Tag: Continental Congress

Finally, Fireworks in 7th Congressional District

Declaration of Independence – America’s Birthday

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution to the Continental Congress that Congress should declare the United Colonies free and independent states.

Congress adjourned on June 11, 1776, after voting to postpone consideration of Lee’s resolution until it reconvened in three weeks. A Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement to the world, in the three week interim, presenting the colonies’ case for independence.

On July 2, 1776, the Congress adopted Lee’s resolution by a vote of 12-0 with New York abstaining. Two days later, Congress adopted an edited version of the statement, which became known as the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams considered July 2, 1776 as the birthday of America. It became July 4th because that was the day the adopted Declaration was read out to the public.

Below is a text of the Declaration of Independence:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,..

How Far Away from Continental Congress

Two hundred forty years ago the Continental Congress was preparing to declare the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain.

Recently, the Donald Trump campaign for president sent an email to members of the British Parliament soliciting donations to his campaign war chest.

Forget for a moment that it is illegal to solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals for a presidential campaign. In 1776, the American colonies couldn’t wait to get rid of the British government. Now Trump wants financial donations from Members of Parliament to help get him elected.

I’m sure the Trump campaign emails were just a very foolish mistake by a bunch of neophytes attempting to be professional political consultants.

But, they demonstrate just how far American politics has moved from the serious thinkers who founded the country as part of the Continental Congress to the sound-biters and other intellectual dwarfs who now populate the political scene.

When the Founding Fathers considered ratification of the Declaration of Independence, they waited a month until they could get unanimous approval (actually 12 yes and an abstention by New York) of the document.

Now, our Congress can’t even get unanimous approval on a motion to adjourn.

If any of our current members of Congress were around in 1776, I doubt they would have been allowed to refill inkwells on the delegates’ desks for fear they would screw it up.

The blame for the gridlock of an ineffective government doesn’t stop with our elected officials, however.

Locked into the electronic social networking groups that now pass for most interpersonal relationships, the American people gravitate to those who think most nearly the same as they do.