It’s a little over a month away from one of those immensely important historic dates -- April 25 -- which prompt us to think about who were are and how we got here.

After all, April 25 is the birthday of Oliver Cromwell and within 89 years of it the Civil War he was decisive in, and the 1688 Glorious Revolution, had entrenched the parliamentary supremacy on which our democracy is built. April 25, 1846, saw the beginning of the Mexican-American War, which symbolically ended one North American empire and introduced another (although demography is currently reversing the result in much of the US border territories). And April 25, 1915, also marked the beginning of the end of another centuries old empire, the emergence of a remarkable new nation, and a significant step in the career of the nation’s founder, Kemal Ataturk.