Does History Repeat?

Thomas F Campenni
5 min readJan 12, 2021

I cannot help but feel that we are a nation at war… with each other. We are two nations splitting along fault lines that may not be repairable.

America has not come to the blue and grey divide of the 1860s yet. We are more in the “Bloody Kansas” and Missouri border wars of the 1850s stage. What happened at the Capitol last week may have been the modern version of John Browne’s Raid of the Harpers Ferry armory in 1859. Coincidentally, Col. Robert E. Lee led the federal troops that crushed this insurrection.

If the authorities are correct about armed insurrection at all the state capitols later this week and next, then that could be our Fort Sumter. At some point if all 50 statehouses are attacked, there is a good chance at least one will fall to the modern-day rebels.

The Antifa and Maga sides of their day used violence against each other by those endorsing the expansion of slavery into the western states and territories and those that did not. The elites on both sides of the argument didn’t become involved in the border wars themselves but stroked the flames for their followers to fight.

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, there were at least 70 documented cases of congressmen and senators physically assaulting each other. It was common for members to carry pistols and knives on the floor. In 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina walked onto the floor of the Senate and proceeded to “cane” Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts leaving him unconscious and severely injured. No one apprehended Brooks as he left.

We are close but not at that stage of the divide yet. Perhaps it is because in the 1850s there was what was known as a gentlemen’s code that required action when one’s honor was besmirched. It was a misguided code, and I am not suggesting that we return to that. Yet in our age there does not seem to be any code that is followed by these elected officials even a misguided

Inequality the Root of All Evil

For a long time, I thought we were coming together as far as race was concerned. America had come a long way from the Jim Crow era. Yet at the heart of our problems for 400 years has been the original sin of slavery. Our ancestors all came to America because they wanted to be here except for those from Africa who were brought as chattel in chains.

There has been inequality in American society forever. Immigrants were segregated into their own ghettos…

Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manger in New York City.