American independence is still relevant

July 4, 2013

By Katy Grimes

220px-Spirit_of_'76

As a young child, I was fortunate to be able to live in Newport, Rhode Island, the first British colony in America to formally declare its independence, and the first state to  guarantee freedom of religion.

We lived a short time in an old home in downtown Newport, which survived the Revolutionary War. Soldiers fought the Brits from the upstairs windows of our home, according to local lore.

Newport was rife with constant reminders of The American Revolution. I used to imagine what life was like in 1776 Newport, when the state repealed its allegiance to King George III of England.

Reflecting upon Independence Day, it’s so important to remember the Revolution wasn’t just a rebellion against the King of England, it was a rebellion against being ruled by a monarchy. Our forefathers and many of our ancestors gave up everything and shed their own blood rather than submit unto King George lll.

Liberty and the Declaration of Independence

My early years were still during an era unembarrassed by, and unapologetic of America’s individualist morality. But by the time I entered college, America was undergoing significant moral, ethical, political and social change.

Globalism was being ushered in promoting the hegemony of Western culture, capitalism  and free markets. The foundations of democracy and social stability were clearly being undermined.

Can this individualistic ethic be renewed in an America enveloped in entitlements and self-absorption?

Re-reading the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty,  helps refresh our ties to American history. Thomas Jefferson drafted it, and his words still capture the heartfelt convictions of liberty-loving Americans.

declaration_of_independence_630

Jefferson rightly focused on the importance of  individual liberty, ideals first shared by John Locke and the Continental philosophers.

Jefferson argued in his opening two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence that a people had the right to overthrow their government when it abused their fundamental natural rights over a long period of time:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the equal and independent station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the change

We hold these truths to be [sacred and undeniable] self evident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become 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 it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. but when a long train of abuses and usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, and pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to [subject] reduce them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

As the United States’ government continues to grow, has it also abused our fundamental natural rights over a long period of time?

Would Americans today sign such a document, under similar threats as the founders?

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” — Samuel Adams, 1779, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence

14 comments

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  1. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 4 July, 2013, 09:09

    As a young child, I was fortunate to be able to live in Newport, Rhode Island, the first British colony in America to formally declare its independence, and the first state to guarantee freedom of religion.

    We lived a short time in an old home in downtown Newport, which survived the Revolutionary War. Soldiers fought the Brits from the upstairs windows of our home, according to local lore.
    ==

    Wow, how awesome is that! Kool stuff Ms Katy 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Hondo
    Hondo 4 July, 2013, 09:20

    I grew up in California in the 50’s and 60’s, where the west coast has the sunshine and the girls all get so tanned. I’ve been all around this great big world, but nothing was like Kali in the 60’s. The greatest place on earth at the greatest time. Then came the Watts riots. And Charley Manson. And the oil embargo. It hasn’t been the same since.
    Hondo….

    Reply this comment
  3. Paul Preston
    Paul Preston 4 July, 2013, 11:10

    Rex, Hondo

    Great Posts!

    Reply this comment
  4. Sean Morham SIlver
    Sean Morham SIlver 4 July, 2013, 18:55

    Small town govt in New England rocks. Best colleges in the world..schools that recognize sports as extra curricular.. Not the basis for education..dudes with tongues bigger than their brains are not what you build colleges
    On…

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 4 July, 2013, 20:55

    What sorry trivia….downtown Newport R.I. was a lice infested tatoo parlor pit….drunken sailors trolling the streets for vices….filth everywhere on Thames Street.

    Kali in 1960’s hatched the pathetic hippy trash and those awful beach party flicks and encourage able bodied young men to become life long pony tailed, big belly surferd.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 4 July, 2013, 20:56

    Surfers

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 4 July, 2013, 21:27

    Katie, don’t like queegly get away with such blasphemy…ban him!

    Reply this comment
  8. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 July, 2013, 11:35

    My son-in-law and grandsons are surfers. My grandson surfs with the UCLA surf team. They are all clean-cut.

    We are as free as any people on this earth! God Bless America!

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 5 July, 2013, 11:48

    seesaw is a hippie hold out from the 60’s 😉

    Reply this comment
  10. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 July, 2013, 12:21

    No, Rex, I was never a hippie. I was too busy trying to help provide for a family during the 60’s. I have never tried marijuana in my life–have only seen what it looks like in pictures.

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 5 July, 2013, 18:29

    seesaw, you’re a hippie from the 60’s, and you fried your brain on acid, that is the only explanation for your crazy rants here 😉

    Reply this comment
  12. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 July, 2013, 23:13

    Rex, for once and all, I was never a hippie–I never used drugs–period! No Marijuana, no acid, no nothing! Don’t make accusation of such toward me again! I am perfectly sane, and you are perfectly neurotic!

    Reply this comment
  13. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 6 July, 2013, 09:56

    Oh seesaw, it is so EASY to make you dance to my comments!

    Reply this comment
  14. Queeg
    Queeg 6 July, 2013, 17:02

    Poodle……be nicd doggie…nice….

    Reply this comment

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