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Our history is vital to our future


If you truly knew the unique history of the United States of America, you would not only love our country but teach your children to love her as well. I do and I do!

A Florentine navigator by the name of Amerigo Vespucci first came to this land, as well as South America, from 1497 to 1504, and both continents are named for him. Our story really began in 1607 with the first English settlement of Jamestown, on land that is now part of the state of Virginia, but this settlement fell on hard times and only lasted a few years. The history of what is now the United States of America really began in 1620 when the Mayflower, carrying more than a hundred Puritans from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, now part of the state of Massachusetts. They arrived in the dead of winter, and the weather was so brutal they stayed aboard the ship until conditions improved.

When they were able to come ashore, they began to carve out a place to live and began a new life.

The Puritans were deeply religious people.

They were being persecuted by the Church of England, so they first went to Holland, but conditions and the threat of war caused them to leave there and look across the Atlantic Ocean to a new land. In time, there were 13 colonies in North America, and they would later form the basis for a new nation. But these people were still subject to the British Crown and the Brits had followed them to their new home. In time, because the nation of England was deep in debt, they taxed the colonists on

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Jim Davidson Common Ground DAVIDSON

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every piece of paper and property they owned. The English also built garrisons to house British soldiers to keep order and police their activity. In short order they began to chafe under British rule and their main complaint was that they had no voice in the matters that affected their lives.

Soon the cry went up, “No Taxation Without Representation.”

The first act of defiance was the Boston Tea Party, a political event that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffins Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts.

They dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company, into the Boston Harbor. It showed Great Britain that the Colonists would not tolerate taxation and tyranny sitting down, so they rallied patriots across all 13 colonies to fight for their independence. It is here that we read familiar names of men who got involved in the protest that would soon become war, The Revolutionary War. These are names most of us will recognize: Samuel Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benedict Arnold, who would later become a traitor and join the British forces.

These men met in Philadelphia in 1774 for the First Continental Congress and they must have had a good planning session, because they met again on July 4, 1776, where they declared our Independence.

Today we call July 4th, our Independence Day. Obviously, they won the war, and our nation would later be involved in many other wars: Spanish-American, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Desert Storm. In all, 560,810 Americans would die and pay the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of Freedom. Freedom has never been cheap.

Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist, and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in the Log Cabin Democrat in 1995, Jim’s column, Common Ground, has been self- syndicated in over 375 newspapers

in 35 states.

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