THEY GAVE US AMERICA by Rhoda & Phyllis Moir--Eds. Hoff


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What do Raleigh's original charter, an exchange of Elizabethan love letters, an excerpt from the King James Bible, Charles I's farewell speech, an ""example of the rough treatment suffered by the Established Church in the tug-of-war between king and parliament,"" and Pepys' record of the great plague and fire have in common? Very little except that all were penned in England during our colonial period (Pitt's tirade against unjust taxation is one of the last) and therefore presumably reflect aspects of our British heritage. But so indirectly, in some cases, so indifferently, in others, that it's foolish to say thet gave us America. Besides the Raleigh charter, there are a few other excerpts from documents that bear directly on the American experience (e.g. from Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation) but these are widely available; the balance is a patchwork (all the pieces are short) of British customs, preoccupations and significant utterances--and not very comfortable: the mode in which men customarily spoke was not such as to be readily intelligible to the unenlightened reader.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1969
Publisher: Westminster