Greenland: Trump's MAGA Idea!
To those of us of who learned our U.S. history from texts in the 1940s and '50s, President Donald Trump's brainstorm of acquiring Greenland fits into a venerable tradition of American expansionism.
The story begins with colonial officer George Washington's march out toward Fort Duquesne in 1754 and crushing defeat and near death at Fort Necessity, where, according to myth, he fired the first shot of what would become the French and Indian War.
With the British victory, Washington went home to Virginia, only to be called back in 1775 to lead the Continental Army in America's War of Independence, which lasted six years, until the victory at Yorktown.
With the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the Americans won title to all the land between the Atlantic and Mississippi, from Canada to Florida.
Twenty years later, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison seized Napoleon's offer and bought for $15 million the vast Louisiana Territory extending from New Orleans into Canada and so far west it virtually doubled the size of the United States.
In 1818, Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, was ordered by President James Monroe to march south to repel the murderous forays by Seminole Indians from Florida into Georgia.
Exceeding his orders, Jackson stormed into Florida, crushed the Seminoles, hanged two British "spies" he found there, put the Spanish governor on a boat to Cuba and came home, a national hero again, after almost igniting another war with the British.
Secretary of State John Quincy Adams now coolly confronted the Spanish. If they could not control the Indians, Adams told the Spanish ambassador, we would. And to avoid more visits by General Jackson, the best solution for Madrid was to cede this derelict province to the United States.
Spain capitulated. Florida was ours.
In 1835, American settlers in the Mexican province of Texas, under the leadership of Jackson's old lieutenant and fellow Indian fighter Sam Houston, seceded. At San Jacinto, they forced General Santa Anna to accept the independence of a new Lone Star Republic.