Colonial Government

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, May 23, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Let's say I'm a farmer in Virginia in 1770. My legal and legitimate government is the King's Governor and colonial house of burgeses.

    Ultimately, I am still a loyal subject of England and her laws.

    Upon what biblical grounds, then, could I claim that my government was just "local" and that I could break from England and rebel against the king and his duly appointed "national" government?

    I've read the "offenses" and "grievences" in the Declaration of Independence to justify rebellion and am missing a bible base.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

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    Dr. Bob

    I am not going to give any Bible base for the rebellion, cause I don't think there was any. I wonder though, how many in America, some 230 years removed from those events actually understand them. What were the real causes of the Revolution? Who profited? Who lost? How the sides stacked up? How did governance change from 1774 to 1784 or 1794? What effect did the Revolution have on the average man in the street American?

    Remember some us actually have read these documents and study them for a living. Let the bickering begin.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    Dr. Bob, the answer goes to the political system developed in England, Scotland and later the United Kingdom over the years from the Magna Carta onwards. Of particular note is the development of the Parlementary system during and after the English Civil War. In that time, Charles I lost his head, James II and VII lost his crowns (Scotland and England were not yet united), and the House of Stuart lost the throne. (at the time, they were RC but their cousins from Hanover were Protestant. so when Queen Anne died without an heir the crown went to her nearest protestant relatives.) All this brings us up to 1714. That is not exactly ancient history for the colonials in the 1770s. Good night, Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706. The whole mish-mosh of the duties of and owed to a British monarch had been fought and bled for over the preceding 100+ years. Not to mention the Jacobite Risings in the Highlands of '14 and '45 in support of the Stuart pretenders. (Bonnie Prince Charlie does not refer to the current Prince of Wales.) So, the ideas the Founding Fathers (and more than a few Mothers) put forth were not ex nihilo. They were put forth as part of a continum of political thought and practice going back to the mid-1600s.

    [ May 24, 2004, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  4. Bartimaeus

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    "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."

    There is a definite limitation to government authority given to us in the Word of God.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    I Kings 21:1-2
    1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
    2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

    1) If the King is the duly "ordained power" of God, then in essence he has the ability to do whatever pleases him in any circumstance and the subject must by God's command obey.
    This is called the DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS.
    2) Is there any government or do all governments have all authority, power and jurisdiction?
    3) Does God alone have all authority, power and jurisdiction as the ONLY Sovereign God?
    4) Did God establish the three institutions of HOME, GOVERNMENT AND CHURCH? Did He establish limits for two of them and not for the other? Has God limited the power and jurisdiction of civil government or does it operate independant of any prescribed principle? If so what are they and where can they be found?

    Naboth denied and refused the King.
    IKing 21:3
    3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

    The basis of his denial and refusal was Biblical Law.
    Lev 25:23-28
    23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
    24 And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.
    25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.
    26 And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it;
    27 Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.
    28 But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.
    Naboth was not trying to be hardhearted. He was not holding out for a better deal. He did it based on the Word of God and said, "the Lord forbid it me that I should give...".

    Ahab had gone as far as God had allowed him to go, in that he made the offer. He did not have the authority to go any farther. He may have had the power to do so but the Word of God limited his actions.
    Ezek 46:16-18
    16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance.
    17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them.
    18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.

    The King of England went beyond his limitation prescribed by the Word of God.
    There is no divine right of Kings.
    Thanks ---------Bart
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Well, blame it on George 3 if you desire, but it was the DULY ELECTED PARLIAMENT of England that passed the Stamp Act, Townshend Act, Tea tax, etc etc

    And English crown colonists, anywhere in the world, would be subject to Parliament and her laws . . unless they were rebels.

    They hang rebels, don't they? Oh, unless they WIN, then they print their pix on the money and called the rebellion a "revolution".

    Fidel has done it in my lifetime.
     
  6. TWade

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  7. PastorGreg

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    Which brigns it back, Dr. Bob, to the legality of those acts. Parliament may have been duly elected, but those acts were outside of their authority, and as English citizens, the colonists had been granted by the Magna Carta, and the English Bill of Rights the right to protest unfair government practices. Our founding fathers did not set about to establish a new nation, but set about to legally claim their rights as Englishmen. When attacked, they defended themselves and only embarked on the course of independence when there was no other option. To compare them to Castro's Cuba is way ludicrous. It is terribly inconsistent of you to support the South in their war for independence, but not the colonists. Almost identical situations.
     
  8. Daisy

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    Hmmm, a case could be made that if the government of the United States was illegitimate from the get-go, then the South had every right to leave and form their own union - without being inconsistent.

    I don't hold to the premise or the conclusion, and I don't know if Dr. Bob does either, but it's not necessarily inconsistent.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    That is why most Suthrans call the late great unpleasantness "The Second War for Independence". They drew all sorts of parallels from 1776 to 1860.

    IF 1776 was a valid case of revolution (not rebellion), then 1860 more so.
     
  10. Bro. Curtis

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    The North wasn't telling the South what church to go to. We came from England to escape the state run church. I don't see how that compares with the civil war.
     
  11. Daniel David

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    How exactly did the king of england become the ruler of the states anyway?
     
  12. rsr

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    Daisy said:

    But the States had declared independence from an illegitimate government; the English government, given this line of reasoning, was improper because it was based on the overthrow of a lawful king (Charles I) and the brushing aside of his legitimate heir (James II.)

    William and Mary were usurpers and their successors, the Hanovers, were clearly wihout the right to govern.

    Therefore, the North American colonies were simply re-establishing proper government (so far as they could) and represented the legitimate continuation of the English government.
     
  13. Matt Black

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    Er...no.If that were true, the American Colonies should have sworn allegiance to Charles Edward Stuart, the legitimate heir of Charles I, and given him the same power that Charles I had enjoyed ie: considerably more that George III, rather than set up shop on their own.

    Pastor Greg, Parliament's tax raising powers were within their authority, indeed one of the specific remits of Parliament, established by Magna Carta and confirmed by the 17th century upheavals, was and remains the authority to raise revenue.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  14. Johnv

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    Huh? The King of Englnd was the ruler of the Colonies from the 1600's to the 1770's. And even after that, they still tried to reclaim it in 1812.
     
  15. Matt Black

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    THe original colonists were his subjects when they left England and continued to be so when they pitched up on the other side of the Pond

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. rsr

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    Just kidding, Matt.
     
  17. Daniel David

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    So the people who left England because of tyranny and religious oppression were still citizens of England. They were just acting like a satelite country is that it? Try again.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Yes.
    No, they were acting like a colony. Interestingly, the puritans (and other colonists) who left due to religious persecution often ended up persecuting those in the colonies who did not agree with them. In fact, it was not unusual for one colony to refer to another colony as heretical.

    Between that and the lack of plumbing and baseball, I'd have made a lousy colonist [​IMG] .
     
  19. Jeff Weaver

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    The Magna Carta didn't guarantee anyrights to any Englishman, except for the Barons a miniscule portion of the population, so that won't work. The English Bill of RIghts of 1689 gets a little closer, but still does not guarantee any rights to the commoner. It guaranteed rights to certain individuals who were eligible to cast votes for the House of Commons which is again a very small portion of the population in 1689.

    As for the American's defending themselves from attack. Very debatable. There was considerable provocation in 1775 and before, and the British army showed more restraint than any other army on the face of the earth would have given the circumstances.

    The crucial issue in the Revolution is really the French and Indian War. In that conflict, which was fought to benefit American's, the British Crown repeatedly called for voluntary contributions of money and men from the various colonial assemblies. All of these assemblies, more or less, failed in their obligation for self-defense except for Virginia. Governor Robert Dinwiddie, of Virginia, did what he could to garner support, but was not as successful as George II and Parliment, had hoped. Pennsylvania largely run by pacifist Quakers drug their feet, New York was governed by a mob of men who might as well have been Baptists as much as they argued with one another. New England really wanted to be independent, so they weren't terribly cooperative, being those thrifty Yankee types.

    At any rate, this sorta-kinda ticked off the government back in London. They at that point imposed some taxes to pay off the cost of defending America in the French and Indian War. Well you all already know that ticked off the colonists. So, what you have in the late 1760s and early 1770s are two sets of governments ticked off at one another, over money.

    I know the arguments about liberty and all that stuff. These arguments fail when one examines the qualifications for exercise of the electoral franchise in Britian and America before and after the Revolution. The typical American was no more free in 1785 than he was in 1775. Power shifted from elites in London to elites on the western side of the Atlantic.

    There has been considerable research done into how the Americans actually felt about the war. Based on the number of people hauled into court for being loyalists, it is estimated that about 40% of the population favored remaining under the British Crown, about 40% favored independence, and the remainder were indifferent to the issue. If there were such a thing as accurate polling at that time, we might know for sure. Reading what was written and examining court records, it seems doubtful that a majority of citizens in some colonies favored the King. Specifically North and South Carolina, Georgia, and perhaps Connecticut. Some of this can be explained by personalities. One of the patriot leaders in North Carolina, one Benjamin Cleveland, was a vile human being, and many would have been on what ever side he wasn't. Virginia, home of Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Patrick Henry, et.al. was probably pretty evenly divided on the issue.

    Jeff.
     
  20. Jeff Weaver

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    You know Daniel, there is a cure for ignorance. It is called reading. Try it sometime.

    I don't know how to cure your arrogance.
     

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