Happy Independence Day!

From the Desk of Lauran Corcoran

Happy Independence Day

“We gotta go, gotta get the job done, gotta start a new nation,
gotta meet my son.”
-Hamilton, Yorktown

On this July 4th weekend, while many Chicagoans pout about their inability to secure “Hamilton” tickets, it feels appropriate to reflect on this holiday with a little piece of American history minutia. The Founding Father’s core beliefs and principles never left a detail to chance when structuring their vision for our country.

One important principle to our Founding Fathers was an idea that an aristocracy not dominate and limit the freedoms and abilities of the people of the United States. A great example of this principle, is the reaction to ‘primogeniture’ by the colonials and post-revolution America. Primogeniture was originally English law that required land to be passed down in its entirety from father to eldest son. Primogeniture denied an individual’s testamentary freedom, a concept that was in direct opposition to the Founding Fathers’ philosophies on wealth distribution and freedom of contract. A majority of the colonies rejected primogeniture and passed laws permitting younger sons and daughters to inherit. Within fifteen years of the American Revolution, there was not a single state that had a primogeniture law.

In 2016, primogeniture and its rejection by the colonists and revolutionists might appear to be of little significance; however, it serves as a reminder to all Americans that almost every freedom we enjoy today was hard fought for by our founders; and it was that fight for these freedoms, small and large, that sparked the birth of this country.

Have a happy and safe holiday and remember to raise a glass to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!