Wednesday, October 2, 2013
History Repeating Itself?
A few days ago at supper Caitlin and I were talking about Obamacare, the government spending battle, and the looming government shutdown. A little while into the conversation Evan asked, "Is that kind of like the Stamp Act?" He ran to get the the book about Benjamin Franklin that he has lately been reading and turned to the middle of the book:
Most Americans did not want to pay the new taxes. They wrote angry letters to the English government.
I told him that yes, it appeared there were some similarities. A king, or in our case a President, imposes an unpopular measure on the populace, resulting in great unrest and resistance. But further reading revealed that the similarities extend only so far:
Franklin agreed with the letters. He felt Americans should be free to make their own taxes. He worked hard against the Stamp Act.
The English decided they would have to listen to the Americans. They called a meeting. And they asked Benjamin Franklin to tell the American side of the story.
Franklin told the English that the Americans would never pay the new tax. He told them that the Americans would fight before they would pay it.
The English believed him. A few days later the government stopped the hated Stamp Act.
When the news got to America, there was great excitement. People cheered. Church bells rang out. Everyone knew what Franklin had done. He was a hero.