Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Did your history go from Thanksgiving straight to the Revolution?

Mine did. Although we spent a little time talking about the Salem witch trials. But only because we lived down the highway from Salem.

So that was how early American history was taught in my neck of the woods - Pilgrims landed in 1624, ate a big meal, later that century some folks were hung or crushed under rocks over lack of food (so goes one theory) and then - boom - the shot heard 'round the world in 1776.

I finished - inadvertantly before Thanksgiving I will admit - Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. I was motivated in part to see what happened in southeastern New England through the 1660's but also to read about my ancester, William Brewster. Neither he nor his family factor too much past the first few years of Plimouth. Small comfort considering what was done to native Americans by the children and grandchildren of the Pilgrims.

It felt like a painful replay of other parts of our history. Native Americans rounded up and sent to live on barren islands with few natural resources. Torture and trumped up charges leading to executions. Killing women and children.

I'm not proud of our country right now. We are both behaving horribly with the rest of the world and treating each other terribly right here at home. It seems, though, that we are simply repeating the sins of our forefathers and mothers.

Perhaps, as we gather together for this American holiday - Thanksgiving - hopefully surrounded by love and good food, we can all work to get our country back on track. A country where we welcome newcomers, trust one another and behave with dignity on the world stage.

Is that too much to ask?


Candy said...

When I first saw the book on your site, I thought, "ooh I'd love to read that!" But you're right, I don't know if I have it in me right now to read about more atrocities we've committed.

Sometimes I really do feel like humans are just parasites gone amock, and that we were never meant to be here this long. It's depressing.

painted maypole said...

it is not too much to ask. I fear it is too much to expect.

jessabean said...

I second what painted maypole says. Man, we're a gloomy bunch!

But I will give thanks for the people in this country who have their heads on straight, and hope that we can work together to set this country back on track.

Unknown said...

Another awesome post. And why I tagged you today.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with human nature and why man does the things we do... it makes me want to go lay in bed and never come out.

Jami said...

Well, we had Texas History before we had US History (cover the IMPORTANT subjects first!) but the US History we did have covered some of what happened between (and even before) the Pilgrims landing and Paul Revere's ride. But it didn't go into a lot of gory details. I now think it should, if for no other reason to try to hopefully prevent another administration like this one.

(What if you gave a Peace Party and no one came? Oh, wait ...)

Tree said...

Coming here thanks to Greeblemonkey. I am roughly 1/2 way through Mayflower. I recommend it.

Jenn in Holland said...

Exceptional SMID.
And such a tough question. Of course, it's not too much to ask. It just can't be.

CableGirl said...

I love unplanned coordinated rants! Speak on, sister. :)

Wholly Burble said...

To write my story for jen's Writing Game that was posted Monday, November 12th, I did research on the American colonies. Slavery, indentured servants, so many had to pay the price of getting the colonies up and running just to be able to have a union. And yet, so little of that truth has been taught in the schools--we all should know the price independence and our economy has taken, at WHO'S expense!

I would have a gloomier outlook if I hadn't read the end of the Bible, and by faith receive there may well be a mess now, but good does win out.

Brillig said...

Awesome, yet sobering, post. And yes, my history jumped straight from Thanksgiving to the Revolution, except for the witch trials too (and we live on the opposite end of the country...). But I, like you, have studied what happened in between. I think we comfort ourselves by saying, "oh, yeah, that was THEM. We're not like THEM." But, apparently, we're just going around in circles.

Gunfighter said...


Plymouth Rock

Boston Massacre

Bunker Hill


Valley Forge

War's over, the British are thrown out (ha)

(interlude) Everything is good

Civil War (some bad people are beaten)

Everything is GREAT

Wild West

Teapot Dome

WW One

Dust Bowl/depression

WW Two

Everything is PERFECT

Civil Rights era

Everything is sublime

Vietnam (for about 5 minutes)

Space Program

"Here's your diploma, kid... and here is your rifle, too."

Jen said...

I think I have to echo Maypole, sadly.