Independence, Patriotism, and War

Pope St. Leo II

Americans take independence seriously, but they tend to pull the trigger of a gun rather than the lever of a voting booth when it comes to making decisions about breaking free from obnoxious governments.  Not so Scotland, says Darrell Hart in this FPR piece, "Who Knew Independence Could Be this Easy?" that gives a good overview of what is at stake as the country considers divorcing itself from the United Kingdom.

In this delightful little romp, "From Mother England to Uncle Sam: An English American Ponders the Fourth of July," Joseph Pearce wonders what it really means to be an American or an Englishman and whether one can become the other.  Along the way he affirms that Scotland should separate from England, clearing up that issue rather tidily.

It's good to balance American 4th of July patriotism with war stories direct from the trenches.  In this Chronicles piece, Roger McGrath tells the story of William Ball, a young Canadian who fought in World War I.  McGrath intertwines background information with excerpts from Ball's diary,  which has been published under the title of The Long Sadness.