American Minute with Bill Federer
38-year-old King George III ruled the largest empire that planet earth had ever seen.
The Declaration of Independence, signed JULY 4, 1776, listed 27 reasons why Americans declared their independence from the King:
… 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 kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies …
… To subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution …
… For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us …
… For imposing taxes on us without our consent …
… For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of trial by jury …
… For … establishing … an arbitrary government …
… For … altering fundamentally the forms of our governments …
… He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
… He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny …
… He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us,
and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
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33-year-old Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draft of the Declaration contained a line condemning slavery, as the King of England was part owner of the Royal African Company:
“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself … in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither … suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce determining to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold.”
Unfortunately, a few delegates from southern states objected to this line.
Since everyone was in a panic as the British were invading New York and the city was in flames, and since the Declaration needed to pass unanimously, the line in Jefferson’s original draft condemning slavery was tragically set aside.
John Hancock, the 39-year-old President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration first, reportedly saying “the price on my head has just doubled.”
Next to sign was Secretary, Charles Thomson, age 47.
70-year-old Benjamin Franklin said:
“We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.”
The Declaration referred to God:
“Laws of Nature and of NATURE’S GOD …”
“All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights ..”
“Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WORLD for the rectitude of our intentions …”
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
This was revolutionary, as kings did not believe everyone was created equal.
They believed they were created extra special.
Their belief was called “the divine right of kings,” namely, that the Creator gives rights to the king and he dispenses them at his discretion to whoever he wishes.
The Declaration of Independence bypassed the King, declaring that the Creator gives rights directly to each individual person.
Many of the 56 signers sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity.
Of the Signers:
11 had their homes destroyed;
5 were hunted and captured;
17 served in the military; and
9 died during the war.
27-year-old George Walton signed, and at the Battle of Savannah was wounded and captured.
Signers Edward Rutledge, age 27, Thomas Heyward, Jr., age 30, and Arthur Middleton, age
34, were made prisoners at the Siege of Charleston.
38-year-old signer Thomas Nelson had his home used as British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown. Nelson reportedly offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.
Signer Carter Braxton, age 40, lost his fortune during the war.
42-year-old signer Thomas McKean wrote that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three month.”
46-year-old Richard Stockton signed and was dragged from his bed at night and jailed.
50-year-old signer Lewis Morris had his home taken and used as a barracks.
50-year-old signer Abraham Clark had two sons tortured and imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey.
More Americans died on British starving ships than died in battle during the Revolution.
53-year-old signer Rev. John Witherspoon had his son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown.
60-year-old signer Philip Livingston lost several properties to British occupation and died before the war ended.
63-year-old signer Francis Lewis found out that the British plundered his home and carried away his wife, Elizabeth, putting her in prison.
The British wanted to make an example of her, so they denied her a change of clothes, a bed, and gave her nothing but the most meager food. She was treated so harshly that she died shortly after being released.
65-year-old signer John Hart had his home looted and had to remain in hiding, dying before the war ended.
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41-year-old John Adams wrote to his wife of the Declaration:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival.
It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by SOLEMN ACTS OF DEVOTION TO GOD ALMIGHTY.
It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Gustave de Beaumont, a contemporary of Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote in Marie ou L’Esclavage aux E’tas-Unis, 1835:
“i have seen a meeting of the Senate in Washington open with a prayer, and the anniversary festival of the Declaration of Independence consists, in the United States, of an entirely religious ceremony.”
John Adams continued in his letter to his wife:
“You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not.
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.
Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.
And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.”
When 54-year-old Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said:
“We have this day restored THE SOVEREIGN to whom all men ought to be obedient.
He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”
34-year-old James Wilson signed the Declaration. He later signed the Constitution and was appointed to Supreme Court by George Washington. James Wilson stated in 1787:
“After a period of 6,000 years since creation, the United States exhibit to the world THE FIRST INSTANCE of a nation … assembling voluntarily … and deciding … that system of government under which they and their posterity should live.”
Senator Daniel Webster stated in 1802:
“Miracles do not cluster, and what has HAPPENED ONCE IN 6,000 YEARS, may not happen again.
Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
John Jay was President of the Continental Congress, 1778-1779, and later nominated by George Washington to be the First Chief Justice of Supreme Court. John Jay wrote in 1777:
“The Americans are THE FIRST PEOPLE whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of … choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances …
Your lives, your liberties, your property, will be at the disposal only of your Creator and yourselves.”
Yale President Ezra Stiles, 1788:
“All the forms of civil polity have been tried by mankind, except one: and that seems to have been reserved in Providence to be realized in America.”
At the time of the Revolutionary War, nearly every other country on Earth was ruled by a king.
Dr. Pat Robertson wrote in America’s Dates with Destiny, 1986:
“On September 17, 1787, the day our Constitution was signed, the absolute monarch Ch’ien Lung, emperor of the Manchu (or Ch’ing) Dynasty, reigned supreme over the people of China … Revolts were put down by ruthless military force.
In Japan the shogun (warriors) of the corrupt Tokugawa chamberlain Tanuma Okitsugu exercised corrupt and totalitarian authority over the Japanese.
In India, Warren Hastings, the British Governor of Bengal, had successfully defeated the influence of the fragmented Mogul dynasties that ruled India since 1600.
Catherine II was the enlightened despot of all the Russias.
Joseph II was the emperor of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary.
For almost half a century, Frederick the Great had ruled Prussia.
Louis XVI sat uneasily on his throne in France just years away from revolution, a bloody experiment in democracy, and the new tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte.
A kind of a constitutional government had been created in the Netherlands in 1579 by the Protestant Union of Utrecht, but that constitution was really a loose federation of the northern provinces for a defense against Catholic Spain …
What was happening in America had no real precedent, even as far back as the city-states of Greece.
The only real precedent was established thousands of years before by the tribes of Israel in the covenant with God and with each other.”
President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1903:
“In NO other place and at NO other time has the experiment of government
of the PEOPLE,
by the PEOPLE,
for the PEOPLE,
been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”
President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924:
“The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely … rule of force held in the HANDS OF A FEW.
Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.”
A King has “subjects” who are subjected to his will.
The word “citizen” is Greek, and it means a co-ruler, a co-regent, a co-king.
America’s founders, for all their faults, gave a present to all future citizens, namely, each person gets to be king of their own life, and all citizens together are the co-kings of the country!
A republic is where the people are king, ruling through representatives.
America is a republic where WE THE PEOPLE get to rule ourselves.
When someone protests the flag, what they are effectively saying, is, that they no longer want to be king.
They protest this system where they participate in ruling themselves.
They want someone else to rule their life.
President Ford stated in Rock Hill, SC, October 19, 1974:
“What they don’t tell us when they propose all these benefits that they are going to give you from our Government …
that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”
Ronald Reagan opened the Ashbrook Center, Ashland, Ohio, May 9, 1983:
“From their own harsh experience with intrusive, overbearing government, the Founding Fathers made a great breakthrough in political understanding:
They understood that it is the excesses of government, the will to power of one man over another, that has been a principle source of injustice and human suffering through the ages …”
“The Founding Fathers understood that only by MAKING GOVERNMENT THE SERVANT, not the master, only by positing SOVEREIGNTY in THE PEOPLE and not the state can we hope to protect freedom …
In 1776, the source of government excess was the crown’s abuse of power and its attempt to suffocate the colonists with its overbearing demands.
In our own day, the danger of too much state power has taken a subtler but no less dangerous form.”
John Adams wrote in his notes on A Dissertation on Canon & Feudal Law, 1765:
“I always consider the settlement of America … as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for … the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
John Jay noted in 1777:
“This glorious revolution … distinguished by so many marks of the Divine favor and interposition … and I may say miraculous, that when future ages shall read its history they will be tempted to consider a great part of it as fabulous …
The many remarkable … events by which our wants have been supplied and our enemies repelled … are such strong and striking proofs of the interposition of Heaven, that our having been hitherto delivered from the threatened bondage of Britain ought, like the emancipation of the Jews from Egyptian servitude.”
Franklin Roosevelt stated in 1939:
“Rulers … increase their power over the common men. The seamen they sent to find gold found instead the way of escape for the common man from those rulers …
What they found over the Western horizon was not the silk and jewels of Cathay … but MANKIND’S SECOND CHANCE — a chance to create a new world after he had almost spoiled an old one …
The Almighty seems purposefully to have withheld that SECOND CHANCE until the time when men would most need and appreciate liberty.”
Ronald Reagan stated 1961:
“In this country of ours took place THE GREATEST REVOLUTION that has ever taken place IN THE WORLD’S HISTORY — Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another …
Here for THE FIRST TIME in all the THOUSANDS OF YEARS of man’s relation to man … the founding fathers established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the GOD-GIVEN RIGHT AND ABILITY to DETERMINE OUR OWN DESTINY.”
Donald Trump stated July 3, 2020:
“Each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world …
Our Founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity.
No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America. And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation.
It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence.
They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: “All men are created equal” …
Our Founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights — given to us by our Creator in Heaven. And that which God has given us, we will allow no one, ever, to take away — ever …
Seventeen seventy-six represented the culmination of thousands of years of western civilization …”
“And yet … there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.
Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.
Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.
Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing. …”
“One of their political weapons is “Cancel Culture” — driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees.
This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America …”
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Trump spoke further:
“We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life.
In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.
If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.
Make no mistake: this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.
In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress …
They are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage …
The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets of cities that are run by liberal Democrats, in every case, is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions …
Our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains.
The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition ..
No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart …
No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future …”
“The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society.
It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance, and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of repression, domination, and exclusion …
We will not be silenced … We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on Earth …
Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and we understand — that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world …
We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed.
Every child, of every color — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of God.
We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture … We only kneel to Almighty God …”
President Trump concluded:
“Those who seek to erase our heritage … seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country, and that we feel for each other.
Their goal is not a better America, their goal is the end of America …
Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream, and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights …
It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors ..
It is time to plant our flag and protect the greatest of this nation, for citizens of every race, in every city, and every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children …
Americans must never lose sight of this miraculous story … We will raise the next generation of American patriots.”
British Edwardian writer G.K. Chesterton stated in “What is America”:
“America is the ONLY NATION IN THE WORLD that is founded on creed.
That creed is set forth … in the Declaration of Independence …
that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice …
It certainly does condemn … atheism, since it clearly names the CREATOR as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.”
Calvin Coolidge stated July 5, 1926:
“THE PRINCIPLES … which went into the Declaration of Independence … are found in … THE SERMONS … of the early colonial clergy …
They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the Divine image.”
Henry Cabot Lodge, who filled the role of the first Senate Majority Leader, warned the U.S. Senate in 1919:
“The United States is the world’s best hope …
Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance … for if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.”
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Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.