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Posts Tagged / Declaration of Independence

  • Jul 04 / 2012
  • 0
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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The biggest problem we have in this country — the reason we’re so close to losing our freedoms — is that the American people have not been taught the truth about our history and form of government. How can they appreciate something they don’t even know they have?

My History Chant is a big step in the right direction. It’s a 45-verse jump rope rap that teaches kids more about American history and government than is known by the average college graduate or congressman. It’s one solution to 16 years of miseducation, and it can be memorized by an eight-year-old kid in only a few hours!

The History Chant

by F.R. Duplantier

In 1400 and 92
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Tell us more, tell us more
About US. U.S.,
That’s US. Tell us more.
We’re mad, we’re mad
About history, U.S. history,
Hopping mad.
Rap US up, Rap US up.
Who can tell us more
Of our history?
You can. I can.
American. American.

Columbus knew that the earth was round.
He sailed west for the East and a New World was found.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From the Old World more explorers came
From England and Holland, and France and Spain.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The settlers in Jamestown nearly starved.
Captain Smith said, to eat they had to work hard.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In 1620 the Mayflower docked
With the Pilgrims on board at Plymouth Rock.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

More and more settlers crossed the seas
For a better life and to worship as they pleased.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From New Hampshire to Georgia, 13 colonies grew,
But troubles with England began to brew.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The colonists were taxed without representation.
The Boston Tea Party showed their indignation.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

“The Redcoats are coming,” warned Paul Revere,
And the Minutemen were ready when they got there.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

At Lexington and Concord shots were fired
Heard ’round the world by tyrants tired.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

On July the Fourth, 1776,
The colonies declared their independence.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The Declaration was written by Jefferson
And signed by 56 Americans.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It says God made us equal and it’s God who gives
The right to be free and the right to live.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It says a government governs with the people’s consent
And protects the rights of the citizens.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It showed mankind our resolution
And gave the reasons for our Revolution.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

First in war, first in peace, George Washington
Was “first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

He led our army ’til the war was won
And then he retired, thinking he was done.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

But Washington didn’t know that he was meant
To serve us again as our President.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We the People formed “a more perfect union”
And we laid out the rules in our Constitution.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We gave our government limited powers
And what we didn’t give we kept as ours.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Congress, the President, and the Court –
Each branch has a power of a different sort.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We divided our government into three
To keep it from becoming a tyranny.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The Bill of Rights was a guarantee
To protect our rights and our liberty.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Freedom of religion and the press
Are essential to our happiness.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

To protect ourselves and our families from harm,
We reserve the right to keep and bear arms.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The unreasonable search is an abomination,
And we will not compel self-incrimination.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Defendants are always presumed innocent.
No excessive bail or punishment.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

With a firm foundation in the rule of law,
America still had one big flaw.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We were the home of the brave and the land of the free,
But we hadn’t come to grips with slavery.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We had a Civil War and thanks to Honest Abe
We preserved the Union and we freed the slaves.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

After the War, we kept moving West.
Our destiny was manifest.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We knew someday our borders would be
The Atlantic and Pacific, “sea to shining sea.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The railroad made our nation one,
Then the telegraph and the telephone.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Immigrants came to lend a hand
From Germany and Ireland.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From Eastern Europe and Italy,
More immigrants came to “the land of the free.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the First World War we fought valiantly
To make the world “safe for democracy.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt
Said “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor was bombed and we grabbed our guns.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We beat the Nazis in our “finest hour.”
Our commander became President Eisenhower.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the 1960s we began a race
To reach the moon and outer space.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Martin Luther King, that righteous fella,
Urged our countrymen not to judge by color.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We put a man on the moon and Neil Armstrong defined
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Under Ronald Reagan, the Cold War got hot,
But we won the war without firing a shot.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

September 11th was a day of terror.
Osama bin Laden had to pay for his error.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

That’s our history, with the best to come.
We’re proud of our past, but we’ve just begun.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

FADE: We’re mad, we’re mad. About US! Rap US up! Rap US up! Rap US up! Rap US up!

© 2004 F.R. Duplantier

Become a fan of the History Chant on Facebook!

  • Mar 08 / 2012
  • 0
Uncategorized

Sign up for Constitution 101!

Hillsdale College has launched a major national campaign to educate millions of citizens about the meaning and history of the U.S. Constitution as an online course, Constitution 101, and it’s free!

If you can’t answer these 32 questions, you should sign up for Constitution 101.

In the meantime, you can get hooked on civics with the History Chant, a 45-verse jump rope rap that highlights the unique features of American history and government.

  • Sep 16 / 2011
  • 1
Uncategorized

Are You A Constitutional Ignoramus?

Below are the questions from a midterm exam I prepared for a civics class for homeschooled teenagers. Every American voter should know the answers.

1. Name the three classes of citizens in Plato’s Republic.

2. According to Aristotle, what are the three proper forms of government?

3. What are the perverted forms called?

4. What is the difference between the good and bad forms?

5. What is the essence of Locke’s “social contract”?

6. Why does treason never prosper?

7. Cite one significant difference between the American & French Revolutions.

8. What historical event is commemorated by “World Freedom Day” (November 9th) ?

9. Why is our government divided into three branches?

10. Name the three branches.

11. Which branch is mentioned first in the Constitution (Article I)?

12. What’s the minimum age for President?

13. How long is a Representative’s term?

14. True or False: The terms of all elected Representatives expire at the same time.

15. How many Representatives does each state have?

16. How long is a Senator’s term?

17. How were Senators originally chosen?

18. Which chamber of Congress has the power to impeach the President?

19. In which chamber do revenue bills originate?

20. Why does the Constitution distinguish between “raising” armies and “maintaining” a navy?

21. What was the fractional value of a slave in the antebellum census?

22. What incentive did this valuation offer?

23. Which presidential candidate won the popular vote in 2000?

24. Who’s more likely to become President, Sean Penn or Arnold Schwarzenegger?

25. How long does a Supreme Court Justice serve?

26. Cite three restrictions on suffrage.

27. Name the four freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

28. What is “double jeopardy”?

29. True or False: The federal government can exercise any power not expressly denied to it by the Constitution.

30. True or False: The Declaration asserts that “all men are equal.”

31: Which of the following men did not sign the Declaration: George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, Ben Franklin?

32. Cite three infringements on the rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Need to bone up a bit? Here’s a good place to start.

  • Mar 22 / 2011
  • 2
Uncategorized

Citizenship Test for Natives?

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar. – Newsweek

Solutions

Voter’s Test

  • Jun 30 / 2010
  • 4
Uncategorized

Hooked on Civics

The biggest problem we have in this country — the reason we’re so close to losing our freedoms — is that the American people have not been taught the truth about our history and form of government. How can they appreciate something they don’t even know they have?

My History Chant is a big step in the right direction. It’s a 45-verse jump rope rap that teaches kids more about American history and government than is known by the average college graduate or congressman. It’s one solution to 16 years of miseducation, and it can be memorized by an eight-year-old kid in only a few hours!

The History Chant

by F.R. Duplantier

In 1400 and 92
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Tell us more, tell us more
About US. U.S.,
That’s US. Tell us more.
We’re mad, we’re mad
About history, U.S. history,
Hopping mad.
Rap US up, Rap US up.
Who can tell us more
Of our history?
You can. I can.
American. American.

Columbus knew that the earth was round.
He sailed west for the East and a New World was found.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From the Old World more explorers came
From England and Holland, and France and Spain.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The settlers in Jamestown nearly starved.
Captain Smith said, to eat they had to work hard.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In 1620 the Mayflower docked
With the Pilgrims on board at Plymouth Rock.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

More and more settlers crossed the seas
For a better life and to worship as they pleased.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From New Hampshire to Georgia, 13 colonies grew,
But troubles with England began to brew.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The colonists were taxed without representation.
The Boston Tea Party showed their indignation.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

“The Redcoats are coming,” warned Paul Revere,
And the Minutemen were ready when they got there.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

At Lexington and Concord shots were fired
Heard ’round the world by tyrants tired.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

On July the Fourth, 1776,
The colonies declared their independence.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The Declaration was written by Jefferson
And signed by 56 Americans.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It says God made us equal and it’s God who gives
The right to be free and the right to live.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It says a government governs with the people’s consent
And protects the rights of the citizens.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

It showed mankind our resolution
And gave the reasons for our Revolution.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

First in war, first in peace, George Washington
Was “first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

He led our army ’til the war was won
And then he retired, thinking he was done.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

But Washington didn’t know that he was meant
To serve us again as our President.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We the People formed “a more perfect union”
And we laid out the rules in our Constitution.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We gave our government limited powers
And what we didn’t give we kept as ours.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Congress, the President, and the Court –
Each branch has a power of a different sort.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We divided our government into three
To keep it from becoming a tyranny.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The Bill of Rights was a guarantee
To protect our rights and our liberty.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Freedom of religion and the press
Are essential to our happiness.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

To protect ourselves and our families from harm,
We reserve the right to keep and bear arms.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The unreasonable search is an abomination,
And we will not compel self-incrimination.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Defendants are always presumed innocent.
No excessive bail or punishment.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

With a firm foundation in the rule of law,
America still had one big flaw.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We were the home of the brave and the land of the free,
But we hadn’t come to grips with slavery.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We had a Civil War and thanks to Honest Abe
We preserved the Union and we freed the slaves.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

After the War, we kept moving West.
Our destiny was manifest.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We knew someday our borders would be
The Atlantic and Pacific, “sea to shining sea.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

The railroad made our nation one,
Then the telegraph and the telephone.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Immigrants came to lend a hand
From Germany and Ireland.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

From Eastern Europe and Italy,
More immigrants came to “the land of the free.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the First World War we fought valiantly
To make the world “safe for democracy.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt
Said “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor was bombed and we grabbed our guns.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We beat the Nazis in our “finest hour.”
Our commander became President Eisenhower.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

In the 1960s we began a race
To reach the moon and outer space.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Martin Luther King, that righteous fella,
Urged our countrymen not to judge by color.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

We put a man on the moon and Neil Armstrong defined
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

Under Ronald Reagan, the Cold War got hot,
But we won the war without firing a shot.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

September 11th was a day of terror.
Osama bin Laden had to pay for his error.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

That’s our history, with the best to come.
We’re proud of our past, but we’ve just begun.

Tell us more, tell us more, ETC.

FADE: We’re mad, we’re mad. About US! Rap US up! Rap US up! Rap US up! Rap US up!

© 2004 F.R. Duplantier

Become a fan of the History Chant on Facebook!

  • Nov 04 / 2009
  • 1
Uncategorized

Every Voter Should Know the Answers

Below are the questions from a midterm exam I prepared for a civics class for homeschooled teenagers. Every American voter should know the answers.

1. Name the three classes of citizens in Plato’s Republic.

2. According to Aristotle, what are the three proper forms of government?

3. What are the perverted forms called?

4. What is the difference between the good and bad forms?

5. What is the essence of Locke’s “social contract”?

6. Why does treason never prosper?

7. Cite one significant difference between the American & French Revolutions.

8. What historical event is commemorated by “World Freedom Day” (November 9th) ?

9. Why is our government divided into three branches?

10. Name the three branches.

11. Which branch is mentioned first in the Constitution (Article I)?

12. What’s the minimum age for President?

13. How long is a Representative’s term?

14. True or False: The terms of all elected Representatives expire at the same time.

15. How many Representatives does each state have?

16. How long is a Senator’s term?

17. How were Senators originally chosen?

18. Which chamber of Congress has the power to impeach the President?

19. In which chamber do revenue bills originate?

20. Why does the Constitution distinguish between “raising” armies and “maintaining” a navy?

21. What was the fractional value of a slave in the antebellum census?

22. What incentive did this valuation offer?

23. Which presidential candidate won the popular vote in 2000?

24. Who’s more likely to become President, Sean Penn or Arnold Schwarzenegger?

25. How long does a Supreme Court Justice serve?

26. Cite three restrictions on suffrage.

27. Name the four freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

28. What is “double jeopardy”?

29. True or False: The federal government can exercise any power not expressly denied to it by the Constitution.

30. True or False: The Declaration asserts that “all men are equal.”

31: Which of the following men did not sign the Declaration: George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, Ben Franklin?

32. Cite three infringements on the rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Need to bone up a bit? Here’s a good place to start.

  • Nov 28 / 2008
  • 0
Uncategorized

Wise Men Bearing Gifts

At Christmas time, when our thoughts are preoccupied with the presents we plan to give and the presents we hope to receive, it would not be amiss to reflect upon, and express gratitude for, those gifts that have been bestowed upon mankind over the centuries and of which we are but the most current beneficiaries. — “Wise Men Bearing Gifts,” F.R. Duplantier, 1986

This is an abridged version of an article I wrote late in 1986, just after I got married and returned to the Church (it all happened at the same time, and so fast). I was feeling philosophical, and grateful, and decided to write an extended thank-you note for the wisdom of the ages. My wife and I spent our first Thanksgiving together (and enjoyed a belated honeymoon) at a friend’s cottage on Cape Cod. It was just the two of us, and a bunch of dead white men: Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Augustine, Aquinas, John Locke, et al. They ate very little, respected our privacy, and helped tidy up. We had a great time together. Nevertheless, my wife made me promise: on our second honeymoon, I’ll leave the old guys at home.

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