News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to anyone reading this from the States!

Why would a Brit be marking the day that the 13 Colonies declared independence from the UK? In part, I'm envious that you managed to get away from any links with the European Union - probably the worst thing to happen to Great Britain in its 300 year history.

However, more important is this extract from a book that my Great Grandfather gave to me. It is a book about the Kings and Queens of England, printed shortly after the coronation of King Edward VII in 1901.

George III. In the eighteenth century there were born two boys, both of whom were christened George, in the lands ruled by the English Kings. One was born of German parents; he married a German wife, and all his life he was German in his ideas. He was George, the grandson of George II, who came to the British throne in 1760. The other boy was born in the British colonies in America. He was of good English family, he had a good English education he became a gallant officer in the British army, and he was all his life full of the English ideas of liberty, independence and self-government. The name of this George was Washington. He was the greatest Englishman born in the eighteenth century, and he was not the less an Englishman because he was born in the British colonies of America.

The two boys grew up to be men. The German George was King of Britain; the English George was one of his loyal American subjects. The King, who was obstinate and proud, and who had Ministers who were false to English ideas of liberty, said that they would compel the American colonists to pay taxes without asking their consent. Now, to make a man pay taxes without his leave is tyranny. The German George said he would make the American pay. Britain was strong. The American colonists were only a handful of wretched farmers. He would send his army and make them pay. But the Enlgish George, whom we know as Washington, and most of the other British subjects in the American colonies, said that they were too true to English liberty to pay taxes to which they had not consented. So when the King sent them taxed tea, they threw the tea into Boston Harbour, and when he sent his soldiers they stood up against them and fought them. At first they were beaten. But they were true English, these American English; they did not know when they were beaten. They went on fighting against all the King's armies, and often defeated them.

Then the German King George sent over to Germany and brought German troops to fight against the Americans, who had only asked to live free as their English ancestors had done, to make their own laws and levt their own taxes.

The English in England obeyed their stubborn King George, although all their ablest and wisest statesmen - Chatham, Pitt, Fox and Burke - were opposed to the war. At last the German George was beaten, and the English principles triumphed when George Washington became first President of the American Republic. But we lost America and America lost Britain.

So there you have it. Clearly, it was all the Germans' fault, as usual in these matters! Today, thankfully Britain and America remain close allies, and America continues to hold dear the English ideas of liberty, independence and self-government. The anti-American sections of British society would do well to remember that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interested to read your piece on July 4 Independence Day for the USA.
The extract from the book your Great Grandfather gave to you is currently relevant, in that our own governments have been giving up our liberty, independence and self-government over the past 35 years.
Unfortunately, most of the anti-USA talk comes from those that have little knowledge of modern history or should know better.
Hoping Damian Collins shares your scepticism regarding our EU membership.