Part 1 of this series, Introduction, can be found here
The Making of America
.This will be a very broad brush review of our Founding. Conservatives more than most know the history of how America came to be. It is the Taking of America we need to understand better.
The original settlements of what is now the Eastern sea board of the United States of America were colonies of England. The people were subjects of the crown no less the people of England and for the most part they were content with being Englishmen. They were almost uniformly Christians. That contentment changed over time, at least among some of the colonist. Some came to see that these colonies in America were not going to be an extension of England; but rather a source of goods and wealth for the King and England leaving little for the colonist. Talk of declaring independence from the mother land began to circulate throughout the colonies.
Who were these people spreading talk of sedition? Well, they weren’t the down trodden peasants. They were among the elite of their time. They were learned men of means. Talk of revolution was a dangerous business. These men were knowingly putting their lives and fortunes at risk. Our history tells us that they would gain no more than 30% support for their cause. Some say it was no more than 13%. They chose a well to do “farmer” from the Colony of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, to write a Declaration of Independence that would be presented to the King and the Parliament of England. Jefferson, like many of our founders whose names would be remembered, was a learned man who had studied the works of great thinkers like John Locke and others. He was chosen for this task because he was known to have great skill when putting quill and ink to paper. His Declaration of Independence turned out to be a masterpiece. Many of its lines still resonate today. And so, a war of independence against the greatest military and navy the world had known, to that point in time, was imminent.
Delegates from the colonies, soon to be called states, were sent to Philadelphia to give form to this new nation of states. They would put together a document called the Articles of Confederation, under which a national government would be formed and operate. It would turn out to be wholly inadequate to the task ahead of this new nation.
This newly declared nation had no well-trained standing army or militia. How did they hope to defeat the best military in the world at the time? A religious faith that they were on the side of right can be the only answer. They chose a man by the name of George Washington to lead their fight for independence. He would turn out to be the right man in time and place to pull off the miracle. In spite of not having professional officers and troops to confront the superior English forces, in spite of not receiving anything close to proper funding to conduct this war, and in spite of all the hardships and, in spite of the fact that his troops were sick from the cold, without proper clothing or even boots, General Washington would manage to rally those troops and take the British by surprise on a frigid night at Valley Forge and a new nation, that would come to be known as America, was born.
The first order of business for this new nation was to send delegates back to Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation. Although there were many delegates from the states, only a few would be remembered in our history. Those remembered were people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Jay and few others. The delegates would go to great lengths to keep their deliberations secret. They would decide early on not to do what they were sent to Philadelphia to do, fix the Articles of Confederation, Instead they decided to write a proper constitution for this new nation. The debates over what this constitution would look like were long and contentious. Two factions would develop amongst the delegates. One led by Thomas Jefferson and one led by Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson understood that the central government had to have more power than it had under the Articles of Confederation, but he wanted it to still be very limited in its powers. Jefferson’s vision of America was that it would remain mostly a country whose economy was primarily agricultural in nature. Hamilton and his followers might be described as being more visionary than the Jeffersonians. Hamilton wanted and could see a day when the United States of America would take its place as, at least, an equal to the greatest nations of Europe. Hamilton envisaged that America might become a great industrialized nation and it was Hamilton who would push the idea that this new nation would need a national or central bank. Hamilton wouldn’t win hid battle for a national bank, but other powerful interests would continue the fight for many years until they would finally win in 1913 with the establishment of the privately owned Federal Reserve System. This central bank would play an important role in both the rise and the fall of America and we will discuss that more in Part 3 of this series.
In the end the delegates would produce a remarkable constitution. Unlike anything ever tried in the world. It was based on the principles of maximum freedom, maximum rights, and minimum government. Betjeman Franklin would tell us that we were given a republic if we could keep it. We now know that We The People were not able to keep it and that will be the subject pg Part 3, tomorrow.
Well. now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?