E Pluribus, Gen X - The Morning News
"For instance, you know who really won the American Revolution? Slackers.
Yep, many, if not most, of the Founding Fathers were part of the “Liberty Generation,” as generational historians William Strauss and Neil Howe call them. The members of the Liberty Generation were born in the wake of ecstatic social change—the religious revival known as the First Great Awakening—grew up amid the turmoil of the brutal French and Indian War, and came of age during a time of economic distress and growing bitterness toward taxes and rules meant to keep the colonies in their place. They grew up neglected by their parents and transformed into hell-raisers, with historian William Pencak describing them as “young people with nothing to do and nowhere to go.”
The Liberty Generation sparked wild rebellions and founded violent militias, like the Regulators in North Carolina, the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont, and the Sons of Liberty across the colonies, as the relationship with Mother England deteriorated, infusing the society with uncertainty and disorder.
And you know what came after the unraveling? The crisis. In this case, it was the American Revolution, and Liberty men and women were the most fervent patriots and the most infamous loyalists, including George Washington, John Adams, and Benedict Arnold, among many others. And while I think of Washington and Adams as old men and presidents, they were actually 43 and 39, respectively, when the Revolution started, while Arnold was only 34. Even considering their shorter life expectancies, these were not old men but revolutionaries in their prime, just like Gen Xers today." - Nathan Hegedus