Celebrating The Birth Of A Nation

The_death_of_general_warren_at_the_battle_of_bunker_hillIn reality I don’t think declaring independence from Britain was a very smart thing for a small group of disorganized colonists to do. Besides, if you look at the conditions under which they lived, things weren’t oppressive. The tax they complained about wasn’t excessive. They retained their status as Englishmen.

And yet, they all but declared war on the motherland. Why would they do that?

Indications point to a unified, principled belief. The colonists held fast to what they believed. They were fueled by their faith in God, refined by the ideas of John Locke, and spurred forward by a group of leaders that valued civic duty more than personal desires.

The result was bold defiance of the most powerful nation in the world at that time.

And here we are these 237 years later, celebrating the result of a risky, self-sacrificial, principled decision. What might the world have been like had the US remained part of the British Empire? We’ll never know.

What is intriguing is the way the US and England have strengthened their bonds as allies these last sixty years. What would the Founding Fathers have thought had they known the course history would take?

But of course, history wouldn’t have unfolded as it did if the Founding Fathers hadn’t acted according to their principles.

They showed amazing grit, boldness, determination. The war lasted until 1783–eight years. And these battles were being fought on American soil–something foreign to most of us apart from Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

How easily we take for granted what those Founding Fathers earned for us. I see the struggle in Syria and the brewing unrest in Egypt, and I think how fortunate I am to live in a nation that settled the big questions of nationhood so long ago.

From our inception we have been a nation that believes in the rule of law though we were founded upon the overthrow of it. It’s an interesting contradiction. The resolution of the two divergent facts lies in the belief that government needs the consent of the governed.

There’s an elevation of the individual behind this American experience–to our detriment and to our glory. It’s a grand thing and it’s an idol. It brings out the best in us and the worst.

We try harder to get ahead and forget to offer a helping hand to those coming after us. We crow at our achievements, pretty much inviting everyone else in the world to bash us in the mouth in order to silence the endless bragging. We work hard, play hard, pray hard–though not all of us do all those things any more.

With fireworks exploding tomorrow, I’ll be reminded of the incredible start our Founding Fathers gave this nation. We were given a unique opportunity, a chance to do something unparalleled.

Things have changed over the years–some for the good, but a lot, in the other direction. And things are on the fast track to change even more. Nevertheless, I know I’ve personally reaped the blessings of living in the good ol’ US of A, as flawed as it is.

Still, I look forward to living where my true citizenship is, from which also I eagerly wait for my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. When He comes to claim His throne, now that will be the start of something really worth celebrating! 😀

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4 Comments

  1. nice post and thanks for posting

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  2. You said
    “What might the world have been like had the US remained part of the British Empire? We’ll never know.”

    I can think of at least 2 stories on this theme.
    Harry Harrison had a world where the Colonists lost, and a descendant of the disgraced Washington persuades the British to give the colonies independance.

    In “The Two Georges” Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss had a world where the British backed off, offered a fair settlement and Sir George Washington leads the new American nation.

    I suspect the most likely result of any compromise would have been a “British” Empire where the centre of power would have moved west to the American Dominions – at least that’s the story I’m working on right now.

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    • I never thought what great fodder that would be for a story. OK, I can see both those things you mentioned in the two stories in existence. I have a hard time imagining the Americas wouldn’t have played a significant role. From a strictly human standpoint, there are all these natural resources! England maintained an empire for a very long time, but eventually realized the need to grant independence. Would that have been the case sooner or later or not at all if the Thirteen had stayed a part of the Motherland? What an intriguing premise to consider!

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll be interested to see where your story takes you. 😉

      Becky

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      • Yes, it’s a great premise. There are so many outcomes.
        1, Colonies rebel, but lose (no French help?). British Government realise their mistake and give self-government leading to effective independance. (This is what happened in Canada. Full formal independance only came in 1982 – because the Canadians didn’t bother ask for it earlier.)
        2, Colonies rebel, but lose (no French help?). British Government treat them like they did the Irish in 1917, leading to bitter anger and decades of unrest.
        3, British parliament backs down and accepts eg the Olive Branch Petition. Effective independance for the Colonies as an equal partner in the Empire.
        4, Someone (Franklin?) persuades the King to come over to the Colonies to see for himself, as his duty under his Coronation Oath. British Parliament objects, leading to civil conflict in Britain.

        Either way I cannnot see peace without self-government, and self-government would quickly become effective independance. This is what happened in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (until it went badly wrong in 1948).
        In that case I suspect the North American part of the empire would quickly become the largest part of the empire, and probably the dominant one.

        My story is a Prof Challenger story based on option 4.
        I’ll send you a copy when it’s finished.

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