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1 Revolutionary Words Read on. The pen is mightier than the sword.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Revolutionary Words Read on. The pen is mightier than the sword."— Presentation transcript:


2 1 Revolutionary Words Read on. The pen is mightier than the sword

3 2 George Mason on the Natural Rights of Men That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights… namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. --Virginia bill of Rights, June 12, 1776 a.k.a the parent of the American bill of rights

4 3 John Adams what kind of government did the Sons of Liberty want to preserve those natural rights ? A government of laws, and not of men. -1774, Boston Gazette

5 4 If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men… [no] controls on government would be necessary. --James Madison (chief author of the Constitution) Whats wrong with a government of men?

6 5 Tyranny

7 6 How do you define TYRANNY?

8 7 Some definitions of tyranny by philosopher John Locke Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right…. Wherever the power, that is put in … hands for government of the people, and the preservation of their properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the arbitrary and irregular commands of those that have it; there it presently becomes tyranny….

9 8 Tyrants and their usurpers Brutus murdered Caesar Julius Caesar King Charles I Cromwell executed Charles

10 9 A tyrant ? King George III Britains king before and during the revolution His usurper?

11 10 Patrick Henry (1736-1799) Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it. --Speech on the Stamp Act, House of Burgesses, May 1765

12 11 More inflammatory rhetoric … the present ministry [King George], being instigated by the devil and led by their wicked and corrupt hearers have a design to take away our liberties and properties, and to enslave us forever. --1774, some farmers in Farmington Connecticut

13 12 Edmund Burke British Philosopher urges conciliation with colonies Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; and such is the state of America, that after wading up to your eyes in blood, you could only end just where you begun; that is to tax where no revenue is to be found, to -- my voice fails me; my inclination indeed carries me no farther - - all is confusion beyond it. --Speech to Parliament on American Taxation, April 1774

14 13 Edmund Burke Still urging conciliation with colonies The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered. --Speech to Parliament on American Taxation, April 1774

15 14 Taxation without Representation [The Sugar Act taxes are] inconsistent with their [our] rights and privileges as British subjects…. These acts deprive Americans of the right of assessing their own taxes. -- James Otis Any attempt to collect stamp revenues in America is illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust, and has a manifest tendency to destroy British as well as American liberty -- Patrick Henry

16 15 Parliamentary Sovereignty Parliament is Britains legislature Over time, Britains parliament gradually took power from the monarch or king. The British called this a Constitutional Monarchy, meaning that they had laws that limited the kings power and gave some of this law making power to Parliament. They goal of this was to prevent a tyrannical king from abusing his power.

17 16 British views on Parliamentary sovereignty It is essential to the constitution [of Britain] to preserve the supremacy of Parliament inviolate; and tell your friends in America… that it is as much of their interest to support the [British]constitution and preserve the supremacy of Parliament as it is ours. -- Lord Hillsborough, British Secretary of State

18 17 King Georges response to the colonists boycotting British commerce I am not sorry that the line of conduct seems now chalked out… the New England Governments are in a state of Rebellion, blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent. --King George III

19 18 Progandist Rhetoric in response to British actions Behold thy murdered husband gasping on the ground… take heed, ye orphan babes, lest whilst your streaming eyes are fixed upon the ghastly corpse, your feet slide on the stones bespattered with your fathers brains. --Joseph Warren addressing the nonexistent widows and children of the five bachelors killed in the Boston massacre (March, 1770)

20 19 Patrick Henry I am not a Virginian, but an American. Speech in the First Continental Congress, October 14, 1774

21 20 Parliamentary sovereignty No middle ground exists between the supreme authority of Parliament and the total dependence of the colonies: it is impossible there should be two independent legislatures in one and the same state. -- Thomas Hutchinson, royal governor of Massachusetts

22 21 Patrick Henry - Speech in Virginia Convention March 1775 Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! Parliaments buildings in England

23 22 State of nature, natural rights, purpose of government : Social Contract Theory & John Locke The state of nature is what it would be like before we make government: that all being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions [property]. Why leave the state of nature by forming government? in the state of nature everyone has the executive power [to punish offenders, therefore] self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends: and … passion and revenge will carry them too far in punishing others; hence.. Confusion and disorder will follow. Therefore God [has] appointed government to restrain the partiality and violence of men.

24 23 Social contract theory & JOHN LOCKE... Why monarchy violates the natural rights men have in nature Absolute monarchy… is… inconsistent with civil society…. No man in civil society [including the king] can be exempted from the laws… What fence is there, in such a state, against the violence and oppression of this absolute ruler? People have the right to revolution, to change the government when it fails to protect their life, liberty and property: governments are to be dissolved… when [they] act contrary to their trust… by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves [goes back to] the people, who have a right to … provide for their own safety and security because protecting those rights is the whole purpose of government.

25 24 Writing the Declaration of Independence - declaring the right to break from Britain because it no longer preserves American natural rights

26 25 Natural Rights & the purpose of governments 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….

27 26 Thomas Paine- During the Revolution These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial and article as Freedom should not be highly rated. -- The American Crisis, December 23, 1776

28 27 John Stark on the Hessians My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Starks sleeps a widow! -Before the Battle of Bennington August 16, 1777

29 28 John Adams By my physical constitution I am but an ordinary man…. Yet some great events, some cutting expressions, some mean hypocrisies, have at times thrown this assemblage of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage like a lion. --from his diary April 1779

30 29 John Adamss last words Thomas-- Jefferson-- still surv-- John Adams died on July 4, 1826

31 30 Thomas Jeffersons dying words This is the Fourth? Thomas Jefferson, like his colleague, John Adams, died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1826

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