Saturday, October 8, 2022

Monticello, Montpelier & Highland President's Homes - Don't Waste Your Time Or Money

We visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, Montpelier, James Madison's home and Highland, James Monroe's homes all in Southern Virginia years ago when the tour was focused on these founding fathers, great statesmen and Presidents.  Like all Southern Plantations of any size during their lifetimes, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe owned slaves and that was absolutely part of their story; but it was not the reason we need to learn about these great men who created our country.  That was then and this is now.  Today, as a result of woke Critical Race Theory Marxist racist revisionist history and 1619 Project indoctrination, a visit to any of these Presidential homes is now all about slavery.  So, don't waste your time or money because the story you will get is just left wing propaganda Fake history.  

They claim that the United States began when the first slaves were taken to Virginia in 1619.  Really!  What happened to 1776 and the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson.   They also claim that the United States grew into a great nation because of slavery,  which is not true.  The fact is that by 1860 just before the Civil War, the economy of the entire South mostly predicated on crops like cotton, tobacco and rice only constituted about 6% of the gross domestic product of the United States.  Yes, many large plantation owners became very rich because of slavery, but most Whites in the South were impoverished free laborers working for very little money.  And, slavery had little to do with the growth and development of Northern free states that constituted the other 94% of the country's gross domestic product.  

While slavery was a horrible evil that should have ended many years before the Civil War,  or never happened at all, the reality is that slavery retarded the growth of the Southern States, which is why they could not possibly win the Civil War.  The industrial North was far more powerful economically and militarily because it was based on Capitalism and free labor and not slavery.   

The South remained poor and backward for a hundred years after the Civil War because it remained primarily agricultural.  It was only after 1960 that the South began to develop into the economic powerhouse that it is today.  It could be that the connection to air conditioning was responsible for the development in the South that has occurred in the last 50 years because it made a very humid climate tenable.  And, many companies in the North and West and the federal government invested in the South to bring in manufacturing and even high tech.  

In any case, forget about visiting Monticello, Montpelier or Highland.  It would be better to read books on Thomas Jefferson,  James Madison and James Monroe to understand the contributions that they made to the establishment and growth of the United States and the world.  The fact that they owned slaves, which was common in the South during their lifetimes, while not an excuse, is just part of their story and certainly not the most important part.  

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, but with one caveat: Monticello is the home of Jefferson's diverse food and native medicinals garden, samples of which were first collected from across America during the Lewis and Clark expedition and brought back at Jefferson's request. Monticello maintains a small but important grouping of descendants of these plants, some of which are rare perennial crops, offered for sale to the public at affordable prices in its online and on-grounds shop. Examples include a perennial broccoli that does not die like other cultivars when the broccoli head is formed, a cold-hardy fruiting tree nicknamed the "Northern banana," and another tree that produces fruit similar to apricots but still harvestable in the dead of winter in the cold North. Anyone interested in establishing a sustainable homestead, as we have done in PA, should be aware of their yearly offerings.