My planned vacation to Colonial Williamsburg has jump-started my interest in the American Revolution. That, and I am really getting into the political scene again. I used to be fairly knowledgeable about politics in high school, but through college and early adulthood, I admit it - I fell victim to cynicism and didn't much care who got elected. Shame on me. When there are so many around the world who do not have a voice in their government, I should never take my political voice for granted.
To that end, I've been reading about the Founding Fathers, and just yesterday, I ordered a few books to help me truly understand the debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution. Two important factions arose from the debates - the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. In elementary and high school, we were basically taught that the Federalists supported the Constitution and the Anti-Federalists didn't. There is much more to it than that. In fact, the Anti-Federalists are largely responsible for the Bill of Rights being included with our Constitution. So that I can understand the debates more, I ordered The Essential Federalist and Anto-Federalist Papers. No television or Internet to get your point across in those days - just good old fashioned pen and ink.
It's funny how all the history you learn in school fades throughout the years. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Frankline, and the rest become sort of mythic heroes. But they were ordinary men who found themselves in extraordinary times. And when I think of what they accomplished and that the country they created is still here today, it is just inspiring on so many levels. I sometimes think every American needs a refresher course in the American Revolution, one that goes beyond the legends and the stories and gets to the heart of what these men really did. No matter what way you look at it, these men fought against incredible odds and won. It should inspire us all to remember their sacrifices.
I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance! www.melissamarsh.net
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