What Makes America Exceptional

According to Larry Schweikart

A while back, I took notes on a speech by Larry Schweikart. This is what I wrote down.

4 Pillars —You find all four of these at Plymouth, MA with the Pilgrims

  1. A Christian, mostly Protestant religious tradition, where control is bottom up. That is, from the congregation, up. (England was top, down with Anglican Catholic.) No other country has set up their government like America. 
  2. Common law — God puts common law into the hearts of people and people elect leaders to reflect that. Which is totally different than divine right of kings, or what came with Napoleon and civil law 
  3. Private property with written title and deeds — woven into the Articles of Confederation which Larry believes the laws there are more important than the ones written in the Constitution.
  4. Free market economy — which made it possible for Jamestown and Plymouth to survive. 

First Thanksgiving — there were several Thanksgivings in both Plymouth and Jamestown before the official announcement from the Governor in Plymouth of the Thanksgiving holiday. The reason Larry likes to say the official Thanksgiving was in Plymouth and not Jamestown is Jamestown did not have a Protestant religion, nor common law. They were directed by England and the king. Both colonies had deeds and property titles. And both eventually had a free market. What makes Plymouth special is that it had all 4 pillars from the start. 1630 Plymouth created a grinding mill. People had to work the mill and be paid in grain. They could no longer be farmers themselves. 

What the two colonies had in common was that they starved. 

The pilgrims got kicked out of England. First they went to Holland. When they came to England half of them weren’t pilgrims. Called them Strangers. Before they got off the Mayflower and went to shore they drafted a Mayflower Compact.

  1. At risk of treason because landed in wrong place. So first they said they were loyal to England. 
  2. Strangers treated as equals. 
  3. Elect your own Governor. 

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