Monday, October 1, 2012
History: Same Old Refrain
Nothing sticks in my craw quite like the myth of the "unnecessary" battle on Chalmette plane. It really gets me when I hear - again and again - that this is what we're teaching young Americans even as I type. No mention of the hardships visited on New Orleans and her people and surely no mention of the British battle cry for this obnoxious invasion: Beauty and Booty! A lovely English euphemism for rape and pillage. Let's just sweep that under the rug while Pauline rants on.
Well, for a change, I'm not the only one. This post over at History Myths Debunked does a wonderful job of busting the Battle of New Orleans myth. Mary, in her inimitably thorough style, even goes so far as to quote Article 2 of the Treaty which is then expanded on by commenter Bob Huddleston. As Bob notes, New Orleans and her surrounding waters were actually "fair game", militarily speaking, for the British until March of 1815.
Click over and read this succinct post and then, for the love of our ancestors U.S. teachers, stop telling your kids that the Battle of New Orleans didn't mean anything. It was our last stand against Britain and if Jackson and his men had failed, the United States as we know it would not exist today. It was that big a deal.
Header: Battle of New Orleans by Victor Nehlig via American Gallery