What’s Wrong With The 1619 Project?

In August of 2019, the New York Times published The 1619 Project. Its objective is to redefine the American experiment as rooted not in freedom however in slavery. In this video clip, Wilfred Reilly, Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University, reacts to The 1619 Project’s significant cases.

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Have you listened to of The 1619 Project? It was published by the New York Times in August of 2019. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2020.

Its thesis: The United States was established in 1619, when the first slave was brought to North America.

Wait– that raises some concerns …

What happened to 1776? To July 4th? The Declaration of Independence? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, as well as James Madison?

According to The 1619 Project, the Founding Fathers promoted all that “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” things to secure their servant holdings. Independence from England? That was simply a smoke screen.

To them, everything that’s wrong with America is linked to her “initial transgression” of enslavement: from segregation to traffic (yes– traffic!). For The 1619 Project writers, racism is not a component of the American experience; it is the American experience.

Is this true? Allow’s look at 3 of the task’s major claims:.

1. Preserving slavery was the real reason for the American Revolution.

If you asked the Founders why they no longer intended to be a British nest, they would have offered you a long listing of factors: Taxation without representation, problems over financial debts from the French as well as Indian War, as well as the Stamp Act would be just a couple of.

Probably most crucial was the burning wish to be complimentary– to chart their own destiny as a sovereign country. Securing slavery? Enslavement was not under danger from the British. Britain didn’t free the servants in its abroad swarms till 1833– 57 years later on, after the Declaration of Independence.

Yes, the topic of slavery was fiercely disputed at the Constitutional Convention, yet that wanted the battle was won.

2. Enslavement made America rich.

Enslavement made some Americans rich– true enough. Eli Yale, for instance, made a ton of money in the slave labor. He donated cash and also land for the university that is called after him. Yet the institution of slavery really did not make America abundant. The servant system severely slowed the economic development of half the country.

As economist Thomas Sowell directs out, in 1860, just one year before the Civil War started, the South had only one-sixth as numerous factories as the North. Virtually 90% of the country’s skilled, well-paid workers and also specialists were based in the North. Financial, railroads, production– all were concentrated in the North. The South was an economic backwater.

And the cost of eliminating enslavement was massive– not merely in regards to dollars (Lincoln borrowed billions to spend for it), but also in terms of human life: 360,000 Union soldiers died in order to totally free 4 million servants. That exercises to about one soldier in blue for every single 10 servants released. It’s hard to check out that butcher’s expense and also conclude that the country made a profit from slavery.

And also many things have actually occurred since 1865. In the virtually 200 years considering that the Civil War, the populace of the nation has expanded almost 900% and also our nationwide GDP has boosted 12,000%. Slavery did not make America rich.

3. Bigotry is an unchangeable component of America.

This disagreement is more thoughtful than academic, but it supports the entire 1619 Project. It’s likewise destructive because it recommends that the United States is an inherently racist nation that can not overcome its imperfections. That’s exactly what it’s done.

Today, America is the most effective multi-racial country in background, the only white majority nation to choose a black President– twice. Naturally, development has actually not constantly been smooth. There have actually been terrible troubles. However to contrast American mindsets about race today to America a hundred years back, allow alone to 1619, is silly.

For the full manuscript see https://www.prageru.com/video/whats-wrong-with-the-1619-project.

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