Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Friends of 1776 Anniversary

Friends of 1776 celebrated its first anniversary last month.

I thank you sincerely for all your interest and support. Birthdays for people and events come around quickly.

Some things I would have done differently: generally, I found writing posts more difficult than I expected. I would have enjoyed more comments; these keep one sharp.

I am amazed though at the huge variety of opinion expressed in this country, and with so much conviction.

After one year, the story of how America became independent from Great Britain is still incredible. And after
it did, that the former adversary in 1776 is now our oldest and strongest ally is even more amazing.

American history has certain periods which absolutely stand out from all the others. For me it’s the Revolutionary War, the Civil War era, all of World War II. The American Revolution defines what America is all about. It gave us our Constitution, which a lot of countries want to copy. It ended well. The national revolution which followed it in France was a disaster that ended with the dictator Napoleon.

We got a Bill of Rights, which was unprecedented, and at the time of 1776, the novel idea that power rests with the people.

Some realities increased for me in 2009. The concept of “patriot” was not always as noble as it sounded. The colonies were hardly uniform in their attitude toward becoming independent from Great Britain. Many patriots persecuted their neighbors, loyalists, who still supported allegiance to Great Britain. They robbed them flagrantly of their property, drove them into exile, making them literally flee for their lives.

A great deal of the Revolutionary War was plain and simply a civil war, particularly in the Southern colonies. There were two revolutionary wars, one in the Northern colonies, predominantly New England and New York, in the early years of the war, and then when the action moved to the South. Here were the loyalists who fought constantly with the patriots. Britain had many more local allies and could win battles of considerable importance.

More and more I realize how critical our allies were as the war dragged on. France, being England’s traditional enemy, was the most valuable; that’s how the southern war ended.

Certain questions still need an answer. Did America win this war or did Great Britain lose it because eventually she could no longer supply her long-distance war? Who played a major role, the brilliant American generals or the British ones, with their demonstrated constant snafus?

What extraordinary person would you name as a major force in establishing America’s independence? I don’t think I can name just one. Instead, as a minimum, I have to include Adams, Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson, and later Hamilton and Madison for creating our Constitution.

I recognize the role of Virginia in defining our liberties. For me, it’s very significant that for the first nine Presidential terms, eight were occupied by Virginians. Even as all the colonies adopted the same Constitution, we were never the same country, economically or politically. The great difference of course was slavery, predominantly in the Southern states. Slavery determined their economies and societies. The South became a very powerful political bloc, which has persisted to this day.

Thank you again for being a Friend. There are many interesting posts scheduled ahead. Please comment; these bring variety and vitality to this blog. – Renata Breisacher Mulry

1 comment:

Friends of 1776 Team said...

Congratulations on Year One!