Olive Branch Petition

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.

July 8, 1775: Last Chance to Avoid American Revolution (Olive Branch Petition Signed)

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.

https://www.vox.com/2015/7/2/8884885/american-revolution-mistake

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.

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Gen. Washington Was Brilliant

Since most of the news is redundant these I thought I would give my readers a break and force some history down their throats….

Most Americans are taught the the American Revolutionary War was won on the back of George Washington…..he became the savior of the idea of a republic and for his brilliance he became the first president of the United States of America.

Among the hundreds of eulogies delivered after the death of George Washington in 1799, Timothy Dwight, president of Yale College, averred that the general’s military greatness consisted principally in his “formation of extensive and masterly plans” and a “watchful seizure of every advantage.” It was the prevailing view and one that has been embraced by many historians.

In fact, Washington’s missteps revealed failings as a strategist. No one understood his limitations better than Washington himself who, on the eve of the New York campaign in 1776, confessed to Congress his “want of experience to move on a large scale” and his “limited and contracted knowledge . . . in Military Matters.”

In August 1776, the Continental Army was routed in its first test on Long Island in part because Washington failed to properly reconnoiter and he attempted to defend too large an area for the size of his army. To some extent, Washington’s nearly fatal inability to make rapid decisions resulted in the November losses of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island and Fort Lee in New Jersey, defeats that cost the colonists more than one-quarter of the army’s soldiers and precious weaponry and military stores. Washington did not take the blame for what had gone wrong. Instead, he advised Congress of his “want of confidence in the Generality of the Troops.”

In the fall of 1777, when Gen. William Howe invaded Pennsylvania, Washington committed his entire army in an attempt to prevent the loss of Philadelphia. During the Battle of Brandywine, in September, he once again froze with indecision. For nearly two hours information poured into headquarters that the British were attempting a flanking maneuver—a move that would, if successful, entrap much of the Continental Army—and Washington failed to respond. At day’s end, a British sergeant accurately perceived that Washington had “escaped a total overthrow, that must have been the consequence of an hours more daylight.”

Later, Washington was painfully slow to grasp the significance of the war in the Southern states. For the most part, he committed troops to that theater only when Congress ordered him to do so. By then, it was too late to prevent the surrender of Charleston in May 1780 and the subsequent losses among American troops in the South. Washington also failed to see the potential of a campaign against the British in Virginia in 1780 and 1781, prompting Comte de Rochambeau, commander of the French Army in America, to write despairingly that the American general “did not conceive the affair of the south to be such urgency.” Indeed, Rochambeau, who took action without Washington’s knowledge, conceived the Virginia campaign that resulted in the war’s decisive encounter, the siege of Yorktown in the autumn of 1781.

Much of the war’s decision-making was hidden from the public. Not even Congress was aware that the French, not Washington, had formulated the strategy that led to America’s triumph. During Washington’s presidency, the American pamphleteer Thomas Paine, then living in France, revealed much of what had occurred. In 1796 Paine published a “Letter to George Washington,” in which he claimed that most of General Washington’s supposed achievements were “fraudulent.” “You slept away your time in the field” after 1778, Paine charged, arguing that Gens. Horatio Gates and Greene were more responsible for America’s victory than Washington.

There was some truth to Paine’s acid comments, but his indictment failed to recognize that one can be a great military leader without being a gifted tactician or strategist. Washington’s character, judgment, industry and meticulous habits, as well as his political and diplomatic skills, set him apart from others. In the final analysis, he was the proper choice to serve as commander of the Continental Army.

(Smithsonian.com)

While Washington was the best choice to lead the army he was far from a brilliant tactician.

I will be writing about other myths from the American Revolution.

As most historians say ……history is written by the victors”

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Marquis De Lafayette

Since we are in the process of celebrating our independence I thought that a young Frenchman should be recognized for his assistance in our fight….

One of the ‘heroes’ of the American Revolution…..a French noble that came to fight on the side of the Colonials…..

At a dinner on August 8, 1775, Lafayette heard the Duke of Gloucester speak with sympathy of the ongoing struggle in the colonies. He made clandestine arrangements with Silas Deane, a liaison between France and the colonies, to travel to America and join the revolutionary cause.

He landed near Charleston, South Carolina, June 13, 1777, then travelled to Philadelphia, where he was commissioned a Major General on July 31. This reflected his wealth and noble social station, rather than years of battlefield experience — he was only 19 years old. The newly commissioned young general was soon introduced to his commander-in-chief, General George Washington, who would become a lifelong friend.

https://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/lafayette.html

There are some things that are not commonly known about the Marquis…..

1. His birth name was extremely long.
The future hero of the American Revolution was born Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette in an expansive chateau in Chavaniac, France, on September 6, 1757. “It’s not my fault,” he joked in his autobiography. “I was baptized like a Spaniard, with the name of every conceivable saint who might offer me more protection in battle.”

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-marquis-de-lafayette

This man deserves all the accolades that we Americans can pile on him…..he was definitely a hero of the revolution and his contributions should be more widely known and taught.

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The Right Of Revolution?

AS we celebrate the day that the US entered into an armed conflict with Mother England…….a few thoughts on the right of revolution.

The term has been batted around by those in-bred slugs that stormed the Capitol on 06 January….that they were exercising their right to revolt based on the lie of some sort of underhanded moves to keep the other guy out of the White House.

But is this their right?

Let’s take a look at the early days of this country……

The American Founders believed themselves to be revolutionaries and gave much thought to what they called the “right of revolution”: the right of free and self-respecting people to overthrow an oppressive political order that endangered truly fundamental liberties and threatened to impose a permanent design of despotism upon a people. The exercise of such a revolutionary right does not entail anarchy and lawlessness but instead demands an appeal to the “law of nature,” to a standard of natural law and natural rights above the arbitrary will of any individual or group.

According to the American Declaration of Independence, people enter into political society for the sake of protecting their inalienable rights, which are otherwise insecure. The question then arises: what can the people do if the government betrays its trust, and violates their rights? The Declaration’s initial answer is “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”

read on…..

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2021/05/18/the_right_of_revolution_in_the_american_founding_777236.html

To be a successful revolutionary then you need a good grasp of history and a sound set of principles…..the problem here is that the insurrectionists have none….all they had was the word of a bitter old man that hates to lose.

Know you history people!

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America’s First Governmental Failure

College Of Political Knowledge

American Government/History

Time for that history lesson most people dread.

These days of the loss of rights it could be said that our Constitution is fail its citizens.

But if it is it would not be the first failure of sorts in our short history.

In the beginning there was no national government here in the colonies at the outbreak of our insurrection against the rule of England.

Before there was a Constitution there was the Articles of Confederation….

After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the thirteen American colonies needed a government to replace the British system they were attempting to overthrow. The Founding Fathers’ first attempt at such governance was formed around the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were first proposed at the Second Continental Congress in 1777 in Philadelphia. They were fully ratified and put into effect in 1781. The reign of the Articles of Confederation was brief. Why did the articles of confederation fail? What were the flaws of the Articles of Confederation and how did it distribute power? Read more to discover why by 1789 the former colonies were under the law of a new governing document—the Constitution of the United States of America.

https://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_arti.html

We do not get much info on this attempt in our schools….why?

It was a failure!

Once they, the Founders, realized their failure they started the whole Constitution thing…..but  do not take my word for it….check the comparisons…..https://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_arti.html

Here is a closer look for you so you can compare for yourself…..

This failure prompted the desire to fix the problems that the Articles created….and the Federalist Papers…..

For Christ sake read the damn papers and get some insight into this nation….(something other than social media bullshit)….

https://guides.loc.gov/federalist-papers/full-text

And then there were those opponents of the Constitution….they were called the “anti-Federalist”…..

One of the most vocal opponents to the Constitution was Patrick Henry….he called the document….“A revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain.” 

Read the arguments against the ratification of the Constitution….

http://resources.utulsa.edu/law/classes/rice/Constitutional/AntiFederalist/antifed.htm

I will talk about the Bill of Rights in a later post…..for it was not part of the first draft of the US Constitution.

There is way too much ignorance around the country’s beginnings and the events around the forming of a government…..

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America’s First Foreign Policy Dilemma

College of Political Knowledge

I studied international relations in college and along with that I took several courses about the history of American foreign policy.

I thought I would try to get back into the swing of posting on our foreign policy history while the country prepares for the election in November.

After the War and the country coming together to form the United States of America what was the first dilemma the country had to face with our foreign policy….what did Washington do?

The first problem has been called the “Citizen Genet Affair”.

During 1793 and 1794, a series of explosive controversies divided followers of Hamilton and Jefferson. Washington’s administration confronted a French effort to entangle the United States in its war with England, armed rebellion in western Pennsylvania, Indian resistance, and the threat of war with Britain. These controversies intensified party spirit and increased voting along party lines in Congress.

In April 1793, “Citizen” Edmond Charles Genet (1763-1834), a French minister, arrived in the United States and passed out letters authorizing Americans to attack British commercial vessels and Spanish New Orleans. Washington regarded these actions as a clear violation of American neutrality and demanded that France recall its minister. The Genet affair did have an important effect–it intensified party feeling. From Vermont to South Carolina citizens organized Democratic-Republican clubs to celebrate the triumphs of the French Revolution. Hamilton and his supporters suspected that these societies really existed to stir up grass-roots opposition to the Washington administration.

American foreign policy in the 1790s was dominated by the events surrounding the French Revolution. Following the overthrow of the monarchy in 1792, the revolutionary French Government clashed with the monarchies of Spain and Great Britain. French policymakers needed the United States to help defend France’s colonies in the Caribbean – either as a neutral supplier or as a military ally, and so they dispatched Edmond Charles Genêt, an experienced diplomat, as minister to the United States. The French assigned Genêt several additional duties: to obtain advance payments on debts that the U.S. owed to France, to negotiate a commercial treaty between the United States and France, and to implement portions of the 1778 Franco-American treaty which allowed attacks on British merchant shipping using ships based in American ports. Genêt’s attempt to carry out his instructions would bring him into direct conflict with the U.S. Government.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1784-1800/citizen-genet

Just a small note:  The State Department use to keep a data file with updates to our foreign policies and its history…..under the Obama admin it was decided to stop keeping the historical record….a shame in my opinion for it was an excellent source.

Here is the notice…..

This publication, “Milestones in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations,” has been retired. The text remains online for reference purposes, but it is no longer being maintained or expanded.

Why retire “Milestones”? In mid-2016 the Office of the Historian completed a review of its online offerings and concluded that extensive resources would be needed to revise and expand this publication to meet the Office’s standards for accuracy and comprehensiveness. At the same time, the events described in the “Milestones” essays are amply covered by numerous respected secondary sources. Rather than duplicate these efforts, the Office of the Historian has decided to focus its resources on areas where it is uniquely suited to make a contribution, such as coverage of the Department of State’s institutional history. In keeping with the publication’s new status, it can now be found under “More Resources” in the site-wide menu.

Notice posted on May 9, 2017.

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Hamilton You Don’t Know

The Musical Hamilton has brought attention to one of our founding fathers….but all the glitz and toe taping tunes does not truly give a proper look at the man…..Hamilton (the Show not the man) won 16 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer…..but that means little about the man……

Leave it to the Old Professor to point out the hidden truths……

Alexander Hamilton, “uncompromising abolitionist”? Not according to a new research paper that depicts the celebrated Founding Father as a slaveholder for much of his life, the Guardian reports. “When we say Hamilton didn’t enslave people, we’re erasing them from the story,” the paper’s author, Jessie Serfilippi, tells the New York Times. “The most important thing is they were here. We need to acknowledge them.” Serfilippi based her work on documents at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany, NY, the former home of a slaveholding family Hamilton married into in 1780. She argues that Hamilton not only helped clients and family members buy slaves—which is already well-documented—but owned enslaved people in his home.

Serfilippi points out mentions of slave-holding in Hamilton’s correspondence and his cash books. In one case, Hamilton appears to have paid $250 for “2 negro servants purchased … for me,” while another cash-book entry refers to Hamilton getting $100 for the “term” of a “Negro boy”—which “absolutely indicates that Hamilton enslaved the boy,” writes Serfilippi. Not all her evidence is new, but it’s turning heads at a time when America is reckoning with its painful legacy of slavery. Serfilippi’s work also contradicts more recent depictions of Hamilton: Ron Chernow, whose Hamilton biography inspired the hit musical and called him an “uncompromising abolitionist,” said Serfilippi’s research was “terrific” but omitted “all information that would contradict her conclusions.”

There even about 70% of Americans that think Hamilton was once a president of the US……

Alexander Hamilton was many things—a bastard from the Caribbean, the founder of the Bank of New York, the father of the US Coast Guard, and the first Secretary of the Treasury, to name a few. But the man who died in a duel against Aaron Burr at the age of 49 was never president of the United States. And yet most Americans think he was, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report in the journal Psychological Science. “About 71% of Americans [in our survey] are fairly certain that Alexander Hamilton is among our nation’s past presidents,” one researcher says. “Their confidence in Hamilton having been president is fairly high—higher than for six or so actual presidents.” The 326 participants were given a list of 41 actual presidents alongside 82 “lures” and told to pick out the presidents and say how certain they were of each answer.

Then there is the man that killed Hamilton in the duel, Aaron Burr….a vice president that few Americans know of at all.

Aaron Burr, in full Aaron Burr, Jr., (born February 6, 1756, Newark, New Jersey [U.S.]—died September 14, 1836, Port Richmond, New York, U.S.), third vice president of the United States (1801–05), who killed his political rival, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel (1804) and whose turbulent political career ended with his arrest for treason in 1807.

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The Lost Colony

Saturday and what better time for a historic mystery?

Have you heard of the lost colony of Roanoke?

Over the years there has been a wealth of theories on where this group of people disappeared to….did they all die….or maybe they moved inland…..or they captured a Spanish ship and became pirates…..or the more extreme view they were taken by aliens (ET not Mexicans)……

Research over the years has offered many theories and many debates……and not to worry there is one more…..

The legend goes that the Lost Colony of Roanoke might have been the first English settlement in North America had its inhabitants not mysteriously vanished. But “they were never lost … it was made up,” researcher Scott Dawson tells the Virginian Pilot, concluding the colonists joined their indigenous friends, the Croatoans, at their village on what is now Hatteras Island, where English artifacts have been found. Mayor John White had left Roanoke in its founding year, 1587, to request more supplies of England. When he returned in 1590, he found the word “Croatoan” carved into a fence post. For some, this imparted a mystery. But for White, who was ultimately kept from Hatteras and his family by a storm and near mutiny, this was a clear sign that the colonists had joined their allies. “He knew exactly where [Croatoan] was and why they were there, and he said so” in his writings, Dawson tells the Outer Banks Voice.

The colonists had bonded with the Croatoans over their dislike of the indigenous Secotans, who’d enslaved the Croatoans shortly before the English arrived, per the Pilot. In 1586, the Croatoans had even helped the English ambush the Secotans and their chief, who was shot twice in the back. Dawson, co-founder of the Croatoan Archaeological Society and author of The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island, says a lead tablet with the impression of an Englishman shooting a Native in the back was ultimately found at Hatteras, along with evidence of the colonists’ pigs, gun barrels used to tap trees, and copper earrings turned into fishhooks. A flower-shaped clasp was also found; the 1587 expedition had been the first to include English women. Mixed families resulted and endured for generations, Dawson tells the Pilot, adding, “you’re robbing an entire nation of people of their history by pretending Croatoan is a mystery on a tree.”

Was the mystery solved in your mind?

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03 August 1807

History on this day……1882 the Immigration Act that banned Chinese immigrants for ten years (sounds familiar for some reason)

1908–Allan Allensworth filed for the first Afro-American city…..Allensworth, California

But the big situation was in the early years of the republic.

On this day in 1807, Aaron Burr,  the former VP of the United States and presidential candidate goes on trial for treason.

Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory in 1807……my post on this situation……https://lobotero.com/2019/02/19/the-arrest-of-aaron-burr-1807/

The synopsis…..

What was the nature of the plot that had seen Burr charged with treason? Even today, many details of the scheme remain hazy. “Too many people told too many different stories, and too many people had things to hide,” historian Buckner F. Melton has written. What is known is that Burr worked to raise a small army on the American frontier. He may have hoped to lead an independent campaign against Spanish-held territories in Texas and Mexico, but it’s also possible that he planned to wrest a portion of the newly acquired frontier from the United States. According to some contemporaries, Burr had designs on founding a new western nation with himself as its emperor.

https://www.history.com/news/aaron-burrs-notorious-treason-case

A very good account of the trial……

Click to access burrtrial.pdf

For those too lazy to read…..this video will help……

I have studied this incident….and I think that it was Jefferson being petty that caused the acquittal…..Jefferson had made promises that he did not keep and Burr wanted revenge on Tommie…..for his lies and manipulations.

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Shay’s Rebellion–Revisited

These days with the mental midgets showing up at state capitals and demanding the right to infect themselves and others with the Covid-19 I thought back to the young days of our republic…..

The year was 1786 and the memories of the Revolutionary War were still fresh in most minds…..the country tried to raise revenue by some taxes and of course then as now people were outraged that they should have to pay for anything…..

But for those that have a hard time remembering what they were taught in school…..this is important for it was the first time that the new American government had to flex its muscle….

A note here that most used statement by Jefferson about the tree of liberty came about because of this incident.

Shays’ Rebellion was a series of violent protests staged during 1786 and 1787 by a group of American farmers who objected to the way state and local tax collections were being enforced. While skirmishes broke out from New Hampshire to South Carolina, the most serious acts of the rebellion occurred in rural Massachusetts, where years of poor harvests, depressed commodity prices, and high taxes had left farmers facing the loss of their farms or even imprisonment. The rebellion is named for its leader, Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays of Massachusetts.

Although it never posed a serious threat to the still loosely organized post-war United States federal government, Shays’ Rebellion drew lawmakers’ attention to serious weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation and was frequently cited in the debates leading to the framing and ratification of the Constitution.

The threat posed by Shays’ Rebellion helped persuade retired General George Washington to reenter public service, leading to his two terms as the first President of the United States.

In a letter regarding Shays’ Rebellion to U.S. Representative William Stephens Smith dated November 13, 1787, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson famously argued that an occasional rebellion is an essential part of liberty:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

https://www.thoughtco.com/shays-rebellion-causes-effects-4158282

I believe that this incident and few others were the reason for the inclusion of the 2nd amendment to the Bill of Rights…..

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