With everything going on the country today, it’s easy to forget the past. The national debt. Democrats fighting Republicans. Public unions versus private citizens. Gas prices. Your job, or maybe your lack of a job. A crumbling public education system. Who has time for a little history?
I’m here to help you. No history books. No lecture to sit through. Just simple facts to digest, take them or leave them. But leave them at your peril. What happened in the past is vitally important, the lessons learned are vitally important, and you should know them, at least a little bit. Sure, there will be some names, and some dates, but no quizzes, that I promise you!
We are not going to start at the very beginning, rather, we are going to start at 1754. Whoa! 257 years ago, what are you nuts! Yes, I know, settle down. Look on the bright side, we could have started by learning what a Republic is, but we aren’t going to do that. Yet.
Seriously, 257 years ago isn’t that long ago in the whole scheme of things. Sure, you don’t have socks that old, but it’s only about 8-9 generations ago. A generation is about 30 years, when you look at it that way, you aren’t much far removed from your relatives that lived in 1754.
Some of you may recognize this image:
Do you know where that came from? Many people think it’s part of the Gadsen’s Flag (the Don’t Tread on Me flag) but it’s earlier than that. One can say that the Gadsen Flag come from the cartoon above, but about 21 years later!
No, this image was published on May 9, 1754 in the Pennsylvania Gazette by a guy named Benjamin Franklin. It was used as part of an editorial written by Franklin on the importance of unity to the colonies. The threat to the colonies? The French (and their Indian allies, though the British also had Native allies as well).
You see, during this time there was war raging throughout Europe – the Seven Years War (as it became called, even though it lasted more than 7 years. Hey, when you’re in war with a dire enemy, who’s counting?). In America, it’s called the French & Indian War (which was fought against the British) . Again, it’s 1754.
Okay, no worries, I’m not going to give a lesson on that war, though it’s really exciting, interesting and many of our Founding Fathers came from that era. A young man in his 20’s named George Washington fought for the British in that war. Remember him, he’s important!
Why, then, is this the beginning? Two things, really. First, there were folks like Franklin that were realizing that the colonies were a bit at the whim of the European masters. Second, that these colonies should figure out a better way to communicate with other. That was a subtle and important lesson.