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HISTORY REKINDLED: The United States Series



HISTORY REKINDLED: The United States Series

The Declaration of Independence

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series written by Sentinel contributor Mark DeVecchis. The content may include Mr. DeVecchis’ personal views and opinions which is a slight variation from other ‘History Rekindled’ articles.

I have considered writing a series of articles on the beginning of the United States of America, but with the other articles some of the information was already being covered, but not in a systematic way. Too many times, I would remember something out of order, and confusion would reign in my mind, more than it already did.

Given that the 250th anniversary of our Country is right around the corner (2026), I will be putting together a series of articles relating the Country’s founding, growth, strengths (and weaknesses) and its future.

This series will draw upon the works of those involved prior to, during and after the Revolution. I believe that we should use the original documents, and sometimes they are difficult to understand. In such cases there is usually an interpretation that I would also include within that specific article.

There are times when I think we don’t realize who and what we are as a Nation in comparison to other nations in the world. Our National Documents tell us who we are, and who we continually should strive to be. If you postulate our beginnings, and even before, we, as the United States of America, have the only Constitution that has existed this long. We have been the most successful nation on Earth; We are a free Nation protected by our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We can look at our Declaration as our Title and the Constitution as our Owner’s Manual, or another way would be as Lincoln described it, as the relationship between “an apple of gold” and “the picture,” or frame, of silver. The frame (Constitution) holds the Declaration in place and provides its structure.1

We are built on a solid foundation and while we certainly have had our challenges and have made our mistakes. So has every human being and nation on Earth. Countries are made up of people.

After the American Civil War, reconciliation was in order, due in large part to Abraham Lincoln who offered amnesty to Confederate soldiers and officials who took an oath of loyalty to the Union to put the country back on a solid footing for freedom and moving forward. At Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox, one of the significant points was: “As ranks of Confederate soldiers came forward to hand over their weapons and flags, Chamberlain ordered his men to salute their defeated adversaries as a gesture of respect. Other witnesses also reported that interactions between Yankees and Rebels were almost entirely kind and friendly.”2

Today, there are those that insist on reopening that wound. We remove names and statutes of everyone from Christopher Columbus to Robert E. Lee and George Washington. We change the names of our military bases that were named for soldiers, such as Fort A.P. Hill to Fort Walker. But in looking deeper than a Confederate General, Ambrose Powell Hill began his military career as a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1847, and he served with an artillery unit in the Mexican – American War. He also served in the Third Seminole War.3 Many of those soldiers served the United States in positive capacities before the Civil War and that service should also be recognized because it is our history and needs to be viewed as such. But some choose not to, or to destroy the complete history of our Country. Our memory and knowledge of our past is crucial to know.

This is a country that many want to come to, honestly and eagerly. Many of our forefathers came from abroad. Many others still want to, but some want to come for negative purposes, to take advantage and relish in our downfall. This is from both our known enemies and our enemies within, meaning both in criminal activity being propagated through our borders and also from those within our own government hoping to destroy it. We need to be the guardians. One example of this is that we are set up within our Congress to pass laws. Laws which should be written and state everything within that law. When we hear of the “deep state” that is, in part because of bureaucrats clarifying, adding, changing or removing words designed to make it clearer, but many times with a tilt. This needs to stop. They should vote on the law “in toto” and it needs to be simplified. We are overburdened with legalese and nomenclature. You should not need an attorney involved in most aspects of your life.

We must continually have a concern for the education our children receive about our Country’s history and what we, as a people, stand for. To use an overworked phrase, “We must know where we have been (good and bad) to know where we are going.” Our children must know so they can continue to perpetuate our Nation as that Shining Beacon on a Hill – recognizing and rectifying our ills and promoting our freedoms and happiness. Destroying and erasing our past history and memory won’t accomplish that and it is wrong.

Many may find this too conservative for their enjoyment. I only ask one thing of those: Just take a few minutes and without prejudice, think about it – think about what we have, what we could lose, what others wish they could have and then contemplate: Do you seriously want to give it up or sacrifice this country for one issue or would you strive to address that issue through the proper channels? This has been our way of life, and it has been very successful for most of us, and many, many issues have been rectified.

Additionally, this series won’t be every article. I will identify these articles as “The United States Series.” But as the 250th approaches we will see tons of money coming out to communities and it will mostly be the communities choice as to what they will do with it. Personally, we all need to educate ourselves and our children in what this country has stood for and to help secure and assure we will, as a Nation, continue to do that.

Mickey Craig states four basic principles of the American Revolution that will help start this series. 4 Those are:

Every Human Being is Equally a Creature of God endowed with a Natural Right to Life, Liberty, and Property.

The Purpose of Government is Limited to Securing Natural Rights.

The Authority of Government Derives from the consent of the governed.

Whenever any Government routinely and continually goes beyond the consent of the governed, free men must resist its tyrannical usurpations, even at the risk of their lives and fortunes as required by sacred honor.

Wow. Let’s unwrap those points briefly. Looking at the first: Every human being is equally a creature of God endowed with a Natural Right to Life, Liberty and Property – what are Natural Rights – Thomas Paine would argue, that no man is naturally king and another naturally subject.5 While James Otis, Thomas Jefferson, Gad Hitchcock, and Alexander Hamilton argues that every man is subject to God, the only true monarch in the universe, no man is naturally or divinely ruler of or subject to another man.6 And those rights apply to Life, Liberty and Property.

The second point – The Purpose of Government is Limited to Securing Natural Rights. These natural rights exist prior to any governmental institution. If you take it to basics, government is instituted to secure our natural rights. We can look at all the illegitimate forms of government be it through usurpation, force, or fraud, but government is to serve the common good. Justice is the true end or purpose of government.

The third point, The Authority of government derives from the consent of the governed. Think of our Constitution’s Preamble. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The fourth point – Whenever any government routinely and continually goes beyond the consent of the governed, free men must resist its tyrannical usurpations, even at the risk of their lives and fortunes, as required by sacred honor. When government usurps powers that it was never granted, it becomes illegitimate and the people, if they acquiesce, become slaves. Men have a duty to defend their natural rights against whatever authority enslaves them. We can see this from the long train of abuses perpetrated by King George III in concert with the pretended acts of legislation by Parliament against the American colonies.

Notice the key words: Natural Rights, Life, Liberty, Property, Justice.

Together we will explore some of the history of our country’s founding and appreciate the trials and tribulations from all who helped make the United States the Country it is.

Let’s begin…


Larry Arnn, The U.S. Constitution: A Reader, Hillsdale College Press, Hillsdale, MI, 2015 p. 3


Ibid, Mickey Craig, U.S. Constitution: A Reader. p 74

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Pelican Books 1976.

Ibid, The U. S. Constitution: A Reader

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