the american revolutions

one of the neatest things i learned from Albion’s Seed is that there wasn’t one american revolution, there were four! they never teach you this sort of exciting history in middle school — at least they didn’t in the working-class, roman catholic middle school that i went to — which wasn’t a middle school at all but just the seventh and eighth grades. i was sooo deprived as a child… [kindle locations 13525-13555]:

“The Revolution was not a single struggle, but a series of four separate Wars of Independence, waged in very different ways by the major cultures of British America. The first American Revolution (1775-76) was a massive popular insurrection in New England. An army of British regulars was defeated by a Yankee militia which was much like the Puritan train bands from which they were descended. These citizen soldiers were urged into battle by New England’s ‘black regiment’ of Calvinist clergy. The purpose of New England’s War for Independence, as stated both by ministers and by laymen such as John and Samuel Adams, was not to secure the rights of man in any universal sense. Most New Englanders showed little interest in John Locke or Cato’s letters. They sought mainly to defend their accustomed ways against what the town of Malden called ‘the contagion of venality and dissipation’ which was spreading from London to America.

“Many years later, historian George Bancroft asked a New England townsman why he and his friends took up arms in the Revolution. Had he been inspired by the ideas of John Locke? The old soldier confessed that he had never heard of Locke. Had he been moved by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense? The honest Yankee admitted that he had never read Tom Paine. Had the Declaration of Independence made a difference? The veteran thought not. When asked to explain why he fought in his own words, he answered simply that New Englanders had always managed their own affairs, and Britain tried to stop them, and so the war began.

“In 1775, these Yankee soldiers were angry and determined men, in no mood for halfway measures. Their revolution was not merely a mind game. Most able-bodied males served in the war, and the fighting was cruel and bitter. So powerful was the resistance of this people-in-arms that after 1776 a British army was never again able to remain in force on the New England mainland.

“The second American War for Independence (1776-81) was a more protracted conflict in the middle states and the coastal south. This was a gentlemen’s war. On one side was a professional army of regulars and mercenaries commanded by English gentry. On the other side was an increasingly professional American army led by a member of the Virginia gentry. The principles of this second American Revolution were given their Aristotelian statement in the Declaration of Independence by another Virginia gentleman, Thomas Jefferson, who believed that he was fighting for the ancient liberties of his ‘Saxon ancestors.’

“The third American Revolution reached its climax in the years from 1779 to 1781. This was a rising of British borderers in the southern backcountry against American loyalists and British regulars who invaded the region. The result was a savage struggle which resembled many earlier conflicts in North Britain, with much family feuding and terrible atrocities committed on both sides. Prisoners were slaughtered, homes were burned, women were raped and even small children were put to the sword.

“The fourth American Revolution continued in the years from 1781 to 1783. This was a non-violent economic and diplomatic struggle, in which the elites of the Delaware Valley played a leading part. The economic war was organized by Robert Morris of Philadelphia. The genius of American diplomacy was Benjamin Franklin. The Delaware culture contributed comparatively little to the fighting, but much to other forms of struggle.

“The loyalists who opposed the revolution tended to be groups who were not part of the four leading cultures. They included the new imperial elites who had begun to multiply rapidly in many colonial capitals, and also various ethnic groups who lived on the margins of the major cultures: notably the polyglot population of lower New York, the Highland Scots of Carolina and African slaves who inclined against their Whiggish masters.”

pretty sure most of you are familiar with fischer’s four american folkways and their origins. i’ve written a handful of posts on the histories of the original populations of these folkways — when they were still back in england that is.

there’s this post: east anglia, kent and manorialism — the puritans who went to new england were mostly from east anglia, or at least the eastern/southeastern part of england. the east anglians seem to have been quite outbred comparatively speaking, but perhaps not quite as much as the populations of southern and central england (i.e. the home counties). they seem to have hung on to extended families — village- or hamlet-based groups of brothers and their families — for longer than other populations in the southern half of britain, although perhaps that was more a side-effect of the lack of manorialism in the region rather than some residual inbreeding. the new englanders had fought their war of independence because they “had always managed their own affairs” — that was pretty true of east anglians, too, since they had (mostly) never been under the yoke of manorialism. interestingly, they had a remarkably (for the time) low homicide rate in the thirteenth century.

i’ve got a couple of posts related to those rambunctious folks from the backcountry whose ancestors came from the borderlands between england and scotland. libertarian crackers takes a quick look at why this group tends to love being independent and is distrustful of big gubmint — to make a long story short, the border folks married closely for much longer than the southern english — and they didn’t experience much manorialism, either (the lowland scots did, but not so much the border groups). did i mention that they’re a bit hot-headed? (not that there’s anything wrong with that! (~_^) ) see also: hatfields and mccoys. not surprising that this group’s war of independence involved “much family feuding.”

i wrote a whole series of posts on the north midlands/mid-atlantic quakers, because i knew the least about them. you might want to start with the last one first — quaker individualism — since it sorta sums up everything i found out about them. the other posts are (in chronological order): geographical origin of the quakers, on the topographical origins of the quakers, and the myddle people. what i reckoned about the midlanders/quakers is that they are some of my inbetweeners — they are some of the outbreeders of europe, but they came to The Outbreeding Project a bit late since they’re right on the edge of “core” europe (i.e. roughly the area circled in green on this map). so they don’t have the extended family orientation of the more recently inbreeding border reivers who were even further away from the “core” (to the north), but they had a very strong orientation toward the nuclear family — almost kinda freakish (not to be rude). the midlanders/quakers lean towards a strong individualism, too, reminiscent of the backcountry folk, but without the strong familism. that’s why i dubbed them inbetweeners. (the east anglians might be inbetweeners, too. not sure. Further Research is RequiredTM!) colin woodard said of the quakers [reference in this post]: “Quakers were also by nature inclined to challenge authority and convention at every juncture.” so, not surprising that they, too, rebelled against the english king!

unfortunately, i haven’t got a single post on the virginians from the south of england — fischer’s distressed cavaliers and indentured servants. they ought to be some of the most outbred of the english, which, perhaps, was why they fought for lofty ideals like life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the belief that all men are equal…except for (*ahem*) the slaves. the different origins of the settlers of the tidewater versus the deep south (per colin woodard) perhaps make a difference here — the landowners of the deep south were a self-sorted group of the second sons and grandsons of plantation owners in places like barbados (just like benedict cumberbatch’s ancestors!) — they might not have been big on universalistic ideas. need to find out more about the origins of both of these groups.

if you haven’t read Albion’s Seed, you really ought to! colin woodard’s American Nations, too, which divides up the u.s.’s folkways in a slightly different manner plus adds a whole bunch of others not considered by fischer (like french and spanish north america). and jayman has written approximately eleventeen gaZILLion posts on the american nations which you should definitely check out! i don’t even know where they all are, but you can start with one of the most recent ones, if you haven’t seen it already. (^_^)

that there were four american revolutions is a result of the fact that four (five?) somewhat different english populations settled in different regions of north america. the cultural and attitudinal differences between these regions persist to this day because, undoubtedly, there are genetic variations between the populations — probably average genetic differences in the frequencies of genes related to behaviors, personality, and even intelligence. these regional differences also persist because, since the very founding of the united states, like-minded people have been self-sorting themselves within the country so that they group together — and that sorting process has not been slowing down.

(note: comments do not require an email. albion’s seeds.)

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28 Comments

  1. Good post! Here in SC there was indeed many 2nd generation settlers from the Caribbean possessions, but also a substantial number of French Huguenots. Cf Francis Marion aka the Swamp Fox.

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  2. To me, it seems the Cavaliers and their descendants in the Tidewater and the Deep South may have been more descended from the landowning, warrior, feudal nobles – as opposed to being descended from yeoman farmers like much of the rest of NW Europe (ala Gregory Clark). It’s a neat little hypothesis that would seem to explain a host of their features. See:

    The Cavaliers | JayMan’s Blog

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  3. “these regional differences also persist because, since the very founding of the united states, like-minded people have been self-sorting themselves within the country so that they group together”

    interesting idea – cultural environments

    @Jayman

    “To me, it seems the Cavaliers and their descendants in the Tidewater and the Deep South may have been more descended from the landowning, warrior, feudal nobles – as opposed to being descended from yeoman farmers”

    Yeah, i wonder about that

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  4. @jayman – “To me, it seems the Cavaliers and their descendants in the Tidewater and the Deep South may have been more descended from the landowning, warrior, feudal nobles – as opposed to being descended from yeoman farmers like much of the rest of NW Europe (ala Gregory Clark). It’s a neat little hypothesis that would seem to explain a host of their features.”

    maybe! that’s a good theory.

    man, i forgot about that post. you’ve got so many posts (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), that i can’t keep track of ’em anymore! =P can’t keep track of my own posts, either. *facepalm*

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  5. @grey – “interesting idea – cultural environments”

    yeah…you wonder what sort of selection pressures that creates when people choose their preferred envionments like that. it’s like they’re all (we’re all!) creating exaggerated versions of particular cultural environments, like you say. people who don’t like new york city leave, people who hate rural ohio move to nyc.

    does a cultural environment that’s tailor-made for (by!), say, puritans increase the fitness of puritans? you’d think so. dunno. the amish maybe are an example of this?

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  6. That’s not identical to my own list of six, but there’s a fair overlap.

    First, there’s the jihad in New England, with Calvinist pastors stirring up their congregations with tall tales of the risk of the imposition of Anglicanism on them. There might even have been some fear of Rome, judging by the snide remarks common at the time about the decision to leave the Quebecois free to pursue their own religion and retain their own law code. (Perhaps if I knew more I could also point to complaints about the increasing official disinclination to pay heed to the disadvantages that legally were supposed to burden Roman Catholics in Ireland. But that’s speculative.)

    Secondly, there’s the rebellion, both by gentry and by borderers, against the (London) government’s intention to honour the treaties with the Red Indians, and thus stop colonists grabbing land beyond the Appalachian watershed. This would have been a great blow to, for instance, Washington, who had a claim, illicit under the treaties, to land in the Ohio valley.

    Thirdly, there’s the hope of debtors, often plantation owners, of being enabled to welch on their debts to London merchants. (Jefferson, for example, was a notoriously incompetent businessman and was thereby deep in debt.)

    Fourth, the owners of substantial numbers of slaves, who had been alarmed by the advance of abolitionism in Britain and wanted to ensure that it didn’t extend to them. Jefferson, again, is an example.

    Fifth, anybody who reckoned that a successful rebellion would allow them to avoid paying tax. Just because you live in the lowest-taxed civilisation known to history doesn’t mean you don’t begrudge tiny extra tax payments.

    Sixth, odds and sods – specific pockets of people with motivation peculiar to their circumstances. I have in mind here such people as the Boston Tea-Partiers, who were a bunch of tea-smugglers made furious by the London decision to cut the import duty on tea almost to zero, therefore leaving no margin of profit for them. I dare say there were plenty of other specific pockets: naturally, a prominent one is those politicians who simply wanted to transfer power from MPs in London to themselves.

    Because the Declaration of Independence is such a mendacious advertising flyer, it’s no help at all in understanding what the motivations were, but they clearly were not the ones stated therein, which are either too trivial to impel anyone to risk his neck, or so overwhelming that the whole population would have risen in fury so that the whole matter would have been over in a fortnight.

    The contrast between its nonsense and the impressive, rational, lucid Constitution written a few years later sticks out a mile. Mind you, given the state of US politics it would seem that I’m much more impressed by the Constitution than many Americans are.

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  7. Of northeast English descent and a native of Massachusetts (1943-1966), I find Albion’s Seed and the nations of North America fascinating. Especially since my boyhood education was given by people obsessed with colonial New England, the Civil War and the two WW’s. Also, I have lived most of my life in Yankeeland (McPherson’s cows, milk and wheat) although for parts of my life like now I have close to Appalachia (pigs, corn, whiskey).

    So, the sorting out of the Englishmen is of personal interest. But I think it is overshadowed by the real sorting out: the extreme self-segregation of blacks and Mexicans. Detroit, located in the heart of Yankeeland is literally another continent.

    If we still experience political disputes based on which side of the English Civil War our ancestors joined, how can this country possibly survive as a unitary state? The Reconquista is a very real possibility (maybe a certainty and partly done already). And there are large parts of the urban environment where no white person can go and survive.

    So, while interesting, maybe we have some other huge problem(s).

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  8. @bob sykes; given the results of the Constitution, maybe Americans are right to be less impressed by it than I am.

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  9. dearieme:”First, there’s the jihad in New England, with Calvinist pastors stirring up their congregations with tall tales of the risk of the imposition of Anglicanism on them.”

    Define imposition, dear boy.

    dearieme:”There might even have been some fear of Rome, judging by the snide remarks common at the time about the decision to leave the Quebecois free to pursue their own religion and retain their own law code.”

    Yes, the multicultural impulses that lie at the heart of the imperial project. Divide and rule.

    dearieme:”(Perhaps if I knew more I could also point to complaints about the increasing official disinclination to pay heed to the disadvantages that legally were supposed to burden Roman Catholics in Ireland. But that’s speculative.)”

    MMMM, well, 1829 was still a ways off….

    dearieme:Secondly, there’s the rebellion, both by gentry and by borderers, against the (London) government’s intention to honour”

    Really more a matter of not wanting to spend money fighting on the frontier (cf Pontiac’s Rebellion). Of course, “honour’ is a much prettier way of phrasing it.

    dearieme:”the treaties with the Red Indians,”

    Do people in the UK still say “Red Indians?”

    dearieme:”and thus stop colonists grabbing land beyond the Appalachian watershed.”

    Certainly not for long. Last time I checked, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia are not independent Amerind nations….

    dearieme:”This would have been a great blow to, for instance, Washington, who had a claim, illicit under the treaties, to land in the Ohio valley.”

    Somehow, I tend to think that there were easier ways of getting at it than revolution….

    dearieme:”Thirdly, there’s the hope of debtors, often plantation owners, of being enabled to welch on their debts to London merchants. (Jefferson, for example, was a notoriously incompetent businessman and was thereby deep in debt.)”

    Not much of plan, seeing as how many plantation owners (Jefferson included) ended dying as debtors….

    dearieme:”Fourth, the owners of substantial numbers of slaves, who had been alarmed by the advance of abolitionism in Britain and wanted to ensure that it didn’t extend to them. Jefferson, again, is an example.”

    Let’s see. American Revolution starts in 1775 (Declaration in ’76)…..Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire came in 1833….58 years. Fantastically farsighted of them. Of course, they couldn’t manage to see ahead to 1865 (I suppose that precognition has its limits). Of course, they did miss out on those government payouts:

    “The Act provided for compensation for slave-owners who would be losing their property. The amount of money to be spent on the compensation claims was set at “the Sum of Twenty Millions Pounds Sterling”.[13] Under the terms of the Act, the British government raised £20 million to pay out in compensation for the loss of the slaves as business assets to the registered owners of the freed slaves. The names listed in the returns for slave compensation show that ownership was spread over many hundreds of British families,[14] many of them of high social standing. For example, Henry Phillpotts (then the Bishop of Exeter), with three others (as trustees and executors of the will of John Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley), was paid £12,700 for 665 slaves in the West Indies,[15] whilst Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood received £26,309 for 2,554 slaves on 6 plantations.[16]

    In all, the government paid out over 2 separate awards. The £20 million fund was 40% of the government’s total annual expenditure.”

    dearieme:”Fifth, anybody who reckoned that a successful rebellion would allow them to avoid paying tax. Just because you live in the lowest-taxed civilisation known to history doesn’t mean you don’t begrudge tiny extra tax payments.”

    What Englishman doesn’t?

    dearieme:”Sixth, odds and sods – I dare say there were plenty of other specific pockets: naturally, a prominent one is those politicians who simply wanted to transfer power from MPs in London to themselves.”

    Isn’t that what the Reform Bill was really about?But perhaps I’m just being too cynical….

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  10. “But I think it is overshadowed by the real sorting out: the extreme self-segregation of blacks and Mexicans. Detroit, located in the heart of Yankeeland is literally another continent.”

    Isn’t ALL of America, with the exception of the Indian reservations, part of another continent? That seems to be the whole point of examining these “nations”. A nation is not the dirt.

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  11. @dearieme – I went to college in the 70’s where I learned that the worst possible discoverable motives for someone’s behavior were the only true ones.

    I also gave up that approach a few years after graduation.

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  12. I’m delighted to hear that you feel you can take what politicians say at face value, avi.

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  13. MMMM, posted something earlier, but it seems that it didn’t pass muster. Perhaps this will work better.

    RE: American Revolution,

    Frankly, I’m not sure how it could have been avoided. Some things to bear in mind:

    1.New England: This was always the odd man out, a chunk of England transported en masse across the Atlantic to the New World (the standard approximation is roughly 20,000 English arriving between 1630-40). This was not a normative colonial set-up like Jamaica or Barbados(lots of unattached young men on the make). Instead, it was a genuine settlement, an attempt to build a society from the ground up*. The idea that such a population (highly literate, highly industrious) would stay quiescent under London’s rule was a fantasy.

    2. Numbers in 1775:

    13 Colonies: 2.5 million (best guess)

    UK: 6.4 (best guess)

    Numbers in 1801:

    USA: 5,308,483

    UK:7,754,875

    London had two choices:

    1. Accept the facts on the ground and pursue a liberal policy: some kind of home rule/representation in Parliament, etc.

    2. Tighten the screws. Colonies are to be ruled.

    London, of course, went with option two (cf the fact that 5 out of 7 mainland colonies elected their governors in 1660; in 1760, only two out of 13 did so, the remainder being royal appointees).

    3. Timeline:

    Jamestown: 1607

    Plymouth: 1620

    Massachusetts Bay: 1630

    Revolution: 1775

    1775 minus 1630:145 years

    Australia:

    First Fleet: 1788

    Dominion Status: 1907

    1907 minus 1788: 119

    * for an 18th century take on the uniqueness of New England, take a look at Burke’s AN ACCOUNT OF THE EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT IN AMERICA.

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  14. dearieme:”I’m delighted to hear that you feel you can take what politicians say at face value, avi.”

    I must confess that I am of a similar kidney.Too often the epiphenomenon is taken for the base, to borrow a phrase from our Marxian friends. For example, one still comes across Englishmen who view British rule in India as a kind of welfare project, something done for the benefit of the native. In reality, of course, British rule in India was an extractive process. It was meant to make wealthy Englishmen wealthier still. George MacDonald Fraser sums it up quite nicely in FLASHMAN:

    “There may be better countries for a soldier to serve in than India, but I haven’t seen them. You may hear the greenhorns talk about heat and flies and filth and the natives and the diseases; the first three you must get accustomed to, the fifth you must avoid – which you can do, with a little common sense – and as for the natives, well, where else will you get such a docile humble set of slaves?

    And if these things were meant to be drawbacks, there was the other side. In India there was power – the power of the white man over the black – and power is a fine thing to have. Then there was ease, and time for any amount of sport, and good company, and none of the restrictions of home. You could live as you pleased, and lord it among the n****** [needless to say, the asterisks are mine] , and if you were well-off and properly connected, as I was, there was the social life among the best folk who clustered round the Governor-General. And there were as many women as you could wish for.

    There was money to be had, too, if you were lucky in your campaigns and knew how to look for it. In my whole service I never made half as much in pay as I got from India in loot – but that is another story.”

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  15. @syon – “MMMM, posted something earlier, but it seems that it didn’t pass muster.”

    sorry! i just wasn’t around to approve it. first comments need to be approved by me. you should be good to go now. (^_^)

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  16. dearieme:”First, there’s the jihad in New England, with Calvinist pastors stirring up their congregations with tall tales of the risk of the imposition of Anglicanism on them.”

    Interestingly enough, dearieme, the disruption that the Revolution brought to Anglicanism in New England played a rather important role in the waning of Calvinism and the growth of Unitarianism:

    “The first official acceptance of the Unitarian faith on the part of a congregation in America was by King’s Chapel in Boston, which settled James Freeman (1759–1835) in 1782, and revised the Prayer Book into a mild Unitarian liturgy in 1785. In 1800, Joseph Stevens Buckminster became minister of the Brattle Street Church in Boston, where his brilliant sermons, literary activities, and academic attention to the German “New Criticism” helped shape the subsequent growth of Unitarianism in New England. Unitarian Henry Ware (1764–1845) was appointed as the Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard College, in 1805. Harvard Divinity school then shifted from its conservative roots to teach Unitarian theology. See: Harvard & Unitarianism. Buckminster’s close associate William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) was settled over the Federal Street Church in Boston, 1803, and in a few years he became the leader of the Unitarian movement. A theological battle with the Congregational Churches resulted in the formation of the American Unitarian Association at Boston in 1825.” (WIKIPEDIA)

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  17. @bob – “If we still experience political disputes based on which side of the English Civil War our ancestors joined, how can this country possibly survive as a unitary state?”

    yes. this is something that’s been on my mind lately — well, a related thought: if the british folkways of the u.s. (i.e. subgroups of the british population that settled in america) still haven’t assimilated to one another in 300+ years, how on earth can anyone expect that more recent and quite different immigrants — like mexicans, for instance — will be assimilated in a generation or even two?

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  18. HBD chick:”sorry! i just wasn’t around to approve it. first comments need to be approved by me. you should be good to go now. (^_^)”

    Thanks. I was getting worried for a while there.

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  19. It’s rather sad that Jefferson’s stalwart work for liberty of conscience has been tossed into the rubbish bin of history. Well, the PC crowd writes the history books nowadays, and they are quite in favor of thought control.

    “The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 (though it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779)[1] by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state’s law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations.[2] The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph.[3]

    Text of statute[edit]
    An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

    Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

    That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

    That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

    That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

    That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

    That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

    That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

    That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

    That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

    That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

    That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

    And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.[4]”

    (WIKIPEDIA)

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  20. “MMMM, well, 1829 was still a ways off….”:my point was (as perhaps you saw but pretended not to) that many of the the laws disadvantaging Roman Catholics were being enforced ever more laxly as they were increasingly seen to be an embarrassment.

    dearieme:”Thirdly, there’s the hope of debtors, often plantation owners, of being enabled to welch on their debts to London merchants. (Jefferson, for example, was a notoriously incompetent businessman and was thereby deep in debt.)”

    “Not much of plan, seeing as how many plantation owners (Jefferson included) ended dying as debtors….”: the fact that in the case of one spectacularly inept businessman it didn’t work is not evidence worth a hoot.

    “Let’s see. American Revolution starts in 1775 (Declaration in ’76)…..Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire came in 1833….58 years. Fantastically farsighted of them.” Have you really confused the rise of abolitionism with its final success? I doubt that you have; I suspect that you are being dishonest rather than stupid.

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  21. dearieme:“MMMM, well, 1829 was still a ways off….”:my point was (as perhaps you saw but pretended not to) that many of the the laws disadvantaging Roman Catholics were being enforced ever more laxly as they were increasingly seen to be an embarrassment.”

    Yeah, and Catholic Emancipation came even earlier in the USA, what with the First Amendment (1791). Not to mention various State laws (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786). And here’s Washington on the anti-Catholic 5th of November celebrations :

    “As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope—He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.” (WIKIPEDIA)

    So, religious liberty in the USA seems to be quite a bit ahead of what was going on in the UK….

    dearieme:“Not much of plan, seeing as how many plantation owners (Jefferson included) ended dying as debtors….”: the fact that in the case of one spectacularly inept businessman it didn’t work is not evidence worth a hoot.”

    MMM, but Jefferson was your only actual example, dearieme. I suppose that it’s a case of do as I say, not as I do, eh?

    derieme:”“Let’s see. American Revolution starts in 1775 (Declaration in ’76)…..Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire came in 1833….58 years. Fantastically farsighted of them.” Have you really confused the rise of abolitionism with its final success? I doubt that you have; I suspect that you are being dishonest rather than stupid.”

    Awfully slow rise, dear boy. Why a young man in 1775 South Carolina would have either been reduced to senility or dead by the time Emancipation came to the British Empire. Would that our current rulers were that forward thinking! And, had he been alive, he would have had that fat payout that Parliament gave out to slaveowners as compensation.

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  22. DEARIEME:”“Let’s see. American Revolution starts in 1775 (Declaration in ’76)…..Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire came in 1833….58 years. Fantastically farsighted of them.” Have you really confused the rise of abolitionism with its final success? I doubt that you have; I suspect that you are being dishonest rather than stupid.”

    And, needless to say, that completely overlooks the rise of abolitionism in the Northern States:

    1777: Vermont constitution bans Slavery

    1780: Pennsylvania passes a gradual emancipation law

    1783:Massachusetts ends slavery via court decisions (cf the Somersett Case back in the UK). Here’s Chief justice William Cushing’s statement:

    “As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that (it is true) has been heretofore countenanced by the Province Laws formerly, but nowhere is it expressly enacted or established. It has been a usage — a usage which took its origin from the practice of some of the European nations, and the regulations of British government respecting the then Colonies, for the benefit of trade and wealth. But whatever sentiments have formerly prevailed in this particular or slid in upon us by the example of others, a different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of Liberty, with which Heaven (without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features) has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our Constitution of Government, by which the people of this Commonwealth have solemnly bound themselves, sets out with declaring that all men are born free and equal — and that every subject is entitled to liberty, and to have it guarded by the laws, as well as life and property — and in short is totally repugnant to the idea of being born slaves. This being the case, I think the idea of slavery is inconsistent with our own conduct and Constitution; and there can be no such thing as perpetual servitude of a rational creature, unless his liberty is forfeited by some criminal conduct or given up by personal consent or contract …”(WIKIPEDIA)

    By 1804, anti-slavery laws had been passed in every state North of the Ohio River and Mason-Dixon line.

    Odd how the Southern slave owners were so prescient about the rise of abolitionist sentiment in the UK but were so blinkered about what was going on much closer to home….

    Reply

  23. My roots are Southron Appalachia and family lore about the Revolution always boiled down to, we killed English men because that’s what we did and it was another chance to kill English men. The Crown didn’t interfere with their life. They simply ignored stuff like not crossing the Appalachians to settle new land but they carried a lot of legit anti English sentiment with them to the new world.

    What folks don’t generally understand about the american revolution is…. it did not start off as an attempt to break free and start a new nation. They wanted to exercises their rights as English men. After a short while, when their lawlessness didn’t get George to reign in Parliament is when they transitioned into an actual rebellion

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  24. I have this theory as to why the White Protestants in the south are physically more impressive than the White Protestants in the north. It’s got to do with many of the indentureds being worked to death in the hot heat and only the physically capable being able to survive. The herd was culled so to speak. Did you know indentureds were brought over on a middle passage? It kind of explains why the north had to rely on mercenaries to get the upperhand during The Late Unpleasantness. Any thoughts?

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