I started my next class, American Foundations, two weeks ago. I thought that I might have a head start because I have been studying the Constitution and American government for nine years. However, I learned different when I took the pre-test for the class and received a grade of C. I obviously do not know – or do not remember – a lot about American history.
One of the first things that I came to understand is that Benjamin Franklin had earned a fortune in the printing world of colonial times but had grown tired of living the colonial life. He moved to London and had a love affair with all things British. His feelings for England began to sour when he noticed the difference in the living conditions between the wealthy land owners and the poor people who did not have property. He remembered the colonists in America where most men owned land and a home and had plenty of food and sturdy clothing. He recognized that there were many good things about America even without all the frills.
I learned how the rebels in Massachusetts seemed to lead the revolution. The Sons of Liberty organization was born in Massachusetts. The Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party both took place because of the rebels in Massachusetts. It was Thomas Hutchinson, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, who laid the groundwork for the Revolutionary War. When the radical colonists in Massachusetts started to protest the new taxes set by Parliament, Hutchinson feared that mobs would take over the colony. He secretly sent a letter to a friend in Parliament requesting British military to come to America.
I have been reminded that the Constitution of the United States is an inspired document and was written by wise men who were raised up by God for that very purpose. I was also reminded that not every line and word in the Constitution is inspired, but it does contain certain inspired principles. Some of these principles are: the rule of law, a bill of rights, popular sovereignty (the will of the people), separation of the powers of the federal government (executive, legislative, and judicial), federalism or the division of powers between federal government and state government, and the process written right into the Constitution of how to amend the Constitution.
I expect that I will learn a great deal more about American history and how our government came to be. I also expect to learn more about how the Constitution was written and how we have been able to maintain it. I look forward to learning many more important things about my native country.