Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Brief History of the Revolution

So you think you know what moved America from being a British outpost to being a nation in its own right? Check your facts against our Highly Selective Satirical History. And remember, more good revolutions are won with the pen than with the sword.

1754-63 The French and Indian War. England and France have been at war for 1200 years, but this time they got smart and decided not to fight it on their own soils. A young George Washington is less than stellar in this series of bloody skirmishes.

1760 King George III crowned. Just because you’re born in a royal bed doesn’t mean you’ve got good sense. He wound up talking to trees.

1765 The Stamp Act and the Quartering Act piss off the colonies. Quartering is particularly abominable, because nobody wants a houseful of rambunctious, hungry soldiers . . .

1768 . . . who arrive in Boston because Parliament has heard that its taxes are unpopular . . .

1770 . . . and kill people because they don't have anything else to do. The Boston Massacre is proof that armies need to be kept busy, or they'll get into trouble.

1773 The Sons of Liberty throw tea in Boston Harbor as a gesture of defiance. People start drinking bergamot tea, which is a gesture of gastronomic stupidity.

1774 First Continental Congress meets, and meets, and meets.

1775 The Second Continental Congress meets and eventually adopts the Declaration of Independence, which is Thomas Jefferson sounding more like John Locke than John Locke. War breaks out, more or less.

1778 The French, seeing an opportunity to REALLY get even with England over the whole F&I war, support the rebellion, pretty much guaranteeing a win.

1781 Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, stunning the British, who declared early that it would all be over by teatime, Christmas at the latest.

1783 The Treaty of Paris – America is a nation, and Britain is broke.

1787 The Constitutional Convention finally creates a government. For several years, we were running on adrenaline, apparently.
And these uniforms don't look silly at all. As a matter of fact, the red ones are just perfect for fighting in a wilderness setting.
The writers of the Revolution -- Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine -- were men of passionate rhetoric and (except for Paine) remarkable intelligence and diplomacy.
The post-revolutionary writers, architects of the new government -- James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton -- were a lot duller, but necessary. If Thomas Paine wrote the constitution, Ron Paul would have been canonized by now.


  1. Haha, this was fun to read, maybe i will actually remember this stuff now! The picture would have to be one of my favorite parts. They should have laid down their pride for their country in order to get some more sensible uniforms.


  3. Well, young Ms. Hanks, he's certainly NOT Mr. Jefferson. [towards whom you're required to genuflect 3 times when you read this]

    What's got you all riled up? Have Pres. Madison as Government instructor your Junior year, did you?

  4. HA! it's the sad sad sad JMU inferiority complex... We don't even get the interesting president associated with our school.

    On the other hand, I also don't think I've ever heard anyone just come out and say Thomas Paine was not an intellectual heavyweight. I did not know that.

  5. Paine was an inspiring articulator of other people's thoughts. He digested Jefferson and made him accessible, but propaganda is not the same as philosophy, no matter how patriotic it is. That's a distinction that we would do well to remember.