“taxation without representation is tyranny” – James Otis – 1761
A band of progressives identifying themselves as “The Sons of Liberty” stood against tyranny two hundred and forty-seven years ago. The Sons of Liberty (activists) spoke and debated at town meetings and in the town squares. They were viewed by England as rebels, however a century and a half of English rule was starting to get under the colonist’s skin. England’s King George III, and its parliament were forcing the American colonists to pay off England’s war debts. Seemingly there was no easy resolution to the dispute of who owes who what? Fun fact, did you know George Washington fought with the British in the French and Indian Wars (1754 -1763)? That’s where he received his military training. George worked hard at earning his way up the chain of command, but the British Royal Army did not recognize a colonist as being worthy of a high-ranking position. So, he resigned.
In the 1770’s there was a lack of weapons and ammunition. No real army, no navy, the English vs colonist fighting man count was 32,000 vs 20,000. England’s population was 8 million, and the 13 colonies totaled 2.5 million. There were more patriots than muskets. It is estimated that 20% of the colonist’s population were Loyal to England, 40% supported the patriots and the balance were neutral or basically kept a low profile. Wanting, and fighting for freedom from tyranny is a strong motivator for one’s self, one’s family, and one’s neighbors. Over time, governments can get so very weird.
America was already heating up on the 4th of July, 1776. In Philadelphia as the Declaration of Independence was being signed, George Washington and the Continental Army had just reclaimed Boston, MA from the British. Falmouth, MA and Norfolk VA had already been totally burned to the ground by the British Royal Navy. In 1776 the Continental Navy had 27 ships against Britain’s 270. By the end of the war, the British total had risen close to 500, and the American total had dwindled to 20.
Benjamin Franklin, William Franlin, and Temple Franklin
Ben Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence and he negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. Did you know Ben’s son William was the last colonial Governor of New Jersey? Billy hung around dad a lot. He was with his dad during the kite and lightning experiment, and helped dad with his printing press business. Young Bill did well for himself in the early years. He coveted his role as Governor of New Jersey and remained loyal to King George III. William lost favor with the colonial citizens, and his dad. Ben and William never reconciled. William Franklin lived in exile, and died at the age of 82 in England. William Franklin had a son, Temple. Benjamin and his grandson, Temple become very close. Temple inherited all of Benjamins papers and correspondence.
The God Thing
The Rule of Law, not the rule of kings, is a founding principle of our country. It remains a core principle that defines who we are as Americans. Did God play a role in the establishing of America?
1Peter 2:13-17 The Message Translation
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
Excerpt from Washington’s inaugural address of April 30,1789 (Transcription)
; it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.
…….. so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.