Tarquin and Caesar had each his Brutus -- Charles the First, his Cromwell -- and George the Third-- ("Treason!" shouted the Speaker) may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it!" -- Patrick Henry, 1765
"Hanoi Jane" Fonda
"Tokyo Rose" Ikuko Toguri
William Joyce "Lord Haw Haw"
Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Penkvsky, Glavnoe Razvedyvatel'noe Upravlenie (GRU), Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
H.A.R. "Kim" Philby
Colonel Robert E. Lee, United States Army
Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Wehrmacht, Grossdeutsches Reich
Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, General Staff of the Army of the People's Republic of Poland
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
John Wilkes Booth
Marcus Junius Brutus
With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.
Before the war, in speaking about our country, we said, "The United States are" — plural. We saw ourselves as a union, a stitched-together collection of states, a "many" thing. After the war — though we ended slavery, we didn’t really end the question of race that has bedeviled and ennobled our struggle — we then began to talk about America as a "one" thing, as a nation. And we began to say something that is still to this day ungrammatical; we say, "The United States is." And that is ungrammatical. It would be like saying, "These shoes is."
And we say it without thinking about it because something happened in those four years between 1861 and 1865 that, for whatever reasons and for whatever consequences issued from it, formed this country in a way that not even the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did. And so, in the end, the story of The Civil War is the story of the change of a simple verb from a plural to a singular.
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