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The Revolutionary War began in 1775
Of course, the Revolutionary War began in 1775, not 1776. Before we were ready to take the historic and dramatic step of birthing our own new nation in liberty, there were long and often painful attempts to accommodate the relationship between American colonists and the British Parliament and King.
Interestingly, one of the evolutions that happened during that year is that many Americans who started 1775 thinking of themselves as “British” did not finish the year that way. I hear from many Republicans who are having similar feelings this year. One year is a short time for such a change, and it was almost entirely driven by the British themselves. As much as some colonists, especially in
What are some of the things the British did in 1775 to drive their subjects to rebel, you ask? There were many, and you may notice how history tends to repeat itself…
First, as the possibility of armed conflict increased from 1774 into 1775, the four leading states started removing stocks of gunpowder out of reach of Royal Governors, and they commissioned buyers around the world to buy more gunpowder and weapons for their colonial militias. Needless to say, the colonial bodies undertaking these steps weren’t approved or allowed by the Crown, nonetheless, they pressed on – at great personal risk.
The British did all they could, especially the Royal Navy, to interdict these shipments.
So, my fellow 2nd Amendment supporters will not fail to notice that one of the first “battles” of the American Revolution was for the citizenry to arm itself adequately to protect its own rights against the government itself. It is also no surprise that the first true battle of the Revolutionary War was sparked by a British effort to seize gunpowder stored at
Second, it is very important to note that even after the battles at
But the British Navy began what may literally be called the naval version of ‘scorched earth’ tactics in 1775. They started threatening, attacking and burning colonial seaside towns! Can you imagine? Their notion seems to have been to bully the colonists back into line.
The Royal Navy threatened
Next door in
At that time, about half of
Wallace’s flotilla bombarded
It should be no surprise that during the summer of 1775, both colonies were among the first to call for a colonial navy, and in fact, began fitting out their own navies!
The 64-gun line-of-battle ship Asia fired a full broad side into lower
You can picture in your mind the trail of carts and wagons and families as refugees. Such treatment, or even just seeing the sad plight of fellow colonists, would have affected people strongly.
Rough tactics engender depression and sadness, but also resistance!
There was a small naval battle in
Starting in October, the British issued orders to their Navy Captains to go to specific towns, e.g.,
The most infamous town burning of them all was of
Then, near and dear to my heart, on New Year’s Day of 1776,
Of course, such tactics drove undecided’s to the Patriot cause and embarrassed (some) Tories. Other Tories thought even stronger measures were in order. You can imagine the Patriot response to such Tory neighbors!
The third tactic used by the British that so pushed colonists toward the independence that we celebrate today was the hiring of Hessian troops to suppress the colonists. This was seen as unleashing demons of war. The Hessians were known to take some of their pay in plunder, and it was a sign to the colonists that the British intended to treat them as “savages” and not “brothers.”
1775 was a lonely year to be a Patriot in many parts of
Why did they suffer such depredations and keep going? In their minds it came down to one word:
They believed in their cause and they were willing to sacrifice everything to obtain liberty in
There is much to celebrate as we think back to 1776. The Founders of this nation were bold visionaries who stepped out on a path that had never been tried before in the history of the world. They lit a lamp for the world, and they knew the risks and confronted them boldly, closing the Declaration by saying: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine
America isn’t a place, and Americans aren’t a tribe, we are a people brought together by our mutual commitment to shared principles. Such a basis for a nation was utterly unique in the history of the world in 1776, and it is a special gift to which each of us are heirs.
We are truly blessed to be Americans.
We believe that the gift we have received of
Everything we do is to carry forward the Founders’ vision in the 21st century. The principles that built this exceptional nation are universal and timeless. That means they apply everywhere, and all the time. No exceptions.
None of us – not me, not you– is being asked to put our head in a noose to advance the cause of life, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness, as the 56 signatories to the Declaration of
Did you know that George Washington had three wins and six losses in major battles in the Revolutionary War? He lost more battles, but he won the war.
And can you name five people who were at
It took many unnamed heroes to make
On this day that we set aside to celebrate America and what she stands for, let me Thank You for carrying on the legacy of Valley Forge and sacrificing to put America back on a principled path of greatness once again.