Rebellion to Freedom: July 4th, America’s Real Insurrection

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Today, as fireworks brighten the night sky, we look back, not just on independence, but on insurrection. We’re not referring to recent, misguided, political dramas, but rather the birth of our nation – the original, justified insurrection. A time when the forefathers of this land stood up against their British rulers, believing in their innate right to self-governance. But how did this notion of ‘insurrection’ become so alien in our times? Let’s unmask the past and examine the powerful yet misunderstood roots of our nation’s inception.

Insurrection – a term often painted with disdain, synonymous with chaos and violence. Yet, ironically, it was an insurrection, a collective act of defiance, that served as the crucible for our nation’s inception. On July 4th, we don’t just celebrate independence; we honor the audacity of those brave enough to rebel against the norms, against the authoritarian rule of the British.

The 18th-century colonists didn’t view insurrection with the modern aversion we’ve become accustomed to. Instead, it was a last resort against tyranny, a justified response when their rights as British citizens were infringed upon. The introduction of the Stamp Act in 1765 sparked discontent, deemed by the colonists as a breach of their rights, igniting the flame of rebellion.

John Hancock, a leading figure in the American Revolution, expressed the spirit of the age: “The people of this country will never suffer themselves to be made slaves of by submission to the damned act.” Such sentiments highlight the colonists’ conviction that the people, not the government, hold the reins of power. This belief in their constitutional right to ‘check’ their government led to the mantra, “No taxation without representation.”

Over time, the British Parliament sought to exert control over the colonies, who had enjoyed considerable autonomy until then. The American colonists saw this as a violation of their constitutional rights, leading to what we now understand as the American Revolution. The philosophy that the people are sovereign, and not the government, was fundamental to the colonists’ stance.

In drafting the Declaration of Independence, the founders articulated their grievances against the British Crown, justifying their decision to secede. From the deprivation of their right to trial by jury to the imposition of unwelcome troops and foreign legislation, their complaints echo the criticisms many today have against Washington D.C.

The Declaration concludes, “These United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.” A reminder that our forefathers fought not to be vassals of a central government but to be independent, sovereign states.

As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember that it was born out of the very essence of insurrection, a brave act against an overbearing government. As you enjoy the fireworks lighting the sky this weekend, reflect on the origins of our freedom. In today’s context, remember the crucial role the people play in curbing governmental power. Independence Day is not just a tribute to freedom, it’s an acknowledgment of the justified insurrection that led to the formation of our great nation. A reminder to us all that freedom and the courage to resist are inextricably linked. Happy Insurrection Day, America!

Gary Franchi

Gary Franchi

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