Before it, all began…
Americas have always been lands of immigrants, lands that have been “discovered” time and again by different peoples coming from other parts of the world throughout countless generations—going far back to the prehistoric past when a band of Stone Age hunters first set foot in what indeed was an unexplored New World.
Christopher Columbus and his fleet of three small sailing ships had left the Canary Islands, heading west across the uncharted Ocean Sea, as the Atlantic was known. He had expected to reach China or Japan, but there was still no sign of land. The Ocean Sea was also known as the Sea of Darkness. Hideous monsters were said to lurk beneath venomous sea serpents and giant crabs that could rise from the deep and crush a ship with its crew.
Finally, the men demanded that Columbus turn back and head for home. When he refused, some of the sailors whispered of mutiny. They wanted to kill the admiral by throwing him overboard. But, for the moment, the crisis had passed. Columbus wasn’t the first explorer to “discover” America. His voyages were significant because they were the first to become widely known in Europe. They opened a pathway from the Old World to the New, paving the way for the European conquest and colonization of the Americas, changing life forever on both sides of the Atlantic. Five hundred years before Columbus, a daring band of Vikings led by Leif Eriksson set foot in North America and established a settlement.
In the early 1600s, the British king began establishing colonies in America. By the 1700s, most settlements had formed into 13 British colonies: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. British America comprised the colonial territories of the English Empire, which after the 1707 union of the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, became the British Empire in the Americas from 1607 to 1783.
There was no hope of conquering America — the territory was too big, and available resources too meager. At the outbreak of hostilities, the British Army numbered just 45,000 men, spread over a substantial global empire. On September 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared the new nation’s name to be the “United States” of America. This replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use.
The ancestors of the American Indians were nomadic hunters of northeast Asia. They migrated over the Bering Strait land bridge into North America probably during the last glacial period (11,500–30,000 years ago). Before the arrival of Europeans, the Native Americans lived as autonomous nations (also known as tribes) across the continent from present-day Alaska, across Canada, and throughout the lower 48 United States. These were my ancestors, North Alabama band of Chickasaw!
This brings me to today, we lay to rest a grand lady. Had things been different today, we may have all been speaking with a British accent and flying the Union Jack.
I wish King Charles the best, may his reign be long and successful.