Monday, February 16, 2009

"The Emancipation Proclamation... Was a... Proclamation..."

I watched a wonderful PBS special late last night - - The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which you can watch in it's entirety here

Kudos to PBS for the easy accessibility of their programs online.

I learned so much more about Lincoln, Booth, the Civil War and especially the Emancipation Proclamation.  Historian David Blight describes the proclamation in terms I had never really thought of before...

"(Lincoln) has now linked the cause of black freedom with the cause of the preservation of an American republic, which means, in effect, the war is being fought to reinvent the United States, not to preserve it. 

"The government, the republic that would come out of this war would not at all be the same any more."

Or as the Wikipedia entry states...

"The proclamation represented a shift in the war objectives of the North — reuniting the nation was no longer the only goal. It represented a major step toward the ultimate abolition of Slavery in the United States and a 'new birth of freedom'."

After watching this documentary, I feel like I've gone through life up this point knowing as much about the Emancipation Proclamation as Barney Fife does...





At least, I know the Preamble to the Constitution, thanks to Schoolhouse Rock

Barney? Not so much...

6 comments:

yellowdog granny said...

damn..i was going to watch that too..why didn't I?...oh well, thank goddess for reruns..

Mike said...

I watched this this weekend, and loved it. God bless PBS and American Experience (and TiVo)

Road trip to Springield and New Salem as soon as it gets not winter.

RAD said...

I can always count on you for a lesson---Thx.. that was fun! xo

red_iii said...

I feel honored that someone whose blog I enjoy (for both its PG posts, and beyond), wrote an unsolicited review of a film I've worked on (read: marketed.) Really glad you enjoyed "Lincoln," especially since I've been dealing with the wack-jobs who have already started to chime in. Working for public television, WGBH Boston to be precise, isn't always that uplifting these days, but it's so meaningful to have feedback from an intelligent viewer. Thanks Stephen, and friends of American Experience. (Make sure to watch "The Lobotomist" tonight. It's a hoot.)
-Kevin

Java said...

I adore Don Knotts! Barney Fife is one of the funniest characters from 20th century television.

I can only recite the Preamble to the Constitution if I sing it, if not out loud, then in my mind. Thank you Schoolhouse Rock!!

I'd like to see the PBS Lincoln special, but I doubt I will take the time. It'll sit in the back of my memory for a while, then wander away like most all of my good intentions do.

just me said...

I believe I watched that myself. I can't help but wonder what the world would have been like if Lincoln had not been shot.

Sunday, like a damn fool, I watched the Masterpiece episode about Rudyard Kipling dealing with the death of his son, (Harry Potter, all grown up). Cried like a baby.

I like PBS, especially the British comedies.

Well, not much about Lincoln in this comment is there?