A Letter from the United States to England in 1776

In addition to teaching sports economics, I have also taught economic history for more than 15 years.   When we get to the American Revolution, I tend to describe the Declaration of Independence as a letter between the United States and England.  And once you get past the formal language, this is what this letter is really trying to say (and yes, students tend to think this is funny when I say this in class):


Dear England,

We have been thinking a bit about our relationship. And we think that maybe it time to make some changes.

Let’s start with us saying that this isn’t about you. You have been great. The last 150 years or so have been amazing. We mean that. After all, who wouldn’t want to be with such an amazing — and let’s face, really good looking — country?

But, we think at this time we would like to start seeing other countries. And yes, this is not just about us. We really think you should see other colonies. Because, really, you’re great. And we think other colonies would be better able to love you for the country that you are.

We really hope this doesn’t lead to any sort of hurt feelings.  We know in the past that potential break-ups have been a problem for you (your history with Scotland comes to mind).  We think this is because you think the break-up means that no one will ever love you for who are.  And that is definitely not true. We know you will find more colonies real soon and those colonies are just going to love you so much (and will stay with you for centuries — just like you deserve!).

So we really hope that we can still be friends.  And if you want us to help you meet some other colonies… well, let’s just say we know some free colonies that we think would be perfect for you.

With love always (really, we mean this!),

your United States

P.S. And we know this is sort of a bad time to bring this up, but if you could take your soldiers back to England now… well, that would be great. Might be embarrassing to have those around when France comes to visit!

P.P.S. And no, we have not already started seeing France. I know some of your friends told you this. But we would never do that. Frankly some of your friends are just haters (just saying…).