Happy Birthday, America!

Posted By Bill Payer on Jul 4, 2023 | 0 comments

On the United States of America’s 247th birthday, there’s an interesting essay in Time Magazine titled “1776 Was a Shotgun Wedding!”

“During our own time of troubles, it is important to remember that in 1776 the men in powdered wigs who drew up the Declaration of Independence overcame political difficulties far more perilous than our own. Throughout the 1770s and 1780s, in fact, one wrong move in the Continental Congress might well have led to the secession of a regional bloc of states, whether New England, the Middle states, or the Southern states, with possibly cataclysmic consequences for all thirteen: continental civil war.

An apt metaphor capturing the spirit of the early republic is that of a shotgun wedding. If the New England, Middle, or Southern states had split apart into separate confederacies, civil wars would have broken out over finances, commerce, and, most of all, land. For this reason—the prevention of bloody mayhem—the founders reluctantly bound themselves into one Union. They united with the guns of civil war pointing at their backs, but, to their everlasting credit, they also practiced the art of cooperative political maneuvering in order to save the Union from self-destruction.” To read the entire article CLICK HERE.

On her Substack page, Letters From an American, historian Heather Cox Richardson takes a similar view…”On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress passed a “Resolution for Independence” declaring “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Also known as the “Lee Resolution,” after Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee, who had proposed it, the resolution was the final break between the king and the thirteen colonies on the North American continent that would later become the United States of America. The path to independence had been neither obvious nor easy.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.

So on this Independence Day, three years shy of America’s 250th birthday, it’s important to remember the peril we’ve survived to get to this point. However pessimistic your view of America’s future is, it’s vital to understand what we’ve already endured and overcome. Happy 4th of July from DIHS!

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