The Origins of the American Revolution
By Mike Kapic – May 31, 2021
Where did they all come from? Why have so many served our Nation? Why have so many paid the ultimate price? What about the countless who served indirectly? The parents standing up to the school board that had lost its way.
Could it be because of our very unique historical founding? That we want our posterity to enjoy and continue our experiment of human events? Could it be we had a belief in something larger than humanity itself. Is it because We the People really did find traction in foundational values and a Natures God.
Let’s take a brief look at the original concrete poured in America’s foundation. It began with the migration of many peoples to America and the determined stirring of that soup into a We the People moment. That moment was the period 1750 to the early 1790’s and is commonly referred as our founding era.
Here is a summary of the principles, from FEE, that influenced the Founders and the events that led to the birth of the United States.
- The Seven Years’ War set America on the road to revolution by increasing British war debt that eventually led them to enforce their taxes on the colonies.
- John Locke’s philosophy played a crucial role in developing the principles of the American regime. Locke explained that all people are free and equal, so no people can rule over another without their consent. He also explained that people enter into government in order to have their property protected from ill-intentioned individuals.
- The colonists considered their legislatures the only legitimate governing body, and they did not appreciate being ruled by a government a great distance away.
- Samuel Adams expresses this dissatisfaction in his Rights of the Colonists. He emulates John Locke by explaining all of the colonists have the rights of life, liberty, and property. Adams clearly believed that the government of England had an obligation to the American colonists, and that they were entitled to all the same rights as their counterparts in England. Parliament had, in Adams’ estimation, made itself arbitrary in its dealings with the colonies. It had passed new taxes, interfered with the internal politics of the colonies, disallowed colonial representation.
- These ideas and grievances escalated into revolution and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explains that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that these rights, being inherent, cannot be taken away. Moreover, it is the purpose of government to protect these rights, and, if a government does not uphold this end, then the people living have the right to remove said government.
- The United States was then born as the first nation to be founded upon a set of principles.
After obtaining our liberty in the early 1780s, we wobbled and stumbled while learning to walk. We built a confederation of states using the Articles of Confederation; actually, it codified thirteen individual countries and it simply did not work, leading us to bankruptcy and near collapse.
To address these issues, we met in conventions, on average, every three and a half years, finally arriving at the 1787 Convention. It was during this hot and humid summer in Philadelphia that reform of the American government began, and the Constitution was labeled: We the People. It defined how are government was to work for us and shortly after being approved, the new government incorporated amendments to protect us from its tyrannical self: The Bill of Rights.
We the People have always believed America to be exceptional and unique. On this day we owe a debt of gratitude to all who have contributed to its continued existence. In their memory we offer praise to God for their souls and that we, their posterity, recognize they did not suffer in vain and We the People commit to continuing their efforts.
At the conclusion of the Convention, James Madison reflected, “They (the Framers) accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabrics of government which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate.”