Talk:American History Lecture One

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This lecture was improved, and now the changes have been removed. Why?

I made some changes to the American History lecture. My changes were deleted. Why?

They're used for Christian homeschooling and I don't think that the changes made are consistent with their paradigm. MountainDew 19:02, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Several edits removed credit from Christianity from the lecture. For example, edits removed this:

The very first words of the Mayflower Compact were “In ye name of God Amen.” Just as our Nation’s founders started with a prayer, so do we. Prayer clears out the noise in our minds. We are looking for knowledge and inspiration here, and that comes from God. In most countries parents do not have the freedom even to have a class like this. The main reason we have freedoms is because Americans are more devoted to religion than in other countries.

Such edits are improper. I can't confirm the commenter above did those edits, but someone did (I don't know who the commenter above is, since he didn't sign his comment).--Aschlafly 11:05, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Starving Time?

Since the "Starving Time" is by most historians considered to have lasted from about 1609-1610-11, how could John Smith, who left Virginia in 1609, have become a leader of the colony afterwards? --PF Fox 17:21, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

There was an earlier "starving time," but the lecture has changed on this point anyway. Thanks.--Aschlafly 11:05, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

It has not been changed on this point. It still reads:

"From 1607-1611, the Jamestown settlement lived under socialism, whereby the group shared its food with everyone no matter how much or little he worked. This economic system was a complete failure as no one had any incentive to do any work. John Smith arrived from England and he installed a conservative economic system: “don’t work, don’t eat!” Magically, by 1614 there was suddenly plenty to eat."

Now, first of all, pretty much EVERY source I've examined uses the "Starving Time" to refer to the hard times of 1609-10 or 11. What earlier "starving time" do you have in mind, and what source refers to it as "The Starving Time?" Second, since Smith left for good in 1609, exactly how did he manage to change the Virginia settlement from a socialits to a free market economic system AFTER 1611 so that "magically, by 1614 there was suddenly enough to eat." --PF Fox 12:56, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Virginia had a "Straving time" almost the entire first decade of settlement. In 1613, George Percy led an attack on some natives, and despite the fact the colonists were starving, burned their cornfields (See Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom)

The above does not address my point, which is how Captain John Smith could have overseen conversion to a "free market" Jamestown economy in or after 1611 when in fact he left in 1609? --PF Fox 19:55, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Correct. Smith did help the colony survive its early years, but he did not make Jamestown an economic success. That did not occur until nearly a decade after he departed, with the development of tobacco as a cash crop.

Which is unfortunately NOT what it says here in this Lecture. --PF Fox 16:11, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

I know. I editied this lecture before (and I did return to correct many of the errors), but the powers that be at Conservapedia have "locked" the lecture, somehow thinking that improvement=vandalism.

--Columbus' Landfall?--

Columbus did not land on Christmas eve. His ships sighted land on October 11th, 1492, and landed the next day. (see Columbus, Journal of First Voyage, at, pages 108-110)[user:dw1237200)

Slavery in Massachusetts

"Massachusetts did not allow slavery."

That is absolutely untrue. The Puritans in Massachussetts kept slaves and dealt in slaves until the late 18th century. Tituba, one of the first people accused in the 1692 Salem Witch trials, was a slave. --PF Fox 13:30, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Support, please? By the way, I note how you slipped in "dealt in slaves." No one denied that there was a slave trade.--Aschlafly 13:58, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Actually, I was trying to be fair. While Massachusetts dealt in slaves, mostly in Indian slaves and slaves from the West Indies, they were soon overtaken in that trade by Rhode Island. I do find myself musing, however, about the presumed moral superiority of a colony that you claim "did not allow slavery" (In fact, it did for well over a century) not being averse to making a few bucks off it.
On to the cites:
From THE PILGRIM READER,George Willison, Doubleday and Company 1953
"For years later, in 1641, the Bay formally recognized the institution of slavery in its CODE OF FUNDAMENTALS OR BODY OF LIBERTIES, anticipating Virginia by many years in legally instituting the "peculiar institution" being the first of the English colonies to do so.
There were Indian and Negro slaves in the Plymouth colony as early as 1646, when the authorities threatened to sell Indians or exchange them for Negroes as punishment for offenses..In 1706, Cotton Mather noted in his diary, "Received a singular blessing in the gift of a likely slave, which was a smile of heaven on this family."...slaves continued to be sold in the Boston market as late as 1788, when the traffic was forbidden."
In short, Massachussets not only allowed slavery -- they were the first colony to institute it. Your later claim about the "Virginia institution of slavery" "spreading to the colonies of Maryland, Carolina" etc., as if Virginia had been responsible for introducing that "peculiar institution" is misleading.
From NARRATIVES OF THE WITCHCRAFT CASES (1648-1706), edited by George Lincoln Burr, Charles Scribner Sons, 1914 Note:
Notes: "The Rev. Samuel Parris (1653-1720)..had lived for a time in Barbadoes whence he had brought back with him THE TWO SLAVES, John and Tituba...Sara Good, who with Sarah Osburn and Parris's SLAVE-WOMAN TITUBA..."(Emphasis added)
"...where an Indian Man attended us, he shewed several Scars, that seemed as if they had been long there, and shewed them as done by Witchcraft, and acquainted us that his Wife WHO ALSO WAS A SLAVE (emphasis added) was imprisoned for Witchcraft..."--PF Fox 15:00, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
OK, you're right, there were some slaves there. But the basic point is correct: Massachusetts disfavored slavery (neighboring Vermont was the first to ban it), while Virginia welcomed it. I've made the appropriate change. Thanks.--Aschlafly 15:14, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Dealing in slaves, owning slaves, and being the first English colony to institutionalize it does not indicate a strong "disfavor" of the practice during the Puritan era.
How in the world could you do research on the subject of slavery in the US and be unaware that it was introduced to the English Colonies in Massachusetts? How could you study the Puritans and be unaware that they kept slaves? Did you never hear of the Salem Witch Trials and Tituba? --PF Fox 15:26, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
PF Fox, Massachusetts was the source of the abolitionist movement. While you have shown there were a few slaves there, and I have corrected the lecture, the anti-slavery sentiment was stronger in Massachusetts than any other colony.--Aschlafly 19:43, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Actually, it was Quakers -- a group the Puritans loathed and abused -- who founded the first abolitionist organization in the US, and that was in Philadelphia. Boston was certainly later a focal point for the abolitionist movement, but it's not accurate to call Massachusetts the "source," and I'd very much like to see some backup for the claim that "the anti-slavery sentiment was stronger in Massachusetts than any other colony." Credit for that should probably go to Pennsylvannia. --PF Fox 11:54, 22 April 2007 (EDT)
Not directly apropos, but when the Quaker preacher Elias Hicks (from Long Island, New York) was dying, mostly paralyzed, in 1830, "'a quilted cotton coverlet was inadvertently placed upon his bed. As the weather was severely cold, his children... used their constant endeavors to keep this coverlet upon him. But they perceived by his actions that this coverlet annoyed him, because with his hand, which was not paralyzed, he continually attempted to removed it, as something exceedingly offensive. It was at least suggested by a friend present, that the reason why he removed it, was on account of its being the product of slavery.' When... a wool blanket was substituted, Elias Hicks, feeling the wool with his fingers, nodded his pleasure." Bliss Forbush: Elias Hicks, Quaker Liberal, 1956, Columbia University Press, p. 288. The Quakers abandoned slavery among themselves by a very long, slow, relatively quiet process of personal conversion. Dpbsmith 12:43, 22 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks Dpbsmith, and PF Fox, for your information. I don't have an axe to grind here. But everything I've read suggests that the source and power of the abolitionist movement was Massachusetts. John Quincy Adams. Charles Sumner. Even Oliver Wendell Holmes in his youth. It think abolutionist newspapers were printed there also. I don't any of that coming out of Philadelphia, but I'm happy to consider more evidence.--Aschlafly 21:07, 22 April 2007 (EDT)
And what you've read has not mentioned the role of Quakers in the abolition movement? The Pennsylvannia Abolition Society? ( --PF Fox 11:12, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Roger Williams?

How does Roger Williams being dead when the constitution was written nullify his influence? Are you saying once someone is dead, their writings and philosophies can have NO influence on anyone? --PF Fox 16:28, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

By the way, here's a cite to explain how it is Williams' concept of separation of church and state influenced our constitution -- long after Williams was dead.

"In 1787 twelve states accepted the constitution; one did not. The one hold-out was the smallest and weakest of them all, Rhode Island; and the issue was religious liberty.

The Rhode Island delegation pled, "That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, and not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored, or established by law in preference to others."

For three years the national union remained incomplete and without a constitution. Then Thomas Jefferson spoke to the delegates in support of Rhode Island: "By the Constitution you have made, you have protected the government from the people, but what have you done to protect the people from the government?" --PF Fox 16:44, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for your comments, but Rhode Island refused to ratify the Constitution for economic reasons, not religious ones. Rhode Island had control of imports and wanted to continue to tax them.--Aschlafly 16:49, 27 April 2007 (EDT)
That does not alter the fact that Rhode Island's approach to religious liberty -- an approach owed primarily to Roger Williams -- was adopted by Jefferson in the drafting of the constitution. Again, is it your contention that once someone has died, they can exert NO influence? --PF Fox 16:52, 27 April 2007 (EDT)


Is that a guarantee?
Also, how much does the class cost? If you cannot disclose here, just email me. Nate 12:32, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Sure, it will be fun. Learning is much more effective when it is enjoyable.
The in-person class is a total cost of $250 per student, including all the expenses, materials, books, copying, everything. That is cheaper than the taxpayer-funded community college, and I may not even make a minimum wage on the class. Also, in contrast with public schools, I provide a discount for each sibling to give the large families a break. Participation here, of course, is free.--Aschlafly 12:40, 8 June 2008 (EDT)
Uhh, *hopes someone will hire him soon so he can pay for this class*. Nate 13:39, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Also, for the assignment, how many grammatical edits would I have to do to equivocate to those 10 edits? Nate 18:28, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

I've unlocked the content page. What do you think is fair - perhaps 3 grammatical improvements equal one substantive edit?--Aschlafly 18:36, 8 June 2008 (EDT)
Sure! Hmm... and what if someone adds to an article for this assignment, but his grammar isn't perfect. If I fix the grammar, does that count? Nate 11:38, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

What's going on here?

Is this meant to be an actual lecture, or some sort of trailer for the real lectures? Currently it reads like a failed high school essay. Daphnea 14:48, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Leif Ericson

Leif Ericson reaching Vinland is a "liberal myth"? It seems more like a proven historical fact to me. There's even a national historic site at L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland where his settlement was. There has been extensive archaeological research there, and no credible historian denies it. CogitoErgoSum 12:13, 3 August 2008 (EDT)

Like CogitoErgoSum, I'm frankly staggered at this assertion. Why is it such a big deal to the author of these lectures that the first Europeans to invade America should be Christian? What next? The Romans were already Christians when they invaded Britain??? Really, this is the kind of flat-earthery that makes outsiders love to laugh at Conservapedia. Googly 18:53, 3 August 2008 (EDT)

Given that the history professor quoted was talking only about the likelihood of Viking settlements or presence in the area of New England, and the article accepts the authenticity of the find of the short-lived Viking settlement at L'anse aux Meadows, shouldn't the reference be changed from the farshores website to, "Mr. Schlafly said so."?--Frey 15:34, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I think Mr Schafly should be very wary about reverting contributions which make this lecture state (correctly) that the Vikings colonised Newfoundland, for which there's a great deal of historical and archaeological evidence. He has used a quote from a professor who has not published primary research in Viking studies (according to his CV on the UNH website: [1]), stating that there's no evidence that Vikings settled in New England, to support his - Mr Schafly's - personal opinion that Vikings didn't settle in Newfoundland. I don't see how anyone with aspirations to objectivity can contribute to CP if the conclusions from decades of research are to be cast aside simply because Mr Schafly doesn't like them and is prepared to cherry-pick, distort and misuse scholarly articles to support his personal views.

I'm now going to correct the Newfoundland references in this and related articles again and if Mr Schafly or his friends revert them or block my edit access to CP again on account of them, I think that would be pretty much definite proof that this isn't a website for conservative opinion in general but one which has no respect for scholarship and simply exists to promote Mr Schafly's personal opinions, however far they depart from reality. In which case, why would anyone trust anything else Mr Schafly says? Why, for example, should evolutionary biologists pay any attention at all to him if he himself is prepared to misuse scholarly conclusions so blatantly?

I'm still utterly baffled why it matters so much to Mr Schafly that the Vikings didn't colonise North America. Why is this a 'liberal point of view'? Any clues????? Googly 16:49, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

Native Americans

It seems like there needs to be some more material devoted to the presence of the native Americans at the beginning of this narrative, because in the current draft it's almost an afterthought. Where did they come from? When and How did they get to the Americas, and have enough time to build cultures that spanned both continents? Where did the natives go as the colonies expand into areas long-settled by the native Americans - were they assimilated, displaced, or both? These are significant points that should be included, since a course on American History can't ignore the original Americans. The Europeans profoundly changed North American history, but they were explorers, immigrants and conquerors of settled lands, not the discoverers of barren ones. --DinsdaleP 10:10, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Good point that the lecture should have more about the Indians, but the discussion has to be factual. I'm realizing that liberal distortions exploit speculation concerning unproven origins, but I only teach demonstrable facts.--Aschlafly 10:22, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Columbus' Landing Site

It's incorrect to state that Columbius landed on Haiti, which is a national entity that did not exist at the time. It would be better to state that he landed on the island of Hispaniola, in the section that is now the republic of Haiti. Also, the way the section about Columbus' first voyage reads, it skips over the initial landing in San Salvador and goes right to La Natividad - why? -DinsdaleP 14:28, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Triangular Trade

The third part of the trade, which was usually from England down to Africa, often carried cloth, guns, ammunition, and other trinkets (as well as some metals). The items were used to purchase slaves from traders, as well as from African kings and merchants. Hence the necessity for that third leg to bring payment from England down to Africa for the slaves. Info on the triangular trade can be found here. --Jareddr 19:01, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

There were small costs to purchase the slaves, but big ships weren't needed to carry trinkets. Also, there's no evidence that ships actually went as described. It's a myth.--Aschlafly 19:11, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
So you assume that trade ships went straight from England to America and back, and from America to Africa and back? --Jareddr 19:23, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
Yeah couldn't imagine why slave owners in Africa would would want finished European goods, also I'm sure the West Coastal kings wouldn't want the kind of furniture you found in European estate homes. Visitor 19:29, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Actually, the England/African part was the first leg. It was an Englishman (John Hawkins) who borrowed the idea from the Portuguese. And whichever leg it is, if the 'triangular" or "circuit" trade is a myth, I have been reading the wrong textbooks and encyclopedias for the last 50 years. AlanE 20:38, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

You clearly have. You can read all about it here without any citations. Visitor 21:02, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

I'm also very puzzled by Aschafly's statement. My very clear impression is that guns and textiles from Europe (especially England) were important in the Triangular Trade. I don't understand why Aschafly objects to this quite well-known fact (I think it's a fact) - what has that to do with being conservative, one way or the other? KennyMac 20:27, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

It was not just "guns and textiles"...horses were in demand too.

Someone's right and someone's wrong. Either An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa By Alexander Falconbridge (a surgeon on board a slaver); and Rev. John Newton's accounts as a slave trader (published posthumously), both written in the eighteenth century are wrong...they both made it up or something and what they described on their trading voyages from England to Africa and then with slaves across the Atlantic and so on are figments of their imaginations.....or.....Andrew Schlafly knows something that no one else does.

Either the dozens of Trading forts described here: and here: and here: don't really exist, or were built for some other reason than the protection of trade...or... Andy is wrong.

If Andy can give any evidence at all that there was not a booming trade from the late 15th century on between various European nations and the various native west African kingdoms then he should do so. AlanE 19:52, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

What about vikings?

Reading over this lecture, I couldn't find any information on them. They were a successful settlement in the Americas, landing in Greenland and Icelans, which is recognized as part of North America. JohnI 22:45, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Aschafly wrote, "Debate: Did the Vikings settle in North America before Columbus?" I suggest deleting this. There's not much to debate: (a) The answer to the question as stated is 'yes'. Full stop. (b) If you ask, "Did the Vikings settle in what is now the USA?", the complete lack of any physical or literary evidence precludes a sensible, evidence-based discussion. KennyMac 18:49, 14 September 2008 (EDT)