Sunday, July 6, 2008

Founding Fathers

Fourth of July is one of those really poignant holidays in American History but the history of the holiday has almost become washed away. Society nowadays sees it as a day off from work, where you grill out, drink beer and watch fireworks. People forget what it stands for and how much America as a whole gave up for this holiday. The vast majority of American's couldn't even tell you that we celebrate American Independence on the Fourth because it was the day the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Forget asking them what year it happened and the vast majority don't even know the battles had already started when the Declaration has passed. The war raged on for eight years (makes the Iraq war look small in comparison huh?) . We lost fifty thousand people from battle, disease and poor conditions. We did something never done before we fought the greatest country in the world, a nation so vast that it was thought at the time that the sun never set on the British Empire, and we won.

I spent my fourth of July with my best friend (who also has a degree in history) crashed out on my couch, eating pizza and watching the John Adams Miniseries and then 1776 (a musical about the declaration of independence). It made me wonder what the Founding Fathers would think about what their country has become. If they would be proud of us or if we've turned a country they fought so hard for into a pile of rubbish as bad the British Empire. Some opinions are easy. George Washington would be appalled at the party politics of this country and about our entanglement in Foreign affairs. Alexander Hamilton would be pleased over the governments control/interest in Banking affairs. Thomas Jefferson would be despondent over the size of the Government and it intrusion into people's lives. It's hard to say what Adams would think; He falls somewhere between Washington and Jefferson. He would, however, be disappointed into what a ridiculous show running for presidency has become. They would all be upset over how much power the president holds now. But outside of that i think they would be proud of what we've accomplished. We've lasted a lot longer as a country than most people originally thought. We've faced several uphills battles and managed to survive intact. I think they would be proud of our tenacity. But isn't that the American way? We do it when everyone says it can't be done.
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