History by the Numbers

1619-1865 is 246 years. 1865-2019 is 154 years. We have almost a century left until this country has lived as many years without legal slavery as it did with it. That doesn’t even count another 100 years exactly from 1865-1965 when the voting rights act passed. So in reality that’s 346 years.

Spain, and then Mexico…after it won independence, owned much of the Southwestern US from 1521 after the conquest of the Aztecs, until 1848, when the Treaty of Hildalgo was signed, ending the Mexican-American War, which the US had instigated. The US got Texas, Southern California, most of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado in that treaty. That’s 327 years the SW United States belonged to the “Hispanics” and 171 years that the United States has owned it. All citizens of Mexico got to choose to stay in the new United States, or go back to Mexico. Most of them stayed, creating an instant cross culture between the United States and Mexico, which has persisted since then. That’s a total of 498 years that Spanish speaking people have been in this area, as opposed to only after 1848 that white Americans started to go into these areas to settle. (The Gadsden purchase of 1853 further enlarged New Mexico and Arizona)

It amazes me that in just a very few short years, history in this country has been forsaken for media make believe. The myth of white manifest destiny over the cultural patterns of this country, and the belief that somehow the stain of slavery and repression has been washed as white as snow in a few short years belies the facts which lie in the history of America, if any would take the time to read it. Perhaps it cannot be understood.

Perhaps the trend of purposeful ignorance has taken such deep root that it can never be reversed. It is a shame that we Americans of the last half of the 20th century have been either unwilling or unable to defend the hard won freedoms and openness that our Fathers fought and died for in World War II. We have given them up to Autocracy and Oligarchy with hardly a fight.