Lesson 2: Government From the Bottom Up
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 4:52PM
Joseph Kelley

In lesson one we learned the founders believed that all people are born with the same basic human rights and that these rights come directly from God, not some monarch. We also learned how bold and new this concept was at the time, flying in the face of King George III’s imperial rule from across the Atlantic. Today we’ll learn what they believed should be done if these basic rights are not recognized. The Declaration reads as follows:

—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

The first portion of this statement completely disavows the validity of King George’s monarchy. This belief is at the core of our “Great American Experiment”, that government gets its power from the people it governs, not by some divine right bestowed upon some king. This was completely unheard of in the 18th century. It simply wasn’t done anywhere in the “developed” world.

--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,…

Here, a fourth right is spelled out. In addition to the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of any people to throw off a government that violates these basic human rights and create a new one that better serves their needs/interests. The founders do put a caveat on this:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;…

This emphasizes the seriousness of the founders. It relays the caution of not attempting to change government flippantly, but only with good cause. Obviously, our founding fathers felt they had every reason to tell King George to go suck a root. In fact, the entire second half of the Declaration of Independence is devoted to spelling out their grievances. I won’t go into them right now, but I encourage you to read the Declaration here.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—

Here, the founders take things a step further. They state that when a populous is being truly screwed over by their government it isn’t only their right to overthrow it, but their obligation. This makes their actions a moral imperative. They felt that severing ties with England was their duty to themselves and generations to come. Remember, the founders were revolutionaries. They made this declaration to King George under penalty of death.

Today, we take the concept of self-rule for granted, but in 1776 monarchies were the norm. It was looked upon as ridiculous by the rest of the world. France, our closest ally at the time, while still a monarchy, was rumbling with populist uprisings, but they were the exception. In truth, they supported us primarily because we opposed England, not for any idealogical reason. It was the classic “enemy of my enemy” scenario. We were happy to accept any help we could get. Louis XVI was a tyrant by all accounts, but we were happy to play upon his hate of England to secure his military and financial backing. We were basically thirteen colonies carved from a vast wilderness consisting of roughly 2.5 million people with little to no military, money or industry. Knowing these disadvantages full-well, our founders believed in their ideals so strongly they were willing to stake their lives on doing what they believed was right. One word: balls.

Again, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read our Declaration of Independence. It won’t take much of your time. It’s just under 1400 words, but what it says is enormous. The founders' belief in themselves, their cause and their God prompted them to defy the most powerful nation on Earth. Their actions resulted in the most free, wealthy and powerful nation in the history of mankind.

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.


Article originally appeared on Fighting the Left. TEXAS STYLE! (http://mactexan.com/).
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