Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding

This perspective, and the book, present an interesting take on the American Revolution. Will add it to my reading list.

From the book description:
Generations of students have been taught that the American Revolution was a revolt against royal tyranny. In this revisionist account, Eric Nelson argues that a great many of our “founding fathers” saw themselves as rebels against the British Parliament, not the Crown. The Royalist Revolution interprets the patriot campaign of the 1770s as an insurrection in favor of royal power—driven by the conviction that the Lords and Commons had usurped the just prerogatives of the monarch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fifty or Sixty Despots

Growing up in the United States, we were taught that the founders of our nation were moral, upright men, and that they heralded a new age of liberty.

Were they? Did they?

We were taught that the nation which they built embodies all of the so-called enlightened principles which foster a better world for all.

Does it?

We often forget that there were people living at the time who were opposed to independence of the several colonies. Their voices have receded into the dustbin of history, and our schools don't allow for their contrary perspectives.

One such perspective is that of Thomas Hutchinson, former Governor of Massachusetts. Writing from London in 1776, Hutchinson says,

Governors and other servants of the Crown, and Officers of Government, with such as adhered to them, have been removed and banished under pretence of their being the instruments of promoting ministerial tyranny and arbitrary power; and finally the people have subjected themselves to the most cruel oppressions of fifty or sixty Despots.

He goes on to say,
I should therefore be impertinent, if I attempted to shew in what case a whole people may be justified in rising up in oppugnation to the powers of government, altering or abolishing them, and substituting, in whole or in part, new powers in their stead; or in what sense all men are created equal; or how far life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness may be said to be unalienable; only I could wish to ask the Delegates of Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, how their Constituents justify the depriving more than an hundred thousand Africans of their rights to liberty, and [10] the pursuit of happiness, and in some degree to their lives, if these rights are so absolutely unalienable; nor shall I attempt to confute the absurd notions of government, or to expose the equivocal or inconclusive expressions contained in this Declaration

I will let you read the rest.