A Republic If You Can Keep It!
America's Founding Fathers were more than just statesmen--they were intellectuals, and they knew the importance of their ideas and how to best communicate them to the American public. Throughout their speeches and addresses to the public, editorials, essays, and pamphlets they published we see them expressing the principles of importance for the nation, and were able to reach consensus about the best form of government.
In 1765, James Otis delivered a speech before the Governor and Council in Boston regarding the Stamp Act. He began his speech with the following "It is with great grief that I appear before your Excellency and Honors on this occasion. A wicked and unfeeling minister has caused a people, the most loyal and affectionate that ever king was blest with, to groan under the most insupportable oppression. But I think, Sir, that he now stands upon the brink of inevitable destruction; and trust that soon, very soon, he will feel the full weight of his injured sovereign's righteous indignation. I have no doubt, Sir, but that the loyal and dutiful representations of nine provinces, the cries and supplications of a distressed people, the united voice of all his Majesty's most loyal and affectionate British-American subjects, will obtain all that ample redress which they have a right to expect; and that erelong they will see their cruel and insidious enemies, both at home and abroad, put to shame and confusion."
Joseph Warren gave a speech in 1772 in Boston stating "It was this attachment to a Constitution, founded on free and benevolent principles, which inspired the first settlers of this country,--they saw with grief the daring outrages committed on the free Constitution of their native land, --the knew nothing but a civil war could, at any time, restore its pristine purity." He continued "If you, with united zeal and fortitude, oppose the torrent of oppression; if you feel the true fire of patriotism burning in your breasts; if you, from your souls, despise the most gaudy dress that slavery can wear; if you really prefer the lonely cottage (whilst blest with liberty) to gilded palaces, surrounded with the ensigns of slavery, you may have the fullest assurance that tyranny, with her whole accursed train, will hide their hideous heads in confusion, shame, and despair; if you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers, who enabled them to burn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare his arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring."
Samuel Adams wrote in 1772 "Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First, a right to life, Second, to liberty. Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature."
Why did these people leave their native land to pursue a life in America? They sought civil and religious freedom. They put their lives on the line to establish this country. They sought to "be with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than live as slaves" as was stated in their cause for taking up arms against the British.
Today, many are ignorant of the events that preceded the writing of the Declaration of Independence and of The Constitution. We face similar challenges: do we continue to go down the road of Big Government? This leads to more control, less prosperity for individuals, families, and our country.
If we don’t own the rights to our labor, the truth is we won’t labor as much. Where there is limited freedom, there is limited prosperity. When you start imposing laws, restrictions and taxes on people, you start to take away their incentive to perform, so they’ll stop performing. The greater the freedom, the greater the prosperity.
The time has come for us to stand up and take back our nation! As Chris Brady writes "Freedom is something around which all of us should be able to rally. Freedom is something that ought to be a universal agreement by individuals everywhere that freedom is a shared, sacred ideal. Something that is valuable, and, as a matter of fact invaluable in the lives of people. But yet freedom doesn’t seem to be understood. It seems to be misunderstood. It seems to get mistreated, shoved in the back corner, abused, tortured and even water boarded."