Ode to Jefferson

As I was working on my DBQ by the light of the candles all around my desk, which I lit due to the lack of power in my house caused by the lovely Hurricane Sandy that Mother Nature bestowed upon us, I stopped for a moment and started to think: how had the Founding Fathers possibly done all they did under these conditions? I mean, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence without the aid of a single light bulb. James Madison wrote the Constitution the same way. Neither one “googled” anything or quickly typed up a draft in a Word document. Instead, they had to sit in the dark of the night by a candle, writing their work by hand with a quill pen. Also, some poor messenger had to get on his horse and gallop off with the document in hand to bring it anywhere the author needed it to go. The author could not just “forward” it on to anyone like we can. And could you imagine trying to gain support for any of the developing ideas or documents? Traveling from tavern to tavern, yelling the same thing over and over to people who might not even agree with you! Today, in 2012, school is closed for days because of lack of power (and because of fallen trees and bad roads, but that is besides the point). Due to this storm, I have gained newfound respect for the Founding Fathers and their accomplishments. Today, we are lucky enough in this country, for the most part, to have electricity at our disposal. I hope you all recognize this and maybe value the Founding Father that much more for what they did, because, at least to me, it is quite miraculous.

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6 Responses to Ode to Jefferson

  1. Mike says:

    I felt the same way trying to find my way around my house in the dark, thinking that back in the day people did this with candles in their hands. What we find unbearable now, was normal life back then.

  2. ageyelin2015 says:

    I agree that it was harder for them, but that extra difficulty is reflected in the amount of time it would take to get things done. For example, the Boston Massacre occurred after the Townshend Duties had been repealed, yet the news hadn’t reached America yet. Any correspondence between colonies, or between America and Britain, took months and sometimes caused confusion between the two sides.

  3. Josh says:

    I completely agree, I mean it was difficult just trying to read something under the candle light, and even without my phone to be in contact with others, survival would be less likely with me honestly. I’m extremely envious of the Founding Fathers and all they were capable of doing in the amount of sunlight they were given each day.

  4. AlexP says:

    I feel the same way as you Madison, still having not gotten my power back. I realize now, more than ever, how much I, and basically everyone around me, rely on electricity, more specifically, the internet. Also, adding onto Alex’s point, I want to think that American history might have changed had there been a method of faster communication. A lot happened, such as the Boston Massacre that really didn’t have to happen were there quicker ways of getting messages from point A to point B. However, I believe they didn’t really feel how we feel today during a time of crisis like now because they were never used to the luxuries of heat, the internet, computers, etc. Sometimes we take these things for granted and don’t even realize how lucky we are (using computers everyday, facebook, twitter, ect), which makes it harder for us to adjust the the conditions without it. However, they were used to doing things “manually”, and therefore did not struggle as much as we are today.

    • Dr. K says:

      Madison, I like the post. It’s always nice when our experience enables us to understand the past on a more personal level. AlexP,the point about communication is interesting. I still wonder, though: even with different communications, would the underlying problem still be there? It’s true that the Boston Massacre might not have happened. But with social media spreading ideas quickly (and not always accurate ideas), perhaps faster communication could have itself fostered new and different points of conflict. It’s really a variation on one of the big disputes in history: contingency (i.e., chance) vs. determinacy (i.e., it had to happen, sooner or later).

  5. Nicola says:

    I just got my power back today after not having it for a week. In that week with no power I realized how dependent we are on electricity and technology. Everything around us is electronic. I have a lot of newfound respect for everyone back then who did not have power. I realize how blessed we are to have the technology

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