On August 1

On this day in ...
... 1833, the edition of The Crisis issued this month included a letter in which "Vlasta," a woman, opined:
Under the present system ..., which exalts to the wildest excess the animal propensities of man, and sinks to the lowest possible degree that nature will admit the intellectual and moral nature of woman, -- ... man must be utterly ignorant of our nature.

The real author was the philosopher, socialist, and feminist, Anna Doyle Wheeler (right) (credit). Born in 1785 in County Tipperary, Ireland, she'd married at 15, become a mother, then fled her abusive marriage, seeking refuge with a relative in Guernsey. Eventually she moved to London so that her 2 daughters could be educated. There she circulated among philosophers and herself became a theorist, writer, and lecturer on the rights of women. She's credited with collaborating with her companion, William Thompson, on The Appeal of One Half of the Human Race: Women against the Pretensions of the Other (1825), "the first major statement on women’s right to political equality written in the English language." Wheeler died in 1848.

(Prior August 1 posts are here, here, and here.)

Go On! Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest) It seems we’re seeing reactionary responses to cross-border migration everywhere —in the United States, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. But the positions of governments, employers, and non-foreign-born citizens seem to be cyclical or ambivalent, shifting with internal perceptions and misperceptions about competition over available resources and racial or ethnic cultural difference. Migration policy is also influenced by deliberate manipulation of gender and other class disparities that place downward pressure on wages and benefits, as well as environmental, economic, armed conflict, and political disasters that force migration from the home country. Finally, of course, migration flows can be shaped by the availability of unique opportunities in the host country or by the impact of unsustainable transnational trade and development policies affecting the home country.
Whatever the causes and macro- consequences of cross-border migration, immigrants and refugees are often among those who experience serious and continuing violations of economic, social, and cultural human rights . An upcoming “institute” at Northeastern University School of Law, co-chaired by Assistant Professor of Law Rachel Rosenbloom and IntLawGrrl and Professor of Law Hope Lewis, will examine economic, social, and cultural rights violations in U.S. immigrant communities. Here’s the summary:
"Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights"

Two significant trends in the treatment of noncitizens in the United States are the focus of this two-day institute. Beginning in the mid-1990s and gaining momentum after September 11, 2001, the federal government imposed increasingly harsh deportation policies, dramatically expanded the enforcement of immigration laws, and delegated more and more immigration enforcement power to state and local police — all in the name of national security. Similarly, a wave of state and local laws has been taking aim at the rights of noncitizens in areas such as employment, housing, health, family life, and education. During the same period, however, immigrant communities and their supporters throughout the U.S. are increasingly turning to human rights approaches in response.
On October 14-15, 2010, Northeastern University School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) will bring together a core group of leading immigration and human rights advocates, scholars, jurists and activists for a two-day intensive institute to address these developments within a human rights framework. What effects have harsh deportation policies and increased immigration enforcement had on the economic, social, and cultural rights of immigrants? What roles have discrimination and minority status played in undermining economic and social rights in immigrant communities? What can be learned from community-based or cross-cultural anti-discrimination strategies? What can be learned from administrative, academic, or judicial strategies? How are encroachments on such rights increasingly being used at the sub-national level as a tool of immigration enforcement? How can human rights strategies best be used to counter those effects?
Public Events
Public Roundtables will be held on Thursday, October 14,2010, at 11:45 a.m. and on Friday, October 15, 2010 at noon.
Confirmed institute participants include Ana Avendano (AFL-CIO), Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard University), Arlene Brock (Ombudsman of Bermuda), Margaret Burnham (Northeastern University School of Law), Muzaffar Chishti (Migration Policy Institute, New York University), Ellen Gallagher (U.S. Department of Homeland Security), Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Human Rights), Marielena Hincapie (National Immigration Law Center), Nancy Kelly (Greater Boston Legal Services), Anjana Malhotra (Seton Hall School of Law), Susan Ostrander (Tufts University), Janis Roshuevel (Families for Freedom), Rinku Sen (Applied Research Center & ColorLines), Aarti Shahani (journalist), Jonathan Todres (University of Georgia School of Law), Paul Watanabe (University of Massachusetts, Boston), John Willshire-Carrera (Greater Boston Legal Services).

The institute will be followed by a workshop on "Bringing Human Rights Home to Immigrant Communities in Massachusetts" on Saturday, October 16, 2010, organized by Northeastern's Human Rights Caucus and other student groups. The Saturday workshop is also open to the public. For further information and questions about disability access, please contact events coordinator Jackie Davis.

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

Comparative sideglances can sometimes aid us in deciding not only what we should do, but what we should not do. A notable example: In the 'Steel Seizure Case' decided by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1952, Justice Jackson, in his separate opinion, pointed to features of the Weimar Constitution in Germany that allowed Adolf Hitler to assume dictatorial powers. Even in wartime, Jackson concluded, the U.S. President could not seize private property (in that case, the steel mills). Such a measure, in good times and bad, the Court held, required congressional authorization.
At the time Justice Jackson cast a comparative sideglance at Weimar Germany, the United States itself was a source of 'negative authority' abroad. The Attorney General pressed that point in an amicus brief for the United States filed in Brown v. Board of Education, the public schools desegregation case decided in 1954. Urging the Court to put an end to the 'separate but equal doctrine,' the Attorney General wrote:
'The existence of discrimination against minority groups in the United States has an adverse effect upon our relations with other countries. Racial discrimination . . . raises doubts even among friendly nations as to the intensity of our devotion to the democratic faith.'
-- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on "The Value of a Comparative Perspective in Constitutional Adjudication," in what SCOTUSblog's Lyle Denniston termed "a rare commentary by a member of the Supreme Court on Senate hearings for a potential colleague." He refers, of course, to the broadsides that some Senators aimed at nominee Elena Kagan (prior post). Ginsburg's comments were part of a speech she delivered yesterday at the XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, about which IntLawGrrl Afra Afsharipour posted earlier this week. (hat tip: Jess Bravin) (The role of foreign context in the school desegregation litigation is, incidentally, a key aspect of the scholarship of IntLawGrrl guest/alumna Mary Dudziak.)
An interesting added note in Ginsburg's full speech, available here: her reference to judges' consultation of "any number of legal blogs." Hmmm....

Write On! Regulating disasters

(Write On! is an occasional item about notable calls for papers.)

"Emergency Regulation under the Threat of a Catastrophe" is the subject of a call for papers from École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris, or HEC Paris, since 1881 an international business school based in the French capital.
Prompting the call -- and the HEC Paris workshop at which papers will be presented, on November 10 and 11, 2010: the ash plumes (below right) from an Icelandic volcano that grounded airlines, and thus stranded thousands of spring 2010 travelers in, to, and from Europe. (photo credit)
An informative account of the regional and international regulatory mess this entailed was just published as an ASIL Insight by Alberto Alemanno, an associate professor in business law and taxation at HEC Paris, and a co-organizer of this event.
Here's an excerpt from the full call for papers:
The ash crisis is not the first or the only such problem to have occurred. It is one of a series of recent real or potential catastrophes -- natural disasters, terrorism, pandemics -- that have taken by surprise globalized firms and partly regulators. As such it represents a rich case study in the problem of emergency regulation ....
[W]e propose a workshop with selected speakers and discussants that will retrospectively look at what happened during the worst aviation crisis in European history, and proactively suggest how the lessons learned can affect other regulatory systems which might be faced with similar crises.
Questions that papers might address:
► Roles of science and technology in supporting both risk assessment and decision;
► Institutional design and capability of the regulatory system; and
► Various stakeholders' roles.
Selected papers may be published in the European Journal of Risk Regulation, for which Alemanno serves as Editor-in-Chief, and published in a book to follow.
Submit 300-word abstracts no later than September 15, 2010, to Alemanno at alemanno@hec.fr, or to his co-organizer, Maryland Engineering Professor Emeritus Vincent Brannigan, at firelaw@firelaw.edu.
Further details here.

On July 31

On this day in ...
... 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Dr. Margaret Joy Tibbetts to serve as U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Norway. Tibbetts presented her credentials on October 6 of the same year, and left the post on May 23, 1969. During that tenure she would "escor[t] Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1964." She also was quoted in The New York Times story announcing King's award:
As an American and representative of the American people, I want to express joy and gratitude that one of my fellow countrymen has been awarded this prize.
Tibbetts had been on August 26, 1919, in Bethel, Maine, and earned a Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. In 1944 she became a career officer of the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in Washington, London, Brussels -- and eventually as officer-in-charge of the consulate general at what was then Leopoldville, Belgian Congo (today, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo). In 1971 she received the Distinguished Honor Award (ribbon at right), "the highest decoration bestowed by the United States Department of State," and retired from government service. She became a professor, teaching foreign policy, at Bowdoin College near her hometown. Miss Tibbetts, as her obituary referred to her, died in Maine this past April 25, at age 90.

(Prior July 31 posts are here, here, and here.)

L'Arizona de l'Europe?

Immigrants and their advocates in the United States breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday as a federal district judge enjoined the harshest provisions of Arizona's draconian new immigration law from taking effect. That same day, across the pond, a human rights NGO spoke out against a "racialized vision of society in which a human group, though heterogeneous, is treated as criminogenic." L'Arizona? Non. La France? Oui.
In response to a riot last week (sparked by the police shooting a man dead) involving fifty travellers in central France, President Sarkozy announced Wednesday plans to dismantle 300 Roma and traveller camps across the country as part of his "war on crime and urban violence". In fine Arizona style, he also ordered the "almost immediate" expulsion of Roma from Bulgaria and Romania who have committed offenses against the public order and promised new legislation to make it easier to deport groups like the Roma for security reasons. (See too migration post below.)
The move has sparked concern on the part of human rights groups about promoting negative perceptions of the 400,000 travellers living in France, 95 percent of whom are said to be French nationals. Sarkozy's Interior Minister's responded by claiming that the measures "are not meant to stigmatize any community, regardless of who they are, but to punish illegal behavior". Evidemment.
And what did the European Commission have to say about all of this? Oui, bien sûr. Ben -- c'est-à-dire, peut être. Agence France Presse first reported that the European Commission had assented to Sarkozy's new policies, quoting the spokesperson for Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for justice, fundamental rights, and citizenship (pictured right) as saying, "European laws on the free movement of European citizens provide EU member states with the right to control their territory and combat crime." That provoked a response from Reding's spokesperson, who stated that AFP had misinterpreted the prior statement, and that the Commission was "neither for nor against" France's proposal to expel Bulgarian and Romanian Roma on security grounds. C'est clair?
The Romanian government, on the other hand, has minced few words in its assessment of France's approach (calling to mind Mexican President Felipe Calderon's response to the Arizona law). After the Minister of Justice declared Romania's readiness to cooperate with France, he noted that "cooperation does not mean using bulldozers to destroy camps and publicly blaming Roma." The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed a similar willingness to cooperate, before suggesting that EU member states should be able to address criminal activity without resorting to ethnic stereotypes. He argued that "the solution to the Roma's socio-economic difficulties is social inclusion in the societies in which they live, whether in their country of origin or host state, in strict respect of human rights." Bucharest called for a European solution "to complement national efforts in areas such as education, professional training, health, and housing." On va voir.
(Hat tip to Diane Marie Amann for the Le Monde article; translations, and any errors therein, are mine.)

AJIL board nominations sought

Following on our earlier post regarding a request for nominations to American Society of International Law leadership positions:
The Nominating Committee of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law invites nominations for members of the Board of Editors to be elected in spring 2011.
As detailed here:

[N]ominations are based primarily on scholarship and creativity, as demonstrated in books, articles, and other written work appearing over a period of years, including, but not limited to, publications in the Journal. Other factors taken into account include areas of expertise or professional perspective or discipline.
Suggestions, along with supporting statements and information, such as a CV, list of publications, and, if possible, copies of significant publications, should be sent no later than September 15, 2010, to the AJIL Nominating Committee Chair, c/o either of the Co-Editors-in-Chief:
► Professor Lori Damrosch, Columbia University School of Law, 435 West 116th Street, New York, New York 10027, e-mail ajil@law.columbia.edu.
► Professor Bernard H. Oxman, University of Miami School of Law, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, Florida 33124, e-mail ajil@law.miami.edu.

On July 30

On this day in ...
... 1900 (110 years ago today), in response to anti-Japanese ferment in British Columbia, Japan forbade its people to immigrate to Canada. The provincial legislature nonetheless passed a statute further restricting Japanese immigration, in contravention of the Commercial Treaty of 1894,
which guaranteed Japanese the 'full liberty to enter, travel, and reside in any part of the Dominion of Canada.'

(credit for circa 1900 photo of Japanese emigrants ready to disembark) Canada's federal government stepped in and put an end to this and other subnational efforts to block immigration. (Sounds a bit like the current federal-state showdown on immigration (and see post above) to the United States, yes?)

(Prior July 30 posts are here, here, and here.)

General Assembly proclaims right to water as United States & 40 other countries abstain

The human right to water and sanitation yesterday won the immediate acclaim of the United Nations.
Most nations, that is.
Meeting at its headquarters in New York, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution A/64/L.63/REV.1, by which the Assembly:

1. Declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights;
2. Calls upon States and international organizations to provide financial resources, capacity-building and technology transfer, through international assistance and cooperation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all;
3. Welcomes the decision by the Human Rights Council to request that the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation present an annual report to the General Assembly, and encourages her to continue working on all aspects of her mandate and, in consultation with all relevant United Nations agencies, funds, and programmes, to include in her report to the Assembly, at its sixty-sixth session, the principal challenges related to the realization of the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation and their impact on the achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

France's Secretary of State for Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, judged the decision "historique" -- and many countries' delegates echoed that adjective.
The vote on the resolution was overwhelming: 122-0-41.
The representative of the United States explained its abstention as an objection not to the importance of access to water, an issued on which we've frequently posted. Rather, he said that the United States objected to the Assembly's decision to go forward now rather than to await other U.N. action:

The United States had hoped to negotiate and ultimately join consensus on this text, on a text, that would uphold and support the international process underway at the Human Rights Council. Instead, we have here a resolution that falls far short of enjoying the unanimous support of member States and may even undermine the work underway in Geneva. This resolution describes a right to water and sanitation in a way that is not reflective of existing international law; as there is no “right to water and sanitation” in an international legal sense as described by this resolution.

The United States was joined in abstention by 40 other countries: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Tanzania, and Zambia. And Japan.
Coincidentally, yesterday Japan finished hosting the 9-day official visit by the independent expert cited in ¶ 3 of the Resolution, Catarina de Albuquerque (right), an attorney, law teacher, and Senior Legal Adviser on International Affairs to the Portuguese Secretary of State for Justice. On the whole her observations were favorable, though she expressed concern with regard to certain minority populations. De Albuquerque began her statement by quoting a legend that she'd seen on a Kyoto shrine:

Mizukara Katsudoushite Hokawo Ugokashimuruha Mizu nari.

Translation: "It is the water which proactively moves and influences others."

Kulmaetsin helpottaa lähikuvausta

En kovin usein tee lähi- tai makrokuvausta, varsinkaan ulkona, mutta joskus sitäkin pitää tehdä. Joissakin tilanteissa kameran okulaariin tiirailu on miltei mahdotonta, kun kamera on esim. maan tasossa tai matalalla yläviistoon. Monessa uudessa kamerassa on kääntyvä näyttö, joka helpottaa hankalissa asennoissa kuvaamista, mutta läheskään kaikissa kameroissa näyttö ei käänny.

Kulmaetsin on vanha keksintö, joka auttaa tänäkin päivänä. Joillakin kameramerkeillä on valikoimissaan kulmaetsin vielä tänäkin päivänä, mutta Hoodmanilla on tarvike-etsin, joka käy Canoniin ja Nikoniin. Saman etsimen voi sovitteella kiinnittää molempiin merkkeihin. Juuri tuo mahdollisuus oli minulle ratkaiseva tekijä.

Olen käyttänyt Hoodmanin vinkkelietsintä omiin lähikuvauksiini ja olen ollut tyytyväinen. Tarkennus tai sen varmistaminen sujuu hyvin, koska etsimessä on normaalin suurennuksen lisäksi 2,5 kertainen suurennus. Isommalla suurennuksella tosin etsinkuvan reunoja ei voi nähdä, mutta keskiosan alue, johon pääkohde useimmin sommitellaan näkyy kunnolla.

Etsinkuva tummenee jonkin verran, kun Hoodman on kiinnitettynä, mutta ongelmaksi asti vasta aivan hämärässä. Hoodman pyörii okulaarin ympäri, joten sopiva kuvausasento löytyy, vaikka kamera olisi vinossa.

Mekaaninen rakenne on vakuuttava, eikä Hoodman kulmaetsin tunnu halpatekeleeltä. Ainoa pieni moite voisi olla sovittimen hieman liian herkkä pyöriminen, kun etsin on kiinnitettynä okulaariin. Pakkauksen perusteella kampe näyttää lähinnä kertakäyttöiseltä, mutta kun pakkausmuovin kuorii, niin sisällä on ihan kunnon tuote, joka on käyttöön tehty.  Etsin sovittimineen on pienessä laukussa, jonka voi sujauttaa kameralukun sivutaskuun.

Minorities in Viet Nam

(It’s IntLawGrrls’ great pleasure to welcome back alumna Gay McDougall, who contributes this guest post)

This month I conducted a 10-day official visit to Viet Nam. My objectives for this, my 10th such country visit, were to hold consultations on minority issues and to examine the human rights situation of Viet Nam’s numerous minority groups. These goals conform with my mandate as the Independent Expert on Minorities for the United Nations: to promote implementation of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and to identify challenges, as well as successful practices, in regard to minority issues.
I would first like to thank the Government of Viet Nam for extending an invitation to me and for the high level of importance that it attached to my visit, apparent in the assistance and access provided to me, at both national and provincial levels. My preliminary comments, excerpted in this post, will be followed by a report containing my full findings and recommendations to the U.N. Human Rights Council next March.
I began my visit in Hanoi before travelling to regions of significant minority populations, including the provinces of Dien Bien in the Northern Highlands, Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta region, and Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces in the Central Highlands. (map credit) I met with senior Government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, community members, academics, and others working in the field of minority issues, social inclusion and promotion of equality and non-discrimination.

Viet Nam is a country of great diversity. The majority population consists of those who identify themselves as part of the “Kinh” ethnic group. There are 53 other ethnic groups as well, with unique religious, linguistic and cultural characteristics, and identities. Viet Nam recognizes its minority populations as important constituent parts of its nation, and it understands many of the challenges that it faces to ensure that the rights of minorities are respected, protected and promoted in every sphere of life. The establishment of dedicated Governmental bodies with responsibilities for minorities, including the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, is a positive practice that is replicated on provincial and district levels.
Viet Nam has witnessed a remarkable period of economic growth, progress towards the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, and highly positive results in respect to poverty alleviation and economic development in general. The Government readily acknowledges that despite these achievements, most minority groups remain the poorest of Viet Nam’s poor.
The acknowledgment of the economic and social gaps that exist between the minority communities and the majority population is an important step towards putting in place the measures required to close those gaps.
Government programs over the past several years have established important initiatives to close those gaps through infrastructure projects, social protection programs and developments in the fields of health and education. The government should be commended for these programs and for the improvements that the programs have made in the lives of minorities.
I understand the challenges facing the government in achieving the rights of non-Kinh ethnic communities, particularly those in the most geographically remote areas. I welcome the government’s affirmation of its commitment to tackling those challenges as a matter of high priority. It is critical that:
► The Government ensures that its economic growth is achieved without negatively impacting on the lives of minorities or deepening their poverty; and
► Minorities share fully in the benefits of growth and prosperity, while maintaining their distinct cultures and identities.

Access to quality and appropriate education is a gateway to development and poverty eradication for minorities. It is equally essential for the preservation and promotion of minority cultures, languages and identities. Education helps minorities to take control of their lives and to fulfill their potential as equal stakeholders in the development of the State. (photo credit)
Viet Nam has made significant progress in the provision of school structures to most Communes, in the option of boarding schools for students from remote villages, and in access to secondary schools for minority children. Nonetheless, I am concerned that minorities are achieving poor results in education relative to Kinh students.
One of the problems that has been identified is that minorities lack adequate opportunities to be taught in their own minority languages from the earliest years of education. They struggle with being taught only in Vietnamese.
With the ultimate goal of fluency in Vietnamese, bilingual education helps minority children to make better early progress in education and provides a strong and culturally appropriate foundation for their future schooling. I look forward to the results of a pilot programme of Mother-Tongue-based bilingual education currently being implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training and UNICEF, including in Gia Lai and Tra Vinh, 2 provinces I visited. Studies done worldwide endorse this approach. It is not sufficient that the Mother-Tongue language is taught as a subject. In preschool, and the first 3 years, it should be the language of instruction, which then transitions to be Vietnamese.

Enjoyment of rights
As in many countries with such diversity, numerous challenges exist to ensuring that members of minority groups can fully realize all their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights and live in conditions of equality. The rights of minorities include:
► Freedom to practice their religions without restriction;
► Freedom of association and expression;
► Right of peaceful assembly;
► Equal right to own and use land; and
► Right to participate fully and effectively in decisionmaking regarding issues that affect them, including economic development projects and resettlement issues.
(photo credit) Concerns relating to these rights have been raised with me in the context of my visit; in turn, I have raised these issues directly with the Government of Viet Nam at national and provincial levels. I will study closely the information that I have gathered and the responses of the Government before commenting on these issues in my final report.

I believe that my visit marks an important step by the Government of Viet Nam to engage with the human rights bodies and mechanisms of the U.N. system. I welcome the Government’s undertaking to extend further invitations to other U.N. human rights experts in the months ahead, and I hope that these will include invitations to a wide range of mandate holders, including those with mandates in the area of civil and political rights.

Human Rights & Business: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

(Delighted to welcome back alumna Nadia Bernaz, who contributes this guest post)

With BP making the headlines with the industrial disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (prior IntLawGrrls posts), many have been asking the question of how and whether giant corporations can be made accountable for their actions.
The fact is that a combination common in the Western world -- tighter laws governing pollution and higher standards -- has not worked. Rather, it has often meant that multinational corporations, which no longer have to respect national boundaries, move elsewhere, where standards are lax and land and labour is cheap.
The growing movement for volunteerism among corporate entities based on corporate social responsibility has had some benefit: it has highlighted the social responsibility that companies have when they invest in a given area. (Prior IntLawGrrls posts) However, it has also allowed many corporations to engage in green-washing their image through the display of sophisticated policies printed in expensive brochures.
A new story that has attracted some attention recently concerns the activities of the Vedanta mining concern, one of Britain’s largest companies, who have built an aluminium producing plant in Orissa, in the east of India. Vedanta now wishes to mine bauxite in the region in order to get the plant running at full capacity.
Orissa is one of India’s least developed states, with some of the poorest people in the world, with many indigenous tribes among them. It has been known for a long time that this part of India holds significant deposits of mineral resources, but with India speeding towards accelerated development, these resources have suddenly become crucial to sustaining growth.
Vedanta maintain that their mining activities would bring jobs and increasing wealth to the local population. However, the indigenous Dongria Kondh tribe strongly oppose mining in their sacred mountains, and are concerned about the environmental impact of this activity in the region. An Amnesty International report issued in February supports their view.) The tribal members argue that they do not want to change their ancestral way of life, and have no interest in the type of development Vedanta has promised them. (credit for photo by Parth Sanyal /Reuters, captioned "A tribal woman with her child near the mining site of the alumina refinery in Orissa state")
From an international legal perspective, the Vedanta story raises several important issues:
► The increased power of transnational corporations has made the seeking of accountability for their actions extremely difficult in environments where they may be able to operate freely, and often with the complicity of the government.
► While globalisation itself cannot be regulated, it is clear that new norm creation activities have been taking place in international law, not least with the presence of the World Trade Organisation.
► However, little of the ethos concerning human development and poverty alleviation feeds into these important discussions.
To address these challenges, my home institution, Middlesex University in London, England, has created an MA programme in Human Rights and Business. The course covers areas of law such as international human rights law and the law of the WTO, and explores the relevance of these areas to multinational corporations -- especially those corporations operating in emerging economies. The modules are deliberately human rights law-centred, and go significantly beyond the concept of corporate social responsibility. The programme itself is tailored for busy professionals with significant online content and class contact restricted to two days a month (Friday-Saturday). More information here.

On July 29

On this day in ...
... 2003, the most notorious of those who led rebels during the 1990s civil war in Sierra Leone, 65-year-old Foday Sankoh, died in custody while awaiting trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (logo at right). On March 7 of the same year, that court had issued against the Revolutionary United Front leader an indictment on 17 counts of crimes against humanity, violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. The indictment would be withdrawn on December 8, 2003.

(Prior July 29 posts are here, here, and here.)

New---Faith, Valor, Devotion: Chaplain's Letters from Army of Northern Virginia's Kershaw's Brigade

Faith, Valor, and Devotion: The Civil War Letters of William Porcher DuBose by W. Eric Emerson and Karen Stokes, University of South Carolina Press, 392 pages, $49.95.

Brilliant and devout, William Porcher DuBose (1836-1918) considered himself a man of thought rather than of action. During the Civil War, he discovered that he was both, distinguishing himself as an able and courageous Confederate officer in the Holcombe Legion and later as a dedicated chaplain in Kershaw's Brigade. Published for the first time, these previously unknown letters of DuBose chronicle his Civil War actions with these two celebrated South Carolina units and make an important contribution to the literature and history of the war. They also advance our understanding of DuBose's burgeoning religious ideals as a Civil War combatant who would later become one of the foremost theologians of the Episcopal Church and a distinguished professor at the University of the South.

A native of Winnsboro, South Carolina, DuBose was studying to enter the Episcopal priesthood when the war began. After struggling with the question of secular and spiritual obligations, he decided to join in the defense of the Confederacy and began a long and varied career as a soldier. After service in the lowcountry during the first year of the war, he was thrust into the thick of combat in Virginia, where he was wounded twice and taken as a prisoner of war.

After being exchanged and returned to duty in 1862, DuBose was wounded again at the battle of Kinston in North Carolina, and a year later influential friends arranged for his appointment as chaplain in Kershaw's Brigade. He continued to share in the hazards of combat with the men to whom he ministered as they fought in the battles of Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Cedar Creek in 1864.

Adroitly edited by W. Eric Emerson and Karen Stokes, the more than 150 letters collected here prove DuBose to be a man of uncompromising duty to his faith, fellows, and the Confederate cause. He references his interactions with prominent figures of the day, including General Nathan "Shanks" Evans, John L. Girardeau, John Johnson, Colonel Peter F. Stevens, General Joseph B. Kershaw, Louisa Cheves McCord, and General John Bratton. Also included here are DuBose's wartime courtship letters to his fiancée and later wife, Anne Peronneau DuBose. Collectively these extraordinary documents illustrate the workings of a mind and heart devoted to his religion and dedicated to service in the Confederate ranks.

W. Eric Emerson is director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in Columbia. The author of Sons of Privilege: The Charleston Light Dragoons in the Civil War, Emerson has also served as director of the Charleston Library Society and the South Carolina Historical Society. Karen Stokes is an archivist with the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston. Her articles on South Carolina history have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals.

Text and Image Source: University of South Carolina Press

Image Source: Dubose signature

New---155th Pennsylvania Lieutenant's Letters Home

Letters From The Storm: The Intimate Civil War Letters of Lt. J.A.H. Foster, 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Linda Foster Arden, edited by Dr. Walter L. Powell, Mechling Books,365 pages commentary, illustrations, photographs, index, paperback,$29.95

Arden offers 101 letters written by Lieutenant Foster, Company K, 155th Pennsylvania to Mary Jane Foster, his wife; the documents are separated by Arden's comments regarding the events and situations described in the letters. Complaints regarding campaigns and camp life with descriptions of individual soldiers and unit combat are a focus of the letters. Additionally Lieutenant Foster addresses his loneliness, intimate fantasies and apprehensions about his spouses faithfullness.

The campaigns and combat of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, the Wilderness and Cold Harbor are described. Pontoon bridges new corps flags are described and drawn. Colorful language regarding personalities and events is not absent from the letters.

The 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers' Company K was formed in Kittanning in 1862, from recruits in Armstrong and surrounding counties. The 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers during their first years the regiment wore the regulation uniform of the Union Army. In 1863 they, along with the 140th New York, received Zouave uniforms. Unlike the 140th New York, the 155th Pennsylvania received a Zouave uniform never before created. Their uniform consisted of a dark blue Zouave jacket with not red but yellow trimming, a dark blue Zouave vest with yellow trimming, a red Zouave sash with a yellow trimming, dark blue Zouave pantaloons, and a red Zouave fez with a yellow trimming and a blue tazzle. The 155th Pennsylvania along with the 140th New York, and the 146th New York became the "Zouave Brigade" in the Army of the Potomac.

Mechling Books has also published The 155th PA Volunteer Zouaves, Co. K.'s history.

Text Source: Mechling Books and Wikipedia

New---Letters To A Pittsburgh Wife From A Medical Steward

Remember Me: Civil War Letters From A Hospital Steward , 1862-1864, Daniel McKinley Martin, edited by Alan I. West, Mechling Books commentary, illustrations, photographs, index, paperback, 328 pages, $29.95.

This exquisitely researched book narrates a fascinating story based on 230 letters, a diary, and possessions that have survived the past 150 years. In 1862, Daniel Martin was working as a druggist's clerk and living in Pittsburgh with his young family when he volunteered to serve as a hospital steward for the Union. His letters and diary speak of financial hardships, secessionists, medicine, diseases, generals, patriotism, the deaths of his two brothers, battles, politics, slavery, religion and family squabbles. With detailed descriptions of diseases and 19th century medical theories, these letters were written in the context of the American Civil War medicine and the political and social venues of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Alan West's commentary furnishes a ready resource for understanding the events surrounding the steward's remarkable experiences in Pittsburgh, Chambersburg, and western (West) Virginia. Remember Me offers a unique perspective for readers interested in 19th century life in Pittsburgh during the Civil War, the practice of medicine and pharmacy, a loving relationship between spouses separated by war. Historians, reeanactors and genealogists will find merits in West's editing.

CWL: As a reenactor whose impression is that of a captain in a Pennsylvania regiment raised in Pittsburgh, this books moves to the top of the 'must have list' for the personal book shelf. As a director of an academic library of a Pennsylvania university, a copy will be ordered for the library's shelf.

Text Source: edited from Mechling publicity.

News---Preservationist Sleeps in Slave Cabins to Save Them

Sleep-Ins Staged To Save Slave Cabins: Historian Wants To Highlight Need To Preserve Structures, Bruce Smith, Associated Press, July 23, 2010

When Joe McGill spreads his sleeping bag on the floor of a slave cabin, he knows that spending the night there will conjure the specter of slavery. "If I were a firm believer in ghosts and spirits and things of that nature, I don't think I could do this," said McGill, a preservationist who is working to preserve buildings that are part of a past that many prefer to forget.

One night he heard dogs in the distance - a sound that recalled the search for runaways during slavery. He awoke on Mother's Day morning in a cabin thinking of children being sold from their mothers. Then he walked to the black graveyard on a plantation near Charleston. "I thought, this is why I'm doing this - for those people in those graves to give them a voice for what they endured," said McGill, 48.

McGill, a program officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will spend Saturday night in a cabin at Hobcaw Barony near the coastal community of Georgetown. It will be the fifth night this year that he has slept on a cabin floor, trying to attract attention to the need to preserve the structures and the history they hold.

McGill, who is black, is also a reenactor with the 54th Massachusetts, the black Union regiment that fought at Battery Wagner on Charleston Harbor during the Civil War. He said spending the night in the cabins helps him connect with his ancestors. He first slept in a cabin at Boone Hall Plantation near Charleston a decade ago as part of a program for The History Channel entitled "The Unfinished Civil War" which focused on the dispute over the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina Statehouse. He returned to the cabin project this year, meeting reporters wherever he goes to draw attention to the buildings. He said preserving the cabins requires local efforts and his goal is to encourage people to save the ones that are left. The cabins where McGill has stayed - such as those at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston - have already been restored. But many others have been neglected.

McGill started in May with a list from the state Historic Preservation Office showing cabins at about 30 sites. He feels his effort is already helping because since he started the sleep-ins, three more cabins have been identified. McGill plans to sleep later this summer in a cabin in Anderson, in upstate South Carolina, and this fall in cabins in Alabama. "There once were thousands of slave cabins in South Carolina, mainly near the coast in the state's largest plantations. Many have not survived because they were modestly constructed of wood or because people didn't want a connection with a dark chapter of history," he said.

"When it comes to slave cabins, you are talking about a part of history that some folks would rather forget," said McGill. "I come from a chain of thought that to know is better," he said, adding that just as a plantation house tells a story, so, too, does a modest cabin. Andy Chandler, who helps administer the National Register of Historic Places for the Historic Preservation Office, said there are no firm figures on how many cabins are still standing in the state.

There are about 1,300 register listings in South Carolina and some may include sites with cabins. But, he said, since some sites have been on the register for decades, some of the cabins may not be there any more. And people who recommend sites for inclusion on the registry don't always see slave cabins as worth mentioning. "In the preservation field we have always considered them significant," he said. "But the historic preservation community is a limited part of our larger community."

Text Source: KSBW
Top Image: A South Carolina Slave Cabin
Middle Image: South Carolina Slave Cabins
Bottom Image: South Carolina Slave Cabin

Open wounds after war

(Delighted to welcome back alumna Jennifer Kreder, who contributes this guest post)

The first major Khmer Rouge defendant has been brought to justice with the 30-year sentence just handed down (left), as posted, by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. (photo credit)
I believe postwar prosecutions for human rights violations are beneficial for victims, but that there are risks as well. When people who have committed heinous crimes get less than the maximum sentence, I think it is foreseeable that many victims will be hurt again. On the other hand, if every defendant gets the maximum sentence, the tribunal will not appear to be objective.
Then, there are other ways to deal with postwar open wounds, such as truth commissions and civil litigation, which may occur in courts beyond the borders of the nation that experienced war (often internal civil war).
I would love to hear others' viewpoints about these issues:
► What do you think is helpful for the individual victims and the nation, and why?
► Should U.S. courts hear postwar claims? If so, when and why?
► Should it depend on the location of victims who fled a murderous regime? Or on the location of their property? Or on whether significant remedies are available in the nation where the war occurred?
► Should it depend on a green light from the executive branch?
I am currently exploring the intersection of the "open wounds" idea and the cultural property arena.
For example, Tuol Sleng (right), the prison where the just-sentenced defendant, known as Duch, led the torture and murder of so many innocents, is now a Genocide Museum.
Part of Tuol Sleng's roof collapsed last week. Some people said the souls of the dead were crying out for justice.
Certain types of property, real property and chattels, have meaning that transcends finances. Caring for such property thoughtfully can help heal postwar wounds, whereas its destruction can feel like new wounds to wartime victims.
Another example of the intersection of human rights, war, and cultural property concerns terrorism and antiquities that were found within the borders of modern-day Iran but now are located in U.S. museums.
In recent years Congress a number of laws purporting to give victims of terrorism means to redress:
► That part of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that allows American victims to sue countries designated as sponsors of terrorism; and
► The Civil Liability for Acts of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, a/k/a the Flatow Amendment in honor of victim Alisa Flatow), which authorizes U.S. courts to award money damages to victims of terrorism.
In fact, this legislation has proved ineffectual -- a “sound bite” that has foisted conflicting jurisdictional mandates upon the federal courts, sucked terrorist victims into a vacuous, exhausting drama with no chance for justice, and interfered with the President’s ability to conduct diplomatic relations in the Middle East.
One group of victims is mired in multiple jurisdictions, trying to enforce an extremely large default judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran by forcing auctions of antiquities like these Persian tablets, housed at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. Other collections subject to this complex litigation may be found at, to name a few sites, Harvard University, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Congress, in this political posturing, required the U.S. Department of Justice to participate in the litigation in a way that runs counter to the victims’ interest. The victims likely feel ignored and maligned by their own President, while Congress all along was the master puppeteer of their false hopes. Kimberly deGraaf and I have co-authored an article on the subject, "Museums in the Crosshairs: Unintended Consequences of the War on Terror," forthcoming in the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law.
No one believes that dealing with property ever will bring back the dead or afford full "justice" to victims. But many of us believe that the symbolism of such property is significant.
Do you have thoughts on these issues?
Can you provide other examples of postwar wounds that need redress to allow healing to occur?

(A version of this post appears at PrawsfBlog)

Nominate ASIL's new leaders

The 2010-2011 Nominating Committee of the American Society of International Law -- chaired by IntLawGrrl and ASIL Past President Lucy Reed, and also including our colleagues Curtis A. Bradley, Susan L. Karamanian, Daniel M. Price, Adrien Katherine Wing, and Sean D. Murphy -- is seeking nominations of ASIL members for election to the leadership posts listed below. Self-nominations are welcome.
ASIL President-Elect, expected to be drawn from the Society's practitioner members, who would begin a two-year term as President beginning in March 2012.
ASIL Vice Presidents, 2 persons to serve 1-year terms typically renewable for a 2d year, taking a leadership role on a Society project. One candidate will be drawn from among academics (to succeed yours truly), the other from among practitioners.
Executive Council, 8 to be chosen to join the Society's chief governing body for 3-year terms, and thus to provide leadership in at least one of ASIL's programs, as well as attend biennial Council meetings.
Counsellors, up to 8 to be chosen from among ASIL's more senior members, to serve 3-year terms as nonvoting members of the Executive Council, attending all biennial Council meetings.
The deadline for nominating candidates for these positions, all of which will be filled by election at the Society's annual meeting next March, is August 15, 2010. Nominations, to be e-mailed no later than that date to 2011LeaderNominations@asil.org, must follow the guidelines detailed here. The Committee will particularly seek to enhance the diversity of the Society's leadership and to nominate those who have evidenced a willingness to contribute time and effort to the work of the Society.

Panasonicilta ensimmäinen 3D videokamera

Kolmiulotteisuus tekee kovasti tuloaan kotikäyttöön tai niin laitevalmistajat ainakin haluaisivat. Panasonic julkisti tänään ensimmäisen kuluttajakäyttöön tarkoitetun 3D videokameran SDT750.

Panasonic SDT750 on oikeastaan miltei tavallinen HD videokamera, jonka objektiivin eteen ruuvataan 3D linssi. Ero normikameraan on prosessorissa, joka osaa sitten yhdistää kahdesta kuvasta yhden 3D kuvan. 3D toimii tässä tapauksessa niin, että kamera kuvaa kennon oikealle ja vasemmalle puolelle erilliset kuvat 3D lisäkkeen avulla. Sen jälkeen kuvat yhdistetään kameran prosessorilla ja lopputuloksena on täyden HD tarkkuuden 3D elokuva. Kolmiulotteista kuvaa voi sitten katsella tietyillä Panasonicin televisioilla, ja lisäksi pitää olla 3D lasit silmillä.

Tallennusresoluutio on 3D kuvauksessa kummallekin puolelle 960 x 1080, koska käytössä on vain puolikas kennon pinta-alasta. Objetiivin kuvakulma kapenee vastaavasti, kun 3D lisäke on käytössä.

Tänään Panasonic on näköjään julkistanut kehittävänsä samalla tekniikalla toimivan 3D objektiivin Micro4/3 järjestelmään.

Tämän kuun alussa kävin Tukholmassa katselemassa Panasonicin 3D kuvaa, joka näyttää 3D lasien läpi katsottuna hyvin kolmiulotteiselta, mutta minulle jäi hieman synteettinen ja pelimäinen vaikutelma. Videopelien käyttäjät ovat varmasti innoissaan 3D teknologiasta, koska luulen, että juuri peleissä vaikutelma on parhaimmillaan.

Varmasti elokuvissakin voidaan tehdä vaikuttavia asioita 3D tekniikalla, mutta ensin pitää päästä alkuinnostuksen ohi. Kaikki tähän mennessä näkemäni 3D elokuvat tai elokuvien pätkät näyttävät siltä, että ne on tehty 3D tehosteiden ehdoilla. Kuvan sommittelussa on haettu ainoastaan tehokkainta 3D vaikutelmaa ja kaikki muu on sivuutettu.

Panasonic SDT750 mahdollistaa joka tapauksessa kotivideoiden kolmannen ulottuvuuden. Kamera tuntui tavalliselta videokameralta hyvällä tavalla, mutta 3D lisäke kasvattaa laitteen kokoa jonkin verran. Objektiivin eteen tuleva lisäosa kooltaan puolet kameran koosta, mutta ei onneksi kovin painava.

Panasonic SDT750 tulee kauppoihin lokakuussa, mutta hinnasta ei ole vielä tietoa.

On July 28

On this day in ...
... 1959, voters in Hawaii, which would become the 50th state in the United States the following month, made congressional history by electing Americans of Asian ancestry to 2 of 3 available positions. Republican businessman Hiram L. Fong became the 1st Chinese-American elected to the U.S. Senate from any state, while Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, a decorated veteran who lost a limb in World War II, became the 1st Japanese-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from any state. A third Asian-American candidate, the former President of Hawaii's Territorial Senate, lost a bid for the remaining Senate seat by fewer than 4,600 votes out of more than 162,800 cast. (credit for Honolulu Advertiser photo of Hawaii's congressional delegation in 1973; from left, Inouye, Fong, who would serve till 1977, U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, and Spark Matsunaga) Still a Senator, Inouye was sworn in as "president pro tempore of the Senate, a mainly ceremonial position that ranks third in line of succession to the presidency," just last month.

(Prior July 28 posts are here, here, and here.)

Off Topic---The Dude and The Coen Brothers Abide

The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, Cathleen Falsani, Zondervan Publishers, 240 pages, illustrations, filmography, appendix, paperback, $14.99.

In the 1980s after viewing the first two Coen Brothers films, Blood Simple and Raising Arizona, I had my eyes wide open to fact that these two guys well understood film making, plotting, and existential ethics cast in a Judeo-Christian mold. An avid reader of works by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald, and James M. Caine, I longed for Hollywood to get the noir detective genre right, again.

Chicago Sun-Times religion journalist Cathlee Falsani immerses herself in the 14 films of Joel and Ethan Coen and asks spiritual and religious questions of the films. Does the Coen brothers' dark humor, verbal slapstick comedy, grim judgments and bleak contexts offer an avenue to the deeper issues of death, betrayal, greed, loyalty in an environment in which God appears to be absent? Do the Coen brothers' film characters show the dire consequences of their choices? Are the filmakers' complex themes clearly presented so their notions of morality are apparent?

Falsani states that these films are not overtly religious, but the films do successfully convey the Coen brothers' spiritual insights into the human condition. She discusses each of the Coen brothers' films, from their debut, Blood Simple(1984), through A Serious Man (2009). Falsani's chapters contain a plot summary and concludes with a discussion of what lessons the film offers. These section are entitled 'The Moral of the Story'. She is adept at offering a nuanced analysis of pop culture, Judeo-Christian heritage, and the art of storytelling.

The Dude Abides: The Gosple According to the Coen Brothers is accessible to The book also is attractive to those who have seen all the brothers' films, twice. Ranging from iconoclastic comedies such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski to an unblinking treatise on the nature of evil in No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers have created moral universes in which some of life's essential questions are asked--if not always answered.

So how do the Coen brothers understand the meaning of life, the possibility of enlightenment, the nature of truth and enduring love> Falsani examines the films, her own personal experiences, her spirituality, and the intersection of the Coen brothers media and her own journalistic profession of asking questions and getting answers.

Cathleen Falsani, author of Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace , The Dude Abides, and The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People and The Thread: Finding a Sacred Place in Cyberspace. She is a columnist for Religion News Service, and a contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners Magazine and its blog, God's Politics. Most recently, she added her name to the masthead of Sojourners magazine as a contributing editor and columnist. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Christianity Today and Christian Century magazines, as well as the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Madison Capital Times, and many other newspapers across the nation.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University as well as a master's degree in theological studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has also been a Media Fellow at Duke University, a Gralla Fellow in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, and was the 1996 Stoody-West Fellow in Religious Journalism. Presently she is a Divinity School Media Fellow at Duke University.

Both Images' Source: Amazon.com

Why I Use AddThis

Here's a nice article by David Pierce talking about AddThis personalization and why he uses the AddThis sharing platform on his site. Couldn't have explained it better myself- thanks David!

Points of View---What Did Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Tyler Have To Do With The Civil War?

Four American Presidents: What Did They Have to Do With the Civil War? , The Annual Symposium of the Museum of the Confederacy and hosted by the Library of Virginia on Saturday, February 20, 2010.

The Museum of the Confederacy is more than exhibits. It encourages scholarship, education, and adds to the public's consideration of Confederate flag issues, slavery and Confederate biographies. CWL's visits to the MOC and conversations with its employees leaves the impression that the institution is not a bastion of neo-Confederate apologetics, unlike the recent incarnation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Typical of the MOC's mission is its 2010 symposium, Four American Presidents and What Did They Have To Do With The Civil War? The summaries of the speakers' remarks follow and are from the CSPAN Video Library's wwwsite. The wwwsite's link is below the descriptions. The four 60 minute segments are worth the investment of CWL's readers' time. Audience questions and presenters' answers are included.

Anne Sarah Rubin discussed President George Washington and how his career, thoughts, and actions relate to the origins of the Confederacy and the coming of the Civil War. The unresolved disagreements about the status of slavery and the nature of the federal union created situations that presaged the dissolution of the union in 1861 since its founding. Professor Rubin focused on the way that the image of President Washington was used to justify and legitimize actions. She responded to questions from members of the audience. Anne Sarah Rubin is the author of A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868 and Seventy-Six and Sixty-One: Confederates Remember the American Revolution.

Peter Onuf discussed President Thomas Jefferson and how his career, thoughts, and actions relate to the origins of the Confederacy and the coming of the Civil War. The unresolved disagreements about the status of slavery and the nature of the federal union created situations that presaged the dissolution of the union in 1861 since its founding. Professor Onuf talked about President Jefferson's soci-political philosophy of nationhood and contrasted it with the Southern philosophy. He responded to questions from members of the audience. Peter Onuf is the author of Jefferson's Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (University Press of Virginia, 2001) and editor of Jeffersonian Legacies (University Press of Virginia, 1993).

William Freehling discussed President Andrew Jackson and how his career, thoughts, and actions relate to the origins of the Confederacy and the coming of the Civil War. The unresolved disagreements about the status of slavery and the nature of the federal union created situations that presaged the dissolution of the union in 1861 since its founding. William Freehling, a senior fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, is the author of Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 and The Road to Disunion in two volumes.

Edward Crapol discussed President John Tyler and how his career, thoughts, and actions relate to the origins of the Confederacy and the coming of the Civil War. The unresolved disagreements about the status of slavery and the nature of the federal union created situations that presaged the dissolution of the union in 1861 since its founding. Edward Crapol is the author of John Tyler, the Accidental President, published by The University of North Carolina Press.

What Did Four Presidents Have To Do With the Civil War?

Top Image: Virtual Tourist
Second Image: 18th Massachusetts
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