Tuesday, July 4

Not Our Independence Day

A diorama depicting a battle in the Revolutionary War.
"The American Revolution is celebrated by many as liberal democracy’s inaugural triumph, a conflict that, in Lincoln’s words, 'brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.' This romantic narrative of the revolution still enjoys tremendous political currency, as the Right continues to deploy the memory of the Revolutionary War in the service of its agendas, from Tea Party tax paranoia to accusations of bureaucratic tyranny. More than anything, the American Revolution is celebrated as confirmation of American exceptionalism — a moral, political, and military victory so absolute that it justifies (and indeed mandates) two hundred years of American expansion across the globe. ..."