Funding Fathers

Flew to Williamsburg, Virginia area recently and toured the historic sites of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
Overall, my impressions are:

1. It’s a good thing the Rockefellers weren’t paying a lot of taxes back in the 1930s, because they ended up donating $68 million to rebuild Colonial Williamsburg from the ground up.  It is impressive what the private sector can do when it wants to. Almost nothing was there until the Bruton Parish pastor passed his dream on to John Rockefeller (the son), who financed this huge project.

2. My history teachers did a very poor job. Granted they didn’t have much to work with, but still, I didn’t learn much about history until I started reading after getting out of school.
I have never been able to figure out why the Colonists started the Revolution over some taxes. Well, they didn’t. After being pushed around by the king attempting to force his will on them without a say in the matter, they finally had enough. Although the Stamp Tax was repealed after a year and it was a while before we actually started shooting each other, the years of being told what to do with no representation finally pushed them over the edge, helped along by Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” pamphlet.

Kind of the way things happen today.

3. People must have really wanted to get out of England to ride for four months in the damp dark closed holds of the little ships that sailed to the New World. Standing on the decks of the replicas and trying to imagine being tossed around in the stormy Atlantic, only to come to Jamestown and have two thirds of the population die within the first year is some serious determination.

4. We have the same problems now that we did then. The royal governor was living in the palace while 95% of the population were farmers living in dirt floor homes.

We have an elite few making the rules (which don’t apply to them) while the rest of us often feel we have little say in how we are governed. They make the rules; we provide the funds. Like the joke says, taxation with representation isn’t that great either. Maybe it’s time for a little more Revolution. But I’m not dumping any tea! I like my tea the British way and the Southern American way too!

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