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July 3rd, 2014

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


            Ever since Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World and hid all the Viking artifacts, America has been a land of opportunity, independence, and smallpox.

            Eventually the British colonists decided to go off and form their own country. (Except for Canadians, who were just too polite to leave.) Since our schools don’t teach enough history these days (there’s so much more of it now), I thought I’d give you a quick timeline of how we, the people, went from tea to coffee:

            1756: The French and Indian Wars

            This was probably the first World War. No, seriously: Over here we just mention the French and Indians, but the rest of the world called it the Seven Years War. It spread all over the globe, like a viral YouTube video, but with more cannon fire and disease. Nations involved included Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden. Oh, and the Indians.

            (Later on Prussia, not wanting to be confused with Russia, changed their name to Germany.)

            Why does it involve American Independence, which came decades later? Because it cost the British government so much to defeat their enemies (and the Indians) that they began taxing the colonists to help pay for it. And yet they didn’t allow the colonies to raise their own armies, and there was that whole taxation without representation thing.

           Oh, and one more thing: The whole world war began (well, mostly) because a young Virginia militia leader ambushed a French scouting party in the far west … Pittsburgh. In later years, George Washington would be careful to start battles after war was declared.Collapse )

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