Writing the previous Election Day post left a thought rattling around in my head. That thought would not go away, but it would not stay in one place long enough for me to see it clearly.
A few days into this situation, I drove out from the Archipelago to a job site that was 154 miles away. I left the house before the sun came up and headed out on interstate 74 into the fields of corn, brittle and brown from the cool autumn weather. Somewhere around mile 100 I pinned down that evasive thought and put it into words.
The past is the foundation of the future we are building on today.
This was the unconscious motivation for my writing of that original post. It is the deeper view in which I saw the months leading up to the election, the election itself and the urgency I felt about commenting on it.
Pointing out the imperative need to understand and appreciate the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Thomas Payne’s Common Sense was not enough.
These documents had to be placed in their original social and historical context to be fully appreciated. Edmund S. Morgan’s The Birth of the Republic 1763-89 did this like no other book I have read on that period in our history.
Morgan puts the reader squarely in the middle of the struggle for freedom. He depicts the lifestyle the colonialist enjoyed, how England tried to change that lifestyle, and how the colonialist reacted to it and why.
Morgan’s writing style is clear and concise. His scholarship focused on trying to recreate what actually happened, not revising events to fit a personal or political narrative. In our day and age, this has become a historian’s greatest service. It is a joy to read one who understands this.
If you need to deepen your understanding of the context of our founding, this is a must read. It will surely enrich your understanding of our principles, our traditions and our unique place in history as the light of liberty for one nation and the entire world.
God Bless America.