Economie: La leçon oubliée de Thanksgiving (The lost lesson of Thanksgiving)

The first Thanksgiving (JLG Ferris)https://i1.wp.com/www.siliconrepublic.com/fs/img/news/201211/rs-426x288/black-friday.jpgSelon l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économique (OCDE), les trente pays les plus avancés du globe verront leur dette grimper jusqu’à 100 % de leur richesse produite en 2010, signalant le quasi-doublement de leur endettement en vingt ans. Le Japon verra sa dette publique flirter avec les 200 % de son produit intérieur brut, suivi par l’Italie (127,3 %) et la Grèce (111,8 %), selon ces prévisions. Le Monde
Quand les pèlerins ont d’abord fondé la colonie de Plymouth, ils ont organisé leur agriculture selon un principe de collectivisation des ressources. L’objectif était de tout partager de manière égale, aussi bien le travail que la production. Presque tous ont souffert de la faim. Pourquoi ? Quand des personnes peuvent obtenir la même chose avec peu d’efforts ou avec beaucoup, la plupart ne fourniront que de faibles efforts. Les colons de Plymouth feignaient la maladie plutôt que de travailler à l’accroissement de la propriété commune. Certaines volèrent même, en dépit de leurs convictions puritaines. La production totale était trop faible pour l’ensemble de la population, et il en résulta la famine. (…) Cela dura deux ans. John Stossel

Pas les premiers Européens en Amérique, peu de Puritains sur le Mayflower, célébration à l’occasion non de l’amitié mais de la guerre entre les peuples, pas de date fixe et de fête nationale avant les 600 000 morts de la Guerre civile et la proclamation de Lincoln en 1863 (soit près de deux siècles et demi après!), pas de tourte au potiron (sans lait ou farine) ou pommes de terre (alors considérées comme toxiques) ou même peut-être de dinde …

Les petits mythes de Thanksgiving, on le sait, ne manquent pas.

Mais ce que l’on sait moins, en ce « Vendredi noir » où, avec ses soldes monstres mais aussi ses terribles embouteillages et mouvements de foule, la réalité économique reprend furieusement ses droits avec l’ouverture de la saison d’achats de Noël au lendemain de cette fête fondatrice des Etats-Unis …

C’est, comme le rappelait il y a deux ans le journaliste financier de Fox news John Stosser, « la leçon oubliée de Thanksgiving ».

A savoir, à l’heure où le pire président depuis Carter qu’ait connu « la terre de la Liberté » tente de la transformer en une deuxième France, celle du partage et de la « collectivisation volontaire des ressources » qui, avant d’être (comme plus tard les kibboutzim israéliens?) finalement abandonnés, faillirent bien faire tourner court l’expérience de la colonie de Plymouth

Extraits (traduits par l’Institut Molinari):

« Quand les pèlerins ont d’abord fondé la colonie de Plymouth, ils ont organisé leur agriculture selon un principe de collectivisation des ressources. L’objectif était de tout partager de manière égale, aussi bien le travail que la production.

Presque tous ont souffert de la faim.

Pourquoi ? Quand des personnes peuvent obtenir la même chose avec peu d’efforts ou avec beaucoup, la plupart ne fourniront que de faibles efforts. Les colons de Plymouth feignaient la maladie plutôt que de travailler à l’accroissement de la propriété commune. Certaines volèrent même, en dépit de leurs convictions puritaines. La production totale était trop faible pour l’ensemble de la population, et il en résulta la famine. (…) Cela dura deux ans.

« Quand il est apparu clairement que la famine devait également se poursuivre l’année suivante, si rien ne venait l’en empêcher, écrit le gouverneur William Bradford dans son journal, les colons commencèrent à réfléchir aux moyens de faire pousser plus de maïs qu’auparavant afin d’obtenir une meilleure récolte et de ne plus continuer à vivre dans la misère. Après de longs débats, […] Nous avons donc accordé à chaque famille une parcelle de terre. »

Le peuple de Plymouth est ainsi passé du socialisme à la propriété privée des terres. Les résultats furent spectaculaires.

« Cela a été un grand succès, écrit Bradford, chacun est devenu plus travailleur, de telle sorte que plus de maïs a été planté que les années précédentes. […] À partir de ce moment, les récoltes devinrent abondantes et, à la place de la famine, Dieu donna beaucoup aux colons ; la face des choses avait changé, pour le bonheur de beaucoup […] »

The Tragedy of the Commons
John Stossel
Real Clear Politics
November 21, 2007

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. « Isn’t sharing wonderful? » say the teachers.

They miss the point.

Because of sharing, the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

The failure of Soviet communism is only the latest demonstration that freedom and property rights, not sharing, are essential to prosperity. The earliest European settlers in America had a dramatic demonstration of that lesson, but few people today know it.

When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce.

They nearly all starved.

Why? When people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. Some ate rats, dogs, horses and cats. This went on for two years.

« So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented, » wrote Gov. William Bradford in his diary. The colonists, he said, « began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, [I] (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. … And so assigned to every family a parcel of land. »

The people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic.

« This had very good success, » Bradford wrote, « for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. … By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many. … « 

Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623.

What Plymouth suffered under communalism was what economists today call the tragedy of the commons. But the problem has been known since ancient Greece. As Aristotle noted, « That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. »

When action is divorced from consequences, no one is happy with the ultimate outcome. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty and will not be refilled — a bad situation even for the earlier takers.

What private property does — as the Pilgrims discovered — is connect effort to reward, creating an incentive for people to produce far more. Then, if there’s a free market, people will trade their surpluses to others for the things they lack. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the community richer.

Secure property rights are the key. When producers know that their future products are safe from confiscation, they will take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.

That’s the lost lesson of Thanksgiving.

Voir aussi:

Gary Becker: Le Kibboutz, preuve ultime de la faillite du communisme

Vincent Benard

Objectif liberté

d’après Gary Becker

Lorsque vous osez affirmer à des communistes impénitents que les crimes de Staline – qu’ils sont bien obligés de reconnaître – et de Lénine – sacrilège ! -, ainsi que l’état pitoyable des anciens pays du pacte de Varsovie après des décennies de soviétisation, disqualifient toute forme de collectivisme en tant que doctrine, vous vous entendez répondre – parfois poliment, parfois par des insultes – que le vrai communisme, celui des phalanstères et de Proudhon, celui de Marx, voire du « gentil Lénine » – prière de ne pas rire – n’a jamais eu la chance de pouvoir s’exprimer, qu’il a été dénaturé par des dictateurs qui n’étaient pas, en fait de « vrais » communistes.

Notre réponse à cette absurdité consiste généralement affirmer qu’une doctrine que jamais personne n’a jamais pu mettre en oeuvre sans l’accompagner de massacres de masse, de déportations, de répressions, et qui a toujours conduit les pays qui se le sont vu imposer à la misère, est une doctrine perverse dès le départ. Ce qui nous emmène généralement, si l’éducation de l’interlocuteur le permet encore, vers une discussion sur le rôle essentiel du droit de propriété dans la préservation de la liberté individuelle.

Mais votre opposant communiste ne voudra pas en démordre: « le vrai communisme, volontaire et partageur, on ne l’a jamais vu à l’oeuvre, il faudrait laisser une chance à ce vrai communisme là ».

Or, tant le critique que l’aficionado du communisme commettent une erreur. Une expérimentation à assez grande échelle du collectivisme volontaire le plus intégriste a existé. Et l’échec de cette expérience apporte bel et bien la preuve ultime de l’impraticabilité per se du socialisme originel, sous toute ses formes. Un socialisme « idéal » ne peut en aucun cas exister dans le monde réel.

Gary Becker L’expérience dont il est question est le développement des Kibboutz en Israël, depuis le début du XXème siècle et plus encore après l’indépendance de 1947. Le prix Nobel d’économie 1992 Gary Becker, sur son blog à 4 mains, nous gratifie d’une remarquable analyse historique et économique des Kibbutzim, qui naquirent dès le début du XXème siècle sous l’impulsion de juifs utopistes. Son compère Richard Posner, spécialiste majeur de l’analyse économique du droit, y ajoute, comme toujours, des compléments d’information pertinents. Selon Becker, nowhere is the failure of socialism clearer than in the radical transformation of the Israeli kibbutz.

Dans la plupart des Kibboutz, les parents habitaient une maison modeste appartenant à la communauté. Les enfants en étaient séparés, et dormaient dans un dortoir. Il s’agissait d’éviter que certains enfants ne soient avantagés par l’énergie ou le savoir que tentent de leur transmettre les parents les plus motivés et cultivés… Quelles qu’aient été ses compétences initiales, chacun devait contribuer aux travaux des champs, quand bien même il aurait eu une qualification qui aurait apporté plus à la communauté, et chacun recevait la même part du produit du travail commun. Lorsqu’un membre gagnait de l’argent grâce à une activité en dehors du Kibboutz, il devait le partager avec la communauté, et ne devait rien garder pour lui. La rotation des tâches agricoles était la règle. La promiscuité aussi.

Dans les premiers temps, La cohésion des kibboutz fut maintenue à la fois par le sentiment de communauté religieuse, par l’engagement idéologique de leurs premiers membres, et par l’environnement hostile de nations islamiques qui ont déclenché contre l’état Hébreu 4 guerres d’agression en 25 ans, soudant la communauté autour des nécessités défensives. Mais même cette pression extérieure ne put compenser le désamour des membres du Kibboutz vis à vis de l’utopie collectiviste.

Très vite, de nombreux Kibboutz connurent des difficultés. Les jeunes, notamment, voulaient quitter cet environnement – ce qu’ils étaient libres de faire, contrairement à un russe ou un chinois, soviétisé de force – dès qu’ils en avaient les moyens, ce qui n’était pas toujours le cas, car leurs parents n’accumulaient pas de capital, et à l’extérieur du Kibboutz, le blocage des loyers introduits par l’état d’Israël (qui fut d’ailleurs fondé sur des bases très socialisantes) avait détruit le marché locatif, là bas aussi. Aussi beaucoup parmi eux se sentaient-ils plus prisonniers économiques du Kibboutz que participants enthousiastes.

Les problèmes de jalousie entre membres, de tirage au flanc et de parasitage – problème connu par les économistes sous le nom de « passager clandestin » ou « free rider » : pourquoi se tuer à la tâche si vous recevez autant que celui qui travaille ? -, l’inefficacité du système productif dûe à l’absence de spécialisation des tâches et à la mauvaise utilisation des compétences, le stress né de la séparation des familles, ont provoqué la disparition de certains Kibboutz, et la transformation de la plus grande partie d’entre eux en entreprises de type privée, où les familles vivent réunies, où le marché détermine les rémunérations, où l’immobilier est privé, et où l’initiative individuelle permet de développer des activités autres que l’agriculture, permettant à chacun de se spécialiser.

Bref, plus de 70% des Kibboutz sont devenus des entreprises de type capitaliste, dont l’aspect social se limite à la constitution de sociétés de secours mutuel des membres. Les Kibboutz, au nombre d’environ 250, ne représentèrent jamais plus de 7% de la société Israélienne, au temps de leur splendeur. Les quelques kibboutz qui conservent une structure collectiviste (il reste des utopiste croyants…) ne représentent quasiment plus rien, et ne survivent que parce qu’ils appartiennent à un ensemble largement capitaliste qui assure à leurs productions ou leurs actifs fonciers la possibilité d’intégrer un système d’échange libéral, en toute protection du droit de propriété.

Bref, l’échec du Kibboutz socialiste est l’argument ultime contre les illusions des derniers zélotes du collectivisme qui ne veulent pas voir dans les échecs de l’URSS et autres pays comparables la preuve de l’absence de viabilité intrinsèque des sociétés communistes sous toutes leurs formes. Même volontairement souscrit par des communautés idéologiquement conquises et initialement très motivées, le communisme ne peut apporter ni satisfaction, ni prospérité aux individus.

Voir également:

Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving
Rick Shenkman
HNN
11-21-01

MYTH # 1

The Pilgrims Held the First Thanksgiving

To see what the first Thanksgiving was like you have to go to: Texas. Texans claim the first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in little San Elizario, a community near El Paso, in 1598 — twenty-three years before the Pilgrims’ festival. For several years they have staged a reenactment of the event that culminated in the Thanksgiving celebration: the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Onate on the banks of the Rio Grande. De Onate is said to have held a big Thanksgiving festival after leading hundreds of settlers on a grueling 350-mile long trek across the Mexican desert.

Then again, you may want to go to Virginia.. At the Berkeley Plantation on the James River they claim the first Thanksgiving in America was held there on December 4th, 1619….two years before the Pilgrims’ festival….and every year since 1958 they have reenacted the event. In their view it’s not the Mayflower we should remember, it’s the Margaret, the little ship which brought 38 English settlers to the plantation in 1619. The story is that the settlers had been ordered by the London company that sponsored them to commemorate the ship’s arrival with an annual day of Thanksgiving. Hardly anybody outside Virginia has ever heard of this Thanksgiving, but in 1963 President Kennedy officially recognized the plantation’s claim.

MYTH # 2

Thanksgiving Was About Family

If by Thanksgiving, you have in mind the Pilgrim festival, forget about it being a family holiday. Put away your Norman Rockwell paintings. Turn off Bing Crosby. Thanksgiving was a multicultural community event. If it had been about family, the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them.

MYTH # 3

Thanksgiving Was About Religion

No it wasn’t. Paraphrasing the answer provided above, if Thanksgiving had been about religion, the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event. Indeed, what we think of as Thanksgiving was really a harvest festival. Actual « Thanksgivings » were religious affairs; everybody spent the day praying. Incidentally, these Pilgrim Thanksgivings occurred at different times of the year, not just in November.

MYTH # 4

The Pilgrims Ate Turkey

What did the Pilgrims eat at their Thanksgiving festival? They didn’t have corn on the cob, apples, pears, potatoes or even cranberries. No one knows if they had turkey, although they were used to eating turkey. The only food we know they had for sure was deer. 11(And they didn’t eat with a fork; they didn’t have forks back then.)

So how did we get the idea that you have turkey and cranberry and such on Thanksgiving? It was because the Victorians prepared Thanksgiving that way. And they’re the ones who made Thanksgiving a national holiday, beginning in 1863, when Abe Lincoln issued his presidential Thanksgiving proclamations…two of them: one to celebrate Thanksgiving in August, a second one in November. Before Lincoln Americans outside New England did not usually celebrate the holiday. (The Pilgrims, incidentally, didn’t become part of the holiday until late in the nineteenth century. Until then, Thanksgiving was simply a day of thanks, not a day to remember the Pilgrims.)

MYTH # 5

The Pilgrims Landed on Plymouth Rock

According to historian George Willison, who devoted his life to the subject, the story about the rock is all malarkey, a public relations stunt pulled off by townsfolk to attract attention. What Willison found out is that the Plymouth Rock legend rests entirely on the dubious testimony of Thomas Faunce, a ninety-five year old man, who told the story more than a century after the Mayflower landed. Unfortunately, not too many people ever heard how we came by the story of Plymouth Rock. Willison’s book came out at the end of World War II and Americans had more on their minds than Pilgrims then. So we’ve all just gone merrily along repeating the same old story as if it’s true when it’s not. And anyway, the Pilgrims didn’t land in Plymouth first. They first made landfall at Provincetown. Of course, the people of Plymouth stick by hoary tradition. Tour guides insist that Plymouth Rock is THE rock.

MYTH # 6

Pilgrims Lived in Log Cabins

No Pilgrim ever lived in a log cabin. The log cabin did not appear in America until late in the seventeenth century, when it was introduced by Germans and Swedes. The very term « log cabin » cannot be found in print until the 1770s. Log cabins were virtually unknown in England at the time the Pilgrims arrived in America. So what kind of dwellings did the Pilgrims inhabit? As you can see if you visit Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims lived in wood clapboard houses made from sawed lumber.

MYTH # 7

Pilgrims Dressed in Black

Not only did they not dress in black, they did not wear those funny buckles, weird shoes, or black steeple hats. So how did we get the idea of the buckles? Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker explains that in the nineteenth century, when the popular image of the Pilgrims was formed, buckles served as a kind of emblem of quaintness. That’s the reason illustrators gave Santa buckles. Even the blunderbuss, with which Pilgrims are identified, was a symbol of quaintness. The blunderbuss was mainly used to control crowds. It wasn’t a hunting rifle. But it looks out of date and fits the Pilgrim stereotype.

MYTH # 8

Pilgrims, Puritans — Same Thing

Though even presidents get this wrong — Ronald Reagan once referred to Puritan John Winthrop as a Pilgrim — Pilgrims and Puritans were two different groups. The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and lived in Plymouth. The Puritans, arriving a decade later, settled in Boston. The Pilgrims welcomed heterogeneousness. Some (so-called « strangers ») came to America in search of riches, others (so-called « saints ») came for religious reasons. The Puritans, in contrast, came over to America strictly in search of religious freedom. Or, to be technically correct, they came over in order to be able to practice their religion freely. They did not welcome dissent. That we confuse Pilgrims and Puritans would have horrified both. Puritans considered the Pilgrims incurable utopians. While both shared the belief that the Church of England had become corrupt, only the Pilgrims believed it was beyond redemption. They therefore chose the path of Separatism. Puritans held out the hope the church would reform.

MYTH # 9

Puritans Hated Sex

Actually, they welcomed sex as a God-given responsibility. When one member of the First Church of Boston refused to have conjugal relations with his wife two years running, he was expelled. Cotton Mather, the celebrated Puritan minister, condemned a married couple who had abstained from sex in order to achieve a higher spirituality. They were the victims, he wrote, of a « blind zeal. »

MYTH # 10

Puritans Hated Fun

H.L. Mencken defined Puritanism as « the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy! » Actually, the Puritans welcomed laughter and dressed in bright colors (or, to be precise, the middle and upper classes dressed in bright colors; members of the lower classes were not permitted to indulge themselves — they dressed in dark clothes). As Carl Degler long ago observed, « The Sabbatarian, antiliquor, and antisex attitudes usually attributed to the Puritans are a nineteenth-century addition to the much more moderate and wholesome view of life’s evils held by the early settlers of New England. »

Voir encore:

Thanksgiving Day Myths
Timothy Walch
HNN
11-25-02

Mr. Walch is the director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa, and a writer for the History News Service. His book, Uncommon Americans: The Lives and Legacies of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover, will be published in 2003.

Thanksgiving dinner: never has the history of a meal been so obscured by myth. Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans sit down to eat with family and friends. Some gather to give thanks for all that they have received over the previous year; others get together just to enjoy turkey and football. We all celebrate Thanksgiving in our own ways.

So what do most Americans believe happened on that first Thanksgiving Day? Most still cling to what they learned in elementary school. The Pilgrims sat down with Indians for a big meal of turkey, cornbread, cranberries and pumpkin pie. The Pilgrims dressed in black, and the Indians wore feathers and colorful beads. In fact, many Americans today still recall if they were « pilgrims » or « Indians » in their school pageants.

It’s a charming story, but it’s a myth. To be sure, it’s a powerful one — one that will be repeated many times this November. The fact that it’s so pervasive is evidence that American myths have long lives.

So what are the facts of that first Thanksgiving? In fact, the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony in today’s Massachusetts did share a meal with the Wampanoag Indians in the autumn of 1621, but the rest of the details are uncertain. The only documentary evidence of the event comes from the journal of Plymouth Colony’s governor, Edward Winslow, who noted simply that the colonists met with Chief Massasoit and 90 of his men for a feast that lasted four days. No one worried about cholesterol or obesity in 1621!

Though they don’t have much evidence, historians and archaeologists do have an educated hypothesis of what the Pilgrims ate, how they ate, when they ate and what they wore at that first Thanksgiving meal. The historical facts are not at all like the scene usually painted in elementary school.

Start with the menu. It’s not likely that the Pilgrims and the Indians consumed any bread dressing, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. In fact, it is not likely that they ate any roast turkey either. The only items listed in Winslow’s journal were « venison and wild fowl, » and it is likely that dried corn and fruit filled out the bill of fare. In colonial times, a person ate what was available, when it was available. No one back then saved room for pumpkin pie.

Another myth has to do with how the meal was served. The Pilgrims and the Indians did not, as the myth has it, sit down at tables, bless their food or pass the serving dishes. It’s more likely that food was set out on every available flat surface: tables, boxes, benches, and tree stumps. The meal was consumed without ceremony over three days, whenever someone was hungry.

No one used plates or eating utensils. Although both the colonists and the Indians occasionally used cloths or napkins if the food was hot, they usually ate with their hands. And not everyone ate everything that was served. Most diners ate what they liked or whatever dish was closest to them.

Finally, it’s important to dispel one last Thanksgiving myth — that the Pilgrims dressed in black and white clothing, wore pointed hats and starched bonnets and favored buckles on their shoes. It’s true that they dressed in black on Sundays; but on most days, including the first Thanksgiving, they dressed in white, beige, black, green and brown. And it’s likely that the Indians were fully clothed to ward off the chill of autumn in New England. Who would wear only a loincloth in Massachusetts in November?

So it’s a good thing that Americans today are not tested on the history of that first Thanksgiving, because few of us would earn a passing grade. It seems that the historical evidence of Thanksgiving is not as compelling as the myths that cloud our memories. It’s too bad that childhood images of Pilgrims and Indians aren’t based on historical facts.

And yet there’s a legacy about this holiday that threads its way from past to the present and defies both myth and historical evidence. That legacy is generosity. To be sure, Americans today may not be as religious as the Pilgrims, but most Americans do share their plenty with their family and friends on this special day. It’s a holiday that brings all Americans, no matter their creed or disposition, together. And that’s something worthy of our thanks.

Voir enfin:

Mayflower Myths
History.com

« The reason that we have so many myths associated with Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It doesn’t originate in any one event. It is based on the New England puritan Thanksgiving, which is a religious Thanksgiving, and the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England and maybe other ideas like commemorating the pilgrims. All of these have been gathered together and transformed into something different from the original parts. »

– James W. Baker
Senior Historian at Plimoth Plantation

Myth: The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 and the pilgrims celebrated it every year thereafter.

Fact: The first feast wasn’t repeated, so it wasn’t the beginning of a tradition. In fact, the colonists didn’t even call the day Thanksgiving. To them, a thanksgiving was a religious holiday in which they would go to church and thank God for a specific event, such as the winning of a battle. On such a religious day, the types of recreational activities that the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians participated in during the 1621 harvest feast–dancing, singing secular songs, playing games–wouldn’t have been allowed. The feast was a secular celebration, so it never would have been considered a thanksgiving in the pilgrims minds.

Myth: The original Thanksgiving feast took place on the fourth Thursday of November.

Fact: The original feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. Unlike our modern holiday, it was three days long. The event was based on English harvest festivals, which traditionally occurred around the 29th of September. After that first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists, Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Indians. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest.

During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November, which he may have correlated it with the November 21, 1621, anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941)

Myth: The pilgrims wore only black and white clothing. They had buckles on their hats, garments, and shoes.

Fact: Buckles did not come into fashion until later in the seventeenth century and black and white were commonly worn only on Sunday and formal occasions. Women typically dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet, and gray, while men wore clothing in white, beige, black, earthy green, and brown.

Myth: The pilgrims brought furniture with them on the Mayflower.

Fact: The only furniture that the pilgrims brought on the Mayflower was chests and boxes. They constructed wooden furniture once they settled in Plymouth.

Myth: The Mayflower was headed for Virginia, but due to a navigational mistake it ended up in Cape Cod Massachusetts.

Fact: The Pilgrims were in fact planning to settle in Virginia, but not the modern-day state of Virginia. They were part of the Virginia Company, which had the rights to most of the eastern seaboard of the U.S. The pilgrims had intended to go to the Hudson River region in New York State, which would have been considered « Northern Virginia, » but they landed in Cape Cod instead. Treacherous seas prevented them from venturing further south.

4 commentaires pour Economie: La leçon oubliée de Thanksgiving (The lost lesson of Thanksgiving)

  1. […] anniversaire de ce jour d’automne 1621 où, avant de redécouvrir au prix fort les vertus du libre marché, les survivants du Mayflower fêterent leur première récolte […]

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  2. […] anniversaire de ce jour d’automne 1621 où, avant de redécouvrir au prix fort les vertus du libre marché, les survivants du Mayflower fêterent leur première récolte […]

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