Bill O’Brien, yes that Bill O’Brien, has an excellent piece over at Constituting America.org. Where their mission is “to utilize the culture and multi-media outreach such as television, music, film, internet, and social media to reach, educate and inform America’s adults and students about the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the foundation it sets forth regarding our freedoms and rights.”
Bill’s essay, titled, “New Hampshire has a glorious history of national firsts,” explores thinks I typically expect to hear from Dan Itse. He explores New Hampshire’s rich history as a leader first in rebellion against the crown.
While the Sons of Liberty gathered around a tree in Boston before the Revolution, the glory of New Hampshire was that in 1772 we had the Pine Tree Riot.
Some of the earliest conflicts of what would become the revolution were in New Hampshire.
On December 14, 1774 the indefatigable Paul Revere brought alarming news north from Boston that the King’s government was sending troops and was going to forbid the import of arms into America. In response, that afternoon 350 New Hampshire men attacked the royal fort of William and Mary in New Castle on the coast near Portsmouth.
New Hampshire lays claim to forming the first presidential delegate selection process that led to the first presidential primary.
On January 5, 1776, the then provincial Congress of New Hampshire recognized that with the royal governor and British troops having been chased out of the state, the time had come to adopt a state constitution derived not from royal prerogative or British parliamentary grant, but rather from the free suffrage of the people. In doing so and by means of that very first constitution, New Hampshire became the first of the 13 original colonies to declare its independence from the Great Britain – six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
After the war for independence,
“New Hampshire took up the task of replacing the wartime constitution. The resulting New Hampshire state constitution was adopted in 1784, five years before the federal constitution. As amended, this constitution continues as the basic law for the State of New Hampshire today and is second only to Massachusetts in being the state constitution with the longest tenure in the country.”
And yes, there is a much deeper meaning to the idea of New Hampshire as the First in the Nation primary state.
In 1916, clean-government New Hampshire set an example for the other states by establishing a presidential delegate selection primary over backroom choice of national convention delegates.
There’s plenty more. Make time to read it. Many of these details may have escaped your notice as a student, or perhaps you were taught something else.