We’ve been taught that the “Spirit of 76” was a phrase that embodied the feeling of American independence back in 1776. Our founders, Continental Congress, Continental Army, Militia, and colonists were supposedly caught up in this fighting spirit that led to our freedom. It’s not true.
The truth is that by the time we got to declaring our independence in July of 1776, our army was hanging by a mere thread, Congress was clueless, and the colonists were flooding the sinking ship known as America and heading over to the British side in droves. We were in deep trouble and the spirit was anything but inspirational. George Washington, however, just kept plodding along. He may not have been great, in fact he lost more battles than he won, but he was consistent. He never gave up. He kept fighting on.
From whence did this character arise?
Lets look at a hinge moment for GW. In debt up to his eyeballs and beholden to the London merchants, he made a decidre in 1766 that declared his independence. Instead of following the path of other planters, he decided he had had enough of selling tobacco across the ocean. So, he stopped doing it. He dug up his fields and planted wheat. He built a Mill so he could control everything and he sold his flour to his fellow colonists. He simplified. GW got out of debt, stopped spending like a banchee, and declared his freedom from the markets that had been all he’d known. The spirit of 66 is the spirit of independence. You see, GW tasted freedom a full decade before he began to fight for it for our country. You cannot taste freedom while burdened by a mountain of debt. And, leader, it’s kinda hard to lead people when you’re weighted down in debt.
The spirit of 66. Get some by getting out of some. Good…