'Tis true that the Founding Fathers didn't settle on a Republic until after the War of Independence was won. But the events in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 was the mother shot heard around the world;the significance thereof was the solid end of Western feudalism and the bloody legacy of the 'divine right' of kings, titled nobility. Ironically, we had the aid and comfort of absolutist monarchs of France and Prussia to attain the dream of driving the aristocratic-oligarchs from our shore. Alas, in those times there were few republics and /or democracies to choose from to aid the Revolutionary cause; as Americans we should be eternally grateful as republicans to Louis of France and Friedrich II of Prussia. Let's not forget the brave men of Europe who fought and died for the American cause - some were aristocrats themselves who couldn't abide their own societies and wanted to make something better in the nominal 'New World'.
The 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, always felt that he was shortchanged on his contributions to the Revolution. Both his contemporaries and history would have been more kind to him if he would had wrote the Declaration of Independence himself, instead of twisting Tom Jefferson's writing arm to do the deed. Perhaps Jefferson wouldn't had become the shining star that he did. But, even I, an open Jefferson hater, gets a bit misty- eyed at times reading the famous opening paragraph of the Declaration, and I will not poo-poo it just because Jefferson wrote it. It is sanctified to me as an American, and as a liberty lovin' republican. This document also signifies the major turning point of both Western and world history. Rebellions were quite common beforehand, but now the world was given a philosophical and moral foundation for it in a little courthouse in Phili, on a hot day in July, 1776. It came at a time when the revolutionary cause looked hopeless, but all these men risked all and put their necks into the noose by signing it, this Declaration of Independence. In collegial terms what it stated is that the British Empire could take their Kings and Queens, Barons and Dukes and duchesses, colonial governors and shove them all up their tea-drinking, fox-hunting pompous arses.
This heralded the birth of nationalism. Liberal nationalism, that is. In these days and times too many think that nationalism is another 'N-word' and something that should not be said. Even those with political, economic nationalist programs. This is a grand fallacy. Nationalism can take many forms, and the original nationalism(s) was republican, anti-monarchical and based on liberty. Illiberal nationalism came later on in various parts of the globe. It is an error to associate the N-word with goose-stepping hysterical patriots in fancy uniforms wanting to conquer the globe; neither is nationalism as a rule associated with isolation, chauvinism,autarky,jingoism,fascism and dictatorship.Will anyone sanely accuse George Washington of these things? Nope. George Washington was the Greatest American, the archetype of an American nationalist. Not a philosopher-king by any means, he wasn't, but a huge portion of the men who followed him in the office of the Presidency were not fit to dust his dinner jacket(especially the current one in the White House).
The USA is still young and yearling in comparison to other realms on this Blue Dot. Some think that we are done for as a Republic and Caesar already has crossed the Potomac as a thief in the night; in dark nights of my political soul, I find this above axiom difficult to argue against at times. At least we are in troubled times fraught with doubt and at times nihilistic tribulation from certain sectors. But the optimistic side of my being always whispers that we are still young, we have growing pains, and it is something that we are capable of flushing out for a modicum of renewal, republican renaissance, if you will. Nevertheless, ye American republicans, heed the words of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas -
"Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night:
Rage! Rage! At the coming of the light!"
As a parting glass for this blog posting, every year about this time I re-watch the movie Gettysburg. My favorite part of the whole long movie was the Battle of Little Round Top sequence. When ammo was out, and everything looked like it spelled 'retreat', Col. Joshua Chamberlain ordered his 20th Maine Regiment to "Fix Bayonets!" and charge. We republicans, liberals and conservatives ,who give a bleep about the Spirit of 1776 may find ourselves in Chamberlain's situation, if not already. Globalism is the #1 Enemy to our Republic - to any republic - so we should all be vigilant as the 20th Maine Regiment was, back in 1863.
Enjoy the Fourth, all readers. Remember why you are setting off fireworks, spending quality time with family and friends, this great day:-)