Last year, 2016, was full of extraordinary political happenings. Donald Trump did what most said was impossible by defeating Hillary Clinton. (And aren’t we glad he did!) However, the most shocking political event occurred earlier in the year as the United Kingdom shook the entire world when it voted to leave the European Union.
As the United Kingdom leaving the European Union has made history, it’s not surprising that a piece of American history was just discovered in England.
The United States and the United Kingdom had similar political movements in the same year. Aside from the same language and similar cultural traditions, the U.S and the U.K have fought in the world’s most important conflicts together.
As we all know, there were British colonies in North America before there even was a United States. When the two nations were at odds the American colonies declared their independence from the British Crown. This tid bit of history was used by those who campaigned for Brexit, in fact they drew parallels between the two.
CNN states: A second parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence has been found. In England of all places. It’s a remarkable discovery, because the only other parchment manuscript copy of the historic document is housed behind glass at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
You see, most copies of the Declaration of Independence are just that – copies. They are facsimiles of the one housed in the National Archives, which is called the Matlack Declaration and regarded as the official document.
Scholars were able to shed some light on why the document ended up in England. Allen and Sneff, who presented their findings last week at Yale University, said that nationalist James Wilson was likely the commissioner of the parchment on behalf of the federal Constitution.
The scholars determined the parchment was definitely written in the U.S., mostly likely in New York or Philadelphia. It is believed that the Third Duke of Richmond, known for his support of Americans during the Revolution, could have originally owned the document. It is unclear, however, when and how the parchment reached the United Kingdom.
Now that the United Kingdom is starting on a path of independence from the European Union, this discovery will be of great use to them. As the philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In this case it might not be such a bad thing.