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1995 Issue 5 - The Causes of the War of Independence Part 2, The Constitutional and Legal Issues Part 2 - Counsel of Chalcedon

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It is vital that we understand the relationship that existed between the colonies and the King. They had no legal relationship with England or with the English Parliament. They were ruled by the King and their own legislatures. They had their charters from the King. There was therefore no connection with England at all other than sharing the same monarch. A number of things need to be remembered: 1. Each of the colonies was self-governing. Each had their own legislatures and each piece of legislation was subject to the King's veto.
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  THE CAVSES FOR THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (II) The Constitutional and Legal Issues (II) It is vital that we understand the relationship that existed between the colonies and the King. They had no legal relationship with England or with the English Parliament. They were ruled by the King and their own legislatures. They had their charters from the King. There was therefore no connection with England at all other than sharing the same monarch. A number of things need to be remembered: 1. Each of the colonies was self-governing. Each had their own legislatures and each i~ e of legislation was subject to the King's veto. The constitutions ofthe several provinces, knew only the king. and the provincial representative bodies, and had no more reference to the parliament of (jreat-Britain, than to the parliaments of France, . . The pretended right of parliament to prescribe laws and taxes for them, was an arbitral)' assumption, against which the colonies according to all legal principles, might proceed exactly as (jreat·Britain would have done, had any of the provincial assemblies undertaken, with the concurrence of the king. to levy taxes in England or Scotland, or to overthrow the municipal constitution of London or Weshninster, as the parliament had overthrown the charter of Massachusetts·Bay. ((jentz, op. cit., pp. 41,42) 2. After the (jlorious Revolution in 1688, the right of Parliament over aU theaffairs of government was viewed as being nearly absolute , Parliament, rather than the King. became the great Leviathan. When the colonies began to grow and prosper, the idea began to grow that such an important part of the British empire could not be allowed independence from Parliament. 3. George III in effect conceded as much and by so dOing, broke his contract with the colonies. Parliament had no legal authority over any of the colonies and yet was claiming absolute authority and exercising it. King (jeorge, had become a covenant-breaking tyrant in cahoots with a maniac Parliament. They were the revolutionaries, not the colonists. 4. From the beginning, the colonists viewed the war as an effort to defend themselves against unwarranted invasion and unlawful tyranny. The American revolution was from beginning to end, on the part of the Americans, merely a . defensive revolution . . . The British government began the revolution in America by resolves, for which they could shew no right, the colonies endeavored by all means in their power to repel them. The colonies wished to maintain their old constitution; the govemment destroyed it. The resistance, which the colonies opposed against the mother counll)', was, in evel)' period of this unhappy contest, exactly commensurate with the attack; the total separation was not resolved, until the utter impossibility of preserving the ancient condition was proved llle revolution of America was, therefore, in evel)' sense of the word, a revolution of necessity: England, alone, had by violence Mayl June, 1995 l THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon l 11  effected it: America had contended ten years long, not against England, but against the revolution: America sought not a revolution; she yielded to it, compelled by necessity, not because she wished to extort a better condition than she had before enjoyed, but because she wished to avert a worse one, prepared for her. (Cientz, op. cit., pp 52,53,62,63 6. Thus, when the colonies declared their independence, they were not declaring their independence from EnglaJ;ld they were never a part of England), they were declaring their independence from the King. It is for this reason that the Declaration of Independence never mentions Parliament directly. There are only two veiled references to Parliament in the final draft of the document: He [the Kingl had combined with others [Parliamentl to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation. . . We have warned them [our British brethrenl ... of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. In the recommendation of the committee who submitted the draft of the Declaration to the convention, these words were included to elaborate on their meaning, that in constituting indeed 0\11 several forms of govemment, we hadadoptedone common king, thereby laying a foundation for perpetual league and amity with them [the British brethrenl, but that submission to their parliament was no part of our constitution. These words were rejected by the Congress and were not included in the final draft. (see1ames M. Bulman, t s Their Right, p. 24 Historian Carl Becker interprets this section of the Declarationand elaborates on the meaning: We have our own legislatures to govem us, just as our British . brethren have their legislature. The British Parliament, which is their legislature, has no authority over us, any more than our legislatures have authority over them. We do not mention the British Parliament in our Declaration of Independence because we are not declaring independence of an authority to which we have neVer been subject. We are declaring ourselves independent ofthe king, because t is to the king only that we have ever been subject; and in dissolVing our connection with the king we separate from the British empire, because it is only through the king that we have ever had any connection with the British empire. This connection we voluntarily entered into by submitting ourselves to the sovereign head of the empire Asa free people we have fonnerly professed allegiance to the king as the fonnal head of the empire; as a free people we now renounce that allegiance. (quoted by Bulman, p. 32) Benjamin Franklin, writing in 12 THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon May June, 1995 1770, concurred with this opinion: That the colonies srcinally were constituted distinct States, and intended to be continued such, is clear to me through consideration of their srcinal Charters, and the whole conduct ofthe Crown and nation towards them until the Restoration. Since that period the parliament ... has usurped an authority of making laws for them, which before t had not. We have for some time submitted to that usurpation, partly through ignorance and inattention, and partly from our weakness and inability to contend. Franklin went on to say that he wished that such phrases as · the supreme authority of Parliament and the like would not be used at all. Such ,expressions, he said, tend to confinna claim of subjects in one part of the king's .dominion to be sovereign over their fellow subjects in another part of his dominion, when in truth they have no such right, and their claim is founded only in usurpation, the several states having equal rights and liberties, and being only connected, as England and Scotland Were before the union, by having one common sovereign, the King. (quoted in Bulman, p. 29 It is in this context that the cry No taxation without representation must be understood. The colonists were not saying that until they had representatives in the British Parliament the Parliament could  not tax them. They had no right to representation in the British Parliament since they were not part of England. Their point was that since they were not part of England, Parliament had no more rightto pass a tax upon them than the parliament of Spain had to tax the people of England. Or, in the words of one colonial apologist, they have no more right to tax us than they do the citizens of the moon. defined as a refusal to obey ({od. To obey the unlawful commands of a ruler is rebellion against ({od. 3. Resistance against a tyrannicall'uler is obedience to ({od. This line of reasoning pervades the writing, thinking, and speaking of this period. The influence of Vindiciae is Fairfax county, Virginia in 1744. The meeting was chaired by ({eorge Washington. The men assembled passed twenty-four resolutions which set forth the legality of the colonial resistance. The same is true of the Mecklenberg County Resolves. Many more things could be mentioned to show that the American war for Independence was not revolutionary. In their view, King ({eorge now had become a tyrant, and as such, forfeited all right he had to their submission. He had broken the covenantand The f ith of the founders must be restored to this n tion if we re to survive It was a principled defense against Statist absolutism. If this is so however, one must ask why modem histories of this period persist in seeking to portray it as a French-type revolutionl The answer surely lies to continue to subject themselves to him and the pretended jurisdiction of the British Parliament, would be to deny (jod 's covenant with them. Their views were shaped largely by a work that today is unknown to aU but a few, · Vindiciae Contra Tyrranos, writtenbyanunknown French Huguenotauthorin 1579. John Adams says that this book was one of the most influential books in America on the eve of the war. Among the things set forth in this work are the following, which became gUiding principles to the colonists: 1. The ruler cannot command anything contrary to the Law of ({od. Anyrulerwho does so seeks to be like ({od and forfeits his right to the obedience of his subjects. 2. Rebellion is properly in the liberty they purch sed for us, pervasive. (It is a peculiarly striking commentary on modem historians that this book is hardly evermentioned. R.J. Rushdoony observes, It is revelatory of modem historiography that the role of Vindiciae Contra T yrannos is rarely mentioned, whereas Thomas Paine's works always are, in accounts of the American Revolution. The reason is obvious: Vindiciae is thoroughly Calvinistic Paine isanti-Christian anda part ofthe intellectual milieu of the French Revolution and of the modem university. And, for purposes ofthe liberal midrash of history, the former is not acceptable. This Independent Republic, p. 25) Another important document which has also been largely ignored, is the Fairfax County Resolves which were passed in in the modem antagonism toward the principles that were defended. Constitutionalism, biblical authority, the preeminence of ({od's law, are aU out of vogue in today s revolutionary environment. Modem revolutionaries seek to remake the Founding Fathers into blood brothers and gain converts to the religion of revolution from our children at the same time. Thus, Common Sense is heralded, Vindiciae Contl a Tyrannos,ignored. Revolutionary rhetoric is repeated, constitutiona I arguments purposely omitted. The idea of limited government is denounced and the doctrine of Leviathan praised. Do you see the pattern herel Modems have embraced the faith of the French revolutionaries and May June, 1995 l THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon l' 13  find no common ground with purchasedforus. Thefaithofthe the founders of our nation. The French revolution leads only to faith of our fathers was largely slavery and death. James Biblical. Modem revolutionaries B ll n gton 0 bserves th e hating that faith, refuse to irresistible drive toward acknowledge a meaning in centralism which was produced hislol)' which condemns them. by the French Revolution: Thus, what,we see is nothing Robbespierre's twelve-man more than the outworking of Committee of Public Safety thatnativeenmityofthenalural· (1793-94) gave way to a man against the living qod and five-man Directorate (1795-99), His holy will. . o a three-man Consulate, to the The faith ofthe founderslnust designation of Napoleon as First be restored to this nation if we Consul in 1799, and finally to are to survive in the liberty they Napoleon s coronation as emperor in 1804. [Fire in the Minds of Men, p. 22) Tyranny and slavery are the inevitable and inescapable fruits of unbelief. Our nation will not be an exception to this terrible rule. Q Fot over 100 years Americans have been subjected to historical mi s information . We havebeen gi v en ies for tntthand myths for facts. Modem, unbelieving historians have hidden the truth of our nation's history from us. America: The First 35 Years not OJ;uy corrects the lies, but also points out things overlooked by modem historians. It nterprets American history from a Chris tian perspective so that you hear not only what happened, by why it happened-and what it means to us today. 32 lectures on 16--90 minute cassettes, 200 page notebook, 16 page study guide, lecture outlines, index bibliography. special rate for Counsel of Chalcedon readers MERICA: The First 350 Years-$64. 95 x Louisiana residents add 7 sales tax ( 2i:t.) = SHIPPING AND HANDLING: Add 10 (15 UPS) = (Check or Money Order) Total Enclosed (name) (Street Address or P.O. Box) Gty) (State) Zip) PLEASE ALLOW 4 6 WEEKS FOR DEliVERY Send self-addressed stamped envelope to receive more information 14 THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t ayl June, 1995

Ch. 12 Outline

Jul 27, 2017
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