The Revolutionary Reflections

By JiJi Mielke

Successful Self-governance

Since the Pilgrims arrived a little over a century ago with the Mayflower Compact, self governance remains an essential political characteristic valued by the majority of colonists. We may also universally label King George III as a tyrant. His and the Parliament's interference is unnecessary. Those involved with the Continental Congress may agree as well that "his Majesty's American subjects are oppressed" (Journals of the Continental Congress). How can a tiny land across the sea have such authority over us? We have suffered enough from the British government, and we are capable of governing ourselves and shall revolt.

-----Proud Patriot

In Trouble with Taxes

Following the Seven Years' War fought between the British and the French, an abundance of reparations are required to be paid. Despite our lack of general participation in the war, we are being forced into paying taxes. Our stamps, our marriage licenses, our tea, our playing cards- everything has a tax placed on it! The British have created nothing except chaos in our land. Stamp Distributors such as my good friend John Hughes, who merely performs his assigned tasks, is being daily threatened by verbal messages and anonymous letters (Doc C, Stamp Act). The taxation has yet to be justified or consented to.

----Anonymous colonist from Philadelphia

Malicious Mercantilism

The selfish British not only tax us without justification or consent but additionally use us for their own economic success. They export their products, force us to pay, and rarely import our products in return. Their definition of "favorable trade" lacks benefit for us. The leaders of the Continental Congress have instructed us to protest by not importing any goods from Great Britain or Ireland; no molasses, syrup, paneles, coffee, pimento, wines are to enter our ports (Journals of the Continental Congress). The British have interfered with our trade and our economy and remain a nuisance to our society.

---Near bankrupt Patriot

Enlightened Encounters

The word has spread about the Enlightenment, and many of us agree with its ideals. We deserve our natural rights that are not in the hands of the government, church, or society. John Locke, credited with this ideal also justifies our revolution by claiming the government's failure to protect our natural rights is an acceptable precedent to revolution. The Founding Fathers have included some of the Enlightenment's values in our Declaration of Independence against the tyrant British Parliament. The ideals are carried out by the Founding Fathers, newspaper journalists, and even middle-class leaders, such as Thomas Paine (Zinn). The Enlightenment has taught us new ways of thinking and justifies our revolution.

----Anonymous, Enlightened colonist