Your Opinion: Today’s squabbles in context of history
Monday, April 1, 2013
Among the elites of the Roman Empire, the average age at death was 37. For the common man 26-31. The average soldier was 5’ 4” and dead by age 20.
Except for perhaps the last 200 years, the history of Western Civilization has been a barbaric, relentless horror show. Dynastic, territorial, religious, and ethnic wars; chaos, destruction, famine and plagues.
The population in Europe, from 500-1450 AD grew from 17.5-50 million. A large family was the standard method of ensuring familial survival. Then farming improvements were discovered and the aggregate survival rates caused the population to overwhelm the food supply. Starvation became the black plague of the times.
Private charity had always provided a tiny safety net for the poor and the disabled, but as starving infants piled up on church doors, the church began building orphan homes. Droughts, epidemics and famine during the late 17th and early 18th centuries ravaged the populations, and so called hospitals, poor-houses and charity schools began to appear, mostly due to church efforts, but also thanks to sympathetic elites and governments.
The Age of Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation had begun. The greatest scientist, thinkers and political philosophers the world had ever known entered the scene; Voltaire, Rousseau, Smith, Locke, and many other across France, Italy, Germany, England, the Baltic States. It was in this context that our Founding Fathers took very risky action; well-educated, capable, informed Christians of wisdom and stature who calculated a complete break from England’s tyranny as the only viable option for the 13 infant states. The Constitution was four hand-written pages long. It acknowledged God’s primacy, A Bill of Rights, a federation of states, and to the common man, rule over the government.
Prior to 1790, immigration to the New World was 1.4 million. From 1820 to 1940, 38 million. France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the United States on July 4, 1884. The new world had indeed become the “last best hope of mankind.”
Today’s squabbles between the Democratic and Republican parties are smoke and mirrors. The real battle lines are between those that wish to return to the Constitution, based on its constructs and success over the last 200-plus years; and the Utopians, who deny God’s primacy and dream of an omnipotent rational government as the creator of subservient mans’ moral compass, character, status and place in society.
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