Thanksgiving, the Day Capitalism Saved the Pilgrims

The truth behind Thanksgiving…

Whether you like it or not.

Just about the right time to capitalize...

Just about the right time to capitalize…

Thanksgiving… A day of family gathering with tons of food, football, and the legendary Macy’s Day Parade in New York City. Now Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, notably the busiest shopping day in the entire year that kicks off the holiday shopping frenzy in the United States, has even seeped its way into Thanksgiving. What’s that you say? OOOOH Capitalism! Right…

The Macy's Day Parade in New York City

The Macy’s Day Parade in New York City

Thanksgiving, another capitalistic-friendly American holiday that ironically was founded as a result of capitalism (not that cute pilgrim Indian story they fed you in first grade, although those hats sure looked cute).

That’s right kids. Back in the pilgrim days (for you history buffs 1621), the pilgrims had communal property and farming. Wouldn’t you know that half of them ended up working their asses off while the other half of the population were being lazy, yet reaping the same benefits (sound familiar). History would prove it was an absolute failure. In fact, they were near starvation.

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

William Bradford encouraged a transition from communal property and farming to private property and farming. He made everyone responsible for their own harvest.

Plymouth Bradford

Plymouth, William Bradford (Photo credit: dicksonk)

The outcome? A bountiful harvest that saved the colonies. It was THIS harvest that was celebrated as Thanksgiving in 1623.

Bradford’s transcription of this account was lost for many years. As a result, America made up this legend about Thanksgiving to explain its tradition. Fortunately for American history, his diaries were recovered and are now in print in paperback.

Thanksgiving was in fact a celebration of the success of capitalism and the dissolution of communal assets. Oh, the irony.

Here’s to a turkey leg! Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

5 Comments on this post

  1. great post… I hate it when people think that if we have to all share then everything will be better… but history has proven over and over that half the people will do the work and the other half won’t care… and eventually the people doing the work will resent it…

    rgdole / Reply
  2. Very, very, informative and interesting… Right up there with things that make you go “Hmmm”… 😉

    Dovess / Reply

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