• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Giving Thanks for the Free Market

    As millions of Americans spend today fervently practicing commerce, we bring you these thoughts faith, property and prosperity which first ran last year on Thanksgiving.

    There is much talk these days of how conservatives need “new ideas” in these troubled economic times. And as we look at our nation’s troubled landscape, there is much work that needs to be done if we are going to return economic prosperity to the country. But as we sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and family, recalling the true story of the Pilgrims should remind us all that the core principles that have made this nation great are unchanging, and that we risk ruin if we abandon them.

    Most children learn that the Pilgrims’ salvation at Plymouth Colony stemmed from the generosity of local Indians. And while there is no doubt that the American natives did help the immigrants through some early tough times, it was not until the Pilgrims rediscovered the importance of private property that the colony began to thrive and was able to give thanks for their own blessings. When the Pilgrims first arrived, they attempted a form of, in Gov. William Bradford’s words, “community” or “commonwealth.” In other words, they attempted to “spread the wealth around” by destroying private property and replacing it with a communally owned property system.

    The result was disastrous. According to Bradford, this system bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers'] benefit and comfort.” Unable to produce their own food, some settlers  “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” It was not until the colony changed course and allowed the private ownership of farmland that prosperity returned. Bradford reported, “This had very good success for it made all hands very industrious. … [M]uch more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. … Women went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

    A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients and applauded by some of later times … that the taking away of property … would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

    Amen to that.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Morning Bell: Giving Thanks for the Free Market

    1. Alethia, Birmingham says:

      Imagine if the true history were taught in Schools, based soly on orginial source documents. Our leaders and people might would learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes.

    2. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      It's called "History Revisionism". Every since the Socialist got a foot hold in this country, they have continued to "re-write" our history to

      keep the truth from reaching us. Just watch almost any so called "History Channel" program. They totally distort and lie about the actual history. Events that we are all familiar with and know the exact facts of, are being erased and replaced with their left-wing, socialist views.

      This is all for the purpose to accomplishing Obama's grand plan.

    3. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      What's the difference between the following: Fascism, socialism, and communism? Nothing. They're all failed ideologies of the 20th century. All three call for state control of the marketplace, and the media, as well. Let me add two

      more failed ideology____National Socialism_____that's right, folks, Nazism. So what's the difference? Nothing.

    4. Chris says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to all!! I have much to be thankful for this year, I am a Christian living in America. We are still a free country and want to to stay that way. Thank you Lord for family, friends, and plentiful food to eat. I am thankful to our troops who are still protecting us, so far away!! I am grateful to the many people who have supported my cause to stand up for America and for our GOD!! Thanks to you all. For those who want to commit themselves to supporting Christians and supporting our way of life and freedom. If you too, are grateful for God and country, join with us. http://www.PatrioticChristiansToday.com and show your support everyday!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×