From Disobedience To The Birth Of A Nation.

Ten years before the writing of the Declaration of Independence, on May 30th, 1765, a significant number of the members of the Virginia House of Burgesses wanted to take a stand against the British Parliament’s assertion of power. Among them, was a radical named Patrick Henry. A French Traveler who watched with Thomas Jefferson, who considered himself a student at the time, recorded that the Speaker of the House said that Henry had spoken treason for invoking the names of Brutus and Cromwell. Henry backed down and asserted his loyalty to the crown in an avalanche of rhetoric. When Henry’s rhetorical assertion of his loyalty ended and the the House of Burgesses moved on to resolutions, Henry put forth this Resolution. It was the 5th Resolution.
Resolved Therefore that the General Assembly of this colony have the only and sole exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this colony and that every attempt to vest such power in any other person or persons whatsoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid has manifest tendency to destroy British as well as AMERICAN FREEDOM.
Jefferson commented, “the struggle on the floor was ‘most bloody'” Others, such as Peyton Randolf wanted to strike a more moderate tone for the moment but the strong language of the resolution passed by the narrow margin of 20-19. “By God, I would have given 500 guineas for a single vote,” Randolf said afterward. One more vote against the resolution would have tied the count and the Speaker, John Robinson would have voted no, defeating it. Instead the radicals had beaten the moderates and struck a blow against London. Patrick Henry had taken on the establishment and won. However, after Henry left a Randolf cousin was busy at work to get the 5th resolution stricken. It alone was thought to be the most offensive and was stricken. Henry’s departure from the chamber had given his foes an opportunity they did not fail to exploit. Although this resolution took place a little over ten years before Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, this was close to the beginning of Jefferson’s involvement in politics. The struggle between moderates and “radicals” is nothing new and actually gave birth to our nation. As we now know, the fiery Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson with many others became much more radical and eventually prevailed. I attribute this treasure of information to Jon Meacham’s book, “Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power.”

33 thoughts on “From Disobedience To The Birth Of A Nation.”

  1. Don
    Thanks for this small taste of pre-revolutionary history. The interesting point is that the excerpt you used tells a story of radicals that were confronted by an extablished system that would maintain a status quo rather than go for sovereignty as a nation. I think Jefferson was only 22 when this account happened and was still a student.
    Bravo for putting something comment worthy on this blog. Please keep it up.

  2. I don’t think that Malcolm X can come close to Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
    He wanted to destroy America and start a race war. Doesn’t sound like your analogy is working.

  3. The truth in the ten years before the Declaration of Independence the British were intensely attempting to ply their will on the American Colonies. The stronger the American resistence, the more fierce the British insistence on complete control.

    The British Statesman Edmund Burke made the following statement:The Americans have made a discovery, or think they have made one, that we mean to oppress them. We have made a discovery, or think we have made one, that they intend to rise in rebellion. We know not how to advance; they know not how to retreat. 1774

  4. Kavips, being a radical is not enough to make one right. But one can rarely be right without being a radical. (That’s because to go against the stampede of what is popular requires great personal strength and courage.) One can rarely accomplish anything great without being a radical. But that does not mean that all radicals are good, correct, or effective.

    Dynamite can cut a railroad tunnel through a mountain. Or dynamite can simply blow things up destructively and achieve nothing (good).

  5. True, true.. i just wanted to point out that one should be careful to praise radicals. Had Malcom X gone on and won his revolution, he would no doubt be hailed in our future as you are doing to Patrick Henry today… Today the Republican Party is very much like the Royalists. The Democrats are like the Patriots. The Republican party as did the royalists, has their loyalties to the powers that be, in today’s case, corporate pro-business government. The Patriots today, the Democrats as did the Patriots of 1776, tend to put the people, human beings, first.

    Malcolm X did the same thing. And rightfully, is so honored.

  6. kavips-

    Thank you for thoughtfully schooling the condescending toolbag Moseley.

    I’m not really a big fan of Malcom X, but he was right to stand up against oppression of American blacks. He spoke truth to power (Elijah Mohammed/NOI) and paid the ultimate price.

    Poseur wannabes like Moseley are internet tough guys who will never have the courage that X had. It’s easy to talk tough online. It’s NOT easy when your “brothers” are fire-bombing your house.

  7. Count me out of the Malcom X club. I think engaging in politics when you are attack, lampooned, or vilified may not be up to the standards of one who dies for his beliefs, but it is a lot more courageous than 95% of people will ever summon in their lives.

  8. kavips writes in #6: “True, true.. i just wanted to point out that one should be careful to praise radicals. ”

    We are careful, Kavips. We praise people for their GOALS, and in pursuit of those goals, intensity is a virtue.

    Being a radical in pursuit of virtue is a virtuie.

    Being a radical in pursuit of evil is evil.

    Being a radical in pursuit of violence, like Malcom X, is evil.

    “Radical” means “to the root” as in putting the axe to the root. Instead of flailing about with the leaves and smaller branches, you aim at the core of the matter.

    A person who is not willing to be a radical cannot change the world.

    Kavips then writes: “Had Malcom X gone on and won his revolution, he would no doubt be hailed in our future as you are doing to Patrick Henry today… ”

    Utter hogwash. We have a real-world example from history: The French Revolution produced a shameful, despicable, unprincipled bloodshed. A revolution without principle ended badly and is rightly despised.

    The American Revolution was in pursuit of a principled, deeply thought out governng philosophy.

    The French Revolution — like the Russian Revolution later — was in pursuit of sheer anarchy.

    If Malcom X had achieved anything he would be counted with Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, or Mao Tse Tung

    Kavips writes: “Today the Republican Party is very much like the Royalists. The Democrats are like the Patriots.”

    Again, more laughably absurd propaganda from Kavips.

    The Republican party is devoted to empowering the individual and shrinking the government.

    The Democrats are the aristocracy of today, handing out favors from the public treasury to the favorites of court like Solyndra, Fisker, etc.

  9. On the Malcom X question, you have to look at his entire life, especially after his pilgrimage to the holy land of Islam. He came back with a different view of how to accomplish his “radical” goals, this is why he was assasinated.
    Kavips says, “The Republican party as did the royalists, has their loyalties to the powers that be, in today’s case, corporate pro-business government.”
    Well Kavips, the patriots of that time were mostly “pro-business” of those times, they were land owners and tradesmen who were being over taxed by the King. So in my view, the Democrats of today resemble King George, more than the “radicals” of that time.
    And as for this idea of wearing radical as a badge of honor? Radical is a relative term, who gets to decide what is radical? Usually it is the mainstream of any society, so this would mean that a “radical” is outside the mainstream of said society. Now this does not mean that the “radicals” are wrong in the assertions, but it does mean that they are out of step with the society that they live within. To wear this as a badge of honor is usually done to ease the mind of those who recognize that they are not welcomed, or who feel that they are not accepted, they attempt to deflect this non-acceptence by stating that they are just to “radical” to be understood by the mainstream of society. In this, said “radicals”, are again like Democrats who talk down to the “average” person.

  10. I agree that you have to ask which Malcom X. When he came back, he was a lot more about living together and not about separation. He died because he choose love over hate. So I don’t knock him. I do think that he was way off in his earlier life. Even then what he said was about self defense not waging a war. I am struck though by how he would turn away whites who supported him in the idea that blacks had the right to self defense against violent oppression. He so distrusted some white people that he distrusted all during that period. He was focused only on blacks.

    The mainstream of the civil rights movement was focused on the American dream for all. Which was better? It seems obvious to me. The Malcom X worldview is not a winner.

    Any way that is what made Patrick Henry such an icon. He stood to expand liberty to more people. His ideas (and his allies) even infected England itself and led to the expansion of the vote there. A successful long run revolution lifts people up instead of pitting one group against another like the French Revolution did.

  11. Malcom X’s early years, after getting out of prison, were under the control of Elijah Mohammed, a self serving egomaniac.
    I am not sure that his turning away of whites who wanted to help was such a bad tactic, he was telling black people that they needed to stand on their own, to then turn to whites for help may have seemed contrary.
    Either way in his later days he saw the world in a different way to some extent. While white America saw him as a radical threat, he gave black Americans a sense of self worth and pride.
    While X and MLK may not have seen eye to eye on the vision of how to gain civil rights, the goal may not have been achieved, had MLK’s peaceful vision not been countered by X’s more radical vision that lead many to lean towards MLK.
    They are both worthy of respect for the work they did to lead their people to a larger Liberty as did Patrick Henry and his fellow patriots.
    If the views of Henry were not followed up by the threat of armed resistance, would the King have cared at all?

  12. Kavips
    “i just wanted to point out that one should be careful to praise radicals. Had Malcom X gone on and won his revolution, he would no doubt be hailed in our future as you are doing to Patrick Henry today… Today the Republican Party is very much like the Royalists. The Democrats are like the Patriots. The Republican party as did the royalists, has their loyalties to the powers that be, in today’s case, corporate pro-business government.”

    I see it more like the GOP moderates are the Royalists and the Conservative Republicans, Delaware 9-12 Patriots and the Tea Party are like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Washington, Madison and the rest.
    The modern day democrats are just progressives, ushering in Socialism at any cost. They are Machiavellian in their move toward a one world order at any cost.
    You were on the right track until you said the Democrats were like the early patriots.

  13. Kavips
    Malcolm X may have been a radical too, but before he grew a brain and evolved a bit, he was a hate monger and was a very dangerous man.
    For you to even attempt to compare him to Jefferson, Henry, Madison, Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers, is ludicrous. The Founding Fathers attempted to use the law to cause changes in the dictatorship that King George III was imposing.
    Malcolm X wanted to use angry dissent and violence on our own populace. according to racial ethnicity to accomplish his goals
    Nice try though

  14. What’s interesting is that the REVEREND Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader BECAUSE King opposed the violence movement of Malcolm X.

    King was a radical. Malcom X was a radical. However, they had very different approaches and philosophies.

    King is considered great because he triumphed in peace — though radically transforming America — and persuaded the civil rights movement to REJECT the violent approach advocated by Malcolm X.

    So there was an explicit contrast between MLK and Malcolm X, with competing theories and strategies.

  15. “violence on our own populace. according to racial ethnicity to accomplish his goals”

    define: Slavery

  16. Falcor
    “define: Slavery”

    Your define it Falcor, you’ve asked the question. We can all get a dictionary definition but what does it mean to you. That’s the real question. Think about it, we all picture slavery in a slightly different light, according to our experiences in life.

  17. President Eisenhower (Republican): “If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”
    DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, speech, Mar. 6, 1956

    History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
    DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1953

  18. Jon
    I believe President Eisenhower got it right and we see that statement reflected in today’s current administration. It has become apparent that the Obama administration does not advance a cause that is right and only seeks to destroy the Constitution as it is written, while moving on with a more socialist agenda. It is a conspiracy to seize power!

  19. What I am saying Don is that you cite examples of why Malcom X cannot be compared to the Founding Fathers even though those men engaged in exactly what you are talking about. When you gloss over history you distort the truth for political purposes. And that’s why nobody takes this “worship the Founders” nonsense seriously.

  20. While serving as U.S. Ambassador to France, Jefferson wrote Monroe in 1785:
    “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. I confess I had no idea of it myself.”

  21. Falcor
    No one is distorting the truth for political reasons. I’ve simply taken an excerpt from pre-revolutionary history for all to comment on as they wish.
    My comment 21 is also an excerpt of post-revolutionary history of Jefferson telling Monroe how much he enjoys America’s new-found freedom. Am I using that quote for political reasons also?

  22. Moseley further demonstrates his ignorance:

    Being a radical in pursuit of violence, like Malcom [sic]X, is evil.

    Malcolm X was a radical in pursuit of freedom. The Price of Freedom is DEATH. Malcolm X paid that price, and it was not in vain.

    African Americans are far freer and closer to equal today than they were in the 1960s. The deeds of Malcolm X contributed to that freedom and equality.

  23. Tyrone, it is no less than the REVEREND Martin Luther King, Jr. who opposed the VIOLENCE of Malcolm X.

    Martin Luther King and Malcolm X offered 2 different philosophies.

    Some here say that later in life Malcolm X grew. Wonderful. Every person should have the freedom to get up each day and choose TODAY to do the right thing. No one should be held a prisoner to their past, for otherwise no one could grow.

    However, the poliical efforts that Malcolm X is known for are VIOLENCE, hatred, and bloodshed…. “Kill whitey.”

    So, Tyrone, you have to disrespect THE REVEREND Martin Luther King, Jr., in order to stand up for the violent Malcolm X.

    Martin Luther King is great BECAUSE he steered a potentially violent moment in history toward REAL CHANGE, but change along a peaceful path.

    Martin Luther King is great because King DEFEATED Malcolm X and X’s philosophy.

  24. “However, the poliical efforts that Malcolm X is known for are VIOLENCE, hatred, and bloodshed…. “Kill whitey.”

    Which seems awful with 20/20 hindsight, and obviously would have been counterproductive. At the time? Black people were being given the fire hose, attacked with police dogs, and treated as second class citizens. Your looking at his mistakes with hindsight instead of how he saw it at the time. That’s a mistake.

    On a blog so enamored with an armed revolution I find it hilarious that Malcom X is an evil doer while a future revolutionary fighting for, you guessed it, “liberty” is some sort of patriotic hero. It’s really not all that different.

  25. Falcor
    This blog is not enamored with armed revolution. It is enamored however, with the preservation of our Constitutional rights and the safeguarding of our liberty.

  26. Falcor writes in #25: “On a blog so enamored with an armed revolution I find it hilarious that Malcom X is an evil doer while a future revolutionary fighting for, you guessed it, “liberty” is some sort of patriotic hero. It’s really not all that different.”

    My argument is that Malcolm X was NOT fighting for liberty, but for anarchy and violence.

    Yes, it does matter what you are fighting for.

    Surface similarities with regard to methods cannot change or hide radical differences in the GOALS that people are using those methods to achieve.

    You want to argue that if Malcolm X is a radical and George Washington was a radical, therefore there is no difference between them.

    Both men had 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 ears, and 1 head.

    The existence of similarities does not preclude the existence of differences.

    Malcolm X’s goals were drastically different from either George Washington or Martin Luther King.

    And, yes, it does make a difference what a person’s goals are, what they are using their methods to achieve.

  27. And by the way, I levy the same criticism at the French Revolution. This is not a color thing. The White boneheads of France were also fighting for an unprincipled, thoughtless anarchy and violence. Their skin color has nothing to do with it.

    And need we drag in the Russian Revolution by pasty-white slavs? It has often been pointed out that the Russian language — at least as in common usage among the peasants — had no word for freedom or liberty…. only for wild uncontrolled anarchy. Running amok without restraint was what freedom meant to the Russian peasants — according to renouned historians analyzing the Russian Revolution.

    This is why the American Revolution was and is fundamentaly different: Our Founders decided it was WRONG to engage in any disregard of the authority of the Monarch without fully developing and thinking through what the NEW governmental system would be like.

    Our Founders thought it very wrong to abandon their existing government (under the king) without knowing what they were replacing it with at least in rough terms.

    By contrast, the French Revolution was driven by simply a mindless expression of anger aimed at revenge and bloodlust.

  28. Malcolm X was a radical in pursuit of freedom. The Price of Freedom is DEATH. Malcolm X paid that price, and it was not in vain.

    As far as I know, he was myopic in his pursuit of freedom and therefore shifted it toward tribalism. Contrast that with Jesus, who arose among the most tribal people in the world and yet taught that His death would pay the price for all nations. You seem to understand the pattern, though.

    African Americans are far freer and closer to equal today than they were in the 1960s.

    Are they? It seems to me that trends among lemmings of that sort could even be imagined to “trend” them right out of their gangster rap and into Corrections Corporation of America. And it may be a growing trend among other lemmings too.

    The deeds of Malcolm X contributed to that freedom and equality.

    Maybe it’s better to be a person like Malcolm aware that one needs to fight for freedom than to be an unaware modern animal trending in markets in which others are generally setting up and “making a killing.” But we’re in uncharted waters now…. given that even people like the slaves of old have gotten in on the act of (generally white and Jewish) banksters who are now essentially saying that they essentially own the GDP of the entire world, including the debts of nations. Still waiting to see if people will go the route of Argentina and bang on the drums all day if/when the manipulation of paper ponzi hits them harder than it already has. Unfortunately, the trends of the Weimar Republic are probably more likely if/when “Jewish” paper ponzi gives way… but many incorporated in the most ancient of tribes seem to know that we’re in uncharted territory with respect to social media and technology. So we may see how the whole concept of trying to link infinite amounts of money/debt in reality goes sometime within our lifespans.

    One might be able to imagine it this way, symbols only have meaning if/when people do not begin to bang drums and make the walls of the polis/city in the police $tate shake. Anyway, it seems unlikely that it will be a civilized type of American Revolution when the link between money/debt and reality is severed in the minds of more people.

    Full faith and credit… ironic, that many faithless progressives seem to have established the largest and most comprehensive faith based system in the world with some of the strongest religious sinews. Only one problems remains, if those sinews are weakened due to corruption and people lose “full faith and credit” then the body politic may begin to fall apart. Tribalism? Racism? That will probably emerge as the framework in the main stream media typical to imbeciles/journalists, if for no other reason than “the base” of semi-literate and feral people need more sensationalistic or stimulating memes. The only question remaining at that point, will NBC and the main stream of media for lemmings ask the opinion of Justin Bieber or Honey Boo Boo with respect to what went wrong in their financial system?

    Anyway, follow the money/debt to the root of all evil…

  29. Economic stimulus, American style: Honey Boo Boo Child

    How entertaining…

    But who will finance the reality show if a “stimulated” economy collapses more than it already has since 2008? It’s one thing to use pain killers or illusions based on paper ponzi to avoid a little pain through stimulation. It’s another to become addicted to highs (record corporate profits!!! etc.) and then crash or hit a low like a “depression.” Can people use illusions of paper ponzi, stimulants and be high all the time so that they don’t have to deal with reality, Nature and Nature’s God? It seems like Boomers have been trying to figure that out for a while now.

    In any event, the usefulness of increasing amounts of stimulation probably depends on when people are planning on dying and whether or not they want to try to leave any form of wealth for their kids. (I.e. those that they failed to profit from and stimulate themselves by aborting.)

  30. More Honey Boo Boo type entertainment:

    Presented with little comment (via Bloomberg):
    *HOUSE REPUBLICANS ABANDON EFFORT TO ADD SPENDING CUTS TO BILL
    It appears everyone grows tired of the pantomime, even the main actors. Link

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