Sunday, April 18, 2010

Two If By Sea

Two hundred and thirty-five years ago Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.  On this night in 1775 the British army had begun to move across the Charles River toward Lexington.  John Pulling held two lanterns aloft momentarily from the steeple of the Old North Church to let the Sons of Liberty in Lexington know that the British were crossing the river rather than taking the long way around by land.  The next morning, on the 19th of April, the battle of Concord was fought, signaling open hostilities in the war that would eventually result in the establishment of a new country on the North American continent.  That new country was founded on principles of individual liberty and limited government.

Today, we see an increasingly controlling government and the gradual erosion of individual liberty in that very same country.  The idea that one might achieve a level of happiness through personal pursuits of industry and innovation has been replaced to a large extent by one of dependency on the federal government for daily provision.  The enemy is no longer a power based on shores geographically removed, but is instead housed in halls philosophically removed by a much greater distance from the founding principles of this nation than were the halls of Parliament from the colonies.

The results of the Revolutionary War left our nation independent yet, divided in ways not dissimilar to what we see today.  At the time of the founding of our country, the divide was between those who would see a strong, centralized government and those who would prefer decentralization, with power concentrated locally or in the states.  The divide continued to grow until it ruptured in a civil war.

Perhaps our system of government can avoid a similar rupture from the current philisophical division in our country.  The system works best when the citizens become involved. 

1 comment:

i beati said...

I just read a blog that said tea partyists are inciting violence-- Here a bank failed yesterday and I've been unemployed except part time for 4 years.Our unemployemnt never moves.??I'm involved but I do not consider myself violent./