Two Hundred Forty-Three years ago, this coming July, a new nation was formed. It was to be, and is, something the world had never seen before…a constitutional republic. Even today, there are only eleven countries with this type of government, according to Wikipedia. Why do you suppose that, when our country was formed, they chose that particular type of government? Remember, it was a time when “the colonies” were ruled by a monarch thousands of miles away and who, apparently, didn’t worry much about the colonies and what they wanted. Anyone that knows history can tell you that “the Boston Tea Party” was probably the first overt act of rebellion…but not the last by any means.
With the colonists becoming more and more disenchanted with what the king was telling them they had to do, some of them decided that, maybe, it was time to break away from the mother country and start one of their own. I am calling that “Good Morning In America”. It was during that time that the colonists began calling themselves Americans, and suggesting that they become independent from England. Now, to be sure, this was not the “popular” opinion by far, because as I’ve learned, many were dead set against the action being suggested. It was a few, perhaps as little as three dozen that were for cutting themselves loose from the mother country, but they were vocal and they were persuasive. These men, whom we call the Founding Fathers, drew up a document that we know as the Declaration of Independence, which is a marvel of logic. It not only says the Americans are splitting from England, but they spell out WHY this action became necessary.
The new Americans said that the king didn’t listen to their complaints. Even though the colonies had Governors, they had to submit their wishes to the king, and get his consent or denial before they could do anything. Being that mail went by ship, back and forth, and ships didn’t always make it to their destination, requests sometimes went unanswered. The Crown dissolved groups representing the colonies without consulting them, and then convened other groups, representing the king, without notifiying anyone, and many miles away from the people affected. The judiciary, which was not representative of the people, was set up to carry out the wishes and whims of the king. He kept “standing armies” in the colonies and they were to back up his rules, and were quartered in private homes, many times without the consent of the homeowners. It was, to say the least, not the best of times.
The Declaration of Independence was, quite simply, was a slap in the face to the mightiest army, the most powerful king, and to a system that just wasn’t going to fly in the new world. Reading it from time to time might be the best thing that members of the Congress could do…but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to do that. Being a beneficiary of all that those people thought was right and proper is a wonderful thing. It pains me then, to see other Americans now fighting to actually repeal and dissolve those documents, in entirety or part, that made this country what it is. Were it not for a very small group of men who, at the bottom of that declaration pledged “to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The future of these men was not all peaches and cream, seeing as how they defied Great Britain! Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war. What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
We have come to High Noon In America. The 19th and 20th Centuries belonged to America just as if there were no other countries on Earth. We expanded from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and began settling everything in between. Villages grew and became cities. Agriculture, once it got started grew like… well, like it was supposed to… until the Dust Bowl, but America learned as we grew. Immigrants came by the thousands, asking for nothing but opportunity, and sometimes they created those opportunities and became wealthy beyond any dreams they could have had in the “old world”. We bled through the Civil War, World War One and Two. We recognized people of color. As the 21st Century drew near we were THE Superpower in the world, but being challenged. Somewhere along the way we LOST our way and began examining the minutiae of our lives and making politically correct statements…which to my way of thinking are completely unnecessary. The United States became, for some, the Untied States, each vying to become more ridiculous than its neighbor. I lay the blame for this at the feet of the 44th President and his quest to destroy us.
Parting shot: And perhaps for now, it’s Good Night In America.