Skip to comments.Conceived in Liberty - How William Livingston gave the American Revolution its rationale
Posted on 08/28/2012 11:22:14 PM PDT by neverdem
In John Adamss view, the American Revolution started long before the shots rang out at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. But what do we mean by the American Revolution? he asked in an 1818 article. Do we mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations . . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. And anyone who wants to trace how that revolution managed to change the temper and views of the people and compose them into an independent nation need only consult the pamphlets, newspapers, and even handbills that flooded America between 1760 and 1775. However spectacular, the war was only an effect and consequence of that revolutionized worldview, Adams told Thomas Jefferson in an 1815 letter.
But the cultural transformation that Adams described had started even earlier than the 1755 Harvard grad remembered. It began in New York, with a shy but inwardly fiery lawyer named William Livingston, the most experienced polemical writer in the colonies, judges Bernard Bailyn, our leading historian of colonial thought. Livingston edited and mostly wrote a weekly magazine, The Independent Reflector, that from November 1752 to November 1753 infused throughout British America the Lockean ideas of government by consent and the right of the people to depose a tyrannical king. Livingston won loyal subscribers, including Benjamin Franklin, in Philadelphia, Boston, and beyond, and colonial newspapers reprinted the Reflectors essays for years afterward. James Madison recalled that his fellow Princeton students read them avidly two decades later and strove to emulate their distinctive energy and eloquence in their public-speaking assignments. Though Livingston remained an...
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
Pharmboy immediately came to my mind.
Anyone knowing residents of Livingston, NJ might want to email this story to them.
A great read. Thanks for posting.
I see there are a lot of people who disliked Romney who are now jumping on the bandwagon, and lying to themselves that hes something they know hes not. Thats why I did for the past elections as well, but I am fed up with it. Its time to restore our freedom, or accept living under tyranny. We may have been living this way for awhile now, but there are actual signs that we are gaining the support needed to break away from that now.
Its not going to be fixed within what is a corrupt unconstitutional government. We live under more tyranny than our founding fathers, and our risk are nothing compared to theirs. We owe it to them to fight for that cause, instead of just giving up, or pretending we can change the monstrosity our federal government has become from within.
I dont care what happens in the Presidential election. Its time for States to stand up and say we will not live under your tyranny, and accept these things our founding fathers would have rejected. The states must confront the federal government saying we are not going to obey these unconstitutional laws and mandates, and the only way they can change that is if they want to murder Innocent American patriots by ordering that federal forces commit murder, and those forces could very easily refuse or resist such an order if given.
bump for later
Livingstone fell a bit out of favor when he appeared to lose his radical fervor, but an important man nonetheless.
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...
very interesting, thanks for the ping
This did not hold throughout the colonies, where in other colonies the Revolution had strong Anglican support.
Interestingly, Alexander Hamilton attended Columbia, that hotbed of Anglicanism, and, unaffected, became a revolutionary.
And that's why I ALWAYS cut Reese a little slack.
Thanks! I had never made that connection between Reese and John!
And then Ms Witherspoon takes out the Declaration of Independence and shows the agent the name. I can only wish that happened...
Excellent article, both as a history and philosophy lesson in human nature and of course the corresponding nature & propose of government.
This is perhaps something that should be assigned to student desiring to learn of the philosophical and practical nature of our liberty. Where we stand in the world in the grand scheme of things.
Witherspoon was a Scotsman, born in East Lothian (Edinburgh country) but whose mother was of Ayrshire stock (like me), and her son preached in Dalry in North Ayrshire, I have passed his home and church there many times.
I am related to Hamilton.
My father is a Hamilton, from Saltcoats in North Ayrshire, Hamilton’s father was from Stevenston which is just a very short stone’s throw down the west coast, and all the Ayrshire Hamiltons were related.
IMHO, the nation owes a debt of gratitude to Hamilton for his war service and for getting the new Republic’s finances in order.