Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America

Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America

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Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America

Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this period of conflict, the sternest that the world has known, when we have joined heart and hand with Great Britain, it may profit Americans to recall how essentially at one with Englishmen we have always been in everything that counts. That the speech, the poetry, of the race are ours and theirs in common, we know -- they are Shakespeare. But that the institutions, the law and the liberty, the democracy administered by the fittest, are not only theirs and ours in common, but are derived from Shakespeare's England, and are Shakespeare, too, we do not generally know or, if we have known, we do not always remember.

"Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America!" exclaims the genial humorist. "What does the man mean? -- That Shakespeare hobnobbed with Washington or helped Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence?" Hardly; but something not itself altogether lacking in the element of surprise: that Shakespeare was acquainted with more than one of the English statesmen who wrested from King James the colonial charters by which, between 1606 and 1620, English liberty was first planted in Virginia and New England -- individual freedom and equality, due process of the law and independence . . .

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