Skip to comments.Our Forgotten Fallen, from an earlier war.
Posted on 05/28/2012 12:01:06 PM PDT by SES1066
Today is Memorial Day, once also known as Decoration Day, hallowed to honor our military dead. Started to honor our Civil War dead, it has been expanded to honor all of our military dead of the United States from the Revolutionary War on (1775 to present). Yet in doing so, we still leave some out unless we become more expansive yet and include the 10,000+ of an even earlier conflict.
I request those who read this, cast their minds back to a war that too many have forgotten but that forged an unbreakable mold upon our continent, "The French and Indian War" (1756-73). Known primarially today for being the setting for James Fenimore Cooper's famous novel, "The Last of the Mohicans", it is actually a local name for what could be called the 1st World-scope War that is known as the "Seven Years War" which had war occuring on 3 continents, Europe, Asia/India and North America.
Its importance to the future United States is that it removed France as a local power in North America, reduced the power of the American Indian Nations and, most surprisingly, transformed Great Britain from the father country to the uncaring and greedy bully nation of our Revolutionary War, a few years later. In terms of international import, it devestated France outside Europe; losing Canada & India along with the ability to counter British seapower. Britain, however, suffered as well, ending up in terrible financial state as this war exposed an economy totally incapable of managing a world empire.
As for our colonial ancestors here in the 13 Colonies, we went from relatively benign neglect by Britain to being perceived as a financial and resource burden that stubbornly refused to pay a "fair share" of the cost to upkeep. During and following this war, the lowly colonials learned that they were socially unfit to serve in the British Army as anything other than militia while their representatives, however knowledgeable or rich, had minimal to no standing in the government that controled them.
Paradoxically, even with these outcomes, key lessons and valuable laisons were made during this war. George Washington went from an eager-to-join junior British officer to an experienced veteran capable of handling an army retreating in defeat. The 13 British Colonies woke up to the fact that it was up to them to forge a common future rather than depending upon an empire-wide view originating from London.
So, on this MEMORIAL DAY, I call upon all to add to the list of honor, these forgotten patriots that, perhaps unknowingly, did so much to create our UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
[Note 1] The 10k+ casualty number is inclusive of Colonials, British and Iroquois Confederacy: Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, Tuscarora, Mohawk, Cayuga Nations.
Nice Memorial Day post SES.
In my experience, they still taught history in our schools. It was “Civics” they replaced with “Social Studies”.
Pre-colonial history treats the French/Indian war as being something that happened, but of little significance. It was a critical war in our nation’s founding - without it, George Washington wouldn’t have had the experience to lead our militias, and our militias would have been dreadfully unprepared to meet anyone on the field of battle.
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Thanks SES1066.I request those who read this, cast their minds back to a war that too many have forgotten but that forged an unbreakable mold upon our continent, "The French and Indian War" (1756-73).Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
“Pre-colonial history treats” the French/Indian war as being something that happened, but of little significance.
You mean the pre-colonial history taught to high-schoolers treats the French/Indian war as being something that happened, but of little significance?
Pretty much, a brief stop mentioning some French influence, the terrors of the English/Colonial attacks on peaceful Indian nations, and then it’s on to the Revolution. My daughter brought it up to me, as she was perplexed where the George Washington guy learned to run armies during the revolutionary war.
I actually had an ancestor that fought in the French & Indian War so I have been honoring those who fought for a number of years.
P.S. He was a frontier scout and died of a heart attack in 1756 while leading troops to the enemy (the French).
George Washington was very lucky in the French and Indian War--he could easily have been among those killed.