the American Revolution ~ A Declaration of Independence for Our Life and Times

“We are called as a people, to give testimony, in the sight of the world, to our faith that the future shall belong to the free – for history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower – Washington, D.C., January 20, 1953

the American Revolution

We had our American Revolution over two centuries ago and the years have done something to it. The legends remain, and the statues and the grassy earthworks and the great body of tradition, but a good deal of the reality has been filtered out – revised! When we look back to see Washington crossing the Delaware on a cold winter night, or kneeling in prayer in the snow of Valley Forge; we see the Minutemen, or a lanky Virginian rifleman picturesque in fringed buckskin; but somehow it all seems out of a pageant, and neither Washington nor the men who followed him quite come alive for us.

This is a pity, because the central reality in this great act that brought a nation to its birth was the living, aspiring, struggling people who were immediately involved in it. A romantic haze has settled down over the whole affair, and when we look through it the facts tend to be a little blurred. And what is most worth remembering – the one thing that so often escapes us – the fact that like all of history’s wars, the war of the American Revolution was a hard, wearing, bloody and tragic business – a struggle to the death that we came very close to losing.

It was a struggle, furthermore, that was fought out by people very much like ourselves; which is to say that they were often confused, usually divided in sentiment, and now and then rather badly discouraged about the possible outcome of the tremendous task they had undertaken. It comes as a shock to realize how many Americans in 1775 were actually opposed to independence and a break with King George III. A good many historians believe that no more than a third of the provincials were active patriots; and they estimate that another third were Loyalists, with the remaining third uncommitted. To continue, it is clear that good many of the people who believed in independence were not always willing to fight for it. When the war began, the colonies contained about 2 1/2 million men, women and children – a population which should have yielded some seven hundred thousand men capable of bearing arms. Yet in 1780, only one year before the crucial battle at Yorktown, the Continental Army and the state militia together contained no more than one sixteenth of the country’s available manpower.

But all of this says nothing more than the people of the Revolutionary period were extremely human. Enough of them in the end, were willing to fight and die for what they believed in to make the dream of independence and freedom come true, and we who look back at them owe a debt of whose size is almost beyond our comprehension. They did not have an easy time of it, and if they got confused and discouraged now and then it is not to be wondered at.

For behind the great struggle with the professional armies of Great Britain, there was the unending struggle between patriot and Loyalist, a civil war just as real and as bitter as the one which broke out nearly a century later. And although the principal battles were decided along the eastern seaboard, the fighting on the frontiers along the rim of American civilization, was, if anything, even more violent, and continued in many areas long after the peace treaty with England was signed.

Sometimes, it is hard to see how Americans could have won if the revolution had not turned into a world war – that is, if France had not intervened in the wake of the surrender of Burgoyne’s army – and yet there was an unconquerable toughness at the core of the American effort. The farmers and shopkeepers of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina and the other colonies were hard men to beat, and they went quite a way on their own, without any help from anyone but themselves. They knew little about the European methods of warfare – and despite all the tales of frontier riflemen fighting Indian style from behind trees, most of the great Revolutionary battles were fought according to the European style. They were poorly equipped, usually ill fed, and almost certainly badly clothed; but fighting against the world’s greatest power, they managed not only to hold off disaster – but usually gave a little better than they got.

Somewhere, in the course of more than six bitter years of warfare, those Americans worked something out. They began to see, amidst the monotony, discomfort, acute danger, suffering and constant campaigning, that they were somehow more than just soldiers of the separate colonies. Somewhere, through their efforts – because of their efforts – a nation was born. As South Carolina’s Christopher Gadsen had urged before the fighting had started, they began to see that, “There ought be no more New England men, no New Yorkers . . . but all of us Americans!” That came – and finally independence came after – as it had to come once the vision had truly taken hold. ~ Bruce Catton


The members of the Second Continental Congress were men of status and wealth, men who in normal circumstances might be expected to shrink from the very word “rebellion” and seek shelter under the comforting mantle of established authority. Yet in 1776 these men – successful lawyers, merchants, ministers and plantation owners, and a sprinkling of artisans – signed their names to one of the most revolutionary documents of modern times in which they pledged to each other, “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor,” in the cause of American independence and the seemingly quixotic ideal that “all men are created equal.”

Thus was the United States of America born – not a nation at first, but a loosely knit confederation brought together by common dissatisfactions and shared inspirations.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he who stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right(not only to tax)but to bind us in all cases whatsoever, and if being bound in that manner is not slavery, then there is not such a thing as slavery upon earth . . . for so unlimited a power can only belong to God.”Thomas Paine, December 1776

These are indeed the times that try men’s souls. Like Paine, we are confronted with the increasing ruthlessness of power and tyranny of unlimited government. At all levels, government has extended its reach far beyond any authority granted to it, and with few exceptions, all are affected by it on a daily basis. The excercise of our individual liberties has all but been totally restricted, not now by a foreign king, but by a government of men and women who have presumed for themselves the same authority once presumed by King George. Driven by greed or self supposed importance, politicians and power brokers who know little of restraint, nor loyalty, think themselves able to enact any measure whatsoever into law, with no regard to constitutional guideline – or care for the effect upon the lives of “we the people.” These small men seek by these measures ‘to bind us in all cases whatsoever,’ just as that former tyrant and his followers did well over two centuries ago. And because these modern tyrants attempt to exercise the same prerogatives with the same object and intent, we find that those same grievances listed against that first tyrant in the Declaration of Independence, fit the modern tyranny like a vast historical mirror.

* He has obstructed the Administration of Justice.

* He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone.

* 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 affected to render the Military independent of, and superior to our Constitution.

* For quartering large bodies of Armed Troops among us.

* For protecting them, by mock trial, from any Murders which they should commit upon the Inhabitants of these States.

* For imposing taxes on us without our Consent.

* For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.

* For abolishing the free system of English Laws.

* For establishing an arbitrary Government.

* For abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Government.

* For declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us, in all cases whatsoever.

Today, American government has distinguished itself as having the same character as that same unjust king. In order to search out new subjects for their ‘king,’ they obstruct the simplest of justice by sending forth “swarms of officers,” whose sole function appears to be to “harass us, to eat out our substance, and to destroy our lives,” by the restriction and elimination of our liberties.

Through international agreements, both public and in secret, United Nation’s treaties and a host of other arrangements such as GATT & NAFTA, we are indeed subjected to jurisdictions foreign and repugnant to our Constitution. These are enforced by “large bodies of armed troops,” police and military, in addition to so called laws, which allow them to further deprive us of our property, trial (by jury or otherwise), and which have, over time completely altered “fundamentally the forms of a government.” For example, we need only look at the closed American factories and the loss of meaningful jobs for hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Americans since the passage of the now ten year old North American Free Trade Agreement.

The citizens of this nation have now become subject to the loss of life, liberty and property at the hands of the very government once established to protect the essentials of free men; yet the agents of the government who in fact commit these crimes against innocent, peaceable men, are protected from punishment through ‘mock trials’ which are offered in the form of political hearings, without fear of reprisal nor criminal prosecution. As regards the deaths of Sam and Vicki Weaver so many years after their murders – consider the ‘injustice’ of lack of trial against accused government agent, Lon Horiuchi.

Taxation is now imposed – illegally, without limit or consent against the American people. Nearly 39% of the family income is paid out to government, Federal, State, County, etc. This does not necessarily include sales tax on goods purchased. This total is greater than that of car payments, mortgage and food costs – combined – for each family affected. But the more pervasive and hidden ‘tax’ is upon our production, our innovation, job creation and standard of living – all of, which results from a corrupted and debased currency – and that has created a much bigger problem. Because our current monetary system only comes into existence in the form of debt – the more productive we become – the further into debt we in fact fall! And if we were to cease our production and collected all the currency in circulation, we could never pay the previous ‘debt’ because the currency to cover the imagined interest has yet to be printed – and never will be!

The debt is quite imaginary – but the production by Americans one and all – is real – and enjoyed with relish by these international ‘banksters.’ By their methods of debt and usury, as yet unborn generations of American children have already been committed to enslavement – to be born into bonded servitude. “And if bound in THAT manner is not slavery, THEN there is not such a thing as slavery upon earth!

Under their controls, the clearest of Constitutional guarantees are ignored or perverted to meet a desired end. Consider the Second Amendment of our ‘Bill of Rights,’ which states, “. . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It has received numerous interpretations in these past several decades, but it does NOT mean that those rights shall not be infringed!

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service, on behalf of its parent, the Federal Reserve Bank, continues to collect ‘taxes,’ with no Constitutional authority to do so within the fifty states; while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, prevents child abuse in Texas, by gassing and burning to death the ‘victims’ of the alleged abuse. Our own military has assisted in these crimes in clear violation of the law – and once again – the persons committing theses persecutions – are protected from criminal prosecution. Some have even been rewarded for a ‘job well done!’

Politicians of all parties, along with assistance from their media accomplices, while purporting to be acting on behalf of the welfare of the people of our great nation, hold contrasting positions with great reason and deliberation – each while enjoying membership in private, elitist organizations with age old – well defined agendae. While the media deftly creates, the politicians manipulate ‘both sides of the fence’ in grand style – in order to meet their predetermined end. Regardless of party affiliation, each soon forgets promises made during election year campaigning – these men of little honor all pursue the same object. Over a period of many decades, it has become quite obvious to even the most ardent believers in our institutions – that even with all attempt at restraint, and through the changing faces of the election process,

“There exists a long train of abuses and usurpation’s pursuing, invariably, the same object – a design to reduce the American people under absolute despotism;” a much proclaimed New World Order!

Many arguments have been lodged against these abuses, but by now, most free thinking men and women, realize the futility of arguing any point of law with a ‘king’ who presumes to write the law. Consider and study all of the Executive Orders and Presidential Directives which have been issued these past three decades, and you’ll not only agree with the last statement, you’ll begin to ask, “Why do we even have a Congress?” The answer, simply, is pretense – for no matter how compelling the argument, no matter what legal, jurisdictional or Constitutional foundation upon which a case is constructed, it can be altered, abolished or nullified by the next stroke of ‘his’ pen – if he finds it disagreeable. American government today, exhibits the character of such a king.

Yet, more important than the changing of our laws, many realize that while making any attempt at legal defense or petition for redress, we are forced to make our presentation before people holding limited knowledge or concern for Constitutional law at best – and utter and complete disdain for it at worst. If you believe that this is not so, then ask why they are now enforcing illegal and un-Constitutional measures against us! One now begins to understand the futility of attempting to stop government abuses by references to the Constitution – the law of the land.

As Thomas Paine stated in his pamphlet, Common Sense:

“. . . government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state – an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that WE FURNISH THE MEANS BY WHICH WE SUFFER.” .*

I submit to you that this state of affairs is no longer tolerable!

Most would agree that our nation is in great peril. Many who consider themselves “patriots” have undertaken the task to prepare and defend themselves, their families and their country on what basis and by what means each feels appropriate. However, there is no agreement on what means is best for all – and no clear, distinct and unifying principle underlying that patriotism. There is in fact, a general sense of hopelessness in this cause.

All must agree that the unjust taking of individual rights by government is the primary cause and effect of this present crisis. But most can only see political or legal means of opposing such tyranny, neither of which have produced meaningful results. These constitute participation and therefore, our consent to be governed by the present tyranny. We must therefore realize that these represent a false hope for this nation – and works only for the advancement of the present tyranny and keeps us removed from reliance upon the source of those rights – our Creator.

We must reclaim and exercise those rights, which have so craftily and subtly been taken from us, or there is no point to our stand. Free exercise of those rights generates great power and prosperity for the individual by having removed that power and wealth from our oppressors. No more effective strategy exists for this cause!

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was in his home at Monticello, struggling to stay alive for one more day. Some 500 miles away in Quincy, Massachusetts, John Adams also lay dying. Adams passed away early on the day of the fourth, his last words reflecting the thoughts of an old friend; “Thomas Jefferson still survives.”

Shortly after midnight, Jefferson awoke and asked his granddaughter who stood at his bedside, “Is it the fourth?” She said that it was, and then perhaps, he smiled. In one of the most remarkable coincidences in history, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams – the two great architects of the Declaration of Independence – died within hours of each other on July 4th, 1826, fifty years after they gave birth to this great land of liberty.

Ten days before the 50th anniversary of the signing of that historical document, and being in poor health, Jefferson was forced to decline an invitation by the committee to honor he and the others, who had so boldly gone where no man had gone before. He sent a letter, which included the following words:

“I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there, congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword, and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made. May it be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the Grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others.”

Jeffrey Bennett, Editor & Publisher
July 3, 2003

NOTE: The above was the basis for a two hour program which I had recorded in a studio in California in the Spring of 2003. Upon completion, the program was shared with my broadcast audience on  July 4, 2003 within hours of having posted the above. The complete recording was subsequently offered as a 2 disc CD set to my listeners.

I invite you now – to go back to the past. ~ Editor

the American Crisis II – Part 1

the American Crisis II – Part 2

~ The Editor ~
A veteran of Viet Nam, student of history (both American and film), Jeffrey Bennett has broadcast for over a quarter century as host of various programs and has been considered the voice of reason on the alternative media – providing a unique and distinctive broadcast style, including topics such as health and wellness, news, financial well-being, political satire (with a twist), education and editorial commentary on current events through the teaching of history. In addition, he is the CEO of Kettle Moraine, Ltd.

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