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While celebrating our nation’s birth, the 248th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, let us pause to reflect on the blessings of freedom we enjoy and how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America, the land of the free! 

The Declaration of Independence marks the first such document declaring the equality of men.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO “The Declaration of Independence (read by Max McLean)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO “America the Story of Us: Declaration of Independence” 

On behalf of the National Black Republican Association, I wish our supporters A Happy Independence Day!



A Message from the America First Policy Institute

Dear Friend,

Two hundred forty-eight years ago today, American independence was proclaimed. But achieving American independence — establishing it as enduring fact — required something before and after July 4th, 1776.

What was required after that signal date in the history of mankind was obvious enough: the newly born United States had to fight and defeat one of the greatest nations, and most-powerful empires, ever to bestride the earth. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland possessed mastery of all the seas, and the King’s men held posts from the Mississippi to Bengal. A global imperium was sure to crush a revolt along a thinly settled American littoral. The Americans knew the odds — and pressed forward with their fight anyway. The resolution came, as it so often does in history, at a spot hitherto unremarkable, the Virginia settlement of Yorktown.

What was required before the Declaration of Independence was something else altogether. The American Revolution was underway over a full year before that Declaration, but until it, it was formally a rebellion for rights within the King’s realms. The Americans, at face value, were in the tradition of innumerable rebellions across British, and especially English, history — seeking no overthrow of the King and his government, but affirming their place within it. And yet, on a deeper level, they had committed themselves to something very different, and new, well before the first shots at Lexington Green.

Look then not two hundred forty-eight years ago today, but two hundred fifty years — and one month — ago today. Look to June 4th, 1774, when a group of Americans gathered in then-frontier Pennsylvania to issue a set of resolves. These men, gathering at Hanover, have been mostly forgotten by history — eclipsed by the great events that rapidly succeeded them — but we do know their names. Timothy Green, Thomas Copenhaver, and several of their neighbors formed a militia and issued a declaration. It read in part: “in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by strength of arms, our cause we leave to Heaven and our rifles.” This was not some vain bravado from uneducated frontiersmen: it was an explicit reference to English philosophical thought, rooted in Christian understanding, invoking the final recourse of free men in the appeal to heaven. What happened at Hanover was, even then, repeated and echoed across the American colonies, as men looked to power and said: no more.

One could see in this — inevitable in retrospect — the imminence of American independence. Men resolved thus will never be subjects of a king, whether or not they think themselves such. This is precisely what John Adams meant when he wrote in 1818 that the real work of revolution was achieved long before July 4th, 1776:

“[W]]hat do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people, a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”

Today we commemorate two hundred forty-eight years of American independence, and it deserves the celebration. But as we do, we must remember that our Declaration was a culmination as much as an inception. The “minds and hearts of the people” are the safeguards of our liberties — and two and a half centuries later, these remain the arenas where our best work is done.

At the America First Policy Institute, it’s where we labor every day.

From our families to yours, happy Independence Day — and never forget to appeal to heaven.

In liberty — 

The America First Policy Institute (AFPI)


Remember What Independence Day Is About

By Derek Hunter

It was 248 years ago today that the world found out that the Continental Congress in Philadelphia was really up. Rather than trying to reconcile with England, they decided to break, completely. More than that, these 56 men from all 13 colonies decided to lay out for all the world, and history, to see why it was they chose this path. The idea had been decided earlier, the language labored over, and the printer finally got the finished product to make copies so the colonists could be told what their leaders ultimately decided. It was the debut of the Declaration of Independence.

We revere this document today, but that the time there was nothing close to a guarantee that it would be remembered as anything other than a blip in history; a warning about the dangers of lofty goals in the face of tyranny. 

If we had lost, the signatories would have been hunted down and executed. It’s very likely no copies of the document would have survived – why would King George allow it? Royalty back when royalty ruled were not known for their interest in maintaining a strict record for posterity, even of their enemies and shortcomings, as seen by their subjects. It was much easier to simply wipe it clean and pretend it never happened, except in legend as a cautionary tale should anyone else get a “bug up their butts” about freedom, liberty or independence. 

Keeping copies around could inspire others. This wasn’t the digital age, making copies wasn’t easy or cheap. Things could be wiped from existence.

But the Declaration of Independence was not wiped from existence because we did not lose. As we now face a greater threat to our liberty from within than without, it’s worth rereading that beautiful document on this day, and as the two-and-a-half century anniversary fast approaches, to inspire people to ensure that anniversary of this spirit endures not only 2 more years, but forever. Here is the text and the reason for the celebration of this day.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America. 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

It was signed by these men: Delaware: George Read, Caesar Rodney, Thomas McKean. Pennsylvania: George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, Benjamin Rush, George Ross, James Smith, James Wilson, George Taylor. Massachusetts: John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry. New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton. Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery. New York: Lewis Morris, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, William Floyd. Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton. Virginia: Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, Thomas Nelson, Jr. North Carolina: William Hooper, John Penn, Joseph Hewes. South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Thomas Heyward, Jr. New Jersey: Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon. Connecticut: Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott. Maryland: Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca.

God bless them, and God bless the United State of America. Happy Independence Day.

Author: Frances Rice