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July 4, 2011

In Congress, July 4, 1776
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:05 PM *

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Comments on In Congress, July 4, 1776:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 01:19 PM:

My mother used to read this every year on the 4th. I think it's a good tradition. And I'm proud to be related to Roger Sherman through her, who signed it (though I don't know exactly how -- family lore, though, and Sherman is a family name).

#2 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 01:37 PM:

A reproduction hung in my father's bedroom for many years.

#3 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 01:49 PM:

Happy Independence Day and be careful with the fireworks.

By the way: without looking at the full text above, can you fill in the blank?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain _________ Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There was an interesting discussion on Language Log about this a week or two ago.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 01:51 PM:

Song of the Vermonters

Ho–all to the borders! Vermonters, come down,
With your breeches of deerskin and jackets of brown;
With your red woollen caps and your moccasins come,
To the gathering summons of trumpet and drum.

Come down with your rifles!
Let gray wolf and fox
Howl on in the shade of their primitive rocks;
Let the bear feed securely from pig-pen and stall;
Here's two-legged game for your powder and ball.

On our south came the Dutchmen, enveloped in grease;
And arming for battle while canting of peace;
On our east crafty Meshech has gathered his band
To hang up our leaders and eat up our land.

Ho–all to the rescue! For Satan shall work
No gain for his legions of Hampshire and York!
They claim our possessions–the pitiful knaves–
The tribute we pay shall be prisons and graves!

Let Clinton and Ten Broek with bribes in their hands,
Still seek to divide and parcel our lands;
We've coats for our traitors, whoever they are;
The warp is of feathers–the filling of tar:

Does the 'old Bay State' threaten?
Does Congress complain?
Swarms Hampshire in arms on our borders again?
Bark the war dogs of Britain aloud on the lake–
Let 'em come; what they can they are welcome to take.

What seek they among us?
The pride of our wealth
Is comfort, contentment, and labor, and health,
And lands which, as Freemen we only have trod,
Independent of all, save the mercies of God.

Yet we owe no allegiance, we bow to no throne,
Our ruler is law and the law is our own;
Our leaders themselves are our own fellow-men,
Who can handle the sword, or the scythe, or the pen.

Our wives are all true, and our daughters are fair,
With their blue eyes of smiles and their light flowing hair,
All brisk at their wheels till the dark even-fall,
Then blithe at the sleigh-ride the husking and ball!

We've sheep on the hillsides, we've cows on the plain,
And gay-tasselled corn-fields and rank-growing grain;
There are deer on the mountains, and wood-pigeons fly
From the crack of our muskets, like clouds on the sky.

And there's fish in our streamlets and rivers which take
Their course from the hills to our broad bosomed lake;
Through rock-arched Winooski the salmon leaps free,
And the portly shad follows all fresh from the sea.

Like a sunbeam the pickerel glides through the pool,
And the spotted trout sleeps where the water is cool,
Or darts from his shelter of rock and of root,
At the beaver's quick plunge, or the angler's pursuit.

And ours are the mountains, which awfully rise,
Till they rest their green heads on the blue of the skies;
And ours are the forests unwasted, unshorn,
Save where the wild path of the tempest is torn.

And though savage and wild be this climate of ours,
And brief be our season of fruits and of flowers,
Far dearer the blast round our mountains which raves,
Than the sweet summer zephyr which breathes over slaves!

Hurrah for Vermont! For the land which we till
Must have sons to defend her from valley and hill;
Leave the harvest to rot on the fields where it grows,
And the reaping of wheat for the reaping of foes

From far Michiscom's wild valley, to where
Poosoonsuck steals down from his wood-circled lair,
From Shocticook River to Lutterlock town
Ho–all to the rescue! Vermonters come down!

Come York or come Hampshire, come traitors or knaves,
If ye rule o'er our land ye shall rule o'er our graves;
Our vow is recorded–our banner unfurled,
In the name of Vermont we defy all the world!

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

#5 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 01:53 PM:

Samuel Chase: Answer straight: what would be its purpose?
Thomas Jefferson: To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.

#6 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 02:02 PM:

Steve with a book at 3: I was taught "inalienable" in grade school.

Are schoolchildren still required to memorize the first 3-4 sentences of the Declaration, as I was?

#7 ::: Harry Payne ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 02:42 PM:

I learned to sing this at (a British) school:

The Riflemen of Bennington

Why come ye hither, Redcoats, your mind what madness fills?
In our valleys there is danger, and there's danger on our hills.
Oh, hear ye not the singing of the bugle wild and free?
And soon you'll know the ringing of the rifle from the tree.
Oh, the rifle, oh, the rifle in our hands will prove no trifle.

Ye ride a goodly steed, ye may know another master;
Ye forward came with speed, but you'll learn to back much faster.
Then you'll meet our Mountain Boys and their leader Johnny Stark,
Lads who make but little noise, but who always hit the mark.
Oh, the rifle, oh, the rifle in our hands will prove no trifle.

Tell he who stays at home, or cross the briny water
That thither ye must come like bullocks to the slaughter.
If we the work must do, why, the sooner 'tis begun,
If flint and trigger hold but true, the sooner 'twill be done.
Oh, the rifle, oh, the rifle in our hands will prove no trifle.

The writer was that prolific person known only as "Trad."

#8 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 02:45 PM:

To our Commonwealth readers, I say: At least it got "What's Up Your Butt?" off the top of our front page. Finally.

#9 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 03:27 PM:

Fred Clark has a wonderful post today, from a speech given by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852. Just one paragraph:

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

#10 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 04:50 PM:

Steve, #3: "Inalienable" is the customary word, but John Adams preferred the less-used "unalienable", as seen here -- and was not above "speaking to the printer about it later"!

As a bonus, the linked clip includes the signing scene... which still gives me shivers every time I watch it. So does the earlier scene in which Dr. Lyman Hall of Georgia decides to change his vote.

#11 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 05:27 PM:

Lee@10: heh, hadn't realized that 1776 had made the inalienable/unalienable thing into a joke! (Until Language Log put me right I never knew that 'unalienable' was in the text...)

I had a glance at Samuel Johnson's Taxation No Tyranny earlier today: his attempt to get the colonists to calm down a bit and see reason. A few good phrases but not one of his best pieces.

Interesting how carefully restrained the D of I's piety is: 'Supreme Judge', 'Divine Providence'. The reference to 'the laws of nature and of nature’s God'... is that coy deism? Panentheism?

#12 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 05:28 PM:

Lee @10: http://www.youtube.com/...

What!? They found archive footage!? HOLY CRAP!

;-)

#13 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 05:58 PM:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

It's a pity Mr Jefferson didn't run this bit past his own workforce. Steve @11, this is the point that riled up Sam Johnson, Tory though he was. "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" quoth he, but the great American public remained remarkably silent on the question.

As a foreigner who entirely supports the right of the people of the United States or any other country to revolution if necessary, I have to say that I find it difficult to discover any saving grace whatsoever in Thomas Jefferson, beyond a way with words.

#14 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 06:33 PM:

chris y, nobody is all good or all bad. Most people are just sort of bleh, hovering right around the good-bad line, because they don't do anything so good or anything so bad.

Among historically significant people, the amount of good AND bad is often much higher. They have LOTS of good and LOTS of bad. Jefferson is no exception. He wrote lots of great stuff, with great thoughts and philosophies—yet never applied them, apparently, to his own situation.

I've often said that if I had a time machine, one of the things I'd like to do is teach Jefferson's slaves a worksong with the lyric:

The God who gave us Life
Gave us Liberty at the same time.
The hand of force may destroy,
But cannot disjoin them.
(And yes, I have a tune for this.)

I'm not sure he'd get the point, but he'd at least be really confused about where they heard those words (they're his, in case you didn't know).

From my reading of your previous posts, you appear to be a British subject. I'd love to tell you how rotten your revered founding figures really were, but unfortunately they're largely fictional. Suffice to say that a rigorous examination of most historical figures' personal lives wouldn't show them to be the sort of people you'd like to have dinner with, and that the leader of YOUR country at the time of our revolution was a dissipated syphilitic nutbar, as I'm sure you know.

#15 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 07:08 PM:

Xopher@14:

> dissipated syphilitic nutbar

He was certainly mentally ill a lot of the time, but 'dissipated' really isn't the right word to use about George III, who was piously devoted to his wife. And porphyria rather than syphillis seems to be what the smart historians are putting their money on. None of which should be taken as excusing his colonial policy, of course.

#16 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 07:30 PM:

Hawai'i Pono'i

Hawaii`s own true sons
Be loyal to your chief
Your country's liege and lord
The chief

Chorus:
Royal father
Kamehameha
Shall defend in war
With spears

Hawaii`s own true sons
Look to your chief
Those chiefs of younger birth
Younger descent

Hawaii`s own true sons
People of loyal heart
The only duty lies
List and abide

Words composed by King David Kalākaua, music composed by Captain Henri Berger, then [1874] the king's royal bandmaster.

YouTube orchestral arrangement here.

#17 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 09:57 PM:

He was certainly mentally ill a lot of the time, but 'dissipated' really isn't the right word to use about George III, who was piously devoted to his wife. And porphyria rather than syphillis seems to be what the smart historians are putting their money on.

"Hush, dear, Mother's fighting."

#18 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 10:38 PM:

In regards to Thomas Jefferson, I think he had the failing that all people have, which is a massive blind spot in regards to one's own actions.

I do not exclude myself from this failing. Suffice to say, I've done some pretty dumb stuff for somebody who's supposed to be smart.

#19 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2011, 11:44 PM:

#7 I find that song interesting. And it could have been sung only at several thousand miles' remove, as the line

"Then you'll meet our Mountain Boys and their leader Johnny Stark" combines Vermont's "Green Mountan Boys" with New Hampshire's Gen. John Stark.

(No Vermonter would ever confuse Stark - who brought the New Hampshire militia to the fight at Bennington - with Ethan Allen or Seth Warner: the Green Mountain Boys were essentially at war with both New Hampshire AND New York over ownership of the land.)

#20 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 05:26 AM:

Without looking.. "unalienable". Having learnt it before I knew, "better" it was a perfectly normal word to me, and so I've not been affected by the preferred choice.

Now... the passage that bothers me is this one, He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

#21 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 05:29 AM:

Theophylact: There's a reason to quote but one paragraph. The talk he gave (it was a speaking engagement) runs to something like 20 pages. I have it somewhere, not quite handy.

It is (as one would expect of him) a powerful piece of work. Enough to make one angry, and ashamed, all at once; while arousing sympathy.

#22 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 05:34 AM:

I'd love to tell you how rotten your revered founding figures really were

Xopher, I don't want to turn this into an argument, but the British don't do "revered founding fathers", and haven't for a hundred years or more. Even back then the cults of Arthur (mythical) and Alfred (historical but overrated) were largely restricted to a few self conscious propagandists. It's just not a thing.

#23 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 05:35 AM:

I'd love to tell you how rotten your revered founding figures really were

Xopher, I don't want to turn this into an argument, but the British don't do "revered founding fathers", and haven't for a hundred years or more. Even back then the cults of Arthur (mythical) and Alfred (historical but overrated) were largely restricted to a few self conscious propagandists. It's just not a thing.

#24 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 06:01 AM:

This is the bit that caught my attention:

"He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither".

Damn that King George! He's not letting enough immigrants into the country!

#25 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 06:43 AM:

We watched our DVD of "1776" on our BluRay player last night. That was pretty neat.

#26 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 09:51 AM:

Hey, Xopher, nice xenophobic prejudices you've got there. Really, try harder.

#27 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 02:32 PM:

#24 and several others - note how many of the points are essentially economic. E.g.

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
#28 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 04:42 PM:

chris y @13 -- Try this: Name one of the most intractable large-scale problems in the world today, and your personal efforts to solve it. Climate change? Resource depletion? Nuclear proliferation? Middle East? Your choice.
Now, are you willing to be judged exclusively, completely, off-handedly by the issues, standards, and knee-jerk prejudices of 200 years from now?

#29 ::: Brett Paul Dunbar ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 06:03 PM:

George III was the King and while the monarchy retained some power Parliament was largely in control. The Prime Minister, Lord North, had greater power and he was Prime Minister as he had a majority in Parliament. The declaration of independence focused on George III for propaganda reasons, the policies actually objected to were those of Parliament not the King. Basically the repeated mentions of George III are a lie designed to disguise that the rebellion was against parliament.

#30 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 06:24 PM:

I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into a fight between Perfidious Albion and the Revolutionary Rabble.

#31 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 07:34 PM:

Prime Ministers come and go, but the monarch is the Head of State. We were parting company with Britain, not just one Parliament. (I can say "we" because I know that's how my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Charles felt about it, even before he was arrested by the British, imprisoned on Block Island, tortured, and killed.)

#32 ::: Brett Paul Dunbar ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2011, 11:44 PM:

@31 In the British constitution the head of state's role is now pretty much entirely symbolic, while back then the king did have some actual power Parliament was already the dominant force. The actual policies that were objected to in the document were those of parliament and George III had had very little to do with them. The declaration was extremely dishonest in blaming the King, which was done for propaganda purposes with some success.

#33 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 04:08 AM:

Now, are you willing to be judged exclusively, completely, off-handedly by the issues, standards, and knee-jerk prejudices of 200 years from now?

I have no idea what those prejudices will be, but I'm perfectly willing to admit that by my own standards right now I fail miserably. No illusions whatsoever. If it should chance that circumstances demanded that I did something noteworthy and people in a few generations tried to turn me into a hero on the basis of it, I'd come back and haunt them until they stopped being bloody fools.

#34 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 04:11 AM:

Agreeing with 30, but 28: "are you willing to be judged exclusively, completely, off-handedly by the issues, standards, and knee-jerk prejudices of 200 years from now?" This is slightly missing the point that the principle "all men are created equal and have the right to liberty" is not a 20th century invention; in fact, it was around in 1776, and was even shared by some of Jefferson's colleagues...

#35 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 07:21 AM:

#32 The actual policies that were objected to in the document were those of parliament and George III had had very little to do with them. The declaration was extremely dishonest in blaming the King, which was done for propaganda purposes with some success.

George III signed the laws. The government was known as His Majesty's Government. He took an oath* on coronation:

to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the dominions etc belonging or pertaining to them according to their respective laws and customs;
to cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all judgments, to the monarch's power

To blame him solely for the list of complaints is obviously ridiculous. No one believes he personally "plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." To blame him as the representative of Britain and it's government? Sounds fair enough to me. His name's on the door; if he doesn't like what's going on he should sack the manager Prime Minister or quit abdicate**.

So propaganda? Sure. Extremely dishonest? I disagree. God save the King!

* Famously he refused to allow Catholic Emancipation as he believed this would violate his oath.
** Not a power the Monarch has as it requires an Act of Parliament.

#36 ::: Jon Marcus ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 09:46 AM:

@24 ajay: Also, "He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

Trying to shut down government, and block immigration? Sounds like a Republican presidential candidate.

George III was the original Tea Partier! (Oh the irony.)

#37 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 09:59 AM:

Me @35 Wait, that's the wording from Elizabeth II coronation oath. Sorry.

#38 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 10:22 AM:

36: or, indeed, president.

"For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
...He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation..."

#39 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 10:29 AM:

On the plus side there've been darned few troops being quartered during peacetime in civilian homes without the owners' permission around here lately.

#40 ::: Brett Paul Dunbar ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 03:13 PM:

Blaming the king for the actions of the government is rather like blaming the desk in the oval office for the actions of the US government. While not powerless at the time the King was obligated to sign any bill passed by parliament royal assent hasn't been refused since 1706 and that was on the binding advice of the cabinet rather than being the choice of the Queen. The king might appoint the PM but had very limited choice in the matter as the PM needed control of parliament George III was forced at time to appoint opponents such as the first Portland's first ministry (Fox-North coalition). If the King did dismiss the PM (which George III did twice (G Grenville, Portland)) his choice would then have to fight and win an election. When William IVs choice (Peel) lost the election he had to reappoint the man he had sacked (Melbourne) and no later monarch has tried.

#41 ::: CLP ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 03:24 PM:

chris y@13:

I have to say that I find it difficult to discover any saving grace whatsoever in Thomas Jefferson, beyond a way with words.

I, too, am very bothered by uncritical adulation of America's founders. It leads to all kinds of mental gymnastics of historical revisionism, such as the truly absurd comment (made recently by Rep. Michele Bachmann) that "the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."

That said, I do think Jefferson had some saving graces. He was a hypocrite about slavery, but he did take steps to shut down the slave trade. He helped lay the framework for separation of church and state and religious freedom.

I find it helpful to think of America as a process, in which (hopefully) we become a more and more just society. We've come to recognize that slavery is wrong, and we've paid (and continue to pay) a terrible price for that mistake. We've become more enlightened about allowing women to participate fully in the political process. We've come to recognize (too slowly, for sure) that racism and segregation are wrong. We are now (again, too slowly) expanding the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.

And even though Jefferson was a hypocrite in many ways, he did contribute to this process by recognizing the equality of "all men", even if "all men" only meant Europeans. That's why I think it's proper to celebrate him, even if we should simultaneously rebuke him.

#42 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 03:46 PM:

There are no saints in America.
There are no saints in America.
There are no saints in America.
There are no saints in America.

#43 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 03:54 PM:

CLP @ 41: That's why I think it's proper to celebrate him, even if we should simultaneously rebuke him.

The Coup do an excellent job of supplying the rebuke (NSFW lyrics, second verse is the relevant one). Transcription.

#44 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 04:40 PM:

Nobody has ever summarized the essence of Liberalism as well as Jefferson did in his 2nd, 3rd and 4th sentences.

#45 ::: Harry Payne ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 05:03 PM:

#19: I bow to your knowledge of your own history, but quick web-search shows "The Riflemen of Bennington" accepted in some parts of the US: Pete Seeger has a variant, "passed on... by John Allison of Westchester county, New York", for example. So you may find it being sung a bit closer to home than my side of the pond.

#46 ::: CLP ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 05:35 PM:

Tim Walters @ 43: Thanks for the link; that was great.

#47 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 06:47 PM:

Tune: Derry Down

(Note: "Derry Down" is the tune used for "Mauling Live Oak")

What a court hath old England of folly and sin
Spite of Chatham and Camden, Barre, Burke, Wilkes and Glynn
Not content with the game act, they taxed fish and sea
And America drench with hot water and tea

Derry down, down, down, derry down

But if the wise council of England doth think
They may be enslaved by the power of drink,
They're right to enforce it; but then do you see?
The colonies, too, may refuse and be free.

There's no knowing where this oppression will stop
Some say there's no cure but a capital chop.
And that I believe each American's wish
Since you've drenched 'em with tea and deprived 'em of fish.

The birds of the air and the fish of the sea
By the gods for poor Dan Adam's use were made free,
Till a man with more power than old Moses would wish
Said, "Ye wretches, ye shan't touch a fowl or a fish!"

Three generals these mandates have borne 'cross the sea
To deprive 'em of fish and make 'em drink tea;
In turn, sure, these freemen will boldly agree
To give 'em a dance upon Liberty Tree.

Then freedom's the word, both at home and abroad
So out with each scabbard that hides a good sword
Our forefathers gave us this freedom in hand
And we'll die in defense of the rights of the land.

#48 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 07:47 PM:

The "three generals" in the above are Burgoyne, Clinton, and Howe.

#49 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 08:45 PM:

Re: Blaming the King

Were they really blaming the King personally, or were they just continuing to follow the same fiction that Parliament had when passing the objectionable acts? Acts of Parliament tended to include language along the lines of "be it enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled...", which seems to say that officially, even if not in actual fact, the final responsibility for the acts is the King's.

#50 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 09:35 PM:

chris 22, 23: That was kinda my point in calling them "largely fictional." Actually you missed the point of my entire comment, which is that it's fairly rude (especially for a Brit) to come into a thread celebrating a patriotic feast of the US and diss the founders (much as we may have sharply critical things to say about them in other threads at other times, and you appear to have largely ignored the criticisms of Jefferson that I put in that very comment).

Suppose you blogged about Guy Fawkes Day on November 5, and I came in and said "it's really too bad Fawkes didn't succeed; blowing up Parliament would probably have been a good thing." You'd be pissed, and rightly so, even if you believed that Guy Fawkes was on the right side with the wrong methods, or even if you shared that belief about the Gunpowder Plot on November 4 and 6, and among fellow British subjects.

alex 26: If you categorize those as xenophobic prejudices...well, all I can say is you should reconsider.

Brett 29: Basically the repeated mentions of George III are a lie designed to disguise that the rebellion was against parliament.

Nonsense. They're a common locution in formal writing. The PM acts on behalf of the Crown, and "the King" stands for the nation. Yeah, the laws were made by the perfidious Parliament of Albion (thanks, Serge!), but it's still neither unreasonable nor dishonest to say "the King" when you mean the government of the UK generally (at that time; nowadays it would be QUITE unreasonable). And it was even truer at that time, when most people understood how these things worked.

Also, see Neil at 35 and Chris at 49.

#51 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 09:45 PM:

Xopher, 50: A nitpick, dear friend. The form "the Parliament of perfidious Albion" is to be preferred; it is Albion as a whole which is perfidious, not merely that portion of its population elected by a small number of its richest inhabitants.

(I tried working in the rotten boroughs, but couldn't make it fit.)

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 09:48 PM:

Well, I think the Parliament at that time were scumbags, intent on exploiting the SHIT out of the then-colonies; I have no such opinion of the people generally.

#53 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2011, 10:30 PM:

chris y #13, CLP #41:

Indeed, and I suspect that future histories will deplore how even while such luminaries as Al Gore and "talked the talk", and warned the world about global climate change... they kept right on using their cars, not to mention buying food trucked in from across the continent! Not until the War Against the Conglomerates in 2063, and the subsequent reconstruction of the Amerizip rail system, did the American truck cartel lose its stranglehold over the country's transportation policies.

#54 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:21 AM:

Xopher @50 The PM acts on behalf of the Crown, and "the King" stands for the nation.

I think this is what I was trying to say. If there existed a fair court and George William Frederick of the House of Hanover were put on trial for the above charges there's a good chance he would be acquitted. But they don't name him; they call him by his position "The King of Great Britain".

There's also the traditional thing that rebels seeking concessions/willing to cut a deal say: "I'm not a traitor! I'm loyal to the King! It's his advisers that are the problem!" This is the declaration from Congress that they aren't willing to cut a deal any more.

#55 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 07:14 AM:

@52: "...intent on exploiting the SHIT out of the then-colonies".

If you really think that, then I'm afraid that you don't know as much about eighteenth-century history as you might like to believe. Perhaps assumptions such as this are at the root of your apparent irrational hatred?

Wikipedia has good, balanced articles on, for example, the 1765 Stamp Act and the 1773 Tea Act, which might be places to start. Certainly, some colonists at the time FELT these things to be OUTRAGEOUS impositions [a view, on the 1765 Act, shared by a good number of the parliamentarians you affect to despise], but that is not to say that they were right.

#56 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 07:22 AM:

Oh, and also, this:

"Suppose you blogged about Guy Fawkes Day on November 5, ... among fellow British subjects."

You really have no idea what Guy Fawkes' Day is about, do you? You'd have to travel a long way to find a Brit who wouldn't happily agree that our politicians ought all to be blown up now and again, pour encourager les autres. You have seen 'V for Vendetta' at some point?

If course, some of our politicians have actually been blown up in living memory, by organisations that were sustained by considerable support from sections of the US public, but we're big enough to shrug it off.

#57 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 07:45 AM:

"...intent on exploiting the SHIT out of the then-colonies".

Leading to the Manure Act and the Dung Rebellion of 1769.

#58 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 08:44 AM:

Alex @55

I think it's as much about how these taxes came to be levied as about what they were. It's sloganed as "No taxation without representation!", and we have, I think, elements of the same feeling in British politics today, with the possibility that the EU is able to act in the same uncontrolled way.

But comparing the propagandists of that time with those of today, I'd love to borrow Ben Franklin and have him take Murdoch's place.

#59 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 08:51 AM:

Yes, I also think that it's all a long time ago, and one ought to be able to take a balanced view. Those who can't, I shall rib mercilessly. Next up, what you bastards did to the Ohio Valley peoples, and how much fun it was to burn down Washington.

#60 ::: Tom Womack ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 09:14 AM:

#42: There are no saints living anywhere, since the title is applied posthumously. I was distinctly surprised that the first US citizen to be canonised was canonised in 1946 (Saint Francesca Xavier Cabrini) - I'd have guessed a hundred years earlier - but there are now about a dozen.

Ah, the first American-born saint, Saint Katharine Drexel, wasn't canonised until October 1, 2000.

#61 ::: CLP ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 11:34 AM:

David Harmon @53: No doubt! While the evil of participating in climate change is not comparable to evil of enslaving your fellow humans, it's still a pretty bad thing to do and something our descendants will be reasonably angry about (since they will have to live with the consequences).

alex @59: I'm all for taking a balanced view, but I can understand Xopher's reaction in @50. Focusing on the founders' deficiencies when people are celebrating America's Independence Day is sort of like going to X and Y's 40th anniversary party and mentioning that X was still married to Z when X and Y started dating.

As an American, I agree that Great Britain was reasonable to ask the colonies to chip in (given the blood and treasure Britain expended in the French and Indian War), and that it's kind of hard to have real parliamentary representation from across the ocean in the late 18th century. But I also think that, in the long run, both the U.S. and the U.K. were better off with the separation.

By the way, speaking of "Taxation without representation", I love the District of Columbia's license plates. How anyone can argue that these 600,000 Americans are undeserving of the same representation in Congress as the rest of the U.S. is beyond me. (I find it ironic that I was allowed to vote in Congressional elections upon moving to Scotland, whereas I wouldn't have had that right if I moved to our nation's capitol.)

#62 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 12:27 PM:

CLP @61:

Not only does the District lack voting representation in Congress, it also is uniquely dependent on Congress. Anywhere else in the 50 states, there are clear(ish) guidelines in the Consitution and Supreme Court precedent as to what areas of policy Congress can stick their nose into and which areas are reserved for state and local governments. Because the District is a federal territory, though, there are no such distinctions there. So if a majority of Congress decides that they don't like the District's zoning laws, they can change them.

Re: the perfidy of Parliament and/or the rebellious colonists:

Money most certainly was the inciting incident, but it seems to me that the actions of both sides don't support the idea that it was really the root cause. On the parliamentary side, many concessions were made on taxes, but each one included a stinger asserting the right of parliament to legislate "in any and all cases." And on the colonial side, the rhetoric of the colonists relied very heavily on (admittedly fuzzy) concepts of "internal" and "external" taxes and a theory of when each type was legitimate.

ISTM that the money issues were very solvable, had both sides not run up against fundamental ideological difficulties. Ultimately you had a cadre of colonial leaders who were unwilling to accept any deal that parliament could revoke unilaterally at any time, and a majority of parliament was unable to accept any deal which altered the makeup of parliament or admitted of the possibility of supreme sovereignty resting anywhere other than in the House of Commons.

#63 ::: judyt ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 02:07 PM:

Xopher @52 ..."exploiting the SHIT out of the then-colonies"

Not just the colonies, either. The way you got a job where you could get rich by exploiting the colonies (e.g. in the East India Company) was to have "interest" at home i.e. somebody in your family with a vote to sell in the parliamentary elections. The reactionary governments of the later 18th century kept themselves in power by managing the supply of plum government jobs to younger sons and other relatives of the voting gentry: the exploitation of the Empire was intimately linked to the suppression of reformers and radicals at home.

In Scotland, the principal "fixer" was Henry Dundas, also notorious as a defender of the slave trade, and the last person in the House of Lords to be impeached. King George wasn't vastly popular in these parts either (a lot of Scots were cheering for Franklin and co) but Dundas was the one who was more often burnt in effigy.

#64 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 03:20 PM:

Neil 54: I think this is what I was trying to say.

Just so, and that was my reason for mentioning your post in mine.

CLP 61: I'm all for taking a balanced view, but I can understand Xopher's reaction in @50. Focusing on the founders' deficiencies when people are celebrating America's Independence Day is sort of like going to X and Y's 40th anniversary party and mentioning that X was still married to Z when X and Y started dating.

Thank you. Exactly my point.

#65 ::: CLP ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 03:37 PM:

Chris W. @ 62 (re D.C.): Yep. A prime recent example would be the prohibition on D.C. abortion funding in the budget compromise.

#66 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 04:55 PM:

CLP #61: David Harmon @53: No doubt! While the evil of participating in climate change is not comparable to evil of enslaving your fellow humans,

Well, part of my point is that 50 or 100 years down the line, public attitudes might well have changed back, reversing that preference!

Especially if global warming smashes our transport and heavy industry, in which case slavery (by any name) might well return to being a mandatory part of large-scale agriculture, manufacturing, city maintenance, and so forth, in which case it will be duly justified in some fashion or another, just as the plight of modern migrant workers gets no traction, no matter how many exposes or documentaries come out. On the other hand, they will certainly condemn without reservation the sins which led to the flooding of all three coasts, the utter destruction of our agricultural base, and the Refugee Wars of the 2030s, culminating in the USA's panicked invasion/migration to the area formerly known as Canada....

Remember, slaves weren't collected for the hell of it, nor even for the sake of glorying in the degradation of fellow humans. They were collected because their eventual owners had projects which needed lots of labor, far more than the plantation owners could have come up with on their own. And what truly killed that Age of Slavery, like others before it, wasn't moral outrage, but technological innovation: In this case, the incoming Age of Steam.

#67 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:01 PM:

Ok, that middle paragraph is crying out for vivisection. Please imagine additional periods as necessary. ;-)

#68 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:04 PM:

Ok, that middle paragraph is crying out for vivisection.

*injects 500 CCs of dazzlepropylene catlol into middle paragraph, observes toxic effects*

#69 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:20 PM:

Xopher @ 68... observes toxic effects

Subject becomes commatose.

#70 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:21 PM:

Subject becomes commatose.

*administers semicolonic cleansing*

#71 ::: Brett Paul Dunbar ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 05:22 PM:

@50 Using terms like the Crown or His/Her Majesty's Government would have been accurate, indeed are perfectly accurate now. As they are either the state as an institution or the part of the state responsible for policy. The declaration however explicitly blames the king in his personal capacity and accuses him personally of tyranny which was a propagandistic big lie. The purpose of this was to paint the rebellion as having a specific moral justification it lacked. It worked, to this day it has left many otherwise educated Americans with a severe misunderstanding of how the eighteenth century United Kingdom worked.

#72 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 07:11 PM:

David Harmon @ 66

"And what truly killed that Age of Slavery, like others before it, wasn't moral outrage, but technological innovation: In this case, the incoming Age of Steam."

I'm not sure about that-- it may be that people wouldn't have been outraged if they didn't think their society could manage without slavery, but I also think that if they weren't outraged, they wouldn't have bothered to abolish slavery. Abolition wasn't easy.

If abolition weren't partly about moral outrage, I don't think domestic slavery would have been abolished along with agricultural slavery.

#73 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 07:35 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz #72: Of course there was moral outrage all along... but it wasn't going to get anywhere until the slaves were no longer necessary to the various industries involved, and that change depended on the machinery. Remember that bit about "it's difficult to make a man see something, when his livelihood depends on his not seeing it" -- and remember that we're talking about not just households and individual farms, but also a major export for the nation.

And then, as long as the cotton and other farm slaves remained enslaved, household slavery could be justified as "oh, they've got it easy compared to the field slaves!" (Of course, this difference was also used to divide the slaves against each other -- q.v. the whole House Negro vs. Field Negro thing.)

#74 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 09:05 PM:

73
on the other hand, it might have died sooner in the South if the cotton gin hadn't made cotton-growing profitable. (Before the gin was invented, the seeds had to be picked out by hand, and it was difficult enough that quilts can be dated by the seeds in the batting. The cotton fibers cling to the seeds, you see.)

#75 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 09:10 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz #72/David Harmon #73: What got rid of slavery was a combination of economic change (the rise of industrial capitalism), moral outrage (Adam Hochschild has a good argument to the effect that the Quakers and Dissenters who got the Anti-Slavery movement in Britain going, and the Anti-Slavery Society is the oldest human rights organisation on the planet got a lot of their English grass-roots support from hostility to naval impressment giving the English lower classes a sense of solidarity with slaves in the West Indies) often from people you might not expect such as the very Tory Samuel Johnson who offered a toast to the "next insurrection of the Negroes in the West Indies", and the said insurrectionary actions of the slaves themselves such as the Haitian Revolution and the Christmas Rebellion of 1831-32 in Jamaica. The abolition of slavery in the West from the 1790s through the 1880s was, nonetheless, a gradual process, and one that sometimes took significant action by the slaves themselves, including revolution (Haiti 1791), and rebellion (the Danish West Indies 1848) as well as compensated emancipation (British West Indies 1834, Dutch Caribbean 1863), gradual emancipation followed by abolition (Brazil 1888), and of course defeat in civil war (United States 1865). I've missed most of Latin America here, I realise, as well as France (1848) where it took revolution in the metropole.

#76 ::: Dave DuPlantis ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 09:44 PM:

Filling in the blank was easy for me, if only because at some point I thought it would be worthwhile to memorize more than just the first paragraph, seeing as how it was kind of an important thing to understand. So, the first few times through, I would think "in" and write it down, then go back and read "un". Eventually I got it "right" ... but then I also say to myself, even when reading this text, "and accordingly all experience hath shewn,..." along with all the extra commas.

The farthest I could remember well was the first injustice, and even then it was "He hath* refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary something something."

It was a good exercise, and one I should repeat, because it reminded me a little bit about why they said they made this country.**

*no, seriously, all of that archaic usage, that's what I remember.

**It is, after all, only one side of the story. It's a good one to discuss in the context of Independence Day, but it's also important to remember that they were saying things like "all white male landowners are created equal"***, and of course the part about "merciless Indian savages" has already been covered. As a side project, I've been going through a book an ancestor wrote about 100 years ago that traces my mother's side of the family back through colonial days to England. Several of my ancestors were wealthy men who were influential in certain aspects of colonial history ... which basically translates to "most certainly owned slaves". I like to remember those things, not because they're my fault by association, but because maybe I can speak up about similar injustices and not just be part of the crowd.

***and one could also make the argument that today, it might read "all people are created equal, but some white men are more equal than other people", or something to that effect.

#77 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 10:12 PM:

P J Evans #74: Yes, technology shifts cut both ways. China and its "recycling" of political prisoners represents an even more unfortunate example, while cybersurveillance is a problem here in the USA (inter alia).

Fragano Ledgister #75: Indeed, and the account you give shows a classic power shift largely driven by the moralists at home and bloody earth abroad. But I maintain that the technological changes were an enabling factor (for the economic shifts, too).

I'd also point out that slavery in general is an occasional feature of human cultures throughout history and around the world. (It's not always as bad as it was in the American South, either.) I note that even here in our supposedly free USA, we have a startling number of effective slaves in the form of migrant workers, let alone the abusive situations faced by undocumented immigrants, and even low-income workers in general.

#78 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 11:10 PM:

CLP@61, I'm not at all sure that "the evil of participating in climate change is not comparable to evil of enslaving your fellow humans".

I think it may be all too comparable to participating in genocide, in addition to suicide.

Xopher@68, you have earned my undying admiration for "dazzlepropylene catlol".

#79 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:40 AM:

James Macdonald @ 47 - Would that be the same tune as "Red Iron Ore"? Looks like it would scan.

#80 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 05:29 AM:

Whether or not the "King" was supposed to be personally responsible for these ills, I am sure that Mr. Jefferson, as a consequence of his time at William and Mary, was better informed on the differences between metonymy and synecdoche than I am, and so knew what he was doing.

#81 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:53 AM:

Dave Bell @ 80... Mr. Jefferson (...)knew what he was doing

"He plays the violin."

#82 ::: Richard Robinson ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:49 AM:

Various, re: blaming the King.

Isn't that what a head of state's *for*, to symbolise the whole thing when required ?

(IOW, I Agree With Many. #54 is especially neat).

#83 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:53 AM:

Why is everybody blaming Jason King?

#84 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:59 PM:

David Harmon #77: Not to mention what look like actual slaves in some cases -- plus prison labour being used as slave labour.

#85 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 09:52 PM:

Xopher, #68: Oh my; my semicolons are sparkling now! And "dazzlepropylene catlol" is priceless.

Fragano Ledgister #84: Well, cases that are prosecuted upon discovery are a little different, though much of the sex trade could be considered "officially semi-sanctioned" at this point.

#86 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:57 PM:

Dr. Psycho, David: Thanks. The Muse breathed in my ear on that one.

#87 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 08:18 PM:

Serge@30:

>Perfidious Albion and the Revolutionary Rabble.

BAND NAME

and @42:

>There are no saints in America.

Though we've had our share of Kings - just mostly in entirely other fields of competence. And a whole slew of queens too.

--Dave, and one Emperor, who is not forgotten

#88 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2011, 12:06 AM:

David 87: My personal favorite is King Strang.

#89 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2011, 11:21 PM:

Emperor Norton, the one, and only; of blessed memory.

#90 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2011, 12:47 PM:

Coming to the conversation a little late, I just finished reading Pauline Maier's American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (my way of celebrating the Fourth--read a book about it), and I was wondering if anyone here had read the same book and had any comments on it? One of the things Maier talks about is the list of charges Jefferson levels against the King, both what those charges are, where they originated, and why he focused on King George--and it seems to me to be an interesting discussion. But, well, not my field, so any responses?

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