Thursday, March 03, 2011
I'm kind of an American history buff, and I've been following the NYT series on the 150th anniversary of the war. Today marks the 150th anniversary of the other emancipation proclamation - the emancipation of Russia's 23 million serfs by Alexander II. This was somewhat of a political blow to the south, because they were able to point at Russia as being another major western society with a codified social order of servitude.
In recent years, I've been amazed at the way in which America has been unable to resolve some of the disputes over our nation's philosophical and political framework which have persisted since 1776. Although slavery is in the rearview mirror, the recent healthcare debate has sparked calls for "nullification" of Federal statutes by the states - an issue at the heart of the debates over states rights in the context of slavery. If the greatest catastrophe in the nation's history can't put that one to bed, who knows what can?