Category: American History for the Modern Patriot

Proclamations of Prayer and Thanksgiving – American History for the Modern Patriot

Proclamations of Prayer and Thanksgiving As we move into the Thanksgiving season, I thought you might be interested to learn about Thanksgiving Proclamations. In the next edition, we will learn about proclamations related to the actual celebration of Thanksgiving. In this edition, we will focus instead on proclamations of prayer and thanksgiving. As committees of correspondence and legislative bodies not under the control of the British formed throughout the American Colonies, it was not unusual for them to call for a day of prayer, fasting, or thanksgiving. Does that surprise you in this day and age when any type of prayer or thanks to God is deemed politically incorrect? Imagine the coverage that would ensue if a legislative body called for citizens to ask for God’s guidance or to be unabashedly thankful for the country in which we live?   Well, let’s examine what took place as the Virginia House of Burgesses designated May 24, 1774 as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. They did so in response to legislation passed by the British Parliament which closed the port of Boston. The legislation, known as the Boston Port Act, was known to the British as one of “the Coercive Acts.” However, the Americans referred to those acts using a very different, but equally charged, word. They referred to them as “the Intolerable Acts.” By the way, you can read...

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Conservative Opposition to Establishing a Department of Education – American History for the Modern Patriot

22 AHMP: Conservative Opposition to Establishing a Department of Education What were the thoughts of Founding Fathers with respect to the subject of education? How was race used as a motivating factor for the establishment of the Department of Education? What conservative principles served as the basis for objections to the collection of statistics regarding education and predicted what the Department of Education has grown into today? What was the surprising twist in the debate over establishing a new department in the Federal Government? We will learn the answers to these questions in this edition. After taking the summer months off to spend time with my family, I thought I would begin with a podcast or two about what is, and is not, taught about the Founding and our Founding Documents in classrooms across this great nation. While researching that material, I came across a debate which embodies the struggle between those who seek to retain the limited nature of the Federal Government, and those who believe that an expanded centralized government is beneficial for all citizens. That debate has raged on since the Federal Convention, but this story took place after the Civil War. There is even an interesting twist to this story that I’ll tell you about at the end of the podcast. Let’s begin by hearing quotes from Locke and Montesquieu about education. You will recall...

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The Signing of the Declaration – American History for the Modern Patriot

  21 AHMP The Signing of the Declaration In celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I thought you might like to hear a fascinating recount of the events that surrounded the signing. It was published in Scribner’s Monthly in July of 1876, and the article which is entitled “The Story of the Signing” will be included in a new colonial style pamphlet that I will be publishing about the Declaration in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more information about that, but for now I am proud to tell you the “Story of the Signing”: “In the days of the Continental Congress the delegates used to travel to the capital, at the beginning of each session, from their several homes, usually on horseback ; fording streams, sleeping at miserable country inns, sometimes weather-bound for days, sometimes making circuits to avoid threatened dangers, sometimes accomplishing forced marches to reach Philadelphia in time for some special vote. There lie before me the unpublished papers of one of the signers of the great Declaration, and these papers comprise the diaries of several such journeys. Their simple records rarely include bursts of patriotism or predictions of national glory, but they contain many plaintive chronicles of bad beds and worse food, mingled with pleasant glimpses of wayside chat, and now and then a bit of character-painting that recalls the jovial narratives of...

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Benedict Arnold and the 25th of September – American History for the Modern Patriot

20 AHMP Benedict Arnold and the 25th of September Was there a consequence for Benedict Arnold’s egregious behavior in Philadelphia? How did the Great Chain that we learned about in a previous episode factor into Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British? What were the dramatic events that took place on that fateful day in September, 1780, Benedict Arnold’s betrayal of his country is well known. What is more interesting, perhaps, is the time immediately preceding what he anticipated to be the surrender West Point to the British, as well as what happened as the plan began to unravel. Let’s quickly review what occurred from the point in time that we left off in the last episode and move quickly through the events of the first half of 1780. I concluded the previous podcast with the statement of J.J. Thomas. Mr. Thomas was a waggoneer who had transported confiscated property from storage in Philadelphia to the port. He did so under orders from Benedict Arnold who promptly tried to cheat the waggoneer out of several days’ pay. Arnold, who had become totally absorbed in his role as Supreme Commander of the United States in Philadelphia, was seemingly oblivious to the fact that residents such as Mr. Thomas did not take lightly to being cheated given their awareness of his opulent lifestyle. Arnold had seized one of the...

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Benedict Arnold A Thief in Command – American History for the Modern Patriot

  t 19 AHMP Benedict Arnold A Thief in Command How did Benedict Arnold abuse his role as the “Commander in Chief of the United States of American, in the city of Philadelphia” for his personal gain? Will the information that we have about his intimate relationships confirm that he is a narcissist? What colonial body investigated his actions and drove him from the city? We will learn the answer to those questions in this episode. In the past two editions, we have learned about how Benedict Arnold’s narcissism prompted him to clash with Ethan Allen and the Continental Congress. We have also learned how his risk taking behavior led to a reputation for valor, but also how the troops who served under him were placed in harm’s way because of the goals he set. But how did he change after he was placed in a position of power that was not associated with a battlefield? The part of his life that had thrilled him since he was a teenager was taken away from him after a third injury to the same leg during the Battle of Saratoga. Although he remained a part of the military, his new role would involve interacting with the residents of Philadelphia rather than the enemy. I suspect the answer is that it left him bored and in a role where his resentments were left...

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