The American Revolution and the War of 1812 settled whether Americans would be subjects of Great Britain. Fortunately, we "cousins" on both sides of the Atlantic have developed into close friends.
But painful feelings remain between some Irish and English cousins because of issues dating back centuries - including in fairly recent times the 1920 "Bloody Sunday" firing by British soldiers on Irish civilians.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is trying to heal the wounds. In an unprecedented visit to Dublin on Wednesday, she expressed "deep sympathy" for those who had suffered in the nations' mutually "troubled past."
Many hope her regal gesture will help lead to sincere reconciliation.