America Learns Hard Lessons in the Great War

In 1914, Europe and much of the world were engaged in a horrific struggle that at the time was known as the Great War and that history would ultimately call World War I.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria set off a chain of events that resulted in world powers going to war against each other.  Germany, Austria-Hungry, and the Ottoman Empire were allies that collectively became known as the Central Powers.  France, Great Britain, and Russia were the major nations opposing them and became known as the…

In Service to His Country: George Washington

 In a chapter in American history not widely known, officers within the Continental Army became so upset over a lack of pay they were actively meeting to discuss a military coup against the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The Continental Congress depended solely on the states for revenue who paid in different amounts and at different times.  Lack of funds created a major problem.  The soldiers were not being paid.  With news of a peace accord on the horizon, there was a belief among the officers that the army would be…

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.” Lincoln’s ‘House-Divided’ Speech in Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858. In September 1862 America was in the midst of some of its darkest hours.  The Civil War was ragging and casualty figures were rising.  President…

December 1776: The Month That Saved America

Washington Crossing the Delaware is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by the German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.  It is located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Many Americans don’t realize how close their country came to never being founded.  From August 1776 until the end of December 1776 and the Battle of Trenton, George Washington’s rag-tag army was constantly on the verge of total defeat.  Poor strategic decisions, illness, hunger and desertion plagued the Continental Army.  The well-trained British Army, the greatest in the world at…