Thursday, October 21, 2021

First Paragraph

 "We Americans might be excused for believing that the outcome of the Civil War would have set to rest all doubt concerning the date of this nation's founding and the principles on the basis of which it was founded. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's depreciation of the Declaration of Independence in his opinion for the Supreme Court in the infamous case of Dred Scott v. Sandford was answered not only on the battlefield of Gettysburg but, a few months later, by Abraham Lincoln's address on the site of that battle. Lincoln insisted there, in November 1863, as he had in many other places and on many other occasions, that the nation was born at Philadelphia in 1776, four score and seven years earlier. Taney, and the South in general, had denied this, or had come to deny it - the time came when John C. Calhoun and Alexander H. Stephens said the assertion that all men are created equal is a self-evident lie and went so far as to denounce Thomas Jefferson for making it. But what the South, that old South, lost in battle it seems now to be winning back in the groves of academe and the pages of contemporary journalism."

- From Taking the Constitution Seriously by Walter Berns

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