Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Why We Fought

When I was young, we were instructed to revere the men dubbed by President Warren Harding as “the Founding Fathers.” Reverence has since gone out of fashion.

Even today’s freedom-minded often express a general iffiness about America’s separation from England.

Now, I’m so deep-seatedly anti-monarchical, so resolutely anti-royal that I tend to shake my head at this sort of stuff. Yet people I very much admire might be called Revolution Liberty Skeptics.

“Can anyone tell me why American independence was worth fighting for?” asks economist Bryan Caplan. He says “it’s hard to get a decent answer” on specific policies improved by the secession from the Empire, at least liberty-wise.

He speculates, for example, that separation “allowed American slavery to avoid earlier — and peaceful — abolition.”

Historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel ably answers him, noting that before “the American Revolution, every New World colony, British or otherwise, legally sanctioned slavery, and nearly every colony counted enslaved people among its population. As late as 1770, nearly twice as many Africans were in bondage throughout the colony of New York as within Georgia, although slaves were a much larger percentage of Georgia’s population.” Vermont, which did not join the union until 1791, abolished slavery in 1777. By 1804, gradual emancipation had begun in all the remaining northern states that had not abolished slavery outright.*

Do we really think all this would’ve happened under British rule?

As Hummel reminds us, “emancipation had to start somewhere.”

It started in the country that put liberty up front.**

Scoffing at the Revolution now won’t put liberty further forward.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

 


* New York’s gradualist plan declared all children of slaves born after July 4, 1799, to be free after ages 25 and 28 years, female and male, respectively.

** Hummel makes good points on other freedoms, too.

 

 

By: CS Admin

1 Comment

  1. dick jones says:

    The slavery issue aside, an issue in 1787 which had the potential for being solved by such proposals as “grandfathering it out,” for example, over a set period of time, there is still this: When all is said and done, the Declaration was written, mainly and in essence, by the major philosophical force of the 18th century, John Locke. Nobody disputes this. Because he did, any deductions/conclusions made about the comprehensive role of the Trinitarian God of the Bible in the establishment of what has become a God-hating nation, bear a whole lot more consideration; in my humble opinion.

    The Revolutionary War was a double revolt. Ostensibly against King George III and his unfair/heavy-taxing Parliament, but the true enemy of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, Jay, Washington, Paine, Sam Adams and John Adams was the rule-making God Himself. This because of the reverence of the major players for the Enlightenment; a group I would never label as “founders.” Advantage takers, yes, but the founding occurred in the 1600s by the Calvin and Knox influenced Puritans. This untoward philosophical conviction went on to reach its natural apex with the Constitution to include, among other things, the Preamble itself and especially Article VI, paragraph three. Both betrayed the tenor of the Articles of Confederation and of God’s guidelines for life, throwing Him permanently under the bus; an outcome which haunts this nation-in-decline rather massively some 230 years later.

    Sadly, you may think I’m nuts and maybe I am. The above proposal however, could be true in any case and is worth a second look. I didn’t make it up, having been informed by my better mentors…of which David Barton, just for one example, would not be included.

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