Re: The Real Thanksgiving Story

Writes Jacob Hornberger:

As Barack Obama prepares to assume the presidency, it would be appropriate today to remember that the original Thanksgiving celebrated the demise of the “spread-the-wealth” economic system that the colonists at Plymouth Rock initially established.

The story of socialism at Plymouth Rock is one that few Americans are taught in their public (i.e., government) schools. On landing at Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims established an economic system in which all their crops would be owned in common and whose harvest would be distributed to each family in accordance with its needs. The colonists felt that such a socialist system would be consistent with their deep religious convictions.

There was one big problem, however, with this spread-the-wealth economic system: starvation. When everything was owned by everyone, people would look for excuses to avoid working in the fields and the harvests were not sufficient to keep everyone fed.

Finally, after repeated food shortages Plymouth Rock Governor William Bradford declared an end to socialism at Plymouth Rock. He announced that every family would be responsible for planting and harvesting its own crops and would be free to keep the bounty.

The result? No more starvation! Instead, a bountiful harvest and more than enough food for everyone.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.