|Vine & Fig Tree in history|
|Americans in 1776 rebelled against taxes amounting to 3-5%.||Americans at the end of the 20th century give half of their income to various feudal lords, on the state, local, and federal levels.|
|They were taught God's Law in schools, and knew the value of
Tradition and heritage were known and valued.
|In 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court banned the Ten Commandments from public schools. The vast majority of Americans cannot recite the Fourth Commandment, and honest work, accordingly, is not a goal for them. Entertainment is. "News" has been replaced by "infotainment." History is of little interest, unless molded into new shapes by Forrest Gump.|
|Vine & Fig Tree was a widely-held ideal.||Vine & Fig Tree is an ideal unknown to most Americans.|
|Americans were grateful to God for what they had.||Americans believe they are entitled to more than they have, and they expect the government to give it to them.|
Americanization Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
AmericaGreat Crisis in Our History Told by Its Makers: A Library of Original Sources. 11 vols. Chicago: n.p., 1925. vol.5, pg.96:
[JOHN MELISH was a Scotch textile manufacturer who visited this country for the purpose of collecting considerable sums of money owed him by mercantile customers. His "Travels in the United States of America," from which the accompanying observations are taken, was published in two volumes in Philadelphia, in 1812. His chief interest was in American trade and economic conditions.
Among those with whom he reports conversations was President Jefferson, who believed Norfolk, Virginia, would soon outstrip New York and Boston, and rival New Orleans, as an American seaport. Melish also reports Jefferson as stating that turnpike roads would be general throughout the country in less than twenty years. The introductory article describes a Fourth of July celebration at Louisville, Georgia, in 1811.]
John Melish, American Ways Of Life In 1811, America, Vol.5, p.101 - p.102
LIFE IN CENTRAL NEW YORK STATE
FARMERS and mechanics are best adapted to the country, and, if they are industrious they are sure to succeed. A farmer can get a quarter section of land, 160 acres, for 560 dollars, with eight years to pay it. If he is industrious, he may have the whole cleared and cultivated like a garden by the end of that time; when, in consequence of the rise on property, by the increase of population, and the cultivation by his individual industry, his land may be worth 50 dollars per acre, or 8,000 dollars; besides his stock of cattle, etc., which may be worth half as much more. Mechanics are well paid for their labor; carpenters have 1 dollar per day and their board; if they board themselves, 1 dollar 25 cents. Other trades have in proportion, and living is cheap. Flour is about 5 dollars per barrel; beef 4 cents per lb.; fowls 12 1/2 cents each; fish are plentiful and cheap. A mechanic can thus earn as much in two days as will maintain a family for a week, and by investing the surplus in houses and lots, in a judicious manner, he may accumulate money as fast as the farmer, and both may be independent and happy.
Indeed, these two classes cannot too highly prize the blessings they enjoy in this country, nor be sufficiently grateful to the Almighty Disposer of all events, for casting their lot in a land where they have advantages so far transcending what the same classes have in any other. I know there are many who hold a different opinion, but I must take the liberty to dissent from it, and the reader who has traveled with me thus far, will allow that my opinion is not founded either on a partial or prejudiced view of the subject; it is deduced from plain, unvarnished facts, which no reasoning can set aside, nor sophistry invalidate. What would the farmers, and mechanics, and manufacturers in Britain give to be in the same situation? There (I speak particularly of Scotland) a farmer pays from 7 to 28 dollars per acre, yearly, for the use of his farm, besides the taxes and public burdens. He gets, in many instances, a lease of 19 years, and is bound to cultivate the ground in a certain way, prescribed by the tenure of his lease. If he improves the farm, the improvements are for another, not for him; and, at the end of the lease, if another is willing to give one shilling more than he, or if the proprietor has a favorite, or wishes to turn two or more farms into one, or has taken umbrage at his politics, or his religion, or anything else regarding him or his family, he will not get a renewal of the lease. Many a family have I known who have been ruined in this way. Being turned out of a farm, they retire to a town or city, where their substance is soon spent, and they pine away in poverty, and at last find a happy relief in the cold grave. Nor is there any remedy; the lands are nearly all entailed on the great families, and the lords of the soil are the lords of the law; they can bind the poor farmer in all cases whatsoever.
Compare this with the situation of the American farmer. He cultivates his own soil, or if he has none, he can procure it in sufficient quantity for 200 or 300 dollars. If he has no money he can get credit, and all that is necessary to redeem his credit is to put forth his hand and be industrious. He can stand erect on the middle of his farm, and say, "This ground is mine. From the highest canopy of heaven down to the lowest depths, I can claim all that I can get possession of within these bounds; fowls of the air, fish of the seas, and all that pass through the same." And, having a full share of consequence in the political scale, his equal rights are guaranteed to him. None dare encroach upon him; he can sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and none to make him afraid.
Vine & Fig Tree