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Independence Day

Happy 4th of July. Thomas DiLorenzo has read the Declaration of Independence; and as it turns out, it keeps going after the part about all men being created equal. DiLorenzo notes that “The last paragraph of the Declaration is arguably the most important. It speaks of “the united States of America” with a small “u” in “united,” clearly signifying that the signatories of the document considered themselves to be citizens of thirteen free, independent, and sovereign states that were united in the cause of seceding from the British empire.”

I find compelling that the Declaration notes the seriousness of separating from the British Empire:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.

It then listed some of the usurpations and abuses of King George and notes the colonists’ failed attempts to make their case to the English people:

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

The Declaration didn’t really found the country we live in today. Gore Vidal once wrote that, “in a sense, we have had three republics. The first, a loose confederation of former British colonies, lasted from 1776 to 1789 when the first Congress under the Constitution met. The second republic ended April 9, 1865, with the South’s surrender. In due course Lincoln’s third republic was transformed (inevitably?) into the national security state where we have been locked up for forty years. A fourth republic might be nice.”

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