Citizenship, Politics and the American Character, Part 5 of 5

John Agresto, Alvin Bernstein, Edward Erler and Marvin Meyers compare the founding fathers’ vision for the United States with despotic, tyrannical, and slavish societies in history. They discuss the founders’ relationship with slavery and the impact of the Declaration of Independence on the abolition movement in the eighteenth century. The speakers discuss the concept of commercialism as the foundation for a lasting society and as a creator of honesty and morals.

In the second segment [16:44], Terry Eastland discusses the interplay of religion, politics, and citizenship as they were known to the founding fathers and in the 1980s.

 At the time of this interview, Agresto, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1978-79), was special programs officer at the Center. Bernstein was professor of ancient history and classics at Cornell University. Erler, a Fellow at the Center (1981-82), was professor of political science at California State College–San Bernardino. Meyers, a Fellow at the Center (1981-82), was professor of history at Brandeis University.

At the time of this interview, Eastland was editor of the Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA).

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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