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A Nation Imploding: Digital Tyranny, Insurrection and Martial Law

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. [Y]ou can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization…filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort … to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love… What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.”—Robert F. Kennedy on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

This is what we have been reduced to: A violent mob. A nation on the brink of martial law. A populace under house arrest. A techno-corporate state wielding its power to immobilize huge swaths of the country. And a Constitution in tatters.

We are imploding on multiple fronts, all at once.

This is what happens when ego, greed, and power are allowed to take precedence over liberty, equality, and justice.

Just to be clear, however: this is not a revolution.

This is a ticking time bomb.

There is absolutely no excuse for the violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Yet no matter which way you look at it, the fallout from this attempted coup could make this worrisome state of affairs even worse.

First, you’ve got the president, who has been accused of inciting a riot and now faces a second impeachment and a scandal that could permanently mar his legacy. While the impeachment process itself is a political beast, the question of whether President Trump incited his followers to riot is one that has even the best legal experts debating. Yet as First Amendment scholar David Hudson Jr. explains, for Trump’s rhetoric to be stripped of its free speech protections, “The speaker must intend to and actually use words that rally people to take illegal action. The danger must be imminent—not in the indefinite future. And the words must be uttered in a situation in which violence is likely to happen.”

At a minimum, Trump’s actions and words—unstatesmanlike and reckless, by any standards—over the course of his presidency and on Jan. 6 helped cause a simmering pot to boil over.

Second, there were the so-called “patriots” who took to the streets because the jailer of their choice didn’t get chosen to knock heads for another four years. Those “Stop the Steal” protesters may have deluded themselves (or been deluded) into believing they were standing for freedom when they stormed the Capitol. However, all they really did was give the Deep State and its corporate partners a chance to pull back the curtain and reveal how little freedom we really have. There is nothing that can be said to justify the actions of those who, armed with metal pipes, chemical irritants, stun guns, and other types of weapons, assaulted and stampeded those in their path.

There are limits to what can be done in the so-called name of liberty, and this level of violence—no matter who wields it or what brand of politics or zealotry motivate them—crossed the line.

Third, you’ve got the tech giants, who meted out their own version of social justice by way of digital tyranny and corporate censorship. Yet there can be no freedom of speech if social media giants can muzzle whomever they want, whenever they want, on whatever pretext they want in the absence of any real due process, review, or appeal. As Edward Snowden warned, whether it was warranted or not, the social media ban on President Trump signaled a turning point in the battle for control over digital speech. And that is exactly what is playing out as users, including those who have no ties to the Capitol riots, begin to experience lockouts, suspensions, and even deletions of their social media accounts.

Remember, the First Amendment is a steam valve. It allows people to peacefully air viewpoints, vent frustrations, debate and disagree, and generally work through the problems of self-governance. Without that safety mechanism in place, self-censorship increases, discontent festers, foment brews, and violence becomes the default response for resolving disputes, whether with the government or each other. At a minimum, we need more robust protections in place to protect digital expression and a formalized process for challenging digital censorship.

Unfortunately, digital censorship is just the beginning. Once you start using social media scores coupled with surveillance capitalism to determine who is worthy enough to be part of society, anything goes. In China, which has been traveling this road for years now, millions of individuals and businesses, blacklisted as “unworthy” based on social media credit scores that grade them based on whether they are “good” citizens, have been banned from accessing financial markets, buying real estate or traveling by air or train.

Fourth, you’ve got the police, who normally exceed the constitutional limits restraining them from brutality, surveillance, and other excesses. Only this time, despite intelligence indicating that some of the rioters were planning for mayhem, police were outnumbered and ill-prepared to deal with the incursion. Investigations underway suggest that some police may even have colluded with the rioters.

Certainly, the lack of protocols adopted by the Capitol Police bears an unnerving resemblance to the lack of protocols in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when police who were supposed to uphold the law and prevent violence failed to do either. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, police “seemed to watch as groups beat each other with sticks and bludgeoned one another with shields… At one point, police appeared to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend to the injured.” Incredibly, when the first signs of open violence broke out, it was reported that the police chief allegedly instructed his staff to “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”

There’s a pattern emerging if you pay close enough attention: Instead of restoring order, local police stand down. Without fail, what should be an exercise in how to peacefully disagree turns ugly the moment looting, vandalism, violence, intimidation tactics, and rioting are introduced into the equation. Tensions rise, violence escalates, and federal armies move in.

All that was missing on Jan. 6 was a declaration of martial law.

Which brings us to the fifth point, martial law. Given that the nation has been dancing around the fringes of martial law with each national crisis, it won’t take much more to push the country over the edge to a declaration and military lockdown. The rumblings of armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., will only serve to heighten tensions, double down on the government’s military response, and light a match to a powder keg state of affairs. With tens of thousands of National Guard troops and federal law enforcement personnel mobilized to lock down Washington, DC, in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots and in advance of the Jan. 20 inauguration, this could be the largest military show-of-force in recent years.

So where do we go from here?

That all of these events are coming to a head around Martin Luther King Jr. Day is telling.

More than 50 years after King was assassinated, America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowback from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots

Making matters worse, modern America has compounded the evils of racism, materialism, and militarism with ignorance, intolerance, and fear.

Callousness, cruelty, meanness, immorality, ignorance, hatred, intolerance, and injustice have become hallmarks of our modern age, magnified by an echo chamber of nasty tweets and government-sanctioned brutality.

“Despite efforts to curb hate speech, eradicate bullying and extend tolerance, a culture of nastiness has metastasized in which meanness is routinely rewarded, and common decency and civility are brushed aside,” observed Teddy Wayne in a New York Times piece on “The Culture of Nastiness.”

Every time I read a news headline or flip on the television or open up an email or glance at social media, I run headlong into people consumed with back-biting, partisan politics, sniping, toxic hate, meanness, and materialism. Donald Trump is, in many ways, the embodiment of this culture of meanness. Yet as Wayne points out, “Trump is less enabler in chief than a symptom of a free-for-all environment that prizes cutting smears… Social media has normalized casual cruelty.”

Whether it’s unfriending or blocking someone on Facebook, tweeting taunts and barbs on Twitter, or merely using cyberspace to bully someone or peddle in gossip, we have become masters in the art of meanness.

This culture of meanness has come to characterize many aspects of the nation’s governmental and social policies. “Meanness today is a state of mind,” writes professor Nicolaus Mills in his book The Triumph of Meanness, “the product of a culture of spite and cruelty that has had an enormous impact on us.”

This casual cruelty is made possible by a growing polarization within the populace that emphasizes what divides us—race, religion, economic status, sexuality, ancestry, politics, etc.—rather than what unites us: we are all human.

This is what writer Anna Quindlen refers to as “the politics of exclusion, what might be thought of as the cult of otherness… It divides the country as surely as the Mason-Dixon line once did. And it makes for mean-spirited and punitive politics and social policy.”

This is more than meanness, however.

This is the psychopathic mindset adopted by the architects of the Deep State, and it applies equally whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans.

Beware, because this kind of psychopathology can spread like a virus among the populace.

As an academic study into pathocracy concluded, “[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous.”

People don’t simply line up and salute. It is through one’s own personal identification with a given leader, party, or social order that they become agents of good or evil. To this end, “we the people” have become “we the police state.”

By failing to actively take a stand for good, we become agents of evil. It’s not the person in charge who is solely to blame for the carnage. It’s the populace that looks away from the injustice, that empowers the totalitarian regime, that welcomes the building blocks of tyranny.

This realization hit me full-force a few years ago. I had stopped into a bookstore and was struck by all of the books on Hitler, everywhere I turned. Yet had there been no Hitler, there still would have been a Nazi regime. There still would have been gas chambers and concentration camps and a Holocaust.

Hitler wasn’t the architect of the Holocaust. He was merely the figurehead. The same goes for the American police state: had there been no Trump or Obama or Bush, there still would have been a police state. There still would have been police shootings and private prisons and endless wars and government pathocracy.

Why? Because “we the people” have paved the way for this tyranny to prevail.

By turning Hitler into a super-villain who singlehandedly terrorized the world—not so different from how Trump is often depicted—historians have given Hitler’s accomplices (the German government, the citizens that opted for security and order over liberty, the religious institutions that failed to speak out against evil, the individuals who followed orders even when it meant a death sentence for their fellow citizens) a free pass.

This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.

None of us who remain silent and impassive in the face of evil, racism, extreme materialism, meanness, intolerance, cruelty, injustice, and ignorance get a free pass.

Those among us who follow figureheads without question, who turn a blind eye to injustice and turn their backs on need, who march in lockstep with tyrants and bigots, who allow politics to trump principle, who give in to meanness and greed, and who fail to be outraged by the many wrongs being perpetrated in our midst, it is these individuals who must shoulder the blame when the darkness wins.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” Martin Luther King Jr. sermonized.

The darkness is winning

It’s not just on the world stage we must worry about the darkness winning

The darkness is winning in our communities. It’s winning in our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches and synagogues, and our government bodies. It’s winning in the hearts of men and women the world over who are embracing hatred over love. It’s winning in every new generation that is being raised to care only for themselves, without any sense of moral or civic duty to stand for freedom.

John F. Kennedy, killed by an assassin’s bullet five years before King would be similarly executed, spoke of a torch that had been “passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Once again, a torch is being passed to a new generation, but this torch is setting the world on fire, burning down the foundations put in place by our ancestors, and igniting all of the ugliest sentiments in our hearts.

This fire is not liberating; it is destroying.

We are teaching our children all the wrong things: we are teaching them to hate, teaching them to worship false idols (materialism, celebrity, technology, politics), teaching them to prize vain pursuits and superficial ideals over kindness, goodness, and depth.

We are on the wrong side of the revolution.

“If we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution,” advised King, “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

Freedom demands responsibility.

Freedom demands that we stop thinking as Democrats and Republicans and start thinking like human beings, or at the very least, Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. dared to dream of a world in which all Americans “would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

He didn’t live to see that dream become a reality. It’s still not a reality. We haven’t dared to dream that dream in such a long time.

But imagine…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to stand up—united—for freedom…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to speak out—with one voice—against injustice…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to push back—with the full force of our collective numbers—against the evils of government despotism.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, tyranny wouldn’t stand a chance.

The post A Nation Imploding: Digital Tyranny, Insurrection and Martial Law first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Under the leadership of Premier Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s government has enjoyed a degree of stability unseen in decades, as the technocratic former law professor – initially brought in to lead a government formed by two anti-establishment parties, the anti-migrant League and left-wing populist Five Star Movement – Conte has already survived the collapse of his original coalition. When League leader Matteo Salvini withdrew from the ruling coalition back in 2019, Conte managed to stave off another election by recruiting new allies from the opposition.

Since then, Conte has led Italy through two COVID-19 lockdowns, and as the country lumbers forward, with much of its economy still paralyzed, the PM has his work cut out for him if he wants to get the country’s debt burden under control without resorting to punishing austerity measures (which, at this point, would probably spark a full-tilt revolution in the streets of Italy’s largest cities).

But as Italy staggers out of another COVID-19-induced-lockdown, the ruling coalition is once again at the point of fracture. After Salvini quit the ruling coalition back in the summer of 2019, Conte struck a deal with Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, who later broke off from the Democrats and formed his own centrist group.

Well, now that Italy has finally received the €196 billion-euro ($240 billion) windfall from the European Union COVID bailout package, parliament must vote on how to spend the money. But since nothing is ever easy in Italy’s politically fragmented government, disagreements over spending priorities are prompting Matteo Renzi, a junior partner in the coalition, to consider abandoning the government, and thrusting it into chaos just as the relief package is being finalized.

According to Bloomberg, Italian President Sergio Mattarella (in Italy, the president plays a caretaker role) has extracted promises from Renzi that the political infighting won’t impact the relief package.

The latest government plan uses EU money to earmark €223 billion euros for investment and other projects to boost the Italian economy, which was already weak even before the pandemic, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.

Spending on infrastructure including railways, highways, ports, and logistics totals €32 billion, while investment to make Italy’s economy greener totals €69 billion. Health spending, meanwhile, has been raised to €19.7 billion in what Bloomberg described as a concession to Renzi. But Renzi and his lawmakers have demanded Conte share more power with his coalition partners while speeding up public works projects (and giving up control of the secret services).

COVID has already heaped on more debt, and although the EU money will undoubtedly help, Italy is still dipping into its own pockets to fund some of the recovery measures.

Source: Bloomberg

Should Renzi pull two lawmakers backing the coalition in the Italian Senate (which, for those who aren’t familiar, has 321 seats, with 315 of them being elected, and the 6 others appointed “senators for life”), Conte would need to see if he can drum up enough support from opposition lawmakers to former a new governing coalition. If Conte can’t find the votes, Mattarella would have no choice but to call another snap election.

Fortunately for Conte, nobody – not even Renzi & Co. – really wants a new election. Recent reforms have reduced the number of seats in both houses of the Italian Parliament by 1/3rd, which means another election would prematurely force dozens of politicians into early retirement. Perhaps that’s why we haven’t seen a major blowout in BTP-Bund spreads, though yields on the 10-year BTP have reached the highest level since Dec. 8 as the yield climbed by a few basis points early Tuesday.

The move has widened the spread over bunds by 3bps to 109bps.

Still, we’re not seeing much of a reaction in Italian bonds, probably because investors have confidence in Conte. He’s currently leading his second government, despite never having been elected himself. And nobody wants to risk an election at a time when polls suggest voters would turn once again to Matteo Salvini and the League, which remain popular throughout the country, even in provinces once considered bastions of progressive politics in Italy.

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party and a member of Conte’s ruling coalition, said Tuesday during an interview on Sky.

It’s the latest sign that the surprising stability that permeated Italian politics during the pandemic, as Italy became for a time the worst-hit country in Europe, was an aberration, and that the shroud of national unity is already dissipating.

The post Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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TRUMP 2024: MAJOR CLASH! This is Escalating!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global.

In this type of environment, we’re holding our tongues and being mindful of the words we use, since the stakes are as high as we’ve ever seen them.

Political historians and even hedge fund titans, such as Ray Dalio, have warned that the past rhymes and that America is headed towards a revolution.

Today, we want to explore a number of possible scenarios in the new American landscape:

  1. A 3rd Party: It’s clear by now that not all Republicans are hardcore Trump fans. Not all 74M Trump voters are going to remain loyal to him specifically, but many will.

If the House and the Senate, led by Democrats, vote to strip Donald Trump’s rights to run again in 2024, we believe that he would launch a media giant where he can broadcast his policies. It would be Donald Jr., who ends up running in 2024.

  1. Disengaged Americans: Many of Trump’s supporters are veterans and people that love the idea of a constitutional America, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and remaining strong in the face of China’s rise to global supremacy.

We estimate that tens of millions of Americans are more loyal to Trump’s views than to the general views of the Republican Party.

The problem with that, of course, is that creating a third party would cause this new party to split its voters with the Republicans, which, by definition, would make Democrats the biggest party by miles.

In other words, it’s a tricky situation and would require extensive effort to bring into existence a party that competes with Democrats, even though Portfolio Wealth Global doesn’t believe that Biden will run again in 2024. This means that the Democrats also need to think about who their next candidate will be.

What we mean by disengaged Americans is that we will see a country within a country. If a group of tens of millions of people refuse to trust the election results and refuse to acknowledge Biden as their president, it is an issue that we cannot over-emphasize. Democracies function only when the people give it power and respect the legitimacy of the current regime.

Most Trump supporters don’t.

  1. Zero confidence in the Media: Mainstream media is dead to Trump supporters.

This is the reason we are pretty convinced that Trump will form his own media corporation and that it might be Donald Jr., who is groomed for office.

There’s fake news and then there’s propaganda; we live in the age of both.

New media outlets will be built from the ashes of the legacy channels, in our view.

  1. Biden Years: In times past, when America was this divided, U.S.-led think tanks looked overseas and found an enemy to portray as a threat and wage war against it.

It diverts attention away from domestic issues.

It’s also possible that Biden will not resort to war, since he’s too weak to get the support needed, and will instead dish out free money to everyone in order to gain favor.

For example, Biden might wipe clean all student loan debts.

It’s unclear how America will wake up on the 21st of January, but we can assure you that 2020 altered this country forever.

The post TRUMP 2024: MAJOR CLASH! This is Escalating! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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For The First Time, Wall Street Admits That “Civil Unrest” Could Crash Markets

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Earlier today, we reported that sentiment in the latest Bank of America Fund Manager survey was so bullish, even survey organizer, BofA Chief Investment Officer Michael Hartnett, said it’s time to turn bearish for the near-term and “sell the vaccine” because Wall Street has gone “full bull”:

The most bullish Fund Manager Survey (FMS) of 2020 on the back of vaccine, election, macro; Nov FMS shows a big drop in cash, 20-year high in GDP expectations, big jump in equity, small cap & EM exposure; reopening rotation can continue in Q4 but we say “sell the vaccine” in coming weeks/months as we think we’re close to “full bull”.

Yet while there were several other observations in the survey (the full report can be found here), all of which confirmed what we had previously seen in the latest AAII survey, namely that virtually every trader is now super bullish…

… what caught our attention was not among the list of euphoric superlatives, but was hidden deep inside the risk factors.

We are referring to what the survey respondents defined as the biggest threat: while at the top, for the 8th consecutive month, covid was seen as the biggest “tail risk”…

… what we found remarkable is that after “tech bubble” in 2nd place in the list of biggest tail risks, “Civil Unrest” suddenly popped into 3rd place, after not being cited as a notable risk in any of the previous BofA surveys.

So what’s going on here, is Wall Street really starting to worry about what we first said back in 2010 – much to Time Magazine’s mockery – that the Fed’s disastrous policies would eventually push US society to armed conflict and/or to civil war. While it may be easy to dismiss such fears as hyperbolic, consider what otherwise level-headed Bloomberg macro commentator (and former Lehman trader) Mark Cudmore wrote overnight in his latest lament that markets are so broken, that in the end, it will all “end in tears”, either in the form of collapse of fiat currency or through “political revolution”, read armed conflict.

Which brings us back to square one. Because in a world where a handful of traders are the most bullish they have been in 20 years while the living standards of tens of millions of Americans are absolutely dismal with the economy on the verge of yet another depression-causing shutdown, the flashbacks to the days just before the French Revolution are all too real.

We leave you with Cudmore’s full dystopian comment on what comes next:

It has paid off this year to just enjoy the forest rather than study the trees. More than ever before, markets are rewarding investors who have the ability to embrace a strong narrative over those who focus on analysis and details.

I have rarely experienced such a large gap between my confidence in the future of the largest market drivers and my lack of conviction in where the risk-reward trades lie. There’s a large cohort of the market suffering from the same dilemma but many others are thriving.

The winners are the people smart enough to recognize the reinvigorated power of an old market adage: “Don’t fight the Fed.” The influence of central banks is now pervasive in all markets — not just bonds, credit and stocks, but also cryptocurrencies and art.

Ironically, the incredible impact of central bank policies stems from their powerlessness to achieve a narrow mandate. With limited success in boosting inflation in the face of a global pandemic, they have resorted to fueling the only price gains they can guarantee: financial assets and investments.

Since March, Bloomberg’s Markets Live team has joked internally that the answer to any question is “Buy stonks!” (the typo an intentional reference to the “hodl” meme that successfully encapsulated a similarly unsophisticated winning strategy in crypto) and that any negative news is just a “dip-buying opportunity” in this post-truth world.

These comments were most often thrown out by the cynics on the team, but it’s the wise minority who realized their power. A month ago I highlighted that risk-reward analysis has become reward-analysis and yet I’ve struggled to embrace this new era myself.

I too often delve into whether a narrative has become over-priced in an asset class, when such an approach should now only be applied to a small subset of negative stories. For positive ones, there’s no such reason to question their longevity, as they will naturally morph into a fresh bullish narrative — one with different protagonists but a similar outcome, just like in The Neverending Story.

So where do we stand? Interest rates will stay low for a long time to come; any violent market selloff will be dealt with by extraordinary policy steps; the virus will ultimately be contained but not until after many more fatalities, lost livelihoods and corporate bankruptcies; e-commerce, telecommuting and cashless transactions have seen a permanent boost; the inequality gap grows ever larger and the political frustrations ever deeper.

What does that mean for investors? No idea! Well, that’s not true. Deep down I think we all know what this means but some are better at embracing this paradigm wholeheartedly.

The path will be volatile but selloffs are indeed dip-buying opportunities. It will end in tears at some point, maybe through political revolution or perhaps the collapse of fiat currency, but that time could be many years away and shouldn’t influence how you operate today.

To quote Charles Prince, the CEO of Citigroup until the eve of the financial crisis: “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance.”

Sure, he soon resigned and was asked to testify before Congress about the millions of dollars in exit pay he received after the bank lost billions on subprime mortgages. But his words bring to mind this year’s winners who can dance in the forest without noticing the trees.

The post For The First Time, Wall Street Admits That “Civil Unrest” Could Crash Markets first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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LIVE NOW: CIVIL WAR: The Way America Could End in 2020

We’re being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they’re not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department’s relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don’t act now.

Watch the full video below:

The only way to watch the extended episode of tonight’s show is on BlazeTV. Start your free trial and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code BANTHIS.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream

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Episode-2714- A Coming Potential Insurrection

Some in our community are starting to toss around the concept of a new “civil war”.  I understand why but I disagree.  Yet the US may be heading into something more like a  late 80s, early 90s USSR break down.  Continue reading →

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VICTORY: Britain concedes America’s independence, signs Treaty of Paris

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PARIS; SEPTEMBER 3, 1783— In a monumentous event that will surely change the balance of power in Europe and across the globe, the British government has signed a treaty recognizing the independence of its former colony, the United States of America.

America’s recognition as an independent country formalizes what has long been considered a foregone conclusion since the surrender of Lord Cornwallis’ forces in Yorktown, Virginia. After Cornwallis’ military disaster, the British government has faced considerable unrest and upheaval, which saw the government of Lord North fall in favor of the Earl of Shelburne, who promptly began negotiations with the American diplomatic team of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay. Adams had been dispatched to France in 1779 for peace talks that were at that time still very premature. Adams ran personally afoul of French diplomat Charles Gravier, Count of Vergennes, and sources indicate that the bulk of negotiating with the French was carried out by Franklin and Jay.

Together, the trio of negotiators deftly maneuvered through a delicate bargaining situation, and ensured not only that Britain offered generous terms to the Americans, but also that America did not end up as a vassal state of France. According to the terms of the treaty, Britain will be required to return Florida to Spain, but will be permitted to retain its territory in Canada. British forces will immediately commence withdrawal from American territory. America will be granted all other land currently held by Britain on the North American continent as far west as the Mississippi River, greatly enlarging the fledgling country’s size and providing plentiful territory for new settlers to claim. The settlement of land west of Appalachia was an especially thorny point of contention between American colonists and the British government prior to the start of the war.

Most surprisingly, the British agreed to terms that did not require the American colonists to pay reparations to loyalists for property damaged during the war. Instead, the treaty simply required Congress to
advise each of the American colonies to make restitution for “rights and properties which have been confiscated.” Colonists will likewise be required to pay prewar debts to British creditors “in Sterling Money.”

The terms of the treaty represent almost total victory for the American negotiating team, and reflect not only America’s strong bargaining position, won by the army at Yorktown, and Shelburne’s eagerness to put the war behind him, on behalf of Great Britain. Sources inside the French government indicate that Vergennes and others were angered to learn that the Americans had concluded a separate piece with the British. One anonymous French diplomat claimed that America’s decision would likely encourage Britain to take a harder line with France than they otherwise would have during the course of negotiating a joint treaty. However, a swift and passionate apology from Benjamin Franklin seems to have averted more open hostility between America and France, and France has even indicated a willingness to extend financial aid to the fledgling country as a way to ensure America’s continued indpendence from this day forward.

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BREAKING: Cornwallis surrenders in Yorktown; end of war may be in sight

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA (OCTOBER 19, 1781) — After nearly a month of intense battle, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, commander of the British forces in the southern theater, signed a formal agreement of British surrender today, ending the Battle of Yorktown.

The surrender, which was overseen by Gen. George Washington, marked the end of the bloody battle, which had raged on since September. Washington and Cornwallis began surrender negotiations on Oct. 17 at the Moore House.

Lord Cornwallis did not attend the actual signing of surrender, citing an illness, and sent his second-in-command, Gen. Charles O’Hara, to the ceremony. There, O’Hara carried Cornwallis’ sword to American and French commanders.

In all, Cornwallis surrendered nearly 8,000 men and seamen, more than 100 cannons and more than a dozen ships. As British troops marched out to surrender, a band reportedly played the song, “The World Turned Upside Down.”

The decisive Continental victory has boosted American morale and many hope it will be the final major battle of the war as American delegates have already begun to discuss what negotiations with the British to formally surrender the war may look like.

The American victory came more than five years after America declared its independence from King George III on July 4, 1776.

The battle began late last month after Gen. Washington with the help of the Marquis de Lafayette, the Count de Rochambeau and the Count de Grasse were able to surround Cornwallis’ weathered troops in southern Virginia.

Count de Grasse was able to win a sea victory in early September, defeating the British Navy and preventing them from providing Cornwallis with supplies and reinforcements. That, along with thousands of French reinforcements and Washington’s battle-tested troops, proved too much to overcome for Cornwallis.

According to initial reports, 200 to 300 British troops were killed in the battle while an unknown number were wounded when taken prisoner. Less than 100 French and Continental troops were killed, while it is estimated that just over 300 were wounded.

It is reported that a British ship carrying 7,000 men was on its way to provide aid to Cornwallis, but that ship never arrived, potentially because of the French Navy’s command of the Chesapeake Bay.

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British win Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina — but suffer significant, heavy losses

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA (MARCH 15, 1781) — When the smoke cleared March 15, 1781, around North Carolina’s Guilford Courthouse, vastly outnumbered British troops forced the Americans to retreat over the hills and into the forests — but suffered
significant, heavy losses while the Continental Army remained far more intact.

The tide had been turning in favor of the American forces in the southern colonies since late 1780, marked by Gen. George Washington tapping Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene as commander of the Continental Army in the South.

And one of Greene’s first orders of business was to divide his troops in the Carolinas to give his adversary, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis of the British Army, multiple fronts in the region to contend with. Greene’s move was a good one, as the Americans bested the British in January 1781 at Cowpens, South Carolina.

Still Cornwallis went after the Continental Army, pursuing it through North Carolina as the weary Redcoats’ rations and supplies depleted. And while Greene’s forces were on the run, the commander in the South also was rebuilding his forces and continued to do so in Virginia.

Then Greene’s troops — now numbering about 4,500 — crossed back into North Carolina on March 14 to prepare for battle and set up camp around Guilford Courthouse, in the north central area of the state.

The next day, despite being heavily outnumbered with just under 2,000 soldiers, Cornwallis decided it was time and the British advanced on the Americans.

The two-hour battle saw the Continental forces discharging heavy fire against the British.

While the Americans gave ground, they counterattacked, which led to a “savage and confused melee,”
British Battles recorded.

Cornwallis then ordered the firing of grape shot — a canvas bag packed tightly with small slugs and pellets — into the fracas, which killed both Americans and British forces, British Battles noted. With that, the Americans retreated — but the British were in no condition to pursue.

The British
lost about a fourth of their forces at Guilford — troops that couldn’t be replaced, British Battles added — while Greene’s retreating Continental forces suffered far less in the balance. By the numbers: the Redcoats saw 550 of their troops killed and wounded and lost 11 of 19 officers in their Foot Guards. The Americans, on the other hand, saw 250 killed, wounded and captured.

Adding to Cornwallis’ misery was lack of supplies and word that an officer on whom he relied a great deal — Lt. Col. James Webster — was dead, British Battles said.

In the final analysis, even from the British point of view, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse proved a “Pyrrhic victory” for the Redcoats — a triumph that levels such a heavy toll on the winner that it’s not much of a conquest at all.

Indeed, British statesman Charles James Fox
said of Cornwallis’ tactical triumph: “Another such victory would ruin the British army.”

So Cornwallis gave up his Carolinas campaign and soon led his forces into Virginia — and finally, Yorktown.

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France bolsters US resistance against British offensive, officially enters war

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 6, 1778) — Following U.S. diplomats Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee’s meeting with King Louis XVI in December 1776, King Louis XVI announced today that France would officially join the United States’ war effort against Great Britain.

The French formally acknowledged the United States and their decision to ally with them against the British, and signed what they called The Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which recognized the States as an independent nation. The treaty also encouraged further trade between France and the States.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce was directly followed by the The Treaty of Alliance, which formed a military alliance against Great Britain with the stipulations that the States would not accept peace with Great Britain that did not include their independence, and that the French would be allowed to conquer the British West Indies.

Before France’s entry into the war, the European nation — for over a year — has been rumored to be providing U.S. soldiers with armaments and supplies.

After many months of deliberation, King Louis XVI — initially a skeptic of the colonies’ fledgling republic — made the decision to ally with U.S forces. Sources close to the king say that his blatant hostility toward the British won out over his skepticism of the military viability of the Continental Army.

The French was also reportedly concerned that the French Navy was insufficient and thusly unprepared to enter a war against the British. As a result, sources say that King Louis XVI was reluctant to put the French economy in further debt.

However, the Battles of Saratoga, fought in 1777, were a turning point in convincing King Louis XVI to join the war effort against Great Britain.

After British Gen. John Burgoyne launched an attack against Gen. Horatio Gates and his American forces in the first battle of Saratoga in September 1777, King Louis was convinced of the States’ ability to stand on its own two feet after British forces were defeated and surrendered in October 1777.

Leading up to the King’s official announcement that the French would back the States’ efforts, French foreign minister Charles Gravier had decided that French forces should enter the war after the city of Philadelphia fell to British control in September 1777.

Gravier’s decision was as a result of fear that the States would not win the war against the British without French intervention.

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Shocking details of starvation, disease, lack of clothing as troops emerge from Valley Forge

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

VALLEY FORGE, PENNSYLVANIA (MARCH 1, 1778) — Winters in Pennsylvania tend to be cold, and this past winter has been no different with its blowing wind and plentiful snow. It appears that a warmer winter could have been wished for by Gen. George Washington and his troops, who have spent this past winter in Valley Forge.

Washington chose the location to settle his troops for the winter because it was only 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, where the British were stationed. A fairly secure location and defensible, it was close enough to keep tabs on their enemy.

It was soon discovered, however, that given the lack of any existing shelter, the lack of food, money, or, in many cases, clothing for the soldiers, the cold Pennsylvania winter would prove to be a long and costly one.

It has been well documented that the Continental Army has been accustomed to being ill-provisioned, frequently lacking food and often not being paid by the Continental Congress, which claims to lack the funds. This winter, however, privation entered an entirely new dimension with multiple sources coming forward to paint a picture of truly bleak circumstances.

The regiment arrived at Valley Forge knowing their only shelter would be ones in which they themselves constructed. Harvesting timber from miles away, the undernourished troops hauled the logs back to the camp to construct rustic cabins that did little more than protect them from the elements.

Healthy soldiers would have found such conditions difficult. The soldiers in this encampment, however, were far from healthy. Lack of food was a continual issue; the soldiers’ primary staple were “firecakes,” which is a tasteless mixture of flour and water. Food from the surrounding farms was sparse, as the farmers were far more eager to sell to the British regiments, knowing they would get a good price for their crops, as opposed to being paid in Continental dollars, which are known to hold far less value. That is if the Congress issued any funds at all. And unlike the British, Gen. Washington was adamantly opposed to his troops simply taking what they needed from farms in the area.

In addition to being malnourished, a large percentage of the troops had shockingly little clothing. Only one in four had shoes, and many had no coats or blankets. It was not uncommon to see men with pants in tatters or clothes in the process of rotting off of their bodies. Many were prevented from doing their duties due to their nakedness, being embarrassed to be seen with so little clothing.

Connecticut soldier James Martin shared his experience as he began the winter:

The army was now not only starved but naked; the greatest part were not only shirtless and barefoot, but destitute of all other clothing, especially blankets. I procured a small piece of raw cowhide and made myself a pair of moccasins, which kept my feet, while they lasted, from the frozen ground, although, as I well remember, the hard edges so galled my ankles while on a march that it was with much difficulty and pain that I could wear them afterward. But the only alternative I had was to endure this inconvenience or go barefoot, as hundreds of my companions had to, till they might be tracked by their blood upon the rough, frozen ground.

Gen. Washington, while lamenting the deplorable conditions he and his soldiers were in, couldn’t help but praise them for the character they displayed under such circumstances:

No history now extant can furnish an instance of an army’s suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done. To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes (for the want of which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet), and almost as often without provision as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter quarters within a day’s march from the enemy, without a house or hut to cover them till they could be built, and submitting to it without a murmur is proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled.

Washington pleaded repeatedly with the Continental Congress for funds for his troops, but that availed him little. Additionally, America’s loosely coordinated national government places much of the responsibility for funding on the states, and many of them have not followed through on their agreement, claiming lack of funds themselves.

He was also forced repeatedly to seek provision from quartermaster general Thomas Mifflin, who was ineffectual. Circumstances grew to such a dire state that he demanded Gen. Nathanael Greene replace Mifflin, which Greene was hesitant to do, due to the enormity of the task. Once Greene was in place in March 1778, however, things began to improve for Washington and his men.

Of the 12,000 troops that entered Valley Forge in December 1777, an estimated 2,500 died of starvation, disease, malnutrition, or exposure by the spring.

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American forces employ controversial tactics in shocking victory over British at Saratoga

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

SARATOGA, NEW YORK (OCTOBER 17, 1777) — Rebel forces lead by Gen. Horatio Gates dealt a shocking blow to the British at the battles at Saratoga, New York. The redcoats led by Gen. John Burgoyne were horrified at the guerrilla tactics employed by the Americans, who are accused of targeted military officers with sharpshooters.

Gen. Burgoyne’s plan was to march the 170 miles with his 8,000 troops from loyalist Canada and meet with the rest of the British army to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. Rebel forces significantly slowed the march down by taking aim at the Native American guides that had aligned themselves with the British to defeat the patriots.

The first battle at Saratoga was a pyrrhic victory for the British, who advanced on a rebel encampment at Freeman’s Farm at the cost of significant casualties. Burgoyne sent troops in three columns, but Gates’ field commander Benedict Arnold sensed that the patriots would have a better advantage if they met the British in the woods rather than wait to defend their position.

Gates disagreed but after a heated argument that delayed the counterattack for hours, he relented.

Arnold was right — the woods provided the scrappy rebel sharpshooters the cover they needed to strike down the officers, a tactic that horrified the British as being against the rules of standard conduct of war. The British suffered nearly 600 casualties while the rebels only lost 300.

Although many credited Arnold for a considerable portion of the damage inflicted on the British, Gates has removed him as his second-in-command over their many personal disputes.

At the second battle of Saratoga on Oct. 7, Gates won a decisive victory at Bemis Heights despite having fewer troops than Burgoyne. Halfway through the battle, Arnold rode out to lead the troops and showed exemplary bravery that greatly aided the patriots’ chances. He suffered a broken leg after being shot during the struggle.

Ten days later on Oct. 17, Burgoyne surrendered to Gates.

“We are sorry to say that Government have received the melancholy accounts that General Burgoyne and his army have been obliged to surrender themselves prisoners of war,” reported
the Edinburgh Evening Courant.

“After the Provincials had cut off General Burgoyne’s supplies,” the report continued, “part of his army fell back to secure their retreat to Ticonderoga & the Provincials, on this, surrounded General Burgoyne and the remainder.”

“The provincials at first offered them quarter on their laying down their arms & gave them a quarter of an hour to consider of it, but General Burgoyne treated it with contempt & sent for answer that unless they would agreed to give them free passage to England & warranting their safety to their next place for embarkation they would die man by man before they parted with their arms,” it continued. “The provincials soon complied with those conditions.”

Burgoyne, who is also known as “Gentleman Johnny,” lost about 1,000 men in the battles, while the Americans lost only about 500.

Arnold, despite earning a reputation for bravery to the point of recklessness in combat, had previously threatened to abandon the American cause and fight for the British after having his command taken away from him at Ticonderoga.

Various anonymous sources say the shocking upset at Saratoga is causing the Spanish to reconsider joining the French fight against the British. This would be a great boon to the patriots and possibly turn the tide against the British.

Sources:
History.com, Wikipedia, Rare Newspapers, the History Channel.

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In crucial turning point, Washington and troops claim victory in two battles near Trenton

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (JANUARY 3, 1777) — In an astonishing turn of events, the Continental Army, led by Gen. George Washington, has scored a much-needed victory in its fight for independence from the British crown. Multiple crushing defeats thus far in the Revolution has left the Continental Army’s morale low, leading Washington to wonder how many of his troops might desert him, or not re-enlist.

Washington, aware that he needed a win, finally claimed victory on the morning of Dec. 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey. The victory, along with the rest of the events that have unfolded during the last week have provided a much-needed boost to American soldiers’ morale and has renewed their confidence that they can defeat the British in the ongoing war for American independence.

On Dec. 26, Washington decided to take advantage of the fact that the Hessians, the German troops whom the British hired to help fight against the Continental Army, were up late Christmas night celebrating.

Washington and his troops camped on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Outside, it was cold and snowy, and the river was covered with ice. But none of that stopped Washington and his 2,400 determined troops, who nevertheless set out to cross the icy river in blizzard conditions.

In an early morning raid on Hessian camps in Trenton, Washington and his troops fought for around one hour. They managed to capture more than 800 Hessian troops, and seized a considerable amount of their weapons, from musket and bayonets to swords and cannons, according to Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

American patriots hope that the Continental Army’s morale-boosting victory in the First Battle of Trenton will be a critical turning point in the American Revolution.

According to reports, 22 British soldiers died in the First Battle of Trenton. Another 92 were wounded, 918 were captured and 400 escaped. The Continental Army, however, only lost two of its soldiers but only because they froze to death. Another five Americans were injured.

After their victory, Washington led his exhausted troops across the Delaware River back into Pennsylvania. But Washington still had his sights set on the next target, Princeton, New Jersey, where more British-allied forces had set up camp for the winter.

About a week later, on Jan. 2, 1777, Gen. Charles Cornwallis led his British troops from Princeton to Trenton to launch an attack. Washington directed a number of his troops to stave off an attack by blocking a bridge across the Assunpink Creek, according to sources in New Jersey.

Eventually, British troops decided to postpone their next attack until morning. Meanwhile, Washington, in his military genius, had another plan.

Washington instructed around 400 of his troops to stay at Trenton and keep the fires burning to trick the British into thinking they weren’t on the move. But Washington sent the rest of his troops to travel on back roads to launch yet another surprise attack on the British, this time at Princeton.

The latter group, led by Gen. Hugh Mercer, met British troops at Stony Brook Bridge and thus commenced the Second Battle of Trenton.

The fight didn’t start off well for the Continental Army. Washington and other reinforcements arrived, but the Continental Army still struggled. Then, in a show of admirable leadership, Washington rallied his discouraged troops who, at that point, were ready to retreat.

The American general rode up on horseback and blocked his men from leaving, creating a renewed sense of determination among his soldiers. Washington’s encouragement later paid off, as some British troops retreated to Princeton and others to Trenton. Since most went to Princeton, though, Washington and the rest of his army followed.

The British eventually surrendered at Princeton after being surrounded by American troops at Nassau Hall. More than 80 British soldiers were either killed or injured.

Forty American soldiers died or were wounded, according to the state of New Jersey.

In the coming weeks, Washington and his troops are expected to continue to march on British and British-allied soldiers in the fight for independence from Great Britain.

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British forces capture New York; Washington lucky to escape with Continental Army intact

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

NEW YORK (AUGUST 31, 1776) — The first major battle since America officially declared its independence from Great Britain did not go well for the Continental Army, as American troops were driven from New York in headlong flight.

Worse, Gen. George Washington’s conduct in the war has some questioning his strategic ability, as many military experts say that only a series of extremely lucky missteps by the British Army allowed Washington — and the Continental Army with him — to escape the island intact.

The British invasion of New York has long been expected, ever since Gen. William Howe quit the city of Boston following a months-long siege by American forces. Since Howe’s flight, American military leadership has anticipated that Great Britain would order him to capture New York, as Britain has made no secret of its plans to win the war by choking off access to the vitally important Hudson River, which is often referred to as the “backbone” of the Mid-Atlantic colonies.

Gen. Washington prepared for the hammer’s blow by directing Gen. Charles Lee to prepare the city for battle. Lee devised a plan and erected a series of intricate defenses in the city, envisioning a guerrilla fight in which the British would be forced to take New York “street by street,” hopefully suffering tremendous casualties during the course of the battle.

However, when New York’s civilian authority learned of this plan, they balked in horror at the possible devastation that might be done to the city by the British war machine if Lee’s plan were carried out. Due to confusion about the extent of Washington’s authority, Washington felt forced to abandon Lee’s plan in favor of a more traditional defense.

According to sources within the Continental Army, some of Washington’s officers felt hamstrung by Washington’s decision to allow Lee’s defenses to be dismantled. According to one Army officer, who asked to remain anonymous, “We never really stood a chance of holding New York, but with those defenses, we at least had a chance to give the British a bloody nose. Without those defenses? We were sitting ducks out there.”

Indeed, the chances of a traditional defense were doomed when the British ships, Phoenix and Rose
, easily overcame the Continental’s river defenses and took control of the harbor virtually unopposed. This allowed the British fleet, numbering some 130 ships, to land aground a force that was many times over the size of Washington’s.

In retrospect, Washington was doomed to lose the battle of New York before the first shot was fired; however, some claim that mistakes made by Washington put the Continental Army in position to suffer much heavier losses than they otherwise would have done, and almost caused them to be obliterated entirely.

First, some sources within the military criticized Washington’s decision to send home some 900 cavalrymen from Connecticut who arrived to participate in the defense, telling them that they would not be needed. According to one Continental Army officer, who asked not to be identified, Washington’s failure to understand the scouting value of this cavalry force allowed the British to achieve complete surprise and completely flank Gen. Israel Putnam, whom some in Congress have blamed for the Army’s failure in New York.

Some officers, however, have noted that Putnam was flanked because he was totally unaware that the British had landed some 10,000 soldiers on Long Island, who marched unnoticed for miles up roads unoccupied by Americans. According to this officer, “those troops had to have been kicking up an awful lot of dust and making a ton of noise, and some troops on horseback would have really allowed us to at least know they were coming.”

As it was, the main force of the British invading army was able to get completely to the rear of Putnam’s forces before Americans were aware, and the result was predictable: Total carnage, combined with chaos and headlong flight. In the first day of fighting, the Continental Army lost around 1,300 men; almost 15 percent of the entire force on Long Island.

Others criticized Washington’s decision to split his forces in the face of a numerically superior foe, attempting to defend both Manhattan and Long Island, albeit inadequately.

Although many would have taken advantage of Gen. Howe’s curiously slow pace after his initial rout of Putnam’s forces on Long Island to quit the defense of the island entirely, Gen. Washington ignored the advice of many on his staff and actually committed reinforcements to Brooklyn, determined to make a show of defending a by-now indefensible position.

Eventually, however, Washington was faced with the reality that his men on Long Island were completely encircled by the Royal Navy and vastly outnumbered, and after a council with his top generals, ordered an attempt to evacuate the remaining troops from Long Island.

The army ultimately may have been saved by a blustering storm that immobilized the Royal Navy and allowed Washington to assemble a rag-tag team of small craft to evacuate his troops to Manhattan under cover of the storm and an extremely dense fog that limited visibility to mere feet.

Although Washington publicly acknowledged the urgent need to leave New York lest the Continental Army be “cut to pieces,” sources within the Army said that Washington was obsessed with scoring a “Bunker Hill” style victory of his own, and thus prepared to attempt an ill-advised defense of Harlem Heights. According to sources in the army, Washington only abandoned this surely suicidal plan when Gen. Charles Lee arrived in New York and delivered a dire warning concerning the probable fruits of Washington’s proposed plan.

At the very last minute, the Continental Army fled Manhattan, saved by the incredible bravery of Col. John Glover and his Massachusetts soldiers, who fought a desperate action around Pelham Bay to delay the British attack so that the Continentals could achieve a semi-orderly retreat and preserve precious artillery and weaponry, which are already in short supply for the Americans.

Washington was also accused of defying Congress’ orders during his retreat from the city. According to congressional sources, Washington sought permission to destroy the city of New York upon his exit, so as to deny its comforts to British soldiers, but Congress refused to acquiesce. However, according to witnesses, fires that destroyed substantial portions of the city were set by men who were known members of the Continental Army.

For his part, Washington has refused to join in the public condemnation of Putnam, and promises that he will avoid risking the fate of the entire Continental Army in a single skirmish with the British in the future.

Americans hope that the lessons Washington has learned in this battle will serve him well as America settles in for what it looks like might be a long war for independence.

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‘Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown’: Congress declares American independence

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PHILADELPHIA (JULY 4, 1776) — Two days ago, the Continental Congress, assembled in Philadelphia, voted to declare that the 13 British colonies of America are “Free and Independent,” establishing at once the “united States of America” as a separate nation entirely.

“We … 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,”
Congress announced.

On July 4, delegates of the 13 colonies adopted the “Declaration,” formally severing the colonies from the authority of king of England. This momentous declaration will doubtless serve to escalate the military conflict between Britain and her colonies. Sources close to Congressional leaders indicate that the formal declaration was considered necessary to enlist the aid of the French army, which the colonists consider necessary to winning any military conflict with Britain.

Relying on the “self-evident” truths that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” the members of Congress firmly proclaimed the right of the American people to self-governance and listed a number of “repeated injuries and usurpations” imposed on the colonies by the British crown.

Among those grievances listed are the king’s failure to allow the colonists — despite having been full citizens of England — to have adequate representation; the king’s decision to repeatedly close the colonies’ legislative bodies for choosing with “manly firmness” to reject “his invasions on the rights of the people”; quartering British soldiers in American homes; unjustly “imposing Taxes … without our Consent”; “cutting off … Trade with all parts of the world”; and for waging war against his own people.

Despite its clear declaration of independence from the British kingdom, Congress insisted it has not desired such extreme action, but that it has become necessary because of the unrelenting “Oppressions” of the crown.

“In every stage of these Oppressions,” Congress wrote, “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.”

TheBlaze has learned on July 8, Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, learned of the “Declaration” in a letter from Congress President John Hancock.

“That our affairs may take a more favorable turn, the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve the connection between Great Britain and the American colonies, and to declare them free and independent states; as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you, and to request you will have it proclaimed at the head of the army in the way you shall think it most proper,” Hancock reportedly wrote to Washington.

Where these “united States of America” go from here is greatly in dispute, with most European leaders speculating the rebellion will soon be crushed by the British, who have since won a series of important battles against the American forces. However, regardless of how this chapter in history ends, the leaders of the world’s newest nation have made it clear where they have placed their trust: in God and each other.

“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,” congressional members wrote.

The full text of the “Declaration of Independence” appears below:

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 meantime 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 harass 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 British 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.

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British forces capture Bunker Hill but suffer heavy casualties

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (JUNE 17, 1775) — British regulars captured a key strategic point in the ongoing siege of Boston today, but suffered staggering losses in the process, leading some to question the leadership of Gens. Thomas Gage and William Howe, as well as Britain’s assumed military supremacy in the American colonies.

Last night, some 1,200 American troops, operating under the command of Col. William Prescott, stealthily snuck into Charlestown and dug in on both Bunker Hill and adjacent Breed’s Hill. Sources in the American army indicate that Prescott may have disobeyed orders from Gen. Artemis Ward, who ordered Prescott to occupy only Bunker Hill, which would present a fortified and easily defensible position from which to continue the siege. However, for reasons yet unclear, Prescott also undertook to fortify Breed’s Hill farther to the southeast.

From Breed’s Hill, American artillery was suddenly within range of both the Mystic River and also Boston Harbor, which meant that the American presence there presented an untenable threat to the British forces’ supply lines. Accordingly, Gen. Gage promptly ordered that Breed’s Hill be retaken at all costs and that the American forces be driven from Charlestown neck. Gen. Howe was given a force of about 2,300 British regulars with orders to eliminate the American threat.

Howe marched his men through the streets of Boston to the Charles River, where they boarded barges to carry them across. They reached the site of their attack point around 3 p.m., accompanied by a naval bombardment from the Royal Navy, and began to march in formation the 2,000 yards up the hill to meet his waiting foe.

The American forces, which had been reinforced on orders from the reportedly furious Gen. Ward, were still hazardously low on ammunition. As such, other than isolated sniper fire, the Americans held their fire until British soldiers were less than 50 yards away, at which point they unleashed a murderous fusillade of bullets into the redcoats’ ranks. The close-range fire was so effective that Howe was forced to halt his advance and spend the better part of half an hour regrouping his men for a second charge up the hill.

Again, Americans held fire, this time until the British were even closer, and the results the second time were no less devastating. One British soldier described this second volley of fire as “a continual sheet of lightning.” Again General Howe was forced to fall back.

Reports indicate that at this point, Howe’s men began to beg with him not to attempt a third assault on the fortified position. Every member of Howe’s staff was dead or wounded at this point, and British soldiers have accused the Americans of deliberately targeting officers during the charge. Howe, though, was insistent that the hill must be taken, so he summoned reinforcements for a third charge.

According to reports, the American ammunition situation was so dire at this point that Col. Prescott ordered his men to hold their fire “until you can see the whites of their eyes.” This time, the British were allowed to get within 15 yards of the summit before the Americans opened fire. Again, the results were murderous, and British regulars gained the Hill only when Americans ran out of ammunition and were forced to flee. Many were bayoneted or shot by the British out of hand as they fled.

Ultimately, the British removed the American threat from Breed’s Hill, but paid heavily for their strategic victory. According to official British reports, 226 British regulars died and an additional 928 were wounded. Americans, on the other hand, suffered 160 dead and 271 wounded in this day’s fighting.

Although Gen. Gage issued a proclamation of victory, he also was heard to exclaim to his staff that the Americans “shew a spirit and conduct against us, they never shewed against the French,” reflecting his country’s poor opinion of American battle prowess in the French-Indian War.

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American militiamen force British troops to retreat from Concord

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (APRIL 20, 1775) — American militiamen, after a brief retreat from a small skirmish in Lexington resulting in several dead, have pushed British redcoats out of Concord, giving colonists a victory in what may be the first of many military battles between Britain and defiant American colonists.

In a sequence of events that began late night on April 18, 1775, a plan by British Gen. Thomas Gage to capture American leaders and munitions was foiled when American volunteers were warned of an oncoming attack by British regulars in the town of Concord after British troops exchanged fire at Lexington, Massachusetts, with American patriots.

According to anonymous sources, Gage’s plan was to furtively move British regulars to first capture Colonial leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in the town of Lexington, then advance to Concord where the British planned to seize American stockpiles of gunpowder. Thanks to the efficiency and skill of American intelligence, American forces were forewarned of Gage and his plan. British regulars were slowed by American “minutemen” — American militiamen ready to react at a moment’s notice — at Lexington and along the route.

American silversmith and spy Paul Revere revealed that he had received word that British forces, led by British Maj. John Pitcairn, were to advance on Lexington to capture Adams and Hancock. Revere, 41, set up a warning system with North Church’s Robert Newman that involved displaying one lantern from the church’s steeple in the British were planning to advance from land, and two lanterns if by sea.

Sources say that Newman had displayed two around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, leading Revere and two other riders, tanner William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott to sprint across the countryside, warning colonists of the oncoming British forces from Boston.

Thanks to the early warning, Adams and Hancock were able to escape from Lexington. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Instead of marching into the town unimpeded, witnesses say that on early Wednesday morning, April 19, Pitcairn found himself and his 240 troops face to face with 80 American militiamen under the command of Capt. John Parker in the town of Lexington. Reports from eyewitnesses say that for some time, American and British troops faced each other at the ready, but did not fire.

Conflicting reports describe how the battle began, but according to both sides a shot was heard that started a brief skirmish between the minutemen.

“At 5 o’clock we arrived [in Lexington], and saw a number of people, I believe between 200 and 300, formed in a common in the middle of town; we still continued advancing, keeping prepared against an attack though without intending to attack them; but on our coming near them, they fired on us two shots, upon which our men without any orders, rushed upon them, fired and put them to flight; several of them were killed; we could not tell how many, because they were behind walls and into the woods,” said British Lt. John Barker.

Militiaman Cpl. John Munroe remembers it differently, however.

“After the first fire of the regulars, I thought, and so stated to Ebenezer Munroe … who stood next to me on the left, that they had fired nothing but powder; but on the second firing, Munroe stated they had fired something more than powder, for he had received a wound in his arm; and now, said he, to use his own words, ‘I’ll give them the guts of my gun.’,” Munroe said. “We then both took aim at the main body of British troops the smoke preventing our seeing anything but the heads of some of their horses and discharged our pieces.”

This is the first exchange of gunfire between American and British forces during the rising tensions between the mother country and the American colonists. According to reports, eight Lexington men were killed, and 10 were wounded. Only one British soldier was wounded.

After some difficulty, Pitcairn was able to reassemble his men and march on Concord. Reports say that the British entered the town with little difficulty and began searching for the hidden American munitions. Due to good intelligence and forewarning, however, the American militia were able to hide away a good deal of their munitions, meaning that the British were not unable to find much.

Meanwhile, Concord militiamen gathered just outside of Concord and their strength further increased as volunteers from the neighboring towns rallied around militiaman Col. John Barrett on Punkatasset Hill overlooking Concord.

Witnesses say that once Barrett’s forces had reached sufficient strength — over 1,000 men according to reports — he led American militiamen into Concord over the North Bridge, overwhelming the redcoats and forcing their retreat from Concord, and back to Boston. American militiamen reportedly shadowed British troops during their retreat, killing some 125 redcoats, including officers. During the course of the retreat, American forces continued to swell as militia from neighboring towns continued to join the rebel ranks.

By the time the British retreat neared Charlestown, the American militia substantially outnumbered the British regulars and might have completely obliterated the British force. However, American Col. Timothy Pickering, who had assumed command of a large militia force from Salem and Marblehead, allowed the British to escape to defensible positions in Charlestown, where they were reinforced by Gen. Gage.

Col. Pickering alleges that he allowed the British to escape on the orders of Gen. William Heath, a charge that Gen. Heath denies. At present, Gen. Heath has been relieved by Gen. Artemas Ward, who has placed the British forces in Boston under an effective siege.

Militiamen say that while a battle was not intended in Lexington, their victory in Concord has them energized and ready to take on the British forces in the future.

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Britain passes the Coercive Acts; they should be called the Intolerable Acts

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

LONDON (1774) — In response to the activities of Dec. 16, 1773, the British Parliament has passed a series of punitive acts to be revoked only upon the compensation of the East India Company for goods that were allegedly irreparably damaged by American colonists.

The harsh legislation began after a group calling themselves the Sons of Liberty deposited nearly 350 crates of tea into Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act. The legislation closed the port of Boston, appointed a new military government under Gen. Thomas Gage, and rendered British soldiers immune from prosecution for criminal violations.

In keeping with the Boston Port Act, the British Navy plans to establish a blockade of Massachusetts Bay until the town’s unruly residents agree to pay for the tea that was dumped into Boston Harbor in protest. The Massachusetts Government Act has likewise established martial law and curbed the rights of rebellious colonists to gather into groups.

The so-called Administration of Justice Act, passed on May 20, was the final blow in a succession of punishments meted out to the province of Massachusetts, which has been the focal point of American hostility toward the mother country. It renewed the ability British troops exercised under the expired Quartering Act to take residence in unoccupied buildings at the will of the colonial governor.

Parliament continues debate on the Quebec Act, which would allow the French of that region to be governed by the Roman Catholic church and extend its territory into colonial western claims. Under this act, colonists in Boston and the Massachusetts Bay area would not be permitted to govern themselves, and would be cut off from their own independent trade by the British Navy, forcing them to rely on surrounding colonies for food and supplies.

The Quebec Act would punish the citizens of Massachusetts by allowing the French of Quebec to be subject to their own civil laws while Massachusetts would remain under the firm grip of the British Parliament.

Meanwhile, Boston merchants will soon be unable to trade goods because the British will occupy the harbor. Parliament still expects the East India Company to be repaid in full.

A small minority in Parliament, led by Edmund Burke, has begun to speak out against Parliament’s treatment of the colonies. In a recent speech, Burke claimed that these Coercive Acts would make British rule intolerable to the American colonies, and might lead to future military conflict and war.

Burke warned that colonists outside of Massachusetts might sympathize with their plight and would likewise fear that Britain would soon intend to meddle in their affairs in a similar manner. Burke offered an impassioned speech in Parliament in favor of a motion to repeal the Tea Tax outright, but the motion was easily defeated in spite of Burke’s protests.

It has been suggested in a variety of writings that an inter-colonial conference of some kind be convened to discuss the implications of Parliament’s actions for all of the American colonies. One may take place as early as this autumn, though some colonies as yet remain mostly uninterested.

(Sources:
History.com, Encyclopedia Britannica, U.S. History Scene)

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Patriots storm ships in Boston Harbor, hurl tens of thousands of pounds of expensive tea overboard

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (DECEMBER 16, 1773) — A group of local colonists upset with British Parliament’s controversial Tea Act took matters into their own hands tonight and dumped hundreds of chests of East India Company tea into Boston Harbor.

More than 100 men, many disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded three ships at Griffin’s Wharf this cold December evening and in the course of three hours tossed nearly 350 crates containing 90,000 pounds of tea overboard. The financial damages are expected to approach 10,000 British pounds.

According to local sources, the men are members of a secretive group known as the Sons of Liberty and were acting at the urging of one of their most-provocative leaders, Samuel Adams. Adams and his group have rallied against multiple attempts by Great Britain to impose taxes and regulations on colonists who have no government representation in London.

The Tea Act, which passed in May, was simply another move by British rulers to assert increased sovereignty over the colonists through taxation, the Sons of Liberty and other opponents of the measure said. Parliament’s goal, they added, was to prop up the failing government-backed East India Company.

The EIC has long had a government-instituted monopoly on tea in England, where the company has, until recently, been required to sell all of its tea. The high British duties on tea that the EIC has been forced to pay — coupled with a dire famine in India and a booming black market for cheaper tea in the colonies — have led to crashing tea sales and massive financial losses for the company.

English merchants have for decades turned around sold the tea to the American colonies, where a second duty is then collected.

Leaders of the EIC convinced Parliament this spring to pass the Tea Act, which allowed the company, for the first time in its history, to sell tea on consignment directly to a preferred set of sellers in the American colonies’ four most populous ports — New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Boston.

The act gave the East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in America and offered refunds to the EIC for tea duties paid in England. However, the duties in the colonies remained untouched. By cutting out the middlemen and allowing for at least some duty relief in England, the EIC was set to undercut tea prices in America.

But the law didn’t impact only the illegal tea-smuggling business.

Local merchants who have long imported EIC tea from England and were not granted the opportunity to buy directly from the EIC have reported that they, too, have seen tea sales plummet. Some of these businessmen fear that the efforts by Parliament to save the favored trading company will force them to close up shop.

The impact on local businesses and the belief that the British crown has once again trampled the rights of colonists who have no voice in the government have led to a movement up and down the East Coast to keep EIC tea off American shores.

Earlier reports from the three other cities where consignees were scheduled to receive EIC tea revealed just how significant the movement to stop the shipments really was. The preferred, government-approved local sellers at all three ports resigned their consignment agreements in early December as addition tea shipments arrived. In New York and Philadelphia, the EIC tea ships were forced to return to England with their cargo. And in Charleston, the tea was taken by local authorities.

But even as people in other colonies banded together to convince their colonial governors to abandon the Tea Act scheme and worked with American ship owners and their captains to avoid destruction of property, the authorities in Massachusetts have been slow to bend. Loyalist Gov. Thomas Hutchinson, whose sons received preferred-seller status from the EIC, repeatedly stated that the American-owned tea ships would be permitted to dock and the tea unloaded.

However, Adams and his fellow Sons of Liberty made it clear to Hutchinson that they would not be backing down any time soon, going so far as to station guards at the port over the last several days to prevent the tea from being removed from the ships.

According to witnesses, anti-Tea Act Patriots left a meeting with Adams earlier today, made their way to Boston Harbor, and boarded the vessels without permission. The activists then proceeded to toss the EIC tea into the sea water, making clear all the while that they would no longer stand for British curtailment of colonists’ rights.

Sources in England say that even Britons and members of Parliament who are sympathetic to colonists’ complaints see this event as a bridge too far and expect that the action will force the British government to retaliate.

Hutchinson has long urged London to crack down on the Sons of Liberty. Observers now expect that the governor might just get his wish.

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This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you—pull your beard, flick your face—to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you.”—John Lennon

Brace yourselves.

There is something being concocted in the dens of power, far beyond the public eye, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this country.

Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by political theater and public spectacle that they are oblivious to all else, you’d better beware.

Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you’d better beware.

And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you’d better beware.

What is unfolding before us is not a revolution.

The looting, the burning, the rioting, the violence: this is an anti-revolution.

The protesters are playing right into the government’s hands because the powers-that-be want this. They want an excuse to lockdown the nation and throw the switch to all-out martial law. They want a reason to make the police state stronger.

It’s happening faster than we can keep up.

The Justice Department is deploying federal prison riot teams to various cities. More than half of the nation’s governors are calling on the National Guard to quell civil unrest. Growing numbers of cities, having just barely emerged from a coronavirus lockdown, are once again being locked down, this time in response to the growing upheaval.

This is how it begins.

It’s that dystopian 2030 Pentagon training video all over again, which anticipates the need for the government to institute martial law (use armed forces to solve domestic political and social problems) in order to navigate a world bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

We’re way ahead of schedule.

The architects of the police state have us exactly where they want us: under their stamping boot, gasping for breath, desperate for freedom, grappling for some semblance of a future that does not resemble the totalitarian prison being erected around us.

This way lies certain tyranny.

For just one fleeting moment, “we the people” seemed united in our outrage over this latest killing of an unarmed man by a cop hyped up on his own authority and the power of his uniform.

That unity didn’t last.

Indeed, it didn’t take long—no surprise there—for us to quickly become divided again, polarized by the misguided fury and senseless violence of mobs taking to the streets, reeking of madness and mayhem.

Deliberately or not, the rioters have directed our attention away from the government’s crimes and onto their own.

This is a distraction.

Don’t allow yourself to be so distracted.

Let’s not lose sight of what started all of this in the first place: the U.S. government.

More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the systemic violence being perpetrated by agents of the government constitutes a greater menace to the life, liberty, and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.

Case in point: George Floyd died at the hands of the American police state.

The callous, cold-blooded murder of the unarmed, 46-year-old black man by police is nothing new: for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, police knelt on Floyd’s neck while the man pleaded for his life, struggled to breathe, cried out for his dead mother, and finally passed out and died.

Floyd is yet another victim of a broken system of policing that has placed “we the people” at the mercy of militarized cops who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

Daily, Americans are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order or just exist.

I’m talking about the growing numbers of unarmed people are who being shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

Killed by police for standing in a “shooting stance.” Killed for holding a cell phone. Killed for holding a baseball bat. Killed for opening the front door. Killed for being a child in a car pursued by police. Killed for approaching police while holding a metal spoon. Killed for running in an aggressive manner while holding a tree branch. Killed for crawling around naked. Killed for hunching over in a defensive posture. Killed because a police officer accidentally fired his gun instead of his taser. Killed for wearing dark pants and a basketball jersey. Killed for reaching for his license and registration during a traffic stop. Killed for driving while deaf. Killed for being homeless. Killed for brandishing a shoehorn. Killed for peeing outdoors. Killed for having his car break down on the road. Killed for holding a garden hose.

Now you can make all kinds of excuses to justify these shootings, and in fact, that’s exactly what you’ll hear from politicians, police unions, law enforcement officials, and individuals who are more than happy to march in lockstep with the police. However, as these incidents make clear, the only truly compliant, submissive, and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one.

Sad, isn’t it, how quickly we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat us all like suspects and criminals?

This is not how you keep the peace.

This is not justice. This is not even law and order.

This is certainly not freedom. This is the illusion of freedom.

Unfortunately, we are now being ruled by a government of psychopaths, scoundrels, spies, thugs, thieves, gangsters, ruffians, rapists, extortionists, bounty hunters, battle-ready warriors and cold-blooded killers who communicate using a language of force and oppression.

The facts speak for themselves.

We’re being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists, and killers. It’s not just the police shootings of unarmed citizens that are worrisome. It’s the SWAT team raids gone wrong that are leaving innocent citizens wounded, children terrorized and family pets killed. It’s the roadside strip searches—in some cases, cavity searches of men and women alike carried out in full view of the public—in pursuit of drugs that are never found. It’s the potentially lethal—and unwarranted—use of so-called “nonlethal” weapons such as tasers on children for “mouthing off to a police officer. For trying to run from the principal’s office. For, at the age of 12, getting into a fight with another girl.”

We’re being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers—a standing army. While Americans are being made to jump through an increasing number of hoops in order to exercise their Second Amendment right to own a gun, the government is arming its own civilian employees to the hilt with guns, ammunition and military-style equipment, authorizing them to make arrests, and training them in military tactics. Among the agencies being supplied with night-vision equipment, body armor, hollow-point bullets, shotguns, drones, assault rifles, and LP gas cannons are the Smithsonian, U.S. Mint, Health and Human Services, IRS, FDA, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Education Department, Energy Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and an assortment of public universities. There are now reportedly more bureaucratic (non-military) government civilians armed with high-tech, deadly weapons than U.S. Marines. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the government’s arsenal, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, and the speed with which the nation could be locked down under martial law depending on the circumstances. Clearly, the government is preparing for war—and a civil war, at that—and “we the people” are the perceived enemy.

We’re being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots, and cowards. American satirist H.L. Mencken calculated that “Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.” By and large, Americans seem to agree. When you’ve got government representatives who spend a large chunk of their work hours fundraising, being feted by lobbyists, shuffling through a lucrative revolving door between public service and lobbying, and making themselves available to anyone with enough money to secure access to a congressional office, you’re in the clutches of a corrupt oligarchy. Mind you, these same elected officials rarely read the legislation they’re enacting, nor do they seem capable of enacting much legislation that actually helps rather than hinders the plight of the American citizen.

We’re being locked up by a government of greedy jailers. We have become a carceral state, spending three times more on our prisons than on our schools and imprisoning close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite the fact that crime is at an all-time low and the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population. The rise of overcriminalization and profit-driven private prisons provides even greater incentives for locking up American citizens for such non-violent “crimes” as having an overgrown lawn.  As the Boston Review points out, “America’s contemporary system of policing, courts, imprisonment, and parole … makes money through asset forfeiture, lucrative public contracts from private service providers, and by directly extracting revenue and unpaid labor from populations of color and the poor. In states and municipalities throughout the country, the criminal justice system defrays costs by forcing prisoners and their families to pay for punishment. It also allows private service providers to charge outrageous fees for everyday needs such as telephone calls. As a result, people facing even minor criminal charges can easily find themselves trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle of debt, criminalization, and incarceration.”

We’re being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms. The government, aided by its corporate allies, is watching everything you do, reading everything you write, listening to everything you say, and monitoring everything you spend. Omnipresent surveillance is paving the way for government programs that profile citizens, document their behavior, and attempt to predict what they might do in the future, whether it’s what they might buy, what politician they might support, or what kinds of crimes they might commit. The impact of this far-reaching surveillance, according to Psychology Today, is “reduced trust, increased conformity, and even diminished civic participation.” As technology analyst Jillian C. York concludes, “Mass surveillance without due process—whether undertaken by the government of Bahrain, Russia, the US, or anywhere in between—threatens to stifle and smother that dissent, leaving in its wake a populace cowed by fear.”

We’re being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers, and professional pirates. The American people have been repeatedly sold a bill of goods about how the government needs more money, more expansive powers, and more secrecy (secret courts, secret budgets, secret military campaigns, secret surveillance) in order to keep us safe. Under the guise of fighting its wars on terror, drugs, domestic extremism, pandemics, and civil unrest, the government has spent billions in taxpayer dollars on endless wars that have sown the seeds of blowback, surveillance programs that have subjected all Americans to a surveillance society, and militarized police that have turned communities into warzones.

We’re being robbed blind by a government of thieves. Americans no longer have any real protection against government agents empowered to seize private property at will. For instance, police agencies under the guise of asset forfeiture laws are taking property based on little more than a suspicion of criminal activity.

And we’re being forced to live in a perpetual state of emergency. From 9/11 through the COVID-19 lockdowns and now the threat of martial law in the face of growing civil unrest, we have witnessed the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security.

Whatever else it may be—a danger, a menace, a threat—the U.S. government is certainly not looking out for our best interests, nor is it in any way a friend to freedom.

When the government views itself as superior to the citizenry, when it no longer operates for the benefit of the people, when the people are no longer able to peacefully reform their government, when government officials cease to act like public servants, when elected officials no longer represent the will of the people, when the government routinely violates the rights of the people and perpetrates more violence against the citizenry than the criminal class, when government spending is unaccountable and unaccounted for, when the judiciary act as courts of order rather than justice, and when the government is no longer bound by the laws of the Constitution, then you no longer have a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

What we have is a government of wolves.

Our backs are against the proverbial wall.

The government and its cohorts have conspired to ensure that the only real recourse the American people have to express their displeasure with the government is through voting, which is no real recourse at all.

The penalties for civil disobedience, whistleblowing, and rebellion are severe. If you refuse to pay taxes for government programs you believe to be immoral or illegal, you will go to jail. If you attempt to overthrow the government—or any agency thereof—because you believe it has overstepped its reach, you will go to jail. If you attempt to blow the whistle on government misconduct, there’s a pretty good chance you will go to jail.

For too long, the American people have obeyed the government’s dictates, no matter how extreme. We have paid its taxes, penalties, and fines, no matter how outrageous. We have tolerated its indignities, insults, and abuses, no matter how egregious. We have turned a blind eye to its indiscretions and incompetence, no matter how imprudent. We have held our silence in the face of its lawlessness, licentiousness, and corruption, no matter how illicit.

We have suffered.

How long we will continue to suffer depends on how much we’re willing to give up for the sake of freedom.

America’s founders provided us with a very specific explanation about the purpose of government and a roadmap for what to do when the government abuses its authority, ignores our objections, and establishes itself as a tyrant.

We must choose between peaceful slavery (in other words, maintaining the status quo in servitude to the police state) and dangerous freedom. That will mean carving out a path in which we begin to take ownership of our government, starting at the local level, challenging the status quo, and raising hell—nonviolently—whenever a government official steps out of line.

We can no longer maintain the illusion of freedom.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are at our most vulnerable right now.

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America On The Brink? Shocking Images Show “Pennsylvania Militia” Rolling Up To “Reopen America” Rally

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

America could be standing on the edge of a revolution. Seriously, well, with National Guard troops deployed across the country, any uprising would likely be squashed.

We noted late last month that a “social bomb” was set to detonate over major Western cities. It was thought that the epicenter of unrest could begin deep within inner cities, such as those in Baltimore and Detroit, but that might not be the case.

It appears tensions are soaring among anti-quarantine protesters and state governments. The lockdown backlash started last Thursday in Lansing, Michigan.

Anti-quarantine rallies sprouted up across the country over the weekend, organized by right-wing groups that held rallies in Texas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Maryland, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, and Colorado.

Attempting to show force, some protesters wielded rifles, handguns, and shotguns, along with American flags, Betsy Ross flags, Trump signs and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags right up to the doorsteps of some state capital buildings.

The sight is absolutely stunning, but before we continue, we must understand the right-wing groups that organized the rallies are fed up with quarantine orders enforced by state governments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While it is open for discussion if the strict lockdowns were worth it, several things are evident, and why many of these protesters are angry, is that the economy has crashed into depression, 22 million jobs lost, businesses bankrupted, and hunger crisis unfolding. Combined this all together, and a perfect storm of unrest could be nearing.

While we could show you images of the latest rallies from across the country, that would be a bit too much. So, let’s focus on the “reopen” Pennsylvania demonstration on Monday (April 20). The location was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, more specifically, at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.

The Daily Caller, citing AFP images, captured the moment when an M35 series 2½-ton 6×6 military truck, converted for civilian use, and packed with heavily armed protesters, arrived at the demonstration.

Seen within the rear of the vehicle, protesters were wielding AR-15s and shotguns.

Here’s a video of the “Pennsylvania Militia” rolling up to the rally.

 

Another protester was carrying an AK-47 or AK-47 style rifle.

Another group with guns.

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More pictures show the overall crowd at the steps of the capitol building, holding signs that read: “Free PA,” “Tyranny kills,” “Let America Work Again,” and “We Do Not Consent.”

Rallies to “reopen” the American economy unfolded across the country after President Trump tweeted: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!,” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!,” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

President Trump is eager to reopen the economy and save it from crushing depression. The danger of reviving the economy too soon is that it could spark the second wave of the coronavirus.

With warmer weather trends expected for the US, anti-quarantine rallies are only set to increase.

 

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