The Dutch have given many things to America: Easter eggs, Santa Claus, waffles, sauerkraut, sleighing, skating, and a host of “vans” and “velts” who helped to build our nation. But perhaps their greatest contribution to America was the 11 years of freedom they gave the Pilgrims—crucial years that helped America's founding fathers work out their philosophy of freedom and prepare for self-government in the New World.
“Nothing would advance me faster in the world,” wrote a young law student, “than the reputation of having been educated by Mr. Wythe, for such a man as he casts a light upon all around him.” So wrote William Munford as he summed up the attitude of the more ambitious youths of revolutionary Virginia. To be taught by George Wythe—as were Henry Clay, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall and “enough other founding fathers to populate a small standing army”—was the first step on the road to success.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence lay on the table of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Two days earlier, Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence had been adopted, and now the time was at hand when each delegate would put pen to paper, thus committing his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor to a future darkened by clouds of war. If their bid for liberty failed, those who signed would be the first to be hung from a British noose.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Ludwig Erhard's sweeping free market reforms which gave economic freedom to over 80 million Germans and began West Germany's 30-year post-war economic miracle. At the end of World War II, Germany was in a shambles. Fire bombs—more destructive than the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki—had completely destroyed Dresden.