Did you know that the guillotine was still being used in France to behead people even as Star Wars was playing in movie theaters, or that George Washington cracked jokes about an aide’s fat butt while crossing the Delaware? History is replete with amazing tidbits and fascinating moments that are little known to most people. Following are twenty amazing, but not commonly known, historical facts.
20. The American Revolution Was the Second Time Americans Fought a British King
King George III was the baddie of the American Revolution, upon whom the Colonists pinned the bulk of the blame for the conflict. Indeed, when one examines the Declaration of Independence and gets past the first few uplifting “We hold these truths to be self evident” sentences, the rest of the document is one long screed, decrying his tyranny and infamies. However, George III was not the first king against whom Americans took up arms: that distinction goes to king Charles I, during the English Civil War.
When king and Parliament warred in the 1640s, Puritans were a key Parliamentarian constituency. Puritans were thick in the ground in New England back then, so in 1644, a colonel Thomas Rainsborough sailed across the Atlantic with a regiment of New Englanders to fight against Charles. Presaging future events, the Americans proved radical, and pushed for universal male suffrage three centuries before it was actually granted in England. As Rainsborough put it: “I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government“.