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America The Great-The ironies and historical contradictions

America has always represented some of the best qualities of human nature but the set that has impressed me most is the raw courage the early settlers fearlesly displayed when confronting the overwhelming might of the British Empire. The odds were clearly stacked against them but it was their belief in self-some would say narcissistic- that allowed them to forge an unpredictable victory and alter the course of history. It must be remebered that it took a very specific type of man to leave his home and then engage in full warfare in a newly colonised land with no certainity of success. The early settlers had a strong religious foundation and it was this cohesion of spiritual energy that led to the ignominious and humiliating defeat of the British. It can with certainity be stated that the revolutionaries were men of courage, forsight and a committemt to a free republic.

That was approximately 250 years ago, a blip on the radar of time, and in that blip many things have changed in American society both good and bad. It must be said one of the most brilliant moves was the drafting of the US Constitution which at the very least gave s starting point to the birth of the country, and a map it could reasonably follow. It would have been highly informative to know what was in the minds of the men who drafted the document, their intent, their hopes and their concerns.

As time passed and memories faded the birth of America became a holiday characterised by elaborate firework displays, but what has always struck me is the direction in whch the modern American character has shifted. Understandably the acquisition of power and material welath will soften a people causing then to rapidly forget the events that led to the formation of their country.

LIfe reflects history while history predicts life. This statement of an interesting time/event feedback loop can be used to help explain some of the unpredictable events of modern American history and the development of their people. The man who sailed over the Atlantic from Britian in the 1600s is not the same man who flys regularly between London and New York. As American society has softened with fewer immeditate gardships for its citizens so has the psyche of the people, most of whom have little idea of the hardships their forefathers endured.

Consumerism has colonised America and the upcoming Thanksgiving day celebration, whose intent is pure, has been hijacked for purely monetary gain. This I am sure was not the vision the initial settlers had in mind, and the fact that the youth of today view Thanksgiving as just another opportunity to fill their gadget drawers, leads one to believe that worse is yet to come. The competitive global marketplace is a tough place to thrive and as the smart young Indian and Chinese children flood out over their borders colonising every rich tech valley with their superior intellectual skills, it would be prudent for American students to take note and act before they lose the wonderful gift of America, earned in blood and donated with a constitutionality map.

What more could any child ask for ?

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