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An opportunity existed in the earliest days of the United States to abolish slavery, but the founders opted to delay the debate in the interests of stability.
Meanwhile, attacks on the press have always been commonplace in authoritarian regimes, but they are creeping into democratic societies, too.
And U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Iran have only emboldened those in Tehran opposed to negotiations with the United States.
Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.
1. How America’s Founding Fathers Missed a Chance to Abolish Slavery
In an effort to stabilize the United States in its early years, the Founding Fathers pushed off the question of slavery, prolonging the institution and helping to create racial divisions that remain today, Foreign Policy’s Michael Hirsh writes.
2. Attacks on the Press Track a Democratic Backslide
An increasing number of attacks on the media have occurred in places where press freedom was once enshrined, Sushma Raman writes.
3. The Chinese Communist Party Wants a Han Baby Boom That Isn’t Coming
China never formally ended its one-child policy, but now public allies of the government are calling for explicit childbearing subsidies, Lyman Stone writes.
4. Iran Is Becoming Immune to U.S. Pressure
U.S. President Donald Trump’s bellicose rhetoric and actions have not made Iran more inclined to make a deal, but they have undermined any Iranian officials who supported negotiations with the United States, Sina Toossi writes.
5. This Time, Russia Is in Afghanistan to Win
Russia has been quietly working in the background to enhance its ties with the Taliban, with a view toward exorcising the failings of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s, Sajjan M. Gohel and Allison Bailey write.