WASHINGTON: The Declaration of Independence is not a founding document. It is a devolved statement of values going back to Henry I and The Charter of Liberties and reinforced a century later with Magna Charta and John I.
Jefferson’s reference to the present King of Great Britain as a tyrant did not refer to King George III but at the “present King” of Great Britain. However, the King was not a tyrant.
The British government (the crown) had become tyrannical. Economic policy, Mercantilism, and powerful commercial interests such as The East India Company were the corporate welfare system of the day.
They feasted on the crown.
Senator Mike Lee: Our lost Declaration
Senator Mike Lee is a stalwart defender of many things conservative. The congressman has taken the empire devotees’ characterization of The United States as a nation, fallen from the pure faith of the original republic. He is not the only one, but he is the most prominent conservative espousing the notion that the Declaration of Independence is a “founding document.”
Advertising his upcoming book, Our Lost Declaration, Lee was on Sean Hannity (April 23) and with the gregarious and well-meaning Hannity referred to the Declaration of Independence as “the portrait of the country with the Constitution as the frame. “
At this point, it would be better if Lee’s nonsense comes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ilhan Omar.
But Mike Lee seems a well-meaning, honest and dedicated public servant.
Time for ‘historians’ to research history
Unfortunately, Senator Lee and Mr. Hannity are willing to follow the neocon research version of history. The same version promoted by Victor Davis Hanson, Dinesh D’ Souza (good grief) or European studies historian Newt Gingrich.
They are merely devotees of the faux-history of the American Historian, Eric Foner.
For example, Jefferson did refer to the Declaration of Independence as “an expression of the American mind. It was a document of secession of independent states from the British Empire.
The United States or 13 united states?
Americans at the time of the Declaration was written were prepared to join a confederated union. They were joining primarily for defense. Ultimately the Articles of Confederation were ratified by all 13 independent and sovereign states March 1, 1781. Jefferson had used the words “states” in the Declaration to claim for each state the same sovereignty as the British state.
He had used the words united states to refer to a group of states united. Ergo individual states, not the United States (capitalized) as a singular state and noun.
Earlier testimony to this is that five states: Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and South Carolina had already written and signed their own declarations of independence prior to July of 1776. An excellent source for this is The Constitutional History of Secession by John Remington Graham.
These states simply came together with the other states (colonies) to sign a declaration. Now that war was afoot, strength in unity is necessary. This was certainly no concept for forming a nation.
Jefferson would have been horrified at such a belief.
Senator Lee’s notion of the Constitution being the frame for the portrait is histrionics. The Constitution was drafted in 1787. Thus, its signing was following the Treaty of Paris (1783).
Ergo, there was no United States signing in 1783 alongside The British Empire. It was 13 individual states and The British Empire.
History in the news is important.
It affects the future of news potential. The cry for the removal of everything from monuments to the electoral college is a cry for the nation to heal. Books and tales like Senator Lee’s only encourage people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to scream at people like Omar and AOC and have them scream back.
Ergo, neither side knows the country or society in which they live.
An honest look at American history 1861-65 will reveal what Jefferson and others of the “Anti-Federalist Papers” view understood in the DOI and why we are where we are in 2019.
However, AOC and Omar at least have an excuse: they are childish morons. Senator Lee is a bright and probably honest man who needs to research history more.