Reflections on the 241st Anniversary of American Independence

Today is Independence Day.

241 years ago today the men of the Second Continental Congress declared themselves to be in open rebellion against what was then the largest and most powerful of the Western Empires. Most of us are quite familiar with the preamble of their Declaration of Independence, far fewer of their summation:

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.

By their signatures they also declared themselves to be guilty of Treason against the Crown. Their pledge “…to each other [of] our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” was far from empty rhetoric. As Dr. Franklin reportedly observed on July 4th, 1776 “We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

They did not all manage to live long or prosperous lives, and knew the risks they faced when they signed.

The United States whose independence they proclaimed and subsequently chartered under the Articles of Confederation became our Republic on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution.

In closing I return to Dr. Franklin, who when asked: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” replied “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Words of wisdom we should all reflect upon on all days, but especially on days like today.

America’s Political Center – Part 1
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of June 30, 2017
  • Paul Hooson

    A very fine feature to celebrate the historic meaning of our independence. The Fourth is far more than hotdogs and fireworks, and we should never forget that fact. Many lost their lives in this struggle for a free state in which we determine our own government. not have a government imposed upon us.

  • Wild_Willie

    Very well put. As a veteran and very proud citizen of these United States, thanks. ww

  • Glenn Instapundit Reynolds has a great link as well…

    It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

  • Vagabond661

    And we celebrate this holiday and our declared freedom because we had guns.

    • Indeed. Our forefathers were willing to use those guns to stand against a government which had become tyrannical.

    • Paul Hooson

      Polish-American Jewish banker Haym Salomon raised most of the funds to provide the Continental Army uniforms, boots, guns, etc. to fight the war for independence. The Rothschilds and other European Jewish families made huge loans to Washington’s army as well as government. Although the U.S. never repaid most of these loans, it wasn’t really a major issue to these Jewish financial leaders who were mainly support ive of the premise that the U.S. was built on religious freedom compared to so many states in Europe which had embraced religious intolerance towards Jews.

  • Scalia

    Good words, Rodney.

  • TheyTukRJobz

    The signers would be amazed at all that has happened since they’ve signed, at how far these United States have come, how we’ve become leaders of the free world and the most powerful force for freedom and prosperity and peace in the world.

    They would also be appalled at how much power has been ceded to the federal government, how much we’ve allowed the federal government to grow in power and authority over our lives and how much true freedom we have allowed to be taken from us in the name of security (especially financial security).

    However, there is still hope that we may yet keep that republic we were given.

    • MurraySuid

      I share the same hope, but it does requires work. As President Eisenhower said:

      “Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.”

      Ike also pointed out: “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

  • cathymv

    Took a class in College – Early American History. now I had always known about early American history – but this professor was so enthusiastic about this class, he brought to life the meaning of the Constitution and what the men were doing at the time and why they were doing it. It was the best class I have ever taken and it gave me – as an adult – a new appreciation for the Constitution and the wisdom of these men. They were, indeed, wise beyond their years!! So sad that politicians of today bear no resemblance to our fore fathers!!

    • We have no one to blame for our current politicians other than ourselves. We allow them to represent us. We keep sending clowns to DC,

  • Walter_Cronanty

    With a partial nod to Steven Hayward at Powerline – Two of the Indictments against George III included in the Declaration of Independence which sound rather familiar:

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass 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: