History Lessons Are Turning My Kid Into a Scofflaw (and I Couldn’t Be Happier) - Reason.com
"If I'd lived then, I'd have still gone to saloons," Anthony, my 11-year-old son, said as we watched the Ken Burns documentary, Prohibition.
"But I'd have carried a gun in case I had to deal with police or militia."
He commented after a scene in which Portland, Maine's Mayor Neal Dow—nicknamed "the sublime fanatic"—ordered troops in 1855 to fire on an angry crowd outside City Hall.
They had gathered to protest the statewide ban on alcoholic beverages that Dow pushed through in his zeal to make the world a better place as he conceived such a thing.
Like most fanatics, sublime or otherwise, the mayor didn't have a lot of patience for disagreement. One man was killed and seven wounded that day by the forces of mandatory sobriety.
...So a couple of weeks after Anthony learned about Woodrow Wilson criticizing the idea of the Constitution restraining government power, he read about war-time President Wilson muzzling critics of his administration, seizing sectors of the American economy, and conscripting men into the military.
Didn't see that coming.
Well, my kid sort of did.
He long ago realized that history lessons aren't just snapshots of the past.
They're also case studies of how people responded in certain situations—and insights into how their descendants might behave when faced with crises and opportunities.
And not just other people.
Because, as you read through history, exploring the outcomes of movements, individual activists, crusades, and dissenters, you test your own values..."