Sunday, the 4th of July, most of the residents living within the boundaries of North America will pause and reflect, if only momentarily, what this day means to them as citizens of the United States of America. The politicians will give the usual time honored speeches on the battles won or lost in the struggle to gain freedom from the strangle hold on the lives of the Colonists imposed by the King of England. It is rather strange, on reflection, to have to admit that England, at one period of historical time, was the United States mortal enemy.
By force of arms, the British were determined to maintain their colony under their Imperial grip. But the Colonists were determined to be their own masters no matter what the cost in lives or property. What drove the Colonist was their unquenchable thirst to be masters of their own lives and destiny. What the Colonists did to bring the English throne to its knees and win independence was admirable. Modern Americans swell with pride at the ability of the Colonist to declare their Independence on July 4, 1776 from the King of Great Britain, who they viewed as having imposed an “ absolute tyranny over the colonies”.
Somewhere in the writing of the history of the 13 Colonies, short shift was made of the participation by the Hispanic/Latino/Mestizos peoples who were part of the North American continent. The early Historians ignored the role of the Spanish colonization, where a Latino/Mestizos Spanish speaking population had been established since the early 1500’s. Missions had been established; towns, forts and agricultural communities were in existence under Spanish rule. .
The defeat of the British Redcoats, during the decade of the wars for Independence in the Americas, resolved into victory for the Colonist due in great part to the participation of Spanish/Latino/Mestizos troops, money, and to the total elimination of the British sea forces by the Spanish Galleons. Our history is not included in our schools. Historians of that era were more involved in nation building and ignored the assistance by our people. It remains for contemporary scholars to write and bring to the forefront the enormous role that our people played in winning America’s Independence from England.
Some day we will see proud Latinos/Hispano/Mestizos march in the annual 4th of July parade recalling our exploits in the War for Independence for America as we also recall our own Mexican Independence Day. The destinies of the United States and Latin America are intertwined by the facts of history. It was meant to be.