Historians Say New York Times Gets History Wrong

Townhall | 1/24/2020 | Staff
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We live in history-making times. Not so much because of the impeachment trial going on in the Senate, which will make history only if it routinizes impeachments of impolite presidents when their opposition party gets control of the House, but because of what looks like an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history.

That battle was opened back in August when The New York Times ran the first several articles of its 1619 Project. Named for the year when the first African slaves were offloaded in the dozen-year-old colony of Virginia, the central theme is that slavery and its effects are the central driving force in American history, the underpinning of everything from corporate capitalism to suburban sprawl.

Salvo - Side - Princeton - Sean - Wilentz

The latest salvo on the other side comes from Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, writing in The Atlantic. Wilentz makes mincemeat of The 1619 Project lead Nikole Hannah-Jones' contention that protecting slavery was a main motive of the American Revolution, of her statement that Abraham Lincoln "opposed black equality" and of her avowal that blacks fought "alone" for equal rights after the Civil War.

Wilentz was also a co-signer of a letter to The Times lamenting factual errors in its articles, along with Brown University's Gordon Wood, Princeton's James McPherson and City University of New York's James Oakes. Wood is a premier historian of the American Revolution. "I don't know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves," he wrote in a separate letter to The Times' editor-in-chief, as reported by the World Socialist Web Site, which has taken an interest in the controversy. "No colonist expressed alarm that the mother country was out to abolish slavery in 1776."

McPherson - Scholar - Civil - War

McPherson, the leading scholar of the Civil War, said he was "disturbed by what seemed like a...
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