Blog Posts

History of Bastille Day: It’s Relation to the French Revolution

July 14, 2022 /
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eiffel towerHISTORY OF BASTILLE DAY

Each year on July 14, Bastille Day is celebrated to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in Paris on this date in 1789, an important date in the French Revolution.

Also known as French National Day, it features feasting, fireworks, public dancing, and an address by the French President.

ArcHowever, the center of this celebration is the largest and oldest European military parade along the Avenue of the Champs-Élysées. This wide boulevard runs through Paris and is called la plus belle avenue du monde. Lined by high-end shops and eateries, as well as the Arch of Triumph in the middle, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful avenue in the world I’ve walked along.

Bastille Day is celebrated across the globe wherever French ex-patriots, people of French ancestry, and Francophiles live.

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History of French Fries: Are They Really French?

July 13, 2022 /
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French FriesHISTORY OF FRENCH FRIES: NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY

Today is National French Fry Day. While no one knows who began this celebration, placing it on July 13 is significant because the important French holiday is the next day, July 14, for Bastille Day.

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History of John Calvin: The Genius of Geneva

July 10, 2022 /
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John CalvinHISTORY OF JOHN CALVIN

On July 10, 1509, in Noyon, France, Jean Cauvin was born. We know him by his Latinized name John Calvin.

Of all the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, none were more significant in forming biblical theology or ecclesiastic thought than this one man. Calvin’s teaching and tradition penetrated more of the world than any other Protestant tradition.

He would most influence the worldview of Western Europe, the UK, and the Americas up until the 20th century. His organization of the church government in Geneva would influence the church polity of Presbyterianism. His theology would influence the Congregational (Puritan) and German and Dutch Reformed Churches. Though they did not fellowship with Calvinistic churches, some Baptists and Unitarians often contained aspects of his theology.

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History of the American Experiment: A Democracy or A Republic?

July 4, 2022 /
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Self-government

HISTORY OF THE UNIQUE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: A DEMOCRACY OR A REPUBLIC?

Since 1776, our 246-year experiment with non-monarchical government is rather unique in history. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 officially ended the War of the American Revolution against the colonial power that had previously ruled us, Great Britain. King George III of Great Britain had the most powerful army and navy in the world, but the American Colonies threw off British control through several battles, starting in 1775.

Congress had authorized George Washington to create a Continental Army. In time, the American Revolutionary War would gain the country’s independence.

But was the country’s government going to be a democracy or a republic?

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History of Independence Day: Was the Declaration of Independence really signed on July 4, 1776?

July 4, 2022 /
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Declaration of IndependenceHISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE DAY

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, celebrates the adoption by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the severance of the allegiance of the American colonies to Great Britain. It is the most significant secular holiday in the United States, observed in all the states, territories, and dependencies.

Although it is assumed that the Continental Congress unanimously signed the document on the 4th of July, in fact, not all delegates were present, and there were no signers at all, contrary to the theatrical musical 1776.

Here is what actually happened. (more…)

History of Alexander Hamilton

July 3, 2022 /
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Alexander HamiltonHISTORY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON

Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity in recent years, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

What’s the real story behind this enigmatic Founding Father?

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History of James Madison

July 3, 2022 /
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James MadisonHISTORY OF JAMES MADISON

Among the Founding Fathers, James Madison has justly been called “the Father of the Constitution,” and one might think that the Constitution became active on July 5, 1776, but this is not how it happened.

The American Constitution didn’t go into effect until almost a decade and a half after the Declaration of Independence. How did this philosopher, diplomat, and Founding Father influence this?

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History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

July 2, 2022 /
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Ben FranklinHISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor.

He invented the glass harmonica in music, but he also invented the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia.

He did experiments in electricity and developed the lightning rod. He was considered:

America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical, though not most profound, political thinkers. — Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

 

Ben Franklin in America

Born on January 17, 1706 *, in Boston, he was one of the earliest and oldest of the American Founding Fathers. He served as a lobbyist to England, was first Ambassador to France, and has been called “The First American.”

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History of John Adams

July 2, 2022 /
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John AdamsHISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS

Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the creators of the Declaration of Independence.

 

John Adams and the Committee of Five

He was on the Committee of Five who wrote the Declaration of Independence. At the age of 40 he was more senior than the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson, but realized that Jefferson was the more eloquent writer.

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History of the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson

July 2, 2022 /
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Thomas JeffersonHISTORY OF THE 4th OF JULY: THOMAS JEFFERSON

Perhaps no one person is more associated with the 4th of July in American History than Thomas Jefferson, probably because it was his hand that penned the immortal Declaration of Independence.

As my friend Clay Jenkinson — who has been portraying Jefferson for over 20 years — says in his book Thomas Jefferson: The Man of Light:

“The Third President is the Muse of American life, the chief articulator of our national value system and our national self-identity. Jefferson was a man of almost unbelievable achievement: statesman, man of letters, architect, scientist, book collector, political strategist, and utopian visionary. But he is also a man of paradox: liberty-loving slaveholder, Indian-loving relocationist, publicly frugal and privately bankrupt, a constitutional conservative who bought the Louisiana Territory in 1803.”

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History of Canada Day

July 1, 2022 /
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Canada FlagHISTORY OF CANADA DAY

As the U.S. will soon celebrate its Independence Day, Canadians have a celebration of their own. Canada Day (Fête du Canada) marks the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when the three independent colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, were united into a single dominion.

The British North American Act, known today as the Constitution Act, officially confederated Canada on that date. While it was still a subject of the British Empire, Dominion Day, as it was originally called (or Le Jour de la Confederation in French) marked this new beginning. It was renamed to Canada Day in 1982.

 

Canada Day: Birthday of Canada?

Canada Day is called “the birthday of Canada” but differs from the U.S. holiday. It did not become separate from the British Empire until 1982, when it gained complete independence with the Constitution Act of 1982. And they didn’t have to fight a Revolutionary War.

Canada still enjoys its status in the British Commonwealth as a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with the British Queen as head of state. So they get a Queen and live in the New World, something that the U.S. envies. We have created in her place a synthetic royalty: Hollywood movie stars.

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History of July: Where Do We Get That Name?

July 1, 2022 /
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July

Gaius Julius Caesar

HISTORY OF JULY

July was renamed for Julius Caesar, who was born that month. Before that, it was called Quintilis in Latin, meaning the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar. But Marc Anthony changed the name to July after Caesar’s assassination. This was before January became the first month of the calendar year, either under ancient rulers Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman historians differ). We currently use the more contemporary Gregorian calendar — recent, as in since AD 1582. It uses Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord,” counting from the birth of Jesus. As we’ve previously discussed, in this calendar curiously, Jesus was born 4 to 6 years BC or “Before Christ.”

 

Calendar and Julius

July

Julian calendar in stone

The Gregorian calendar was a reform of the Julian calendar, which was a reform of the previous Roman calendar.

Julius Caesar himself introduced the Julian Calendar in 46 BC, where he added 67 additional days by putting two intercalary months between November and December, He probably did this after returning from an African military campaign in late Quntilis (July), according to Cicero. This took care of some of the leap year problems.

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