Independence Day

July 4, 2011

Were it not for Aaron Copeland, Charles Ives might be remembered as the 20th century’s greatest American composer, which is why I thought it fitting to choose one of his most famous compositions in celebration of our country’s 235th birthday. Unfortunately, many of the liberties that former generations took for granted have been diminished or subjected to assault in the intervening years. That said, our most cherished freedom, which our founding fathers were so familiar with that they enshrined it in our Bill of Rights, and which I exercise on a daily basis, remains remarkably intact. So go out and celebrate our nation’s founding in the manner you see fit, but before you do there are some documents you might want to read. 

Of course, there’s the Declaration of Independence itself, which Claire Berlinski was kind enough to republish on her Ricochet page. But you might also want to peruse a great essay by historian Matthew Spalding that was released by the Heritage Foundation. It explores how the Founders viewed immigration to our then-fledgling nation, and why they believed assimilation of American values by newcomers to this country was so essential to maintaining a prosperous, democratic republic in the future. It’s a message that’s American to its core, and a history lesson that our politicians, academics and jurists would do well to take into consideration the next time they devalue the notion of a uniquely American culture. 

Happy Fourth of July, readers! Whether you’re a naturalized American or a native-born one-like me-I’m sure you’ll be commemorate the occasion wisely.

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5 Responses to Independence Day

  1. Tatyana on July 4, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Happy 4th to you, too.

    OT (slightly)
    Gerard, where can I find figures of the immigration per nationality? Legal, of course. Something like “in 200x year 300,000 Chinese, 20,000 Poles,10,000Mexicans were given Alien Registration number”…etc

  2. G. Perry on July 4, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Probably from the Census Bureau.

    I think the number of legal immigrants, per year, is somewhere on the order of 1.2 million, although I could be off.

    The Pew Hispanic Center actually has some good data on this subject, which you can find here.

    Wikipedia is also very good.

    And my favorite, Numbers USA.

    And if you’re willing to download tons of pdf files, our friendly Department of Homeland Security.

  3. G. Perry on July 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I think I’ve found a better source.

    Top 10 Legal and Illegal Immigrant Nationalities

  4. Tatyana on July 8, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Thank you, Gerard. That’s an excellent source. I found interesting facts there.

  5. G. Perry on July 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Don’t mention it.

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