You Say You Want a Revolution

Perhaps the most radical consequence of the American Revolution was the creation of a self-governing republic in North America at the expense of the Native Americans whose land that republic would occupy–and expand into. The new republic, which guaranteed the rights and liberties of its citizens, excluded Native Americans from these, thereby rendering those rights privileges. Article 1, section 2, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution as ratified in 1789 stated:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons (emphasis added).

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Poetic Justice for Andrew Jackson

An amusing letter to the editor of The New York Times by my colleague, Carl Lane:

To the Editor:

Re “Should Jackson Stay on the $20 Bill?” (Op-Ed, May 5): I agree with Steve Inskeep that it’s time to remove Andrew Jackson’s portrait from the face of the $20 bill, not only for the reasons he offers but also because Jackson had no faith in the integrity of the paper money system. Indeed, he destroyed the Second Bank of the United States, which issued the national currency.

The fact that Jackson’s face is on the bill is extraordinarily ironic because it’s inconsistent with his administration’s monetary policy. The honor should go to someone who truly merits it.

Lodi, N.J.

The writer is a professor of history at Felician College and the author of “A Nation Wholly Free: The Elimination of the National Debt in the Age of Jackson.”