Skip to comments.Thoughts on our Republic courtesy of history
Posted on 07/04/2014 7:34:55 AM PDT by LS
Today there will be both celebration and alarm, joy and gnashing of teeth. Any informed American knows the dangers that threaten our country, and I'll forgo a litany of the unlawfulness and destructiveness that has characterized the last six years.
Rather, I'd like to remind everyone of the little events in history that shaped us---and which came very close to either not occurring at all or to turning out much differently than expected. Some will call this providence, others, "good luck," and still others will claim that America made her own luck. Whichever your interpretation, meditate for a moment on some of the remarkable "miracles" that shaped our past. (Some of this is from my book Seven Events that Made America America, some from our Patriot's History of the United States and some from Chris Stewart's Seven Miracles that Made America.
1) In August 1776, George Washington's troops, having been defeated on Long Island and nearly enveloped altogether, retreated across the river to Manhattan. Yet the British navy stood guard in the harbor, and boats---certainly large numbers of boats with hundreds of men---would have been easy targets and destroyed instantly. At the very moment Washington need to shove off, a fog descended on Manhattan and the East River to help conceal the movement. But Washington had already forbade all talking and had muffled the wheels of all guns and wagons. The Continental Army escaped to fight another day.
2) As the Articles of Confederation Congress met in 1784-85, it considered---at Thomas Jefferson's strong recommendation---disposition of the western land ceded to the Union by the so called "landed states" of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Jefferson greatly feared that settlers, streaming into these lands, would set up independent republics and declare their separation from the United States. His ideas were incorporated into the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Here's the miracle: under the Articles, each state had one vote, no matter how many delegates were in the state delegations. It was a "unicameral" legislature. The Constitution had not been written yet!. Yet in the Northwest Ordinance, the writers included a phrase that required no more than five and no fewer than three states be created out of the "Northwest Territory" (OH, MN, WI, IL, and IN). The implications were stunning. The delegates did not know that a future Constitution would set up TWO houses with representation of one based on statehood, the other based on population. Without this unbelievably "lucky" or prescient clause, the Northwest could have entered the union as a single giant state with more clout in the House than modern-day California or Texas . . . in the early 1800s! On the other hand, some 50 Rhode Islands could have been carved out---little influence in the House, but with 100 senators from the same region dominating the Senate.
3) During the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, the delegates were locked into what many thought was a "deal-breaker" of a debate. With the Convention ready to fall apart and the members set to go home, Benjamin Franklin (often misrepresented as a Deist), still possessed of great influence, insisted the Convention stop and pray. During the intermission, cooler heads prevailed and the delegates returned to finish their task.
4) The fog, again, played a part in the Battle of New Orleans, lifting after the British had formed their bright red lines, but before they could march within musket range, exposing them to Jackson and Lafitte's withering cannon fire.
5) In 1841, William Henry Harrison, the newly-elected president, caught pneumonia and died after only a few weeks in office. He was the first American president to die in office. His vice president, John Tyler of Virginia, could not have hoped to win election on his own, as the deep-south slave states could no longer elect a president (all presidents after Monroe would come from the North or the West, which had some slave states but was not viewed as having the same commitment to slavery as the South). No one knew exactly what the Constitution meant in Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 6, when it said if the president died or could not discharge the duties of his office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President. But the same what? Powers? Title? Was a special election necessary? Tyler didn't wait for a Supreme Court ruling or for Congress to fight it out. He immediately stepped in and began discharging the duties of the president seamlessly. His actions saved the nation from future chaos following assassinations, often in more trying times.
6) Finally---although there are many, many more---Franklin Roosevelt, out of purely political reasons in 1944 decided to ditch his radical vice president (see Tyler, above), Henry Wallace. Wallace was a dyed-in-the-wool socialist and "fellow traveler" with the Soviet communists. Roosevelt died in April 1945, which---had FDR not replaced Wallace, would have left the most radical president ever prior to Barack Obama in power. Under a Wallace presidency, Harry Dexter White would have been promoted from Undersecretary of the Treasury---where he did enough damage---to Secretary, where he could have completely dismantled the US with Wallace's blessing. We later learned that White was a full-fledged KGB agent from the Venona papers. In this case, thank God for Roosevelt's political instincts to dump Wallace in favor of Harry Truman.
Yep. We really dodged a bullet with old Henry Wallace. But 0bama may be worse.
Oh def worse.
Does seem that way. I didn’t even mention the Japanese scout plane in June ‘42 that flew right over our carriers at Midway and didn’t see them.
And yet, too, those who wallow in careless lives get chastised.
One idol that had to fall, I believe, was a God-and-country merger about which a lot of people had fuzzy warm hearts without distinguishing the stark border between God and everything else.
Once it becomes very clear to even the most ardent patriot that this is a country full of shame and no longer credible to form a part of such an idol, then people will be ready to reach out directly to the Lord and not worship Americana any more. That’s when America could get blessed again.