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Much ado about Jamestown - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Much ado about Jamestown [ Monday, 14 May 07 | 18:32 ]
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |annoyedannoyed]

Recently there has been news regarding the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia, America's first permanent English colony. Even HM the Queen of England visited the site. So did the President of the United States.

Of course forty-two years earlier in 1565 the city of St. Augustine, Florida was founded, making it the longest continually inhabited European founded city in the United States, or more commonly called the “Nation’s Oldest City.” A few settlements were founded prior to St. Augustine but all failed, including the original Pensacola colony in West Florida (founded 1559), and Fort Caroline in what is today Jacksonville, Florida in 1564.

Some, however, would argue that the US’s oldest European city is San Juan in Puerto Rico. Juan Ponce de León founded a settlement at Caparra (which was later moved to San Juan's current location) five years before he reached St. Augustine.

Not surprising, none of the many news reports I have seen about Jamestown mentions either St. Augustine, San Juan, or cities of indigenous peoples that had older settelements. Acoma Pueblo, also known as “Sky City”, is a Native American pueblo in New Mexico. The Pueblo, believed to have been established in the 12th century or even earlier, is regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.

It’s interesting how much of US history is skewed towards a British point of view. I wonder if in 58 years they invite SM el Rey de España for the 500th anniversay of San Agustín.


[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Monday, 14 May 07 | 17:48 (UTC)
It's not particularly surprising given that we speak English, have English institutions (including English common law), and have been allied with England for quite a long time now. The last time we fought a war against them was nearly two centuries ago and since then we've fought alongside them in at least a half-dozen conflicts. But the Spanish-American War is just outside of living memory and there are no glorious memories of marching into Paris or Baghdad side-by-side with Spanish troops.

I think a lot will depend on how we settle the whole debate over Spanish-speaking immigration going on right now. If we've reconciled ourselves to it in 50 years, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't make a big splash over St Augustine. But if it's still a running sore (or a newly-reopened wound--say on the back of a catastrophe in Mexico), then that seems less likely.
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