It’s the spring of 1776, and the American Revolution had been going on for more than a year. Between April 19th, 1775, when the Battle of Lexington and Concord was fought and July 4th, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was promulgated and published, the British evacuated Boston in March 1776 after an 11-month-long siege. Ticonderoga was captured in May 1775, and the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17th, 1775. The rebels failed to take Quebec City in December 1775 and managed to repulse a British attempt to take Charleston in June, 1776. These were only a few of the battles fought during this period.
My point is that by the time the Declaration of Independence was written and disseminated, the war had been going on for 15 months. Roughly two million colonists, a.k.a. the Patriots (80% of the 2.5 million living in the Thirteen Colonies) were taking on eight million Brits who lived in what was probably the wealthiest country in the world with the best army and navy.
If this happened in 2023, the talking heads on every media channel in the world would be questioning the sanity of those who rebelled. So, the question is why did the revolution take place?
The answer in the second sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which states (with the original capitalization and punctuation) 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 affect their Safety and Happiness.
By April 1775, the Patriots were fed up with the British government. It simply wasn’t responsive or caring of its needs. Call it arrogance, call it ignorance, but there is no doubt that English citizens living on their island looked down on their fellow citizens living in the Thirteen Colonies. The Founding Fathers were often referred to as “damn Colonials.”
The Patriots wanted to establish a nation free of the English government’s arbitrary and often punitive policies. See three blog posts –
When Did the American Revolution Really Start –https://marcliebman.com/when-did-the-american-revolution-really-start/ dated 2/12/23
Who Were the Sons of Liberty, https://marcliebman.com/who-were-the-sons-of-liberty/ dated 2/26/23
Vice Admiralty Act of 1768 Led to the Fourth Amendment – https://marcliebman.com/the-vice-admiralty-act-of-1768-led-to-the-fourth-amendment/ dated 3/5/23
It shouldn’t have taken a genius in Parliament to realize that the Patriots were serious about their rebellion. One British MP commented on the record after listening to the struggles of the British Army was that “These rebels were a stubborn lot…”
He should have looked in the mirror because most of the Patriots immigrated from England. Eight-plus years and four British governments later, the peace treaty was signed.
So, on this July 4th Holiday Weekend, I suggest you take a minute and visit the U.S. National Archives (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript) and read the entire Declaration of Independence, including all 28 grievances the Founding Fathers had with the British government.
Then, ask yourself, “Is the Federal government and its bureaucracy meeting the needs of the average U.S. citizen as laid out in the Declaration of Independence?” Or, as our Founding Fathers believed in 1770 – 1775, is there a need for change?
Image is of an original printed copy of the Declaration of Independence printed by John Dunlap and delivered to the Continental Congress on July 5th, 1775. This copy is one of 200 printed and was found in England and is kept in the British National Archives.