Freedom fighter instead slaveholder
For the first time a woman could adorn a 20-dollar bill: the white President Andrew Jackson to give way to the black civil rights activist Harriet Tubman.
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Harriet Tubman im Jahr 1895 (Bild: The Granger Collection / Keystone)

From “Jackson” should “Tubman” are. For fighting the American Women’s Initiative “Women on 20s”. Since 1929, wearing 20-dollar notes the portrait of President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). Therefore, the popularly called the notes Jackson. The initiative aims to replace the son Scotch-Irish immigrants by a woman and has organized for a vote on the Internet. Now, earnings before: Made from 600 000 votes, the former slave Harriet Tubman received a slight majority, before the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the black civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Cherokee Indian Wilma Mankiller.

So far, the response has been positive. Senator Jeanne Shaheen Democratic support the initiative with a draft law.The committee responsible for the conduct of monetary Treasury Jack Lew also signaled sympathy for replacing Jackson by Tubman. And the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported the proposal as soon as possible on Twitter. In practical terms, a redesign of Jackson stands on anyway, because the notes are placed at a distance of ten years on the state of the art and thus protected against counterfeiting. This happened at the 20-dollar bills last of 2003.

Symbolically the change would be a revolution. While Jackson was a self-made man. He defeated the British in 1815 in New Orleans and democratized the nation by the extension of suffrage to poorer white men. But Jackson also stands for the darkest chapter in US history. Grew up in the wild border region of southern Appalachia, he led bloody campaigns against Cherokees, Seminoles and other Native American tribes. As president (1829-1837) he let the survivors deported to the infamous Trail of Tears in the West. On top of that exploited Jackson on his plantation on the outskirts of Nashville (Tennessee), hundreds of slaves.

Tubman is an American heroine completely opposite way. She was born in 1820 on a plantation in Maryland. A guard slapped the little girl so brutally upside that it henceforth suffered from migraines and seizures. Tubman also had visions that she understood as God commands. Encouraged, she managed in 1849 after several attempts to flee to the free North.

The following year, Tubman returned to Maryland and began to save their enslaved family. Overall, they should have freed 150 Black. This unique performance was wearing her under abolitionists an honorary name Moses. 1863 resulted in the civil war as a scout commando operation in the swamps of South Carolina. The Northerners freed 750 slaves. Subsequently, Tubman worked as a spy and nurse. After the war, she made a name as a women’s rights activist.

Tubman died in 1913 impoverished in constituent state New York. A modest pension for her military service she can erstreiten only in 1899. The amount is gaining new meaning today: $ 20 a month.