Education History

Unhinged History: We “Voluntarily” Ended Slavery


A member of the Colorado Board of Education apparently believes very fantastical things about American history.

As an opponent of the “anti-American” Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum, board member Pam Mazanec believes we should teach American exceptionalism because we “voluntarily ended slavery.”

As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH Framework support or denigrate that position?

Should our students be provided that viewpoint? No, because it isn’t true. We fought a civil war over slavery. We didn’t end it “voluntarily.”

That isn’t just wrong, it’s extremely offensive; not just to African Americans and the descedents of slaves, but also the memory of those who fought in the civil war and their families. It’s disgusting.

These are the offensively-ignorant people who believe we should whitewash our history for the next generation and they’re sitting on the board of education or in the state legislature. And this is just one, albeit glaring example.

  • muselet

    We voluntarily ended slavery! And it would have happened sooner if those damned Yankees hadn’t gone and invaded the South and forced those brave, noble Southern gentlemen to take up arms!



  • GrafZeppelin127

    Remember: The point of all this is to make liberalism and liberal activism unnecessary.

  • Ashes Defacto

    Around 3/4 of a million Americans died and a quarter of the country was wrecked in order to end slavery. Now you might not see how white washing that episode of American serves the cause of promoting American “exceptionalism” but you aren’t looking at this from the point of view of a Republican. You see the glorious lost cause of the Confederate States of America was for the preservation of the rights of states to allow chattel slavery within their borders and to admit that this was somehow wrong would be to admit that the states right to enforce institutional racism and apartheid is somehow wrong as well. The latter thing happens to be an unspoken part of the Republican platform these days.

  • Badgerite

    We fought a great war to end it but I don’t know that you could call that ‘voluntary’.
    Besides, for a country with the stated founding principles of America just the fact that we accepted slavery as an institution for the first 100 years would make the country exceptional.
    Exceptionally hypocritical.

    • trgahan

      “…we accepted slavery as an institution for the first 100 years..”

      Not to nitpick, but there was some form of an abolitionist movement in America for even longer than we existed as a country. Yeah, it didn’t get very far politically in our early years, but a string of southern slaveholding Presidents will do that. This included several proxy “wars” on our western frontier as southern states colluded to subvert territorial governments that were leaning toward entering the union as “non-slave holding” states.

      I only bring it up because Lost Causers willfully ignore U.S. history right up to after
      THEY fired the first shot at Fort Sumter and their Confederate government went
      on record that their attack on an U.S. military installation was all about
      slaves. This willful ignorance is a critical piece of their myth. They frame abolition
      as an excuse for invasion ginned by northeast liberal elites (who we all know were more racist than any southern planter, natch!) sometime in the 1840’s.

  • Yikes.