By 1775, the heavy hand of the government of Great Britain, under the leadership of King George III, had become so bad with trade and tariff issues, along with heavy taxation without representation and other injustices so as to cause unrest in the American Colonies. Such occurrences as the famous Boston Tea Party, where tea was dumped from a ship in the harbor rather than pay the tax imposed upon the tea, had taken place.
The colonists had held rallies and protests against the Crown’s repressive policies, and these protests had grown louder, larger, and angrier. Great Britain had sent soldiers to clamp down on the protests and to reassert their absolute power.
At Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, militias had been organized. British troops marched upon Lexington and Concord with orders to seize the guns and other weapons of the colonists and to disarm them.
In the book, Battles of the American Revolution 1775 – 1781, written by Henry B. Carrington and published in 1877, he wrote “Raw militia, jealous of the right to bear arms and thoroughly set in purpose, to vindicate that right and all the franchises of a free people, by the extreme test of liberty or life, had faced the disciplined troops of Great Britain, without fear or penalty.”
This battle at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 is considered to be the real beginning of the American Revolutionary War and the fight of the American Colonies for independence from the tyrannical reign of King George III of Great Britain. This onset swept back a solid column of trained soldiers, because the moral force of the energizing passion was imperative and supreme. No troops in the world could have resisted that movement and the determination of these Americans at Lexington and Concord, who were on fire with the conviction of their beliefs about freedom. The British troops had been sent out to collect or destroy some munitions that could be used to resist the government of Great Britain. They were not expecting an enemy in open resistance and an active assault.
Lexington and Concord were the exponents of that daring, which made the resistance on Breeds Hill (Bunker Hill) possible. The invincibility of British army discipline was shattered when the prestige of the British army went down before the rifles of farmers.
The men of Lexington and Concord had been warned of the coming of the British army by Paul Revere, Samuel Prescott, and William Dawes. Paul Revere, a member of the Sons of Liberty, and who played a role in the Boston Tea Party, is the most famous of the three, having been immortalized in Longfellow’s poem.
The military demonstration of April 19, 1775, was but supplemental to similar movements for the suppression of the general arming and for the seizure of guns and powder which was begun by the British in 1774.
A Provincial American Congress was organized on October 26, 1775, and they adopted a plan for the organization of the militia on January 9, 1776, with the express understanding that one-fourth of the aggregate force should be in readiness for service at the shortest notice. The “minute men” of the Revolutionary War were thus called into being.
A Second Provincial Congress was organized on February 9, 1776, and a committee of Public Safety was formed, empowered, and directed to assemble the militia whenever it was required. This Second Provincial Congress went so far as to warn the American people that it was “The Christian and social duty of each individual, with a proper sense of dependence on God, is to defend those rights which heaven gave them and no one ought to take from them.”
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted upon a resolution that “these colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states.” With this Declaration of Independence composed by Thomas Jefferson, for the first time in history, principles of freedom and equality became the political foundation for a nation.
The Articles of Confederation adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 were so weak that they proved unworkable. The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787, and the Bill of Rights (the first Ten Amendments) were added on December 15, 1791.
President John F. “Jack” Kennedy in his Inaugural Address on January 26, 1961, said “We dare not forget today that we are heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage – and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or not, that, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
On June 12, 1961, I stood in Richmond, Virginia and swore that I would support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as I began my 34 years career as a federal employee. I started studying the Constitution, which I had sworn to support and defend. It is a remarkable document that was written.
I will continue with more about America’s Constitutional Government in future articles. I bet that a lot of the readers of this article were never taught in school some of the facts I researched and wrote here about the battles at Lexington and Concord. Students today, in many of America’s local schools, are not taught these things about the beginning of our country and our American Constitution, as well as about the atrocities that occurred during World War II, and about the hardships, suffering, and oppression the people under communist, socialist, and totalitarian regimes such as those in North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela suffer, even today. However, communist and socialist professors have infiltrated our colleges and universities and are trying to indoctrinate students into believing in their communist and socialist beliefs, with promises of free tuition, free health care, and so forth.
With today’s attacks on our Constitution, and specifically the Second Amendment, we should never forget what George Washington once said “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty teeth.”
If anyone has any information or comments to share with the readers of these articles, please contact me at Edward Oliver, P O Box 456, Norris City, IL 62869 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.