By Paul Hogan
OMG! Almost two months of 2019 is already gone, gone, gone. My mind sharply focuses that I had better start working on my New Year’s resolutions.
My mind un-focus’s and asks, what should I write about?
The first thought is always about me, and of course, my birthday is in July and my son’s birthday and many, many family members friends and clients and if I write about that I’ll surely leave someone out and with my tender feelings I certainly don’t want anybody mad at me. Birthdays are out
Second unfocused thought is again about me (do you see a trend?) when I was a kid and it was hot in July and a great treat was going to Sandy Beach or to Meadowlark Beach. A not so great treat was having a broken arm in a cast, one of those big ‘ole heavy plaster jobs, going from my wrist up past my elbow in the summer heat in Kansas. I fell off a horse when the cinch broke and rode 30 miles into Wichita with the makeshift split in an Austin Healey Sprite. I remember feeling every bump in the road. Nah, hot, broken arm, bummer, downer story.
Yea! the Fourth of July, focused thought – my passion: History. I am reading the book Hamilton which the hit Broadway play is based on. So, we all know we rebelled against British rule, the king of England etc. But did you know that a couple of the major problems that arose during the war were, one, reliance upon the various states to provide soldiers and money to fund an army, food, clothing, munitions etc.
As a matter of fact, this was handled so badly during the war that in one of the final winters 12,000 soldiers died from illness mostly due to a lack of nutrition needed to fight common illnesses. Of course, with this kind of loss of citizen soldiers, it affected the ability of Gen. Washington to plan any type of resistance. We all know how the war turned out and with the help of France we defeated the British and they left our shores. Thank god we were not left by ourselves solely dependent on individual states.
After the war, the citizenry wanted absolutely nothing to do with replacing one King, King George the third, with another king, King George Washington, which some thought was a good idea. There was also an extreme aversion because of British rule to any type of taxation especially by a strong central government. However those that were actively involved in the war such as George Washington, who did not return home one time during the five years of the war, and Alexander Hamilton and others, saw the need to have union among the states, a standing army and a means of funding the same – fair taxation amongst all.
With all this in mind, what happened next was that neighboring states then began a trade war and a tax war on each other, and on top of that, began issuing their own currency. It was chaos with a real fear of mob rule and anarchy. Fast-forward – Washington, Hamilton, James Madison, and other forward-thinking leaders, eventually were able to obtain a consensus of thought and formed a union of states.
Now, after having written a Declaration of Independence with stirring words of freedom, the worst sin of the union of the states, because of the fear of disunion, was to compromise with the southern states over the issue of slavery. This became an ongoing 90-year source of friction between the states which eventually led to “Bleeding Kansas” where the war over slavery essentially began some four years before the start of the actual Civil War. Our state, Kansas, was found upon the principles that the founding fathers of our country wrote about when they stated,
“. . . we find these truths to be self-evident . . . that all men are created equal . . . pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.”
Incidentally, before the Civil War, we were referred to by others and ourselves as “these” United States. After that bloody conflict, we became “the United States”. How cool.