Thursday, March 18, 2010

DO YOU KNOW WHY WE DECLARED OUR INDEPENDENCE?

The most common answers to this question are: 1) taxation without representation and 2) to be a free nation.

Those answers are true, but they are only a small part of the reason.

King George III, who achieved the crown in 1760, after the death of George II, was a strong king and quite the warrior.

His long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India.

King George III ruled his parliament with an iron fist. What he wanted he generally got.

The American colonies were considered to belong to the British, and King George III had his own ideas as to how they should be ruled, to the point that he was willing to whip them into shape if need be.

And be needed.

The colonies wanted self rule, or at least to be able to make laws appropriate for their unique situation.

Things got worse and worse for the Americans until at last they could stand it no more.

They declared their Independence from Great Britain…a costly action, both in finances and in lives.

They listed 28 reasons for their decision to break ties with King George III.

1. King George III refused to give his approval to the local laws the colonies wished for themselves.

2. He required that the governors of colonies be suspended from office until he ruled on their desires, which he refused to do.

3. He forced the colonies to relinquish their right to representation in the legislature (which the colonists thought they should keep and which King George III tyrannically refused)

4. He held secret legislative meetings in places “representatives” from the colonies could neither know nor find. (He did this in order to tire them of their struggle for representation and to force them into compliance with his wishes.)

5. Every time “representatives” from the colonies arrived to represent themselves, King George III would dissolve his parliament, thus making their long trip to England futile.

6. After dissolving parliament, he refused to allow members to be elected thereto.

7. He controlled every aspect of immigration to the colonies and made land ownership for the newly arrived almost impossible.

8. He would not allow the colonists to set up their own judiciary.

9. He made all judges from the colonies answerable to him, alone.

10. He established many new offices headed by British loyalists who were to harass the colonists into submission to the king. They consumed and/or stole the colonists’ food

11. He kept a standing army in America, against the will of the people.

12. He made his army superior to the civil leadership of the colonies.

13. He made arbitrary laws pertaining to the colonists that did not pertain to anybody else in Great Britain.

14. King George III forced colonists to take large numbers of army personnel into their home, to house and feed them.

15. He held mock trials for British Army soldiers who murdered colonists and invariably acquitted them.

16. He cut off the colonists’ trade with much of the world.

17. He imposed taxes without the consent of the colonists.

18. He disallowed trial by jury in the colonies.

19. He accused Americans of made up offences and forced them to travel to England for “trial.”

20. He established arbitrary governance in the colonies and attempted absolute rule over them.

21. He took away the colonists’ charters and altered their desired form of government.

22. King George III suspended the American legislature and declared himself to be the legislator of the colonies.

23. He refused to protect the colonists, waging war on them, instead.

24. He plundered the colonists’ ships, ravaged their coastlines, burned their towns and killed American.

25. He sent large armies trained in torture to inflict barbarous penalties upon the colonists.

26. He forced captured American seamen, under threat of death, to wage war against their friends, countrymen and families.

27. He incited Americans to insurrection against themselves and (these are Thomas Jefferson’s own words) “…endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

28. He ignored the petitions for redress from the colonists, responded to their requests with increased violence and behaved like a Tyrant.

After many appeals to King George III to cease his aggressions, and after many warnings that the colonist were tiring of his injustices, 56 men put their names to a Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Which, to a man, they did.

The Entire Text of the Declarationof Independence

5 comments:

shoprat said...

More than one person has noted the eerie similarities here.

Joe said...

shoprat: Ab and solutely!

Leticia said...

Hitler, King George and now Obama, I see a frightening pattern.

Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez said...

What an awesome and most excellent post and reminder of why our states and this nation was formed, and the basis on which it was built.

I am happy I came across your blog at Leticia's. Great site!

Joe said...

Leticia: It is a dangerous pattern.

Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez: I do appreciate the visit. I thank you for your encouragement and I hope you will return. I've visited your blog and it is a good one!