Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Second American Independence Day that Almost Was

Via 4Branch

“Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part.  Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this; and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.”
–Letter from President Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Priestly, Jan. 29, 1804

Lost in all the parades, barbecues, and worshipping of all things military on the Fourth of July is the fact that Americans on that day are supposed to be celebrating their secession from the British Empire.   The “free and independent states,” as they are called in the Declaration of Independence, individually voted to secede from the British Empire and form a confederation of states.  Each state, the Declaration says, is independent in the sense that Spain, France, and England were independent: 

“[A]s free and independent states,  they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other things which independent states may of right do.”

More @ LRC

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