“Revolution—Not Rebellion”

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Was America’s War for Independence a rebellion or a revolution?  If this war was a rebellion, it would mean our Founding Fathers came against lawful authority in an illegal way?  If it was a revolution, it would mean our Founding Fathers simply brought back around their previous liberty which the English government had stolen from them.  Indeed, it was a revolution, not a rebellion!

In the 1750’s the English King and Parliament had begun to insist on American’s paying taxes on which they had not been allowed to vote.  The Americans saw this as a huge breach of their rights as Englishmen.  Over the next twenty-five years different laws would be forced on the Americans in which they would have no say.  Our forefathers wrote a great many letters to the King and Parliament during that time requesting that they be consulted before such laws were passed.  They even appealed in person before the English government.  All our appeals and requests fell on deaf ears.

In this situation our Founders understood their liberty had but one hope:  Independence from the Mother country.  That would mean war, since England was not about to let go of her wealthy American colonies peaceably.  None of our Founders wanted war.  It would mean a fearful amount of bloodshed, and we didn’t even have an army.  But they believed they were doing as Nehemiah had done when he stated:

“And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and [awesome], and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

(Nehemiah 4:14)

But finally, the King of England declared unlawful all our legislatures in the American colonies.  Now, we would have to be satisfied with whatever law the English government gave us.  This was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”  As the Virginia Provincial Congress met in secret in a church in Richmond in March of 1775, a fiery statesman, Patrick Henry, rose to his feet; and as he began to speak, he voiced what many were now feeling.  He stated:

“For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery….It is only in this way that we can hope to…fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country….Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on.

“Our petitions have been slighted; our [reasonings] have produced… insult…and we have been spurned, with contempt….An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!…

“Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the Holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

“Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations… The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave….

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

(Henry, Patrick. March 23, 1775, in The Second Virginia Convention given at St. John’s Church in Richmond Virginia. The Annals of America, 20 vols. (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968), Vol. 2, pp. 322-333. Peter Marshall and David Manual, The Light and the Glory (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell Co., 1977), p. 269.)

Was our war for Independence an unlawful rebellion; or was it a Godly revolution?  Should not we be speaking up to warn of the tyranny of our own government, as Patrick Henry did?  Is not Liberty still worth dying for?

Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—
and for your children!  And you won’t like what that brings to you.  I’m Don Pinson this has been Think About It.