Several months ago we rented a great movie with Jeff Daniels playing George Washington called The Crossing, an A&E movie, rent it! It was about a leader totally on the edge, with a rag tag team of hungry, freezing cold farmers, some without shoes, facing huge odds against well fed, well trained, mercenary Hessian (German soldiers hired by the British) and British soldiers in their protected fort and town.
It’s a story of Faith and George’s belief in God, and he called upon Him to provide an answer as it was possibly a last desperate attempt to put together a republic, his own country, free from the kings rule, laws without representation, and of course, taxes. I was truly amazed at just how close this country was to not surviving! They had just suffered defeats in New York and many were leaving the army, heading home, tired, cold, hungry in defeat. Our Benjamin Franklin was in France trying to win badly needed military and financial support to fight the large numbers of well trained British soldiers, which he barely secured.
The brilliant Christmas night attack in 1776 was so well timed, that instead of surely losing this battle against all odds, they quietly crossed the Delaware river early in the pre dawn morning while it was cold and snowing. George’s men were low on powder and musketballs. But the Hessians and British believed the weather would prevent the colonials from an attack at this time (there’s also a rumor that they drank heavily Christmas night and may have not been ready to defend).
Now check this out… the colonials under General George Washington never lost a single man in this dawn attack! 2 men died en route. Future President James Monroe suffered a bad wound to the shoulder and survived. Many Hessians were killed but nearly a thousand were taken prisoner! The colonial army now had fresh supplies, were well fed, clothed for the cold, and very well armed!
News of this traveled fast across the land. People were rushing to join George’s army and defend the newly proclaimed republic! This single event in our history may have turned the tide and secured this country.
I had read some of this in history, saw the History Channel on Benjamin Franklin, but not until I saw this movie did I understand how close a call this really was, and it was thanks to George’s Faith as he gave Thanks to God for this victory in speeches and letters.
During the next 75 years this new nation struggled with human rights issues of slavery and the American Indians. The slavery issue helped divide this nation and another close call for this republic.
We watch other nations today struggle for democracy or human rights under govt oppression. Well, in the 1860’s is when we went through it! Under then President Abraham Lincoln nearly a million Americans died in hard fought battles, for freedom, human rights, and an Indivisible US.
Even today, many countries are still way behind in the way they treat other races, cultures, women and they have their battles to come, Iraq is currently in their struggle for democracy, where instead of a dictator (Saddam) deciding who gets what, it is voted on by the people (representation like what we fought for) so they may all have the ability to thrive and share the wealth! We entered Iraq again in 2003 because Saddam was believed to have weapons of mass destruction and was harboring al queda. He did authorize the use of chemicals in the ‘80’s against the Kurds killing tens of thousands in the north, he was found later in 2003 and hung in 2006 for his involvement in the killing of 148 Shiites.
The internet today allows especially the younger generations to see how others live compared to themselves under oppression. This WILL facilitate in the so called Arab Spring as they also watch a new democracy come to life in Iraq, and their people thrive with a new near limitless wealth, not stolen by a crazy dictator.
Basically, if a country has a single ruler and no division of the 3 main branches of government, they’re going to change from within at some point. Imagine North Korea, it’s people are mostly peace loving and want what we all want, freedom from oppression and happiness. However, they have a bizarre old school leadership with tight controls on everything to do with freedom, and their people live in fear, poverty. If they had a democratic govt run with checks and balances, their people would immediately embrace their “enemies” (created by their current govt), peace and prosperity would reign for their people. Look at South Korea, same race, an overall educated, moral, disciplined peace loving people.
Next blog will talk about how our nation was founded on Christian principles and why it worked so well! Till then, God Bless,