Ah, yes, the Fourth of July, and lucky us this year, ain’t it people?
Gas the cheapest its been in years, and the same with hamburgers!
Isn’t this a wonderful country we live in, then?
But if so, why aren’t we happy?
That’s right, people, according to a MARKETWATCH article by Quentin Fottrell published just before the Fourth of July on June 28, 2017, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which once used to be ours, at least pursuant to the Declaration of Independence, but who knows of that anymore, now seems more attainable overseas.
Think about that people, after fighting a War of Revolution in this country to gain the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness promised us in the Declaration of Independence on the very first Fourth of July in the country, we now need to go to some foreign country like Norway to get it today.
When it comes to happiness in the citizen body, the U.S. ranked No. 19 just behind the Czech Republic, Japan and France.
Now, think of this – according to that article, the U.S. has seen its happiness slide happiness over the last decade, which is the last ten years, or all of the Barack Obama years, plus the last two of George W. Bush, all of which have been war years, which are not conducive to happiness in a citizen body.
â€œThe United States can and should raise happiness by addressing Americaâ€™s multi-faceted social crisis â€” rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust â€” rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth, especially since the concrete proposals along these lines would exacerbate rather than ameliorate the deepening social crisis,â€ the report said.
America’s multi-faceted social crisis, people, and yes, it certainly does seem to be that way, at least to me who has seen seventy years go by now.
Rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust â€” that is so us today in this country, people.
Just as it was us back in 1776 when the first Independence Day took place, with the reading of the Declaration of Independence to among others, the America militias fighting the British in Boston.
Today we look on the Fourth of July as the beginning of summer, and a day to party hardy, as if it was always that way right from the beginning, a day to celebrate freedom and democracy and all that stuff, but you know what?
It was not a day to party and celebrate, at all back in the beginning.
The Declaration of Independence and the first Fourth of July did not end anything, and it certainly did not give us freedom.
The Declaration of Independence was real serious business because it started a war of revolution which was to turn the world upside down for many, many people back then, which is something we no longer think about in this country today, although as we become more and more divided, perhaps we should.
With respect to the highly-divided nature of the fledgling nation back then, I would refer you to p.10 of the Minutes Of The Commissioners For Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies In The State Of New York – Albany County Sessions 1778-1781, where is found as follows with respect to the state of war that existed right here in this country as a direct result of the signing of the Declaration of Independence:
“There was a definite relationship among all the bodies growing out of the Revolution.”
“The Continental Congress stood at the head; then came the Provincial Congress or Convention, then the general committee on Tories, then the county committees, and at the base, the district committees.”
These various bodies varied in size, authority, procedure and effectiveness.
With the erection of Constitutional government in the State, Toryism was more clearly defined and handled in more summary fashion.
“The inquisitorial methods and machinery developed previous to the Declaration of Independence were continued by the Constitutional Convention and by the new state government,” citing from Flick, “Loyalism in New York during the American Revolution,” New York, 1901 (Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, vol. xiv, no. 1), wherein the whole system of the inquisitorial bodies of New York is given in admirable detail.
Inquisitorial bodies, people, right here in the United States of America!
Tories, of course, were people in this country at that time who remained loyal to King George III in England, and that in turn made them enemies of those who called themselves “the American people” back then.
As to the “more summary manner” in which Toryism in New York was treated after the Declaration of Independence, that “more summary manner” can be seen clearly in this extract from CALENDAR OF HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS RELATING TO THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ALBANY, NY, to wit:
Tuesday the 10th June 1777
The Court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Colonel STEPHEN J. SCHUYLER, President
Anthony Van Bergen
Jacobus Van Schoonhoven
Peter Van Ness
Philip P. Schuyler
John H. Beekman
Henry K. Van Rensselaer
Cornelius Van Vechten
Jacob Miller of Half Moon District in the County of Albany, being a Prisoner was brought before the Court & the Judge Advocate Exhibited the following charges against him Vizt
“You Jacob Miller stand charged for that you being a member of the state of New York, residing within the said state, protected by the Laws thereof & owing allegiance thereunto, on the 21st Day of March last and at Divers other days and Times both before & after and since the 16th Day of July 1776 at the District of Half Moon in the County of Albany, Wickedly, Traitorously & Treasonably & Contrary to your allegiance aforesaid Did levy war against the state of New York within the same whilst owing allegiance thereto, Enlist men for the service of the King of Great Britain now in actual war against the said state and being adherent to the said King of Great Britain & others the Enemys of the said state Contrary to the Resolution of the Convention of said state.”
The Prisoner pleads not Guilty to the Charge.
Friday 13th June
The Court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present as before.
The Judge Advocate having no further Evidence to produce the Court proceeded to the Consideration of the Evidence offered and are of the opinion that the Prisoner is Guilty of Levying war against the State & being adherent to the King of Great Britain and do sentence him to suffer death.
Do sentence him to suffer death by hanging for being loyal to an English king.
That is 10th June 1777, just shy of one year after the first Fourth of July in this country, people!
Serious business, indeed, which comes from these words of the Declaration of Independence:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.
A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British 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.
Deaf to the voice of justice, people!
So that we must, therefore, hold them as enemies in war, and so it was to be, all because of the First Fourth of July in America.
For another glimpse at how divided the people of this nation were back then, I refer the reader to the HISTORY OF The Seventeen Towns OF Rensselaer County FROM THE Colonization of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck to the Present Time BY A. J. Weise A.M. AS PUBLISHED IN THE TROY DAILY TIMES TROY; N. Y. J. M. FRANCIS & TUCKER. 1880, wherein is provided as follows:
THE TOWN OF BRUNSWICK.
Peculiar to this portion of the manor of Rensselaerwyck a great number of the earlier settlers were Germans.
When Burgoyne invaded the province of New York, in the summer of 1777, many of them, on account of their national relationship to the Hessians, hired by British money to take an armed and offensive part against the Americans, manifested extreme partisanship toward the royal cause, which soon stirred up among the patriotic supporters of the continental rebellion considerable ill-will.
On the closer approach of the English forces many of the loyal farmers fled to Albany, and the royalists, believing that the English crown was about to conquer the rebellious Americans, committed many transgressions, both in the way of personal insults, appropriation and despoliation of property.
It is related that Abner Roberts, who belonged to the army of the North, was waylaid, murdered and scalped on the old Hoosick road, a short distance from Troy, by the Tories as they were called.
When, however, Burgoyne was forced to surrender to Gates at old Saratoga, (Schuylerville), these royalists were forced to flee to Canada, from which they never dared to return to enter again into the possession of their deserted farms.
The royalists, believing that the English crown was about to conquer the rebellious Americans, committed many transgressions, both in the way of personal insults, appropriation and despoliation of property.
And that was right here in the United States of America, as a direct result of the first Fourth of July in America.
And Abner Roberts, who belonged to the army of the North, was waylaid, murdered and scalped on the old Hoosick road, a short distance from Troy, by the Tories as they were called.
Because the British coming down from Canada were paying money for rebel scalps is why.
But as we celebrate the Fourth of July today, I don’t think we as a nation are aware of any of that real history, what conflict in this country was really like as a result of the Declaration of Independence.
As for me, I was taught that history in grade school at the end of WWII, and I was expected to know it, and that was as a grade school attendee.
So that we as children at the end of a world war which should not have been would know the high price people pay for war in their nation, and thus, we would do our utmost to make sure those days of division in this country were never repeated.
But here we are, with Independence Day of 2017 now just a memory, with the nation again seeming to be on the brink of a civil war as we were in 1776, although for reasons far less clear today than they were back then, which has me wondering if, as a people, we should at all be cognizant of that Revolutionary War history I am citing above here?
Or is that history now to unpalatable for us, as it is too violent, so that it is no longer relevant in this day and age of an American president who TWEETS nonsense and inane gibberish in 140 characters or less to his TWITTERATI followers and adherents and acolytes in the TWITTERSPHERE of TWITTER, because that is all they expect of and from him?
Afterall, that I cite above admittedly does not readily lend itself to being TWEETED about, afterall, so perhaps it really is a dead letter among America’s younger generations.
But should it be?
So what does anyone think on that?
Should we know that stuff today?
As to tyranny, in “A Citizen of America: An Examination Into the Leading Principles of America,” the esteemed Noah Webster posited as follows on October 17, 1787, eleven years after the first Fourth of July in America, to wit:
But what is tyranny?
Or how can a free people be deprived of their liberties?
Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety.
A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.
This position leads me directly to enquire, in what consists the power of a nation or of an order of men?
In 1787, eleven years after the first Fourth of July in America, at the beginning of this nation’s political history, the esteemed Noah Webster raised that question, and then, in my estimation, anyway, as a conscientious American citizen, he never really answered it, nor could he have, really, again in my estimation, leaving it to us today in our own times to have to address the question.
So, people, in 2017, in what consists the power of a nation or of an order of men?
Is it the same as it was in 1776?
Or is it now different because we are no longer the same as those original Americans?