Four Centuries of Democracy in America

Is it worth recalling how we got here?

The date of July 30, 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly in the Western Hemisphere at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English colony in North America. This first General Assembly meeting took place at a church in Jamestown and laid the foundation for American representative government.

It didn’t get much press coverage, but the events of the day were part of a yearlong commemoration meant to honor the state’s colonial history. Special events open to the public were planned around Jamestown. Lawmakers and other guests gathered at historic Jamestown to commemorate the meeting of the burgesses. The Democratic governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, gave an address at an early morning event. President Trump attended a second event that was private but televised.

In his uplifted speech, the president talked about “the triumph that we are here to celebrate today,” the colonists’ self-reliance, and the self-government in Virginia that “gave us the country we love, the United States of America.”

In his speech, Trump offered a nod to the beginning of slavery in the U.S. by noting the arrival of the slaves in 1619 at Point Comfort, Virginia. He used the speech to make an optimistic case for America’s future, saying, “America always gets the job done.” “That is why, after 400 years of glorious American democracy, we have returned here to this place to declare to all the world that the United States of America and the great Commonwealth of Virginia are just getting started,” Trump said.

It wasn’t without the left showing its usual colors. During the ceremony, a Virginia Democratic state legislator, Ibraheem Samirah, who is Palestinian-American Muslim, interrupted President Trump and shouted “you can’t send us back, Virginia is our home.” Shortly after that, he brandished a sign reading “go back to your corrupted home,” “deport hate” and “reunite my family.” The man was escorted away by security as people in the crowd repeatedly chanted “Trump.”

The president anticipated this by tweeting before the event, early in the morning: “Heading to Jamestown, Virginia. Word is the Democrats will make it as uncomfortable as possible, but that’s ok because today is not about them!”

It’s intriguing how the anti-racist protester didn’t brandish his little sign during Ralph Northam’s early-morning speech, in order to remind the governor about his yearbook photos showing that he was either a guy in blackface or a guy in a Ku Klux Klan hood – he still hasn’t told us; or how the same family-man protester didn’t remind the same governor about his statements supporting infanticide. I am sure he would have been more effective.


NOTE – A version of the article was previously published in AMERICAN THINKER.


TIBERIU DIANU has published several books and a host of articles on law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC and can be followed on MEDIUM.





5 comments to Four Centuries of Democracy in America


    There are described a few pages of American history that marked the beginning of democracy in the country. Four hundred years ago, the first General Assembly session took place in the first English colony, in the current state of Virginia.


    This was an important event in the colonial history of the state. The event was commemorated by local officials and President Trump in separate events. In his speech, the president underlined the event’s importance and mentioned also about the first slaves who were brought to Virginia.


    Trump emphasized the fact that America is always doing her job. Muslims in Virginia voiced their opposition through one of their local delegates. They are afraid they would be sent home.


    Virginia has its history and the people will fight to defend their land from illegalities.

  • Carax

    “Democracy” has always been the problem. Our founders reviled “democracy” and hoped for a Republic, but as we can see that never got far.

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