The eternal meaning of Independence Day

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Article date: 
4 July 2016
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National News
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President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today as the higher wisdom:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.


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The Leave Campaign of 1776 Reverberates to This Day, Jeff Jacoby, Townhall July 3, 2016:

European Union has been widely described as the country's most consequential decision in decades. But its significance is paltry compared to that of history's original "Leave" resolution, the 240th anniversary of which Americans commemorate this Fourth of July.

The unanimous vote in the Second Continental Congress, which affirmed that "these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states ... absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown," was the most far-reaching political event of the 18th century. John Adams, writing from Philadelphia to his wife Abigail, called the vote not just "the greatest decision . . . which ever was debated in America," but possibly the greatest that ever "was or will be decided among men."..

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again," [Thomas] Paine had written. "A race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom." Americans were the first nation in history to declare independence, replacing rule by a king with rule by consent of the governed. It was a transformation that permanently altered the course of human events. Long after "Brexit" has been forgotten, the events of 1776 will still be reverberating.


Audio: Born by Declaration: How Thirteen United Colonies Became the United States, Breitbart, July 1, 2016.

Audio: Warner Todd Huston on the Origins and Genius of the American Revolution, Breitbart, July 4, 2016.

Audio: The American Revolution — The War That Won Our Freedom, Breitbart, July 1, 2016.

Audio: Michael Pack on Legendary George Washington and Timeless Alexander Hamilton, Breitbart, July 4, 2016.

The Right to Happiness is the Antidote to Tyranny, by Daniel Greenfield, D.C. Clothesline, July 4, 2016.