Home » American Revolution
You are browsing entries tagged with “American Revolution”
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
by Steve Palmer
22. Feb, 2010
It might be instructive to look at how Pennsylvania dealt with the issue of slavery in our early history. This topic is useful, because in retrospect it is perfectly clear which side was morally right.
So, this week I learned a little bit about the history of anti-slavery laws and sentiment in early Pennsylvania. I have only scratched the surface, so we will probably revisit this topic in the future. It may be that Pennsylvania’s activities, in support of Liberty for blacks in early America, can contribute to our Tenth Amendment roadmap for the future.
The first ever American resolution against slavery was issued from Pennsylvania in 1688. The University of Houston quotes the Germantown Petition against slavery as saying, “…In Europe there are many oppressed for conscience-sake; and here there are those oppressed which are of a black colour….Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse…”. The Germantown Petition, although largely ineffective, was passed among the Quaker communities in Pennsylvania.
Anti-slavery sentiment in Pennsylvania grew during the following years. Numerous writings against slavery, by various Quaker authors, were published in Ben Franklin’s Philadelphia newspaper. Pennsylvania abolished slavery, using a gradual phase-out starting in 1780, and George Washington commented in 1786 that “once slaves got to the Pennsylvania/West Jersey area, they became nearly impossible to find and retrieve”.
Hat tip: Politico
by Andrew Glass
An old engraving depicts citizens, partly disguised as Indians, throwing chests of tea into Boston Harbor in Boston on Dec. 16, 1773. Photo: AP
On this day in 1773, in Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists — some thinly disguised as Mohawk Indians — boarded three British merchant vessels and, over the course of the next three hours, dumped 342 chests of tea into the water.
The midnight raid, which has gone down in history as the “Boston Tea Party,” was mounted to protest the Tea Act of 1773. The bill had been enacted by the British Parliament with the aim of saving the faltering East India Co. by lowering tea taxes and granting the firm a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. Many colonists viewed the Tea Act as another example of tax tyranny imposed from London. The raid proved to be a key event in the unfolding of the American Revolution.
Are you an agitator? You know, one of those people who won’t leave well enough alone, who’s always questioning authority and trying to stir things up?
If so, the Powers That Be detest you. You … you … “agitator!” They spit the term out as a pejorative to brand anyone who dares to challenge the established order.
“Oh,” they scoff, “our people didn’t mind living next to that toxic waste dump until those environmentalists got them upset.” Corporate chieftains routinely wail that “our workers were perfectly happy until those union agitators started messing with their minds.”
Agitators. In each case, the message is that America would be a fine country if only we could get rid of those pesky troublemakers who get the hoi polloi agitated about one thing or another.
Bovine excrement. Were it not for agitators, we wouldn’t even have an America. The Fourth of July would be just another hot day, we’d be singing “God Save the Queen,” and our government officials would be wearing white-powdered wigs.
Agitators created America, and it’s their feisty spirit and outright rebelliousness that we celebrate on our national holiday. I don’t merely refer to the Founders, either. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin and the rest certainly were derring-do agitators when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, creating the framework for a democratic republic. But they didn’t actually create much democracy. In the first presidential election, only four percent of the people were even eligible to vote — no women, no African Americans, no American Indians and no one who was landless.
So, on the Fourth, it’s neither the documents of democracy that we celebrate nor the authors of the documents. Rather, it’s the intervening two-plus centuries of ordinary American agitators who have struggled mightily against formidable odds to democratize those documents.
The (condensed) speech delivered by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775.
This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
Hat tip: Mises Daily
by Clifford F. Thies
Posted on 4/28/2009
Can states secede? There are three levels on which this question can be answered:
1. the inalienable right of secession,
2. the international law of secession, and
3. the US law of secession.
All three say yes.
The Inalienable Right of Secession
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America invokes the self-evident truths that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that governments are formed to protect these rights and gain their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that when a government becomes abusive of these rights, it is the right — no, it is the duty — of the people to alter or abolish that government.
To say governments were formed to protect the rights of men would be historically incorrect. Almost all governments were formed by ruthless men exerting their will over others through the use of force. Some governments, over time, evolved toward the rule of law, perhaps only because their rulers saw that this would sanction their own continued enjoyment of the wealth that they possessed. In some instances, this evolution involved one or more “revolutions” in which those who were governed were able to better establish the rule of law.
The language of the Declaration should not be construed as an argument about the historical origins of government but, rather, as what would be true and just to an enlightened person, namely, that as persons and as communities of persons, we have the right and the duty to alter or abolish governments that become abusive of our rights. As Benjamin Franklin once put it, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
The concept of an inalienable right of secession was not original to the American Revolution. It can be traced to the scholastics, to Reformation politics, and to the most ancient Greek and Hebrew writings. Without going into a dissertation on the subject, let me simply point to the flag of the state of Virginia, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. It depicts a female warrior (Athena) standing atop a slain tyrant (Zeus).
According to legend, Zeus, the greatest and most terrible of the gods, was supposed to be the god of law, yet he was himself lawless. When he heard that he would sire a child who would destroy him, he swallowed his wife whole to prevent it. But the child grew within him and then burst from him fully grown. This child was Athena, the goddess of victory, liberty, and peace. And, she did indeed slay her father. It should be easy to see, in this legend, how the rule of law might be established from a government formed through the use of force.
by Jim Quinn
Hat tip: www.opednews.com
Do you know the enemy?
Do you know your enemy?
Well, gotta know the enemy
Violence is an enemy
Against the enemy
Violence is an energy
Bringing on the fury
The choir infantry
Revolt against the honor to obey
Know Your Enemy – Green Day
Do you know the enemy?
Is it Iraqis, Iran, the Taliban, terrorists, Muslims, Russia, North Korea, China, or our government? General Douglas MacArthur had a distinct point of view on the more likely threat.
“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote the book The Fourth Turning in 1997. Their theory is that history is a series of repetitive 100 year cycles with four generations living through each cycle. Each cycle and generation has many similarities, only the particular events change. We are currently in the most hazardous part of the cycle with the most volatile generation in positions of power. Strauss & Howe foresaw perilous times ahead:
“Based on historical patterns, America will hit a once-in-a-century national crisis within the decade…’like winter,’ the crisis or ‘fourth turning’ cannot be averted. It will last 20 years or so and bring hardship and upheavals similar to previous fourth turnings, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. The fourth turning is a perilous time because the result could be a new ‘golden age’ for America or the beginning of the end. It all will begin with a ‘sudden spark’ that catalyzes a crisis mood around the year 2005.”
We are currently in the midst of the Fourth Turning, an era of upheaval, a crisis in which our country will redefine its very nature and purpose. The sudden spark that catalyzed this crisis occurred on the beautiful sunny morning of September 11, 2001. The crisis reached an initial crescendo in late 2008. Many believe that the worst is behind us and the future has begun to brighten. This is highly unlikely. Previous crisis periods lasted fifteen to twenty years. The Civil War crisis was confined to five brutal years that resulted in 600,000 American deaths. The crisis in our past history that appears most analogous is the Great Depression/World War II crisis that lasted sixteen years. A financial depression caused by the Federal Reserve pumping too much credit into the financial system during the 1920′s had been considered the worst in U.S. history. The current financial crisis, caused by the Federal Reserve pumping too much credit into the financial system along with politicians turbo charging the effort by eliminating all regulation of the financial system, has led to the Greater Depression. We are likely only half way through this crisis, with tears and bloodshed yet to follow.
Following the Boston Tea Party, Dec. 16, 1773, in which American Colonists dumped 342 containers of tea into the Boston harbor, the British Parliament enacted a series of Acts in response to the rebellion in Massachusetts.
In May of 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of all British military forces in the colonies, arrived in Boston, followed by the arrival of four regiments of British troops.
The First Continental Congress met in the fall of 1774 in Philadelphia with 56 American delegates, representing every colony, except Georgia. On September 17, the Congress declared its opposition to the repressive Acts of Parliament, saying they are “not to be obeyed,” and also promoted the formation of local militia units.
Thus economic and military tensions between the colonists and the British escalated. In February of 1775, a provincial congress was held in Massachusetts during which John Hancock and Joseph Warren began defensive preparations for a state of war. The English Parliament then declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.
On March 23, in Virginia, the largest colony in America, a meeting of the colony’s delegates was held in St. John’s church in Richmond. Resolutions were presented by Patrick Henry putting the colony of Virginia “into a posture of defense…embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.” Before the vote was taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered the speech below, imploring the delegates to vote in favor.
He spoke without any notes in a voice that became louder and louder, climaxing with the now famous ending. Following his speech, the vote was taken in which his resolutions passed by a narrow margin, and thus Virginia joined in the American Revolution.