As you might recall, Doug and I went to see 1776 for on anniversary – we’re all about the sexy as you know. Since that night, I’ve been thinking about the events leading up to this nation’s independence and whatnot.
When we were heading home that evening, Doug mentioned what a non-patriot John Dickinson was? It’s easy hundreds of years later to chastise the men who stood against the birth of our nation, but when you stop to think about it, it easily becomes quite the quandary. So imagine what they were thinking!
We have land, cash in hand
Self-command, future planned
Fortune flies, society survives
In neatly ordered lives with well-endowered wives
Consider for a moment that you are not you, but rather someone leading a “neatly ordered” life in the 1770’s. Maybe you’re a farmer or cobbler or the wife of same. Would it really be so easy to wash your hands of your homeland England? Even if that homeland was oppressive, led by a tyrant and unconcerned Parliament, leaving ones’ roots and blindly heading into the abyss is not something most of us would jump to do. Or is it?
The more I ponder, the more I think I, too, would have fallen in Dickinson’s camp. I saw a bumper sticker yesterday which read “Peace IS Patriotism”. I immediately thought of Dickinson. Dickinson was long clung to the notion of reconciliation with his beloved England, assuming that if peaceful efforts were used to convince Parliament and King George of America’s legitimate beefs, all would be restored and the good life could resume.
But who knows? I certainly don’t claim to know Dickinson’s true motivation as he rejected notions of independence. Maybe it was, as Adams’ condemned, just his attempt to hold onto his wealth and privilege and adhere to the status quo. But maybe he simply didn’t want to tear this new land he’d come to call home apart at the seams with a war – no matter how revolutionary. Adams called Dickinson a coward for his reluctance. I fear Adams might have been saying the same about me. The thought of war on our soil might have more than I was willing to sign off on.
Come ye cool, cool considerate set
We’ll dance together to the same minuet
To the right, ever to the right
Never to the left, forever to the right
May our creed be never to exceed
Regulated speed, no matter what the need
(oh crap, does this make me a Republican?)
Of course this realization that has made me ever more grateful for the men (and women) who led the way to our independence. If not YOU, who? Right? If there had been just a couple more Dickinsons and perhaps one or two less Adams, we might be eating bangers and mash a little more often. And what a way to ruin perfectly good mashed potatoes if you ask me.
Where would you have found yourself on the question of independence oh those many years ago? To get the opinions flowing, we’re gonna have our own little Continental Congress right here. I’ve got a $50 gift certificate to Target (store of the free, retailer of the brave) to award to someone – hey it’s more than the delegates got! To enter, simply leave a comment telling me on which side of the debate you would have found yourself and why. And not the 2009 version of you, but rather the 1776 variety. Give it some thought, if you’re a nerd like me it’s an interesting topic.
Extra points for style if you announce yourself all official like: “Amy in OHio, delegate from the great state of Ohio, answers NEA to the question…”.
You can get an extra entry simply by tweeting this post to your followers. Leave another comment saying you did so should you do so.
Fine print: Entries will be accepted until February 28th at 11:59pm – so get going people! Just an FYI, the winner will receive the prize the week of March 15th.
PS: Just an FYI on Mr. Dickinson, though he opposed the Declaration of Independence at the onset, he did go on to fight against the British during the American Revolution. He was a great man and an American Patriot to the end.