Who needs fancy pens when nobody writes letters? The old companies- Parker, Waterman, Cross- don’t exist any longer. Their brand names now belong to foreign firms that manufacture mostly in China. We communicate through smart phones and the internet.
The old dictatorships could manipulate radio, movie and print communication. If they didn’t like a newspaper, they sent thugs to destroy the printing presses. They could forcibly take over radio stations and stop the showing of movies they didn’t like. When everyone is a communicator, the dictator has a harder time monopolizing thought and communication.
During the Golden Age of Piracy (the early eighteenth century) royal governors treated pirates as criminals, even though no established law of the seas existed. Pirates operated outside the law, and brought prosperity, and even chocolate.
My latest book, Washington’s Shadow, is based on the personal correspondence of Leven Powell with his family and about his work for George Washington . It’s a story of Powell’s children and the first wave of western expansion. Washington’s presence permeates their decisions.
But adults don’t come to Jamestown simply to entertain the children. When they enter the museum they ask questions. They want to know where they fit into the mosaic that makes up American history.
Pirates and privateers influenced early American colonial history from its beginning. The original colonies depended on trade for survival.
Under the rules that existed in his time, Blackbeard sometimes operate legally with a royal pardon, and sometimes without the pardon. However, Blackbeard’s power and popularity rested on his position as a sea captain and commander of a large fleet, regardless of legalities.
My own children have no living memory of any major war: World War II, Korea or Vietnam. They and their children know nothing about the gas shortages of the 1980s and Jimmy Carter’s inflation that destroyed our small community banks. They do know about wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of the twin towers in 2001. My grandchildren don’t even remember that. What do they teach in American history courses in today’s high schools?
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