal to all American citizens that they, in loyal devotion to their country, dedicated from its foundation to the principles of liberty and justice, uphold the laws of the land, and give undivided and willing support to those measures which may be adopted by the constitutional authorities in prosecuting the war to a successful issue and in obtaining a secure and just peace;

And, acting under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the United States and the said sections of the Revised Statutes, I do hereby further proclaim and direct that the conduct to be observed on the part of the United States toward all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of Germany, being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, who for the purpose of this proclamation and under such sections of the Revised Statutes are termed alien enemies, shall be as follows:

All alien enemies are enjoined to preserve the peace towards the United States and to refrain from crime against the public safety, and from violating the laws of the United States and of the States and Territories thereof, and to refrain from actual hostility or giving information, aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States, and to comply strictly with the regulations which are hereby or which may be from time to time promulgated by the President; and so long as they shall conduct themselves in accordance with law, they shall be undisturbed in the peaceful pursuit of their lives and occupations and be accorded the consideration due to all peaceful and law-abiding persons, except so far as restrictions may be necessary for their own protection and for the safety of the United States; and towards such alien enemies as conduct themselves in accordance with law, all citizens of the United States are enjoined to preserve the peace and to treat them with all such friendliness as may be compatible with loyalty and allegiance to the United States.

And all alien enemies who fail to conduct themselves as so enjoined, in addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, shall be liable to restraint, or to give security, or to remove and depart from the United States in the manner prescribed by Sections 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes, and as prescribed in the regulations duly promulgated by the President;

And pursuant to the authority vested in me, I hereby declare and establish the following regulations, which I find necessary in the premises and for the public safety:

First. An alien enemy shall not have in his possession, at any time or place, any fire-arm, weapon or implement of war, or component part thereof, ammunition, maxim or other silencer, bomb or explosive or material used in the manufacture of explosives;

Second. An alien enemy shall not have in his possession at any time or place, or use or operate any aircraft or wireless apparatus, or any form of signalling device, or any form of cipher code, or any paper, document or book written or printed in cipher or in which there may be invisible writing;

Third. All property found in the possession of an alien enemy in violation of the foregoing regulations shall be subject to seizure by the United States;

Fourth. An alien enemy shall not approach or be found within one-half of a mile of any Federal or State fort, camp, arsenal, aircraft station, Government or naval vessel, navy yard, factory, or workshop for the manufacture of munitions of war or of any products for the use of the army or navy;

Fifth. An alien enemy shall not write, print, or publish any attack or threats against the Government or Congress of the United States, or either branch thereof, or against the measures or policy of the United States, or against the person or property of any person in the military, naval or civil service of the United States, or of the States or Territories, or of the District of Columbia, or of the municipal governments therein;

Sixth. An alien enemy shall not commit or abet any hostile acts against the United States, or give information, aid, or comfort to its enemies;

Seventh. An alien enemy shall not reside in or continue to reside in, to remain in, or enter any locality which the President may from time to time designate by Executive Order as a prohibited area in which residence by an alien enemy shall be found by him to constitute a danger to the public peace and safety of the United States, except by permit from the President and except under such limitations or restrictions as the President may prescribe;

Eighth. An alien enemy whom the President shall have reasonable cause to believe to be aiding or about to aid the enemy, or to be at large to the danger of the public peace or safety of the United States, or to have violated or to be about to violate any of these regulations, shall remove to any location designated by the President by Executive Order, and shall not remove therefrom without a permit, or shall depart from the United States if so required by the President;

Ninth. No alien enemy shall depart from the United States until he shall have received such permit as the President shall prescribe, or except under order of a court, judge, or justice, under Sections 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes;

Tenth. No alien enemy shall land in or enter the United States, except under such restrictions and at such places as the President may prescribe;

Eleventh. If necessary to prevent violation of the regulations, all alien enemies will be obliged to register;

Twelfth. An alien enemy whom there may be reasonable cause to believe to be aiding or about to aid the enemy, or who may be at large to the danger of the public peace or safety, or who violates or attempts to violate, or of whom there is reasonable ground to believe that he is about to violate, any regulation duly promulgated by the President, or any criminal law of the United States, or of the States or Territories thereof, will be subject to summary arrest by the United States Marshal, or his deputy, or such other officer as the President shall designate, and to confinement in such penitentiary, prison, jail, military camp, or other place of detention as may be directed by the President.

This proclamation and the regulations herein contained shall extend and apply to all land and water, continental or insular, in any way within the jurisdiction of the United States.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 6th day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventeen and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-first.


Historical Primary Source

The Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens (Text) :: Confederate History Month

Alexander Stephens

Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America

The Cornerstone Speech

Savannah, Georgia

March 21, 1861

The Cornerstone Speech was delivered without notes by Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, and no official printed version exists, although a local newspaper reporter printed a transcription of the speech later that same week. The text below was taken from that newspaper article in the Savannah [Georgia] Republican, as reprinted in Henry Cleveland, Alexander H. Stephens, in Public and Private: With Letters and Speeches, before, during, and since the War, Philadelphia, 1886, pp. 717-729.


At half past seven o’clock on Thursday evening, the largest audience ever assembled at the Athenaeum was in the house, waiting most impatiently for the appearance of the orator of the evening, Hon. A. H. Stephens, Vice- President of the Confederate States of America. The committee, with invited guests, were seated on the stage, when, at the appointed hour, the Hon. C. C. Jones, Mayor, and the speaker, entered, and were greeted by the immense assemblage with deafening rounds of applause.

The Mayor then, in a few pertinent remarks, introduced Mr. Stephens, stating that at the request of a number of the members of the convention, and citizens of Savannah and the State, now here, he had consented to address them upon the present state of public affairs.

MR. STEPHENS rose and spoke as follows:

Mr. Mayor, and Gentlemen of the Committee, and Fellow-Citizens:- . . . We are in the midst of one of the greatest epochs in our history. The last ninety days will mark one of the most memorable eras in the history of modern civilization. . . .

I was remarking, that we are passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world. Seven States have within the last three months thrown off an old government and formed a new. This revolution has been signally marked, up to this time, by the fact of its having been accomplished without the loss of a single drop of blood. [Applause.]

This new constitution, or form of government, constitutes the subject to which your attention will be partly invited. . . .

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other — though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind — from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics; their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just — but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world. As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo-it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of his ordinances, or to question them. For his own purposes, he has made one race to differ from another, as he has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.”

The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to his laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief of the corner” — the real “corner-stone” — in our new edifice. [Applause.]

I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph. [Immense applause.] . . .

[REPORTER’S NOTE. — Your reporter begs to state that the above is not a perfect report, but only such a sketch of the address of Mr. Stephens as embraces, in his judgment, the most important points presented by the orator. — G.]


Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America

Speech to the Virginia Secession Convention [Excerpt]

April 23, 1861

. . .One good and wise feature in our new or revised Constitution is, that we have put to rest the vexed question of slavery forever, so far as the Confederate legislative halls are concerned. On this subject, from which sprung the immediate cause of our late troubles and threatened dangers, you will indulge me in a few remarks as not irrelevant to the occasion. The condition of the negro race amongst us presents a peculiar phase of republican civilization and constitutional liberty. To some, the problem seems hard to understand. The difficulty is in theory, not in practical demonstration; that works well enough—theories in government, as in all things else, must yield to facts. No truth is clearer than that the best form or system of government for any people or society is that which secures the greatest amount of happiness, not to the greatest number, but to all the constituent elements of that society, community or State. If our system does not accomplish this; if it is not the best for the negro as well as for the white man; for the inferior as well as the superior race, it is wrong in principle. But if it does, or is capable of doing this, then it is right, and can never be successfully assailed by reason or logic. That the negroes with us, under masters who care for, provide for and protect them, are better off, and enjoy more of the blessings of good government than their race does in any other part of the world, statistics abundantly prove. As a race, the African is inferior to the white man. Subordination to the white man is his normal condition. He is not his equal by nature, and cannot be made so by human laws or human institutions. Our system, therefore, so far as regards this inferior race, rests upon this great immutable law of nature. It is founded not upon wrong or injustice, but upon the eternal fitness of things. Hence, its harmonious working for the benefit and advantage of both. Why one r ace was made inferior to another, is not for us to inquire. The statesman and the Christian, as well as the philosopher, must take things as they find them, and do the best he can with them as he finds them.

The great truth, I repeat, upon which our system rests, is the inferiority of the African. The enemies of our institutions ignore this truth. They set out with the assumption that the races are equal; that the negro is equal to the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be legitimate. But their premises being false, their conclusions are false also. Most of that fanatical spirit at the North on this subject, which in its zeal without knowledge, would upturn our society and lay waste our fair country, springs from this false reasoning. Hence so much misapplied sympathy for fancied wrongs and sufferings. These wrongs and sufferings exist only in their heated imaginations. There can be no wrong where there is no violation of nature’s laws. We have heard much of the higher law. I believe myself in the higher law. We stand upon that higher law. I would defend and support no Constitution that is against the higher law. I mean by that the law of nature and of God. Human Constitutions and human laws that are made against the law of nature or of God, ought to be overturned; and if Seward was right the Constitution which he was sworn to support, and is now requiring others to swear to support, ought to have been overthrown long ago. It ought never to have been made. But in point of fact it is he and his associates in this crusade against us, who are warring against the higher law—we stand upon the laws of the Creator, upon the highest of all laws. It is the fanatics of the North, who are warring against the decrees of God Almighty, in their attempts to make things equal which he made unequal. My assurance of ultimate success in this controversy is strong from the conviction, that we stand upon the right. Some years ago in the Hall of the House of Representatives, a very prominent gentleman from Ohio, announced with a great deal of effect, that we at the South would be obliged to yield upon this question of slavery, because we warred against a principle; and that it was as impossible to war successfully against principle in politics as it was in mechanics. The principle, said he, would ultimately prevail. He announced this with imposing effect, and endeavored to maintain that we were contending against the great principle of equality in holding our fellow men. in the unnatural condition of bondage. In reply, I stated to him, that I admitted his proposition as he announced it, that it was impossible to war successfully against a principle in mechanics and the same was true in politics—the principle would certainly prevail—and from that stand point I had come to the conclusion that we of the South would ultimately succeed, and the North would be compelled to yield their ideas upon this subject. For it was they who were contending against a principle and not we. It was they who were trying to make the black man a white man, or his equal, which was nearly the same thing. The controlling laws of nature regulate the difference between them as absolutely as the laws of gravitation control whatever comes within their action—and until he could change the laws of gravitation, or any other law of nature, he could never make the negro a white man or his equal. No human efforts or human laws can change the leopard’s spots or the Ethiopian’s skin. These are the works of Providence—in whose hands are the fortunes of men as well as the destiny of nations and the distinctions of races. . . .

This text is taken from George H Reese, editor, Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861, February 13 – May 1; In Four Volumes, Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1865, volume 4, pp. 361-390)

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