Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Revolution: Against What, Exactly?

The shorthand explanation of the American Revolution is that the colonists revolted against King George III. But that's not quite accurate.

The antecedent cause of the Revolution was the imposition of taxes by Parliament while the colonies did not have representation within Parliament. That was decried as "tyrrany," and started the ball rolling.

The Declaration of Independence, however, was aimed at the King, who had managed to foul things up to a fare-thee-well. The preamble is worth reading again, for context purposes.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

One reason that this is worth the read is that in Obama-history, this document does NOT count as part of US history. We've mentioned that here; this is the pertinent text:

Obama, on the night of his election, asked the nation to “to join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years...

Yah, do the subtraction and you'll note that the O-and-Savior chose to ignore the Declaration of Independence (and the Revolution, and the Articles of Confederation....)

Ignoring the Declaration allows him to ignore that inconvenient "right to life" stuff, but there's more that can be ignored by the next Commander-in-Chief.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

...For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

...For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever

(Some of you may recall the 9th and 10th Amendments...)

So, yes, the Revolution was fought against King George--but as is clear from the above, it was fought over the King's egregious violations of human rights (quartering troops, impressing soldiers, and arrogating powers to himself over elected legislatures), AND his 'swarms' of bureaucrats and his taxation.

The Revolution was not exactly against King George, although that was the legal pretext. The Revolution was fought against an arrogant and costly Government.

Worth remembering.


Unknown said...

Sweet Jesus. All this paranoia and demonization from the "way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years"?

Find something real and get angry about that instead.

Dad29 said...

You missed the point, Scott, which doesn't surprise me.

Obama is a bit-player here. On the other hand, deleting 20 years of history is....ahhhh....significant, no?

Terrence Berres said...

"deleting 20 years of history is....ahhhh....significant, no?"

No, since he made the reference to the Consititution in the course of being elected to office under it. The oath of office he took as a U.S. Senator and will take as President likewise makes no explicit reference to those 20 years of history.

capper said...

Nice to see that you're staying limber with leaps of assumptions and stretching credibility.

Oh, and BOO!