When Injustice Takes Hold: Freedom – Liberty – Really???
In the Beginning
As I last asked, if an official swears to uphold the Constitution for the united States of America, your state’s constitution, and laws thereof, how the heck can they do so if they do not know the laws they must uphold?
I had a terrible thought that woke me after a couple of hours sleep. I have believed most of my life that America began because of people that wanted religious freedom and to escape the absolute rule of so-called “Royalty”. In reference to the latter, they wanted to be free of the “feudal system” of Europe.
In case one is not aware of the feudal system, it is such that the Royal family, the King and/or Queen, that is, own everything. The people – the peons – are but ‘tenants” upon the land. They are subject to whatever the ruler or rulers want of their production during the year or whenever.
After all, what would it take for families and single men to face a two to three month or longer ocean trip across the North Atlantic? And, then, to arrive at a land that initially had very little in support? They had no shelters waiting for them, no gardens, and no food other that the supplies that came on the ship or ships they sailed on. Thus, when they arrived they had to build shelters, begin producing or finding enough food to survive, and other things necessary to meet the basic necessities of life.
Would not the early settlers have to burn with desire for freedom to control their own destinies, to get away from the servitude to the King? Would they not want to control and own their own property? What about their God-given rights reflected in the Magna Charta? Would not the ownership of the land they worked and “domesticated” be of extreme importance to them? Should they not be free to exercise all human inherent rights with impunity? Simply put, were they sick and tired of the feudal system?
Way back when, I was not a history nut so I did little on my own in the way of past history. I was not too concerned about world or our history. So, it is possible I may have misunderstood. The latter is possible as, to be truthful, I was far more interested in science, math, music, psychology, physiology, and girls than history.
But, now I wonder – does truth prevail or have fictions buried it?
Do history teachers of today know and teach the facts about our history and the history of the world? I know the answer to that but do you? Do history teachers actually understand the founding of America? Or, is the founding of America kind of romanticized in order to majesticize it?
How many can teach the facts concerning “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America? And, yes, that is the correct spelling, which, of course, includes the use of capitals. Note that it is not titled, The Declaration of Independence.
How about the same for the Constitution for the united States of America? How about the distinction between it and the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES?
How about your state’s constitution? When I was in what we called ‘Junior High”, we had to pass a test on the Missouri Constitution in order to go on to the 9th grade. Today, I doubt that any college graduate could answer simple basic questions about it and the other two documents above and questions concerning them.
What are “statutes”? How do they conform to the expression of inherent rights?
Of course, today nearly everything taught about history is false because of so much re-writing for the benefit of a few. Those few believe the rest of the people of the world owe them everything.
This is just a bit off track, but many years ago in my studies of the many different philosophies, such as realism and idealism, I heard of existentialism. The reading led me to a writer that summed it up as meaning that a man could not call himself a man unless he jumped into the abyss without any assurance of survival. That meaning has stayed with me all of my life, including getting me through some very tough times.
Well, in my mind that is how I think of the earliest settlers and the hundreds of others in the next many years that led up to the 13 colonies in America. Their courage had to be tremendous, along with a burning desire to make a better life for themselves. I like to think that but is it true?
I do not know, but I also do not want to give up my image. I do not want to take the time now to try to get into their minds through personal diaries and the like, so for now I will think as I have for the past 60 years or so.
However, I can state at this time that of the 102 passengers that sailed only 41 were “noted” for religious reasons. They were Protestants that wanted to separate from the Catholic Church of England. I really do not have the time to study this, and – well, I really do not care – the point is that the Separatists did want to separate from the English Church’s control over them.
But, I did want to know more about the trip’s difficulties. Since my earliest memory was of the Mayflower, I searched for and looked at the below sites’ for a bit of basic information on it and the passengers.
If one just looks at the basics as I did, one will find that no one actually knows the length of the Mayflower. Various writers’s estimated it at 100 feet long, estimated as it seems no one ever measured or recorded its actual length. The size of merchant ships in its class (180 tons) is from 90 and 110 feet, which gives us the 100-foot average. One can read about that on the sites.
All the sites I checked agreed that the overall width of the ship was 25 feet, which gave the living space for passengers 24 feet of living space.
Living space is also just as estimate, so I took the liberty of estimating the average living space for each passenger and crew member. One can try to figure it out from the information given on the sites, if they so desire. It is difficult because some features that took up living space lack the square footage each took up, such as the masts, the “…30-foot shallop (“a small single-sail boat…”) the Separatists took on board and stored in the living space, chamber pot buckets (number of not stated nor is the size), other structures of the ship, and hand-built walls that some built for privacy.
That any survived is a wonder to me. Go to the “‘cross-section” URL above.
First, the passengers and crew lived on the “Tween or gun deck”. Very cramped. To get an idea of how cramped, stand and stretch your arms out as far as you can. Even if you are only 5 foot, 2 inches tall, if you turn a circle, you had more room to do so than each passenger or crew had. A six-footer would have had to slouch slightly to stand.
Just to show you the confusion of facts, one of the sites states that of the 102 passengers, two died during the trip but one was born, while another states that of the 102 only one died but no mention of the birth of another. Anyway, I think we can safely say that a 100 survived the trip. But, as you will see, that depends on what one considers the “end” of the trip.
Second, there were no “facilities” other than buckets. I do not know how many or the size, as I mentioned above. Anyway, next summer, go into the porta potties that are available at a summer event and check out the smell as the day goes on. Now, imagine that many, many times stronger.
There were quite a few people that suffered seasickness the whole trip; not counting all those that suffered diarrhea or other illnesses at different times. All that created extra “waste” contributed to the smell, along with the fact the below deck area was not very ventilated.
In fact, at one time there were many ships carrying cow manure (dried it makes excellent fuel and fertilizer for fields) to other settlements. Well, the methane gas would fill the hold to the correct burning ratio and a spark could ignite it explosively, blowing the ship up.
Finally, the shippers figured out what was happening. To correct the problem, they printed S.H.I.T. on the containers, which stood for Ship High In Transit. That told the men to put the containers on the deck to prevent the “explosive” condition. So now you know where a much-used term today comes from.
Third, there was no water for cleaning up one’s self or their clothing. In fact, most wore the same clothes for the entire 66-day trip. That added to the smell and, if you have ever been on a remote two-week summer or early fall camping trip, you know exactly what I am talking about.
What with all the “slop buckets”, as we used to call them, filled with all sorts of vile smelling materials, the people, and the filth they lived in, it is a wonder that all except one or two survived at all.
This is especially true in the last half of the trip. You see, the ship suffered storm after storm during the last month. The people could not empty the buckets during storms or rough seas. Thus, the buckets accumulated more and more “sewage’ between the times the people could empty the buckets.
With the volume of space they had and the lack of proper ventilation, I think it is amazing they managed to survive at all. The methane gas build-up surely went past the very small amount needed to potentially explode. I think it is only 7 to 9 percent by volume. I recall this from a Mythbusters TV show I saw two or three years ago.
The point is, though, less that that or more than that results in the mixture NOT exploding even if there is a spark. Surely, at the least, the people suffered a bit from methane gas effects on their brains, such as becoming lethargic.
Fourth, the destination was not what became Massachusetts and the infamous “Plymouth Rock”, as my teachers taught me. The destination was actually just north of Jamestown, Virginia, a successful settlement (the first) at the time the Mayflower sailed. It usually had milder winters. Bad storms blew the ship off course and, arriving at the Cape Cod coast, a storm prevented the ship from clearing around the tip of Cape Cod. Thus, the Captain could not sail south to Virginia.
To help the settlers out, the Mayflower stayed at harbor for another six months. This gave them a place to live while they managed to find places to live and to build shelters. Plus, there is this, that even though they reached the new world, their suffering was not over, nor technically was their trip.
“For that first winter, the passengers remained aboard Mayflower, suffering an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. When it ended, only 53 remained alive, less than half the original passengers and crew. In the spring of 1621, the pilgrims came ashore and built huts, and on March 21, 1621, the surviving passengers left Mayflower.” (SOURCE)
Thus, one must see why I stated “when” the trip ended.
My last thought is that I wonder how in the world the ship’s owner ever got the smell out of the ship or even if he tried.
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