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Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Scriptural Correlation with Anti-Monarchical Sentiments, Rhetoric, & Political Ideas fueling the American Revolution after 1774."

The American Revolution's revolutionary thinking and rhetoric that denounced the King of Great Britain as the sovereign of the American colonies has it's roots in the beginning of the Revolutionary era, beginning in 1763, and continuing throughout the 1760s and 1770s, but the King wasn't technically and fully denounced as the sovereign of America by the general revolutionary populace until 1776, with the publishing of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" pamphlet. In 1774, Thomas Jefferson published his famous "Summary View" essay that contained fiery rhetoric and revolutionary assertions warning King George III of his and parliament's abuses of power toward the American colonies; denouncing him as the ultimate sovereignty with the right to rule forever and ever while he is oppressing the people who delegated to him their right to rule over themselves, asserting,

"But your majesty, or your governors, have carried this power beyond every limit known, or provided for, by the laws: After dissolving one house of representatives, they have refused to call another, so that, for a great length of time, the legislature provided by the laws has been out of existence. From the nature of things, every society must at all times possess within itself the sovereign powers of legislation. The feelings of human nature revolt against the supposition of a state so situated as that it may not in any emergency provide against dangers which perhaps threaten immediate ruin. While those bodies are in existence to whom the people have delegated the powers of legislation, they alone possess and may exercise those powers; but when they are dissolved by the lopping off one or more of their branches, the power reverts to the people, who may exercise it to unlimited extent, either assembling together in person, sending deputies, or in any other way they may think proper."

"That these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty, with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people claiming their rights, as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate:"

"They know [those who assert the rights of human nature], and will therefore say, that kings are the servants, not the proprietors of the people."


Thomas Jefferson, in 1774, denounced the King of England's right to rule the people and rule over them as granted by God or some supreme being, but rather asserts that it that right to rule was delegated to him BY the people, which right always remains with the people, never surrender when delegated on a representative, and could be taken back "when they [the powers to legislate] are dissolved by the lopping off one or more of their branches," and "the power reverts to the people, who may exercise it to unlimited extent, either assembling together in person, sending deputies, or in any other way they may think proper." Although Thomas Jefferson at this time was not denouncing the king as the sovereign over America, still asserting Americans as British subjects loyal to the king, this was still a revolutionary claim that the King was only sovereign and had the right to rule as long as the people allowed him to, meaning that he was their servant, not their owner or proprietor.

It was not until 1775 when fighting broke out in Massachusetts in Lexington and Concord, and especially in early 1776 when Thomas Paine published his pamphlet "Common Sense" and when the Continental Congress resolved on May 10 that the colonies each begin devising new governments and constitutions that popular denouncement of King George III as America's sovereign and full on anti-monarchical sentiments began to spread among the general populace; and this was especially evident in Continental Congress's May 15 resolve, stating "that the exercise of every kind of authority under the...Crown should be totally suppressed", and "calling for the exertion of 'all the powers of government...under the authority of the people of the colonies' (Gordon S. Wood, "The Creation of the American Republican: 1776-1787", pg. 131-132)."

And then, on July 4, 1776, all ties with Great Britain, politically and even socially and economically, were cut by the Americans with the unanimous acceptance of the Declaration of Independence. 

Thus, in 1776 America and from there-on ever after, there remained anti-monarchical sentiments in American society and in American politics, viewing monarchy as oppressive, unnatural, and threatening to the liberties of American liberties and freedom.

There is perhaps no better example of this type of anti-monarchical rhetoric that Thomas Paine's "Common Sense", read to the Continental army at Valley Forge by General Washington himself, to inspire them, give them hope, and increase their moral.

Paine writes, "...if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the [unwritten] English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new republican materials.

First.-The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king.
Secondly.-The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers[Lords].
Thirdaly.-The new republican materials in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England."

The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state."

Paine continues, "[t]here is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man [the king] from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgement is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless."

"though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy [Paine is referring to the 1688 "Glorious Revolution" and the English Constitution of the King being sovereign in Parliament (commons and peers)], we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the crown in possession of the key."

"Individuals are undoubtably safer [from the monarch] in England than in some other countries, but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the more formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more subtle-not more just."

"MANKIND being originally equals in the order of creation, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstances...there is another and greater distinction, for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is, the disinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS. Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinction of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind."

"In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology, there were no kings; the consequence of which was, there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion."

"For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever. One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an Ass for a Lion."

"England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones; yet no man in his senses can say that their [the line of Kings in England] claim under William the Conqueror is a very honourable one. A French bastard landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original. It certainly hath no divinity in it."

"In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) but the world in blood and ashes. 'Tis a form of government [monarchy] which the word of God bears testionly against, and blood will attend it..."

"Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still."

"Everything that is right and natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'TIS TIME TO PART. Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one, over the other, was never the design of Heaven. The reformation [Protestant Reformation] was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety."

"But where, say some, is the King of America? I'll tell you, Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind [like the Royal Brute of Great Britain.] Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honours, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charterl let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know that so far we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING."

"A government of our own is our natural right:"

James Otis, the radical American whig lawyer from Boston Massachusetts, has the following to say concerning monarchy in America:

"But let the origin of government be where it may, the end of it is manifestly the good of the whole. Salus populi suprema lex esto [let the welfare of the people be the supreme law], is of the law of nature, and part of that grand charter given the human race (though too many of them are afraid to assert it) by the only monarch in the universe, who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power; because he is the only ONE who is omniscient as well as omnipotent..."

"To say the [British] parliament is absolute and arbitrary, is a contradiction. The parliament cannot make 2 and 2, 5. Omnipotency cannot do it. The supreme power in a state, is jus dicere [to declare the law (judges/judiciary)] only:-jus dare [to give or make the law (legisalture/legislative)], strictly speaking, belongs alone to God. Parliaments [and Congresses] are in all cases to declare [DECLARE] what is for the good of the whole; but it is not the declaration of parliament that makes it so: There must be in every instance, a higher authority, viz. GOD. Should an act of parliament [or Congress] be against any of his natural laws, which are immutably true, their declaration would be contrary to eternal truth, equity and justice, and consequently void: and so it would be adjudged by the parliament itself, when convinced of their mistake."

Now compare these quotes from both Thomas Paine, James Otis, and the history of anti-monarchical sentiments in America I provided in the first section of this essay with the verses found in The Book of Mormon's 2nd Nephi, 10:10-16, found below.

10 But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the aGentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
11 And this land shall be a land of aliberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no bkings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land aagainst all other nations.
13 And he that afighteth against Zion shall bperish, saith God.
14 For he that raiseth up a aking against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the bking of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a clight unto them forever, that hear my words.
15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my acovenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the bsecret works of cdarkness, and of murders, and of abominations.
16 Wherefore, he that afighteth against bZion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, cshall perish; for dthey are they who are the ewhore of all the earth; for fthey who are gnot for me are hagainst me, saith our God.

I am sure Otis, Paine and the other revolutionaries and radical in America, including the common people who supported such anti-monarchical sentiments, were familiar with the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, and new of the biblical situation of the Israelites desiring and raising up a king [King Saul], contrary to the warning of the Lord given to them by his prophet Samuel, found in 1st Samuel Chapter 8; but this is just further proof, I believe, from another Testament of Jesus Christ [The Book of Mormon] of the spiritual, logical, reasoning, and all around divine inspiration from the Lord in the founding of America by the people who found it and continue to maintain it.

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