Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy 238 Years America! And a Short Lesson How we got the Constitution

Signing of the Declaration of Independence by Trumbell

This is the time of year, I re-read AJ Langutth's Patriot's.  It is a great re-telling of whole American Revolution. Here is the best quote of all.  If you don't feel proud today of this, maybe this poll was right....

"When members of the Continental Congress came to Jefferson's stirring conclusion, a majority thought it should include one last appeal to the power even greater then George III....They did not meddle with Jefferson's last oath, more solemn than anything they might devise:

"And for support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor'

"On July 4, 1776, independence was declared in language worthy of it."

And after the Magna Carta, and the Mayflower Compact, here is the next document (sequentially) the world needs to follow:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.

Now, why the lesson on the American Polity?

In modern politics, some of the mainstream complaints of the Right mirror the words of the Declaration.  Sorry, but true.  

Time for a history and Government lesson.  Sit back and enjoy!

Electoral College

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Checks and Balances


Signing the Articles of Confederation
We won our freedom against the Mother Country.  As the war was going on, the Second Continental Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation.  At it's heart was a weak Executive, weak trade and currency zones between the States and useless Congress.

Here is the Articles.  

Call forth Shay's rebellion and 14 year's later, even the founders had to go back to the drawing board.

Signing of the US Constitution
A more detailed lesson another day.

Enjoy the fireworks and water!

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