Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Does this sound familiar?

Here are two paragraphs from page 602 of The American Experiment: A History of the United States, vol. 1, 2nd ed., by Gillon and Matson, 2006. Change the names a little bit and you have a newspaper article:

The Democratic Party met in Chicago in August [1864], proclaimed the war a failure, demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities, and called for the restoration of the Union by means of a negotiated peace. They nominated the former head of the Army of the Potomac, General George McClellan. Many in the South rejoiced at McClellan's nomination--"the first ray of real light," said Vice President Stephens, "since the war began."
Democrats, early in the campaign at least, hoped to capitalize on the war weariness that was sweeping across the North. They made much of Lincoln's arbitrary use of executive power and the infringement of civil liberties. They objected to the unfairness of the draft. They accused the Republican Congress of rewarding northeastern businessmen at the expense of midwestern farmers by enacting protective tariffs, handing out railroad subsidies, and creating a national banking system. The Democrats endlessly harped on the antiblack theme, protesting that the Lincoln administration had changed the war for union into a war for emancipation. If Lincoln was reelected, they charged, Republicans were planning to amalgamate the black and white races. The word miscegenation (race mixing) made its first appearance in an 1864 campaign document.

(See, I knew all along that history repeats itself!)

No comments: