Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Events Of American Revolution Do Not Offer Clear Answers For Today’s Issues—Everybody Is Welcome At Our Great Historical Sites

With the Fourth of July just over a month away, it’s time we take back our history from the right-wing Tea Party extremists who have been allowed to commandeer some portion of our past. The so-called Tea Party wants to use our shared American history in the service of the very un-American ideals of exclusion, and of benefiting the rich over the working man and woman.

One such Tea Party cell here in Texas is called the King Street Patriots. This Houston-based Tea Party outfit takes its name from the street in Boston where the Boston Massacre took place.

King Street is now known as State Street in Boston.

The effort to define our past is about finding justification for political positions in today’s debates. If we can prove that our viewpoints and actions in the present day match the intent of the folks who led the American Revolution, then we can claim that these viewpoints and actions have a special validity and are true to our founding ideals.

The picture above is of the Old Massachusetts State House on the former King Street. I took this picture while visiting Boston in 2008. The Boston Massacre occurred pretty much at the location from where I took the picture. The yellow balcony is the place where the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed in Boston in 1776.

All people are free to visit this historic location. You can stand at the spot where the Massacre took place. You can tour the Old State House. People of all political beliefs are welcome. People of all nationalities are welcome.  There are no immigration checkpoints to see if people have the proper papers. People of all religions are welcomed. Nobody feels compelled to offer a prayer at this great and important site that favors one religion over other religions.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about some aspects of early American history, and suggesting books and websites for people who would like to learn more.

The first book I’m recommending is Patriots–The Men Who Started the American Revolution by A.J. Langguth. Patriots is an accessible and detailed account of events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.

Good luck in finding a clear ideological lesson for today in the events describes in Patriots or in any serious account of our independence.

Yes–In many ways the American Revolution was a tax revolt. At the same time, the streets of colonial Boston were covered with garbage and animal waste. Women were always pregnant and many died in childbirth. Many children died before reaching adulthood. Folks drank rum and beer all day long in part because clean water could be hard to find.

Would people back in colonial times have paid more taxes for better sanitation, better public health, and for clean water?

Who knows? Those folks are long dead and we live in a very different nation and world.

There is plenty to learn and understand from studying our past. We’ve got to know who we are and where we come from. But nobody can take events from more than 200 years ago, and feel that they now have all the answers to today’s public policy debates.

At least nobody who has any idea what they are talking about has this ability.

Don’t learn your history from this blog. And be certain that you don’t learn your history from far-right fanatics who glorify states rights and who want to return to the injustices of the past.

A clear example of why not to listen to representatives the far-right when they attempt to define our history can be found in this video clip of Sarah Palin talking about Paul Revere’s Ride. She simply has no idea what she is talking about.

Here are some actual facts about Paul Revere’s Ride.

Figure stuff out for yourself.

Don’t let other people define your past, and then seek to shape your future while you stand idly by.

About these ads

June 3, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. [...] here: Events Of American Revolution Do Not Offer Clear Answers For … Tags: cincinnati, first-book, former-hometown, galveston, houston, sometimes-write, texas Leave a [...]

    Pingback by Events Of American Revolution Do Not Offer Clear Answers For … -Political Fund USA | June 3, 2011

  2. I would add Richard Beeman’s “Pain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution” to your list.

    It all about the people who put the Constitution together in the hot summer of 1787.

    Curiously enough, James Madison, the founding father Tea Partiers love to quote, changed his position of a strong state rights advocate from pre-Revolutioanry War days to one for a stronger central government after the war had ended.

    It appears he also had routine bouts of hypochondria and though very intelligent, was something of a recluse.

    This has been a very good read for me through the first 3 chapters thus far.

    Comment by lbwoodgate | June 3, 2011

  3. That’s Plain, Honest Men not Pain

    Comment by lbwoodgate | June 3, 2011

  4. HOW WOULD YOU EXPECT REPBULICANS TO UNDERSTAND OUR HISTORY, 47/53 % OF THEM DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS ABOUT BEING A CITIZEN.PALIN IS HANDING IT OUT ON HER PUBLICITY TOUR AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW.NOW OLE NEWT DOSEN’T EVEN KNOW. BUT HE DOES KNOW ABOUT SHEA (ms) law. THATS WHY HE IS RUNNING SCARED. UNDER S. LAW, IF YOU COMMIT ADULTERY, MUSLIMS CUT OFF YOUR PENIS, AND STONE THE WOMAN TO DEATH. SO ‘OLE NEWT HAS A LOT TO LOOSE, HIS, YOU KNOW WHAT AND HIS WIFE. WOULDN’T YOU BE AFRAID?

    Comment by PHYLLIS RADFORD | June 3, 2011

  5. Excellent advice to your readers: “Figure stuff out for yourself. Don’t let other people define your past, and then seek to shape your future while you stand idly by.” Americans have and are doing exactly this and responding by joining the Tea Party you so prejudiciallly dislike. King Street Patriots stands for fair and free elections and the protection of every legal voter’s right to vote. For some reason, you and the progressive left oppose this.

    Comment by BWilhm | June 4, 2011

  6. woodgate–Thanks for the book suggestion. It’s just the type of thing I’m looking for here.

    Ms. Radford—All very solid points.

    BWihm–There is no massive fraud as the so-called Tea Party asserts. All there is from the Tea Party are thinly-veiled appeals to fear of a Texas, and a nation, no longer run by Anglo voters. This is the core of the matter.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 5, 2011

  7. Neil-“Massive Fraud” are your words. King Street only asserted exactly what they witnessed – 765 documented instances of election irregularities-most of which occurred against non-Anglo voters. Why would you be supportive of any election fraud? How many voters need to have their votes negated by the actions of others before you consider it a concern? Do really support the registration of two and half illegitimate voters for each legitimate new voter as Houston Votes did? This is the core of the matter.

    Comment by BWilhm | June 8, 2011

  8. Afew nice comments here. I’ve read a handful of books on the War For Independence over this past year which has led me to several observations:
    Timing and Place are everything when it comes down to making a difference of this magnitude.

    Most of the occurences were happened upon through accident. It was BECAUSE of this odd mix of yankee New Englanders, southern plantationists and mid-Atlantic survivors that success of breaking away from British rule was achieved

    Comment by MikeC | June 9, 2011

  9. As I was saying: bear with me on this one as I offer the Beatles success in America as an example:

    11-22-1963 President Kennedy assassinated.
    The country was down in the dumps: way, way down.
    Americans have always had a short memory.
    Enter the Beatles in Feb.-1964
    Just what the doctor ordered.

    Firgive me if I’m making this discussion sound a little light, it’s only an example, but I think a good one.

    The colonists throughout the 13 establishments had a lot of different reasons for breaking away from Britain

    Comment by MikeC | June 9, 2011

  10. AND, they also had ONE unique reason for breaking away. The thirst for free rule of their lives. Yes, the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors went on as much then as it does now – so we shouldn’t fool ourselves about the good old days. But one of the big differences between now and then? The British encountered an educated population who knew what they wanted (aside from the southern colonies who believed the only thing they had to know was that the slaves would do all the work for them) That sounds pretty bad but it’s the truth. Although many Americans had a fairly good education it was only the Massachusetts colony which made it mandatory. The British had never before encountered an educated army of resistence in previous wars.

    Comment by MikeC | June 9, 2011

  11. To continue: We cannot compare today’s population to those of the revolutionary era. Although we seem to own more material objects we are not any more smarter than they, perhaps a bit less because of today’s state of affairs in the educational portion of American culture. It was give and take back then, scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Certainly not the case today where everyone wants to be number one, the best and the richest. Well, if that’s going to happen then there will certainly be a lot of number twos – which causes a huge problem in class warfare. A United States? maybe for now, but the sad state of affairs in Washington, party line voting, can only have one obvious outcome. The system will break down.

    Comment by MikeC | June 9, 2011

  12. I forgot: As far as the new Tea Party members? Would you really want them deciding upon opportunities in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    I didn’t think so.

    Comment by MikeC | June 9, 2011


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers

%d bloggers like this: