By the 14th century, the rise of commerce had generated a middle class and folks began questioning the tired dogmas handed down during the dark ages. The later part of the century marked the beginning of world exploration. But more importantly, this "Age of Enlightenment" began with a welcoming of thinkers and greater openness to new ideas. For the next two hundred and fifty years history witnessed progress in the sciences, reformation and break away from the papal church and, most important, the re-birth of philosophical thought about how governments and society should work.
John Locke and Rousseau and a host of great thinkers began espousing greater personal and religious freedom. Literature and the sciences and political thought flourished. Gutenberg's invention of the printing press afforded widespread flowering of these ideas. Yet, no one group were able to break out of the centuries old chaos and internecine warfare among the European nations.
Enter Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Madison, Thomas Paine and other revolutionary thinkers in the new land of America. All were well educated and has studied these great social philosophers and when the time came to break from the British our country's founders wisely decided to put into practice a whole new form of government; one in which power was invested in the people. No more despots, no more Kings.
The first indication of something great birthing was the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, as principal author, clearly drew on the startling new idea that personal freedom was a God-given right to every man.
Once we won the war, and recognizing that our original charter, the Articles of Confederation, was insufficient to a strong republic, James Madison authored our great constitution, setting forth legal written guarantees of personal freedoms.
And now, 230 odd years later we Americans fall back on that same Constitution written so well and so long ago. It was imperfect; it did not give blacks their freedom and we would have to wait another 150 years to grant the vote to women, but there has never been a more divine document. This Constitution, and this republic was the first on earth to grant and guarantee such freedoms.
The odds against the formation of this type of government was astronomical...was it an accident? Our founders said this nation was founded by the grace of God.
Today, like the mighty Roman empire before us, our nation's ability to survive as a thriving democratic republic is under siege. And far too many Americans are too damn ignorant of our history, are too damn lazy to be active and productive citizens. The rise of the "give me" generation, the breakdown of the American family, the invasion of our country by 20 million illegals happens while our citizens and our government sits on their heels.
It is so true that those who fail to study the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them. America needs a re-birth of it's citizenry. Americans need to wake up before it is all gone.
Based on what I've seen it doesn't look good. Folks are more concerned with the latest rap music or the latest celebrity gossip or who's got the latest high tech device than they are about their country. Sad.