Sometimes being a history major is rough, let me tell you! People expect you to always know everything about any history, and when you can’t give an answer, they question the validity of your degree.
Recently, (on the Fourth of July to be exact) I was asked about why America didn’t have a mythology to it. After this person became annoyed by my stating that native peoples did have their own mythologies, so I offered that our folk tales of Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, and John Henry were all evidence of a thriving American mythology. They still weren’t satisfied! Can you believe that dear reader? Actually, on second thought, you don’t need to answer that question.
So, what could I do? Here I had an inquisitive mind, wondering about this country’s origins, and they were not accepting my answers! So, I made something up.
“You make something up, Eric? I’m aghast!” You coyly remark.
Not that I don’t appreciate your sarcasm, dear reader, but this is actually a serious issue! So, I present to you my creation myth for the modern, American patriot:
In the beginning, in 1776, the Great Liberty Eagle flew over the waters, but it could not land, for as of yet there was no land. The Eagle then laid the Freedom Egg into the waters, which upon hatching became the continent of the United States of America – from this land came all others, and the other lands went out to fill the earth.
However, the Great Liberty Eagle was sad, for there was no one else to agree with its democratic ideals, and in it’s sadness, it cried a tear that landed upon the great continent of the United States of America. The tear planted itself into the fertile earth, and a cherry tree grew from it. The tree bore two great cherries, which both bore a George. The first son of the cherry tree was George Washington, and the second King George III. King George III in his evil heart wanted to control the entire world, and so he departed from the fair land of the United States of America, leaving George Washington alone on the continent.
Seeing that the cherry tree could bear both good and evil, George Washington smote the tree with axe and fell it thus. In this he forever declared himself a self-made man and set out to make his own destiny (which was manifest – of course).
George Washington sowed the values of the Great Freedom Eagle into the bountiful soil of the United States of America and they created 13 Colonies, populated men and women and slaves (which George Washington and his son, Abraham Lincoln would later free). Of these thirteen colonies, George Washington elected 13 rulers: Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and his brother Samuel, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Paul Revere, William Whipple, John Penn, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, John Marshal, Casimir Pulaski, and Benedict Arnold (who betrayed him).
With these thirteen rulers, George Washington sought to bring peace, freedom, liberty, and the right to own land to the rest of the world. However, his brother, the tyrant King George III longed to enslave all free men, and thus decided to conquer the Chinese with opium and the Americans with tea.
George Washington, disguising himself as a savage, thwarted the English attempt to bring tea to the United States of America by thrusting the tea deep within the Boston harbor.
King George III became furious with his brother and sent his agents of evil to subjugate the free, American peoples. The English donned coats of blood to show the horrors they would commit against the Americans.
However, the Americans easily began to drive back their adversaries until the once noble Benedict Arnold turned on George Washington by sowing taxation without representation into the United States of America’s soil.
Fortunately George Washington was not thwarted by the efforts of his wayward compatriot. And so George Washington rode stalwartly into battle and slew both the traitor Benedict Arnold and his despicable kin, King George III.
Thus the United States of America created an era of world peace founded upon its democratic values.
With liberty and justice for all!