College of Political Knowledge
The weekend arrives and the old professor wants to extend the readers knowledge of the founding of this country.
The year is 1775, a year before the DoI, and the rebellion stew in the Colonies is starting to boil.
The Founding Fathers tried to head off any armed rebellion by offering England a document to prevent a war……known as the “Olive Branch Petition……
On July 8, 1775, the Continental Congress, forerunner of what would become the government of the United States, signed the so called “Olive Branch Petition,” a last ditch effort to prevent a war of independence against Britain by the American Colonies. Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 5th, the signing made this last effort at peace official. The acceptance of this American overture to the British government had little chance of success, especially since the Continental Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada and on July 6, 1775, had issued a “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms,” a justification for the American Colonies to take up arms against their British overlords.
The British response to the actions and words of American patriots was to issue “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition,” a notice by King George III of Britain that the Americans were considered in rebellion and that such rebellion would be put down by military and law enforcement action, the rebels being treated as traitors to the crown. The Battle of Bunker Hill had already taken place on June 17, 1775, enraging the King George III, and with the state of communications in those days being limited by how quickly ships could transit the Atlantic Ocean, events could easily outstrip the ability of leaders to consider actions and send replies to communications and events. Thus, the Olive Branch Petition was basically doomed to failure to prevent the American Revolutionary War (of Independence) from the start.
Few are taught that war was tried to be avoided……
Next was the Revolutionary War a mistake?
Interesting question, right?
Of course, evaluating the wisdom of the American Revolution means dealing with counterfactuals. As any historian would tell you, this is a messy business. We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.
But I’m reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.
There is so much more to the Founding of this country than most Americans are unaware of….other than the DoI and the Constitution and the knowledge stops there.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”