Class Notes

With all the arguing and name calling in the congress today, first I am reminded of children in kindergarten. However, historically speaking, I am also reminded of another speech that happened 164 years ago. It goes to show you that nothing really changes. In 1856, Senator Charles Sumner gave a speech in which he criticized the south, but most notably the South Carolina Senator, Andrew Butler. In the speech Sumner said Butler’s having mistress was slavery. He also referred to him as a usurper, tyrant, and imbecile.

Some other great lines about Butler, “copies the British officer who, with boastful swagger, said that with the hilt of his sword he would cram the “stamps” down the throats of the American people, and he will meet a similar failure. He may convulse this country with a civil feud. Like the ancient madman, he may set fire to this Temple of Constitutional Liberty, grander than the Ephesian dome; but he cannot enforce obedience to that Tyrannical Usurpation.”


Lastly, “the Senator touches nothing which he does not disfigure with error, sometimes of principle, sometimes of fact. He shows an incapacity of accuracy, whether in stating the Constitution, or in stating the law, whether in the details of statistics or the diversions of scholarship. He cannot open his mouth, but out there flies a blunder”


Different words, same congress.

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