We owe our freedoms to the founders: Celebrate them today, and every day

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The American history we were taught in school has Thomas Jefferson writing the Declaration of Independence, skips ahead to the British surrendering at Yorktown, then the drafting of the Constitution, ahead of living happily ever after.

A deep dive into the life of Alexander Hamilton, spurred by the hit musical, which is now available for streaming on the new Disney+ service, will help you fill in the details.

The revolution that started in the mid-1770s wasn’t fully consolidated until the mid-1810s, at the conclusion of a second war with Great Britain.

Doing the math there, that’s 40 years, of war, internal politics, trial and error, heavy on the error.

Nothing that happened was inevitable in terms of it leading anywhere, though it looks and feels that way now, 20/20 hindsight being what it is.

People fought, literally, some died, and none of them knew how it was going to end.

And none of them were perfect, and not everything they did was without fault.

Many of our founders were slaveholders, and those who weren’t acceded to a Constitution that recognized the right of others to own slaves.

That same Constitution treated women as second-class citizens.

Judged by the standards of today, none of that is acceptable.

But by the standards of the time, the ideals that our new nation was based on were truly revolutionary.

We were the first to throw out the colonialists, starting a movement that would span a century and a half.

It may not have brought everything in the way of change that people today judge to be proper, but change comes in fits and starts.

We owe our freedoms to the revolutionary generation.

Celebrate them today, and every day.

Story by Chris Graham

         
 

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