The Fourth ought not be strictly an American holiday, there is no reason for it to be so, It is a symbolic day that summarizes the efforts of so many people around the world and throughout history.
It is a day to celebrate the resistance to central power and tyranny wherever it arises and whatever form it comes in. Not for a certain people or only those people who were successful as the American colonists were. Because we are not celebrating our actual gaining of independence, but merely our declaration of secession. The 4th is iconic because the revolution was so successful in the face of overwhelming odds. It is an Amercian holiday, but folks around the world should reflect on the struggle for liberty, of their own people and of others around the world and down through history.
Today is a day for all people to remember those who stood up to tyranny! From Boudica’s uprising against the Romans over 2,000 years ago, to the Romanian revolution in 1989. From the Texas secession from Mexico to the fight for freedom in South Sudan.
Indeed even those who are the scions of those who merely fought to maintain their freedom, the fourth should be a day when every child is taught the Declaration of Arbroath¹ and reminded that it was never broken.
And in America we should have more of a reverence for the ideal than we do. It isn’t a celebration of “‘Merica.” It is a celebration of secession and of Rebellion.
It is for Bacon’s Rebellion, for the whisky Rebellion, Oh Yes! Even for John Brown’s Rebellion! And especially for what is officially known as the Great Rebellion!
To all those who have ever wished to sever the political ties that bind them to the central authority and who wish to be free and self governing. This is your day! From English resistance to Norman oppression, to Brexit! Self determination, secession, and home rule are the words of the day!
I hope ya’ll had a good Fourth, I’ve been absolutely swamped lately. Maybe things will settle down after rodeo season ends.
- The Declaration of Arbroath is perhaps the most stirring historical document I have ever read. It was written by the Nobles of Scotland in 1320. It was an appeal to the Pope for justice, that the Pope would stop the illegal war of aggression that the English had been waging against the Scottish people. But in it also was a promise that they would never yield, not merely in their own lifetime, but ever, “… as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.” It is not merely a promise to resist virtually to the last man, but to teach their children, and to command them to instruct their children, and their children’s children, that nothing is so precious as freedom, not even life itself.After reading this Pope John XXII must have been moved because he put pressure on the English to make peace but Edward II pressed on another 7 years, until political pressure at home forced him to quit the fight.Do remember that the war began in 1297. And it carried on all the way to 1327. That’s a 30 year war. Men were fighting at the end of that war who hadn’t even been born when King Alexander III had died 1286, or when his only clear heir Margret, the maid of Norway, died in 1290 which lead to the succession crises which opened to door for English invasion by Edward I. Perhaps the colonists would have kept fighting for 30 years. It doesn’t seem like that was ever a possibility. But the Scots had a long time horizon, and they were prepared to fight for generations! And lasting peace didn’t come until 1357 after the 2nd war for Scottish independence.
Here is a link to where the Declaration of Arbroath can be read in full. Thomas Jefferson has nothing on Bernard of Kilwinning (the man believed to be the actual author of the document) Declaration of Arbroath