Monday, October 1, 2012

History: Same Old Refrain

Of course the Brethren have heard it all before. Pauline gets her knickers in a twist every now and then and goes off about the Battle of New Orleans. On and on about how it wasn't an unnecessary battle, how the Treaty of Ghent meant nothing at the time as it had not been ratified by both parties, how for a "war won by Canada" it sure seemed like General Jackson and his back woods rabble gave the British a sound whipping on January 8, 1815. And do not ask about her ancestors for all love!

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


Timmy! said...

Great post. Rant on, Pauline!

Pauline said...

It all comes to a head sometimes, that "righteous anger." The whole Saints thing doesn't help either :( Grrr!

Blue Lou Logan said...

You need your button issues. Random example, Fr Junipero Serra, responsible for the corraling, enslaving, brainwashing, and eliminating Native American culture in California...and thus worthy of beatification???

Or Leonard Peltier: Haven't all the evidence and testimony indicated that he had no means and no motive to kill the FBI agents on Pine Ridge?

Rant on. Mental bonking of dumbass heads is sometimes the only way to give the message even an entry into their truth.

Pauline said...

Thankee, brother.

Those are both very good point, Lou. I'm am particularly offended by the idea of sainthood for someone like Father Serra. He wouldn't be the first in that line, though, by any means.

I was gratified to hear that my daughter's 10th grade class, who is studying the War of 1812 right now, is not hearing this myth. Not that Brigit wouldn't speak up as she has in the past. Of course, not every class will have a descendant of Renato Beluche in it so I'm relieved :)