Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

In 1776, some angry people decided that they shouldn't be governed by a body that wouldn't represent them... despite the fact that they were tax-paying citizens. They were so angry about it, they decided to take up arms against the Parliamentary army to expel them, therefore maintaining their own liberties as good and loyal subjects of King George the third..

Even after blood had been drawn on several occasions, there was still hope among the leaders of the young rebellion that they might petition the King for redress of grievance, but it was too late. The King's heart had been hardened by what he saw as a direct challenge to his rightful authority, and apparent Colonial duplicity concerning overtures for peace.

What followed became known in Britain as the American War for independence, and in North America, as the American Revolution.

The American Revolution, as we call it here, wasn't just a rebellion against the authority of the King of England, it was also a civil war. A war in which only about a third of the free colonists took the side of the Continental army and militias. Another third were loyal to the King, and worked/fought for the British. The final third wished that all of these damned soldiers would go away, and not wreck their crops... as wars are always bad for farmers.

British forces remained overwhelmingly stronger than the American forces throughout the war, but The American Commander, a dashing Virginian named George Washington, knew what all poorly supplied, militarily weaker commanders had the good sense to know... all he had to do to beat the British, was to not let his armies be destroyed in set-piece combat.

At the end of a little over five years of fighting, the British, no longer willing to waste men, materiel, and money, fighting an enemy that they couldn't bring to conclusive battle, had the good sense to end hostilities and live as best they could with what would follow in the peace.

The United States were born.

In 1787, four years after the American revolution had officially ended, by wayof the Treaty of Paris, the framers of our new Constitution had finally finished their convention. A Mrs Powell, of Philadelphia, asked Benjamin Franklin...

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...what sort of government had this convention given the people of this country. Dr Franklin is said to have replied: "A Republic, madam, if you can keep it"

I pray that we can. You see, a Republic can only last as long as the governed are payed attention to by those who govern.

American independence, alive and well, speaking truth to power... especially when those in power don't want to hear it.

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Lady M said...

Beautifully said, sir. Happy 4th!

Janet M Kincaid said...

Happy 4th, Familie Gunfighter!

Brillig said...

Amen. Happy Independence Day.

jessabean said...

Hear, hear! Happy 4th!

Lawyer Mama said...

This is a perfect post, Bill. Perfect. Now I feel like I phoned it in, having just put the text of the Declaration of Independence up on my blog.

What a king once called sedition, we now call heroism. We should never forget that. Our government should never forget that.

soccer mom in denial said...

Well, well said. Nice research and bringing it into today.

One funny note - our church has been around since the early 1660's and apparently the minister during the Revolutionary War was on the side of the British. The story goes the local freedom fighters took it upon themselves to teach him a lesson - by catapolting cow dung at the parsonage.