Archived Story

Newspapers play role in revolution

Published 7:21am Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I love the Fourth of July. What other country in the world would allow you to have a holiday from work just to celebrate its formation?

Obviously, many countries in the world were established so long ago that it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact date that you could say formed the country.

However, you can with our country. While the U.S. never officially gained independence on July 4, 1776, a plan was set into motion to try to break away from England. So the Declaration of Independence was drafted and published. While no copy was formally sent to the king, he found out about it pretty quickly.

They didn’t have Twitter, Facebook or even the telegraph to find out about it instantly, but I’m sure the word got back as quickly as it possibly could from the king’s servants.

However, I wonder what would have happened if our founding fathers lived in our time of instant notifications and new. Would our country have ever been formed?

First of all, there would have been constant CNN reports of the Continental Congress meeting. Who knows, they might have even allowed cameras inside Independence Hall. King George III would probably have daily press conferences to denounce the congress’ action.

You’d probably have the talking heads on Fox News discussing what’s right and wrong with the Congress’ decisions. Legal experts would have dissected the Declaration and found its flaws.

Also, each member of the congress would have had his own Twitter account, most likely followed by the king himself. There’s no doubt that #independence, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and #nomoreredcoats would have been trending.

Who knows? You might have even had a Twitter war break out between the British hierarchy before one shot was ever fired in the war.

In that kind of world, I’m not sure any revolution could take place with that. However, the only type of media in the late 1700s you had were newspapers. That’s how the declaration was distributed. So newspapers are partly responsible for our country’s existence.

Just saying.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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