Polish Roots of USA

Thaddeus Kosciuszko - US Hero

Thaddeus Kosciuszko – US Hero

The presence of Polish people had a positive impact on the history of the US from its very earliest days, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. They arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 on board the “Mary and Margaret”. In Virginia, Polish craftsmen established a glass factory, the first ever workshop in America. Later in 1619 following a strike, Polish people received the right to vote for colonists not born in Great Britain. Interestingly, in 1370 Poland was the first country in Europe to establish a requirement for taxpayers to agree to taxes being levied. 400 years later, under the banner of “no taxation without representation”, American colonists rebelled against Great Britain. The 1776 Anerican Declaration of Independence was based on the philosophy of John Locke, which was greatly shaped by Locke’s knowledge of the Polish Brothers (Arians); their volume was entitled “Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum”. When the Americans formulated their Constitution in 1787 they were acutely aware of the ill effects of foreign influences on the politics of Poland with the election of foreign kings to the throne of Poland. Thus, they highlighted that only those born in the USA can stand for President. The Polish military leader Tadeusz Kościuszko played a key role in the battle for US independence. He was one of only a few foreigners to receive the Cincinnati Medal. Kościuszko studied military engineering in France. After two years in Poland and then France he was convinced by Bejamin Franklin to go to America. There he was made a colonel by a resolution of Congress on 18 October 1776. To this day, Kościuszki is seen as one of the great heroes of US Independence.

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