A Post for the Fourth of July in Georgia, 2019

Those of you who follow this blog know that I have a fondness for “annual” posts.  One of my favorite holidays is Independence Day, because it gives me a chance to assess how the nation’s seminal holiday has been celebrated in the state of Georgia since the end of the American Revolution.  As you’ll see, Georgians in the late eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries commemorated the nation’s founding in at least some ways that remain familiar to modern Americans.

Yet, in today’s unfortunately “Trump-Centric” universe, it looks like we’re on our way to celebrating the nation’s “independence” by aping the methods of the old Soviet Union,  where, on May Day, military units and the latest military weapons were paraded before the [government-] assembled masses.  During those celebrations, Soviet media outlets offered comments already approved by the government; non-Russian observers merely speculated on what the “lineup” of Soviet government officials suggested about who was “in” and who was “out.”

But, let’s take a collective deep breath and return to the state of Georgia two centuries or so ago, when the country was new, and look at how the notion of national independence was celebrated, over several decades:


I trust that you and yours will enjoy the Fourth, in whatever way you choose to celebrate it.  That seems to me to be the essence of “Independence Day” in the twenty first-century United States–and long may it wave! (Although it probably goes without saying that those of you with small children should studiously avoid replicating most of the activities highlighted in this post!)

* * * * * *

For those interested in reading more of my reflections on history, here are links to my books on the subject:

REABP CoverRancorous Enmities and Blind Partialities:  Parties and Factions in Georgia, 1807-1845 (University Press of America, 2015)

Pursuit Cover

In Pursuit of Dead Georgians:  One Historian’s Excursions into the History of His Adopted State (iUniverse, 2015)

Politics on the Periphery:  Factions and Parties in Georgia, 1783-1806 (University of Delaware Press, 1986)

About georgelamplugh

I retired in 2010 after nearly four decades of teaching History at the "prep school" level with a PhD. My new "job" was to finish the book manuscript I'd been working on, in summers only, since 1996. As things turned out, not only did I complete that book, but I also put together a collection of my essays--published and unpublished--on Georgia history. Both volumes were published in the summer of 2015. I continue to work on other writing projects, including a collection of essays on the Blues and, of course, my blog.
This entry was posted in 4th of July, American History, Current Events, History, Popular Culture, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Post for the Fourth of July in Georgia, 2019

  1. gajoe42 says:

    So revealing-like Roman Emperors sponsoring the murderous public entertainments in the Roman coliseum.

    • Bruce Birdsey says:

      Hello, Joe — No murder going on today in DC that I know of. Hyperbole can be fun but also rancorous. … Just saw a headline (AP) about 40+ people killed by an airstrike (intentional or otherwise) on a Libyan detention center for migrants. “It refocused attention and raised questions about the European Union’s policy of cooperating with the militias that hold immigrants in crowded and squalid detention centers to prevent them from crossing the Mediterranean …” It’s a messy world.
      Bruce Birdsey, like you a friend of George

  2. Indeed! And some modern “emperors” still seem to desire to wear a toga, despite changes in male fashions in the past two thousand years. . . .

  3. admiral17(RB) says:

    Happy 4th, Boss. Keep ’em comin’.

  4. Thanks, Rick! I plan to keep ’em comin’ ’til I can’t anymore, whenever that is! Loved your take on RJ’s Blues anthem today on “The Past is Not Past”–I left a comment.

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