"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Founders on Mother's Day

In this post we look at the Founder's thoughts on mothers and how it differs drastically from that of the English. That being said, when you consider the times it's not hard to concieve of the American's wanting to be entirely different from the British. In 1796 George Washington said the following about his mother Mary Ball Washington:

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her."
-George Washington (picture of Mary Ball included below)

In stark contrast, King George III said the following of his mother Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Princess of Wales:

"My mother was the most hideous woman any person has ever seen. All that I wish I were I owe to my mother not providing. I attribute all but one of my failures in this life and the next to lack of kingly education that she provided to me."
-King George III, First Sunday in May, 1795 (photo of Augusta, Princess of Wales included below)

Many of us wonder why King George III would say such terrible things. Surprisingly before the United States most states were terrible to their Mothers. It wasn't until George Washington that we see this monumentous swing in how they are viewed. Perhaps even more interesting are the political reasons that George Washington made such statements. When our nation was young we were striving to find ways to increase the number of immigrants to the country. One of the ways that George Washington and the other Founders thought we could increase the numbers was to be more caring and considerate of the mothers. Hopefully such actions would convinence women to come to the United States, the more we could convince the higher our birth rate, the higher birth rate would lead to greater population growth. Additionally, as more women immigrated to the US we would see a decline in the female popluation of other countries, this would in turn decrease their birth rate and popluation growth only compounding the amount that we moved forward. Quite an ingenious plan. Needless to say it worked, and that's why we are all here today. Thank you George Washington, but more importantly Thank you Mothers for birthing so many American citizens.

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