What, really, did we celebrate Friday

Note: Most newspaper content reprinted here is incomplete and delayed. Want it all? Sooner? You can subscribe to our full print and online editions by calling (559) 674-4207 and get both editions for the price of one!

webmaster | 07/05/14
Author(s): 

As we pick up the remnants of fireworks in the streets from yesterday’s celebration of the Fourth of July, we should be mindful that we are remembering the Declaration of Independence, a message to Great Britain that the American colonies, which were to become the United States of America, were initiating war against the mother country.

Indeed, until the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in 1949, the history of the western world (and probably most of the rest of the globe) had been an almost uninterrupted succession of wars. The “Declaration” was, in fact, a statement that the colonies were rebelling against Great Britain because of taxes that were imposed to help pay off war debts incurred by the European empire during the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763, with various beginning and ending dates depending on perspective).

Some historians (Oswald Spengler, for example) refer to the Seven Years’ War as the first real “World War” because it was a compilation of several interconnected wars with a number of countries switching alliances along the way. In India, it was known as the Third Carnatic War (1757-1763); in central Europe, the Third Silesian War (1756-1763); in northern Europe, the Pomeranian War (1757-1762); and so forth.

Most of the wars concluded with the Treaty of Paris (France, Spain, and Great Britain) and the Treaty of Hubertusburg (Saxony, Austria, and Prussia) in 1763. In all, between 900,000 and 1.4 million people died during the battles...

 

comments powered by Disqus