Happy Independence Day, and stuff you might not know about the United States

July 4, 2006

Happy Independence Day to all of b5media’s, and my readers. Given that b5media is incorporated in the United States (for the time being…until we might creep a little more north) I thought I’d extend my well wishes.

Of course, as with any event of significance, I made the mistake of going to Wikipedia, a mistake because every time I visit Wikipedia I end up spending 2 hours reading articles there when I should have been doing other things 🙂

And in my reading I found some interesting tidbits that people outside of the US might not know about it.

The First American Flag

american flagYep, this is the first American flag. Nice, isn’t it. The original Union Flag in the top left hand corner. This is the American flag that flew on Independence Day! Oddly enough, it’s actually an exactly copy of the British East Indies Company Flag. More at Wikipedia here.

America was colonised by Sweden

Most people would know about the Dutch and English colonisation of North America, but how many people would know that Sweden was there as well. New Sweden was a small Swedish settlement along the Delaware River on the Mid-Atlantic coast of North America. It was centered at Fort Christina, now in Wilmington, Delaware and included parts of the present day American states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The settlement was founded March 29, 1638, and was incorporated into the Dutch New Netherlands on September 15, 1655.

American exceptionalism

American exceptionalism, a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831, has been historically referred to as the perception that the United States differs qualitatively from other developed nations, because of its unique origins, national credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions

The Spanish American Civil War

The Spanish American Civil War was the direct result of the sinking on the USS Maine in Cuba. Yellow Journalism came about due to reporting of Spanish atrocities in Cuba during this period.

Philippine-American War

I knew through my knowledge of history that the Philippines was an American protectorate until after WW2, but what I didn’t know that this wasn’t with the popular support of the locals. The Philippine-American War raged from 1899 to 1913, with the United States winning. Of course the US has left it’s mark there. Aside from being one of the few Asian nations to drive on the wrong side of the road (outside of China and Korea), to Australian ears Philippinos sound like Americans…indeed for a long time I always presumed b5media’s own Shai Coggins was American…because to my ears that’s the way she sounded.

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