The Apotheosis of George Washington

 

It is now all so hallowed and holy, with the documents sanitized and vacuumized, and a George Washington apotheosized. It has become such an untouchable temple – that mythical American Revolution. The school books formed our early vision of that remote city upon a hill, idealized and motive-pure. That mush of which our early brains are formed is difficult to overcome. The fact is, if Washington had stood against the British landing at New York, with his bedraggled army of unproven amateurs – instead of smartly skedaddling across the river – there would have been no revolution. All that mythical nonsense would have remained in the Land of Myths.

 

The truth of the matter is, the Founders were not complete frauds. They were among the brightest men on earth, at a time when renewed brightness was sprouting all over the world. However, they were not as generous and fair-minded as reported. Basically, they were disloyal citizens of Great Britain, who conspired to commit the most treacherous act this side of regicide. That yearning for autonomy was well developed, of course. Foolishly, the Crown had allowed the colonies to govern themselves. It was just natural when this remote individual independence congealed into a united push against Papa. All that business about taxation and representation and becoming slaves to the Crown just meant that the leaders of these thirteen diverse populations of the hoi-polloi merely wanted to cut out the middleman and keep all the profits for themselves.

 

So, they took out their quills and scratched out a bill of charges against their royal liege. The traitorous indictment was preceded by a poetic pronouncement of personal rights. Although its poetry is accurate, it was specious as applied to their cause. As it turned out, their pleadings were meant only for themselves and their ilk.

 

Suppose the myth never had started? Suppose Washington's army had been destroyed in New York? Well, true to the lives and sacred honor allusion appearing in the postscript of the Declaration, those signatories duly would have been hanged. The next step would have been manumission. The British already had learned what a bulwark against sedition enslaved people could be. Lincoln's was not the first emancipation proclamation. In 1775, the British Governor of Virginia Colony issued an emancipation proclamation. Outraging both Patriot and Tory slave-owners, he soon had to take refuge aboard British ships, along with 300 former slaves.

 

 

mid 20th century map of territorial acquisitions within United States

 

Had the revolution died in its crib:

· Ostensibly, there would not have been a Confederacy, and its subsequent horrors.

· Actually, with a considerably different shape of map, Great Britain of North America probably would have had a more peaceful evolution than that experienced by the United States of America.

· The crown would be resting just as easily on our heads, as loyal subjects, as it does with current Brits.

· There probably would be just one ocean front; Mexico most likely would have retained all of its northwestern territory.

· Although he sorely needed the money, it is unlikely Napoleon would have sold the Louisiana Territory. Therefore, today's map area most likely would consist of a trifecta of Mexico, France and Great Britain.

· British territory likely would have extended quite far to the north.

· Without the Jacksonian eviction, the plaint of the original peoples of these lands, perhaps, might have been slightly less anguished.

· Alaska probably still would be retained by Russia.

· Cuba and Puerto Rico might still be Spanish outposts.

 

Contemplating what might have been, one at least has an alternative choice of myths. Here in the 21st century, the cynical and selfish intent of the Founders has flourished to the point where they could not possibly have imagined. Apart from our current president being the first mixed-race person to occupy the office, the next president most likely will be first in one of these descriptions:

· The first woman

· The first of Jewish heritage

· The first of Cuban extract

· The eldest

 

***** ***** *****

Two myths, out, abroad in the earth,

Said, "If 'twere not we, there'd be dearth.

"Sans Britain and Spain,

"There'd be much less pain.

"Let's give this New World a new birth!"

 

 

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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