The Corner

Politics & Policy

An Odious Lie about the Founding 

I wrote today about the newly fashionable insistence on the Left that America was founded on racism and slavery:

Rather than enhancing the moral standing of slavery, the Founding tended to undermine it. “The Revolution suddenly and effectively ended the cultural climate that had allowed black slavery, as well as other forms of bondage and unfreedom, to exist throughout the colonial period without serious challenge,” the historian Gordon Wood writes. In his view, it set in motion the “ideological and social forces” that eventually led to the Civil War.

In the broadest gauge, it’s a mistake to treat the United States as an outlier in terms of its racial attitudes, when it was really an outlier in its embrace of liberty, however imperfect.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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