Long before the “I’ve been in, what, 57 states?” gaffe by then Senator Obama, the educational system in the United States was in trouble. According to a number of “reliable” young people on Twitter, our great land is turning 2014 years old today. OMG!
Southerners have a different “take” on the War of Northern Aggression, i.e. the Civil War, and universities like to bicker over which technically was the first public university in the U.S. (South Carolina or Georgia?) It would seem unfathomable, however, that matters of months or perspective on those matters could turn into absolute ignorance just a century and a half later. Do these young tweeters actually think the founding of our nation split time in half (B.C. to A.D.)? Let’s be clear, that was Christ. George Washington was a good man, but let’s not over state his significance.
Here we will have a history lesson, then. The United States of America was firmly established through the Declaration of Independence (from England and the King, not Canada or Mexico) in 1776, on July 4th. Colonies became states and after much debate, determined to become a brand new nation, the United States of America. Our country was supposed to be a loosely allied federation of states and the Continental Congress effectively carried out the duties of government while the Governors of each of the “several states” managed their own affairs.
After the revolutionary war, much effort was put into agreeing that the U.S.A. would have three co-equal branches of government, a bi-cameral legislature, and nine justices in the Supreme Court. The Constitution was fully ratified in 1788 and George Washington was named the first President in 1789. We have grown from 13 to 50, not 57, states and had 44 Presidents in the 238 years we have been a nation. Happy 238th birthday America!
In a very concise nutshell, that is America’s tale. The educational system, however, is not so easy to correct. “Fair”, “inclusive”, “equal outcome” producing means of learning have replaced the simple reading, writing, and arithmetic that made us so successful in the first place. Perhaps it is time to go “old school”. What’s the worst than can happen? Kids might know the U.S. isn’t over two millennia in the making?