It’s been 244 years since we’d had about enough of Britain telling us what to do. I realize why I’m a true patriot and our founders were my people — I can’t stand being …
It’s been 244 years since we’d had about enough of Britain telling us what to do. I realize why I’m a true patriot and our founders were my people — I can’t stand being bossed; I barely take suggestions.
When the colonists wrote the Declaration of Independence, announcing they were breaking free from British rule, I could really relate to the grievances against King George lll. The British were keeping large bodies of armed troops in the colonies and forcing the colonists to house and feed them. Every woman would have been putting her cold feet on her husband every night and fuming, “If you think for one minute that I’m washing another red coat in my boiling pot till my fingers bleed, you have lost your mind. And one more thing — I’m sick to death of making tea and crumpets. Get us free or I’ll know the reason why.”
The British also cut off trade between the colonies and the rest of the world, which surely ticked women off more than men. “Where are the shoes I ordered months ago? I realize boats are slow but I could have paddled a canoe to Paris and been back by now.”
There were also taxes being imposed without consent. Maybe some things haven’t changed, because you mention raising taxes to this red-blooded American, and my voice rises to that of a cat with its tail mashed in the door.
Another injustice was denying colonists the right to jury trials when accused of crimes. They could have given the perceived lawbreaker over to the women, and if he could scrub all the unmentionables to their satisfaction, surely no easy day, but if he could, well then, he could go free.
While the Declaration of Independence, written predominantly by Thomas Jefferson, was monumental, it was but a moment in time. It gifted us with the freedoms we enjoy today and was signed by 56 delegates, John Hancock being the first, and the only one of two to actually sign on July 4.
What?! The government working on a holiday? A little joke; it wasn’t a holiday yet, and for what it’s worth, it wasn’t a government. Mr. Hancock, whom we will forever be indebted for bankers and insurance salesmen telling us, “Sign your John Hancock on that dotted line,” had a signature so big, around 5 inches long, that I’m guessing some wanted to say, “Gee, John, a few others need room to sign, you gluttonous signature writer.”
There were 200 copies of the Declaration printed, not by Staples (though I’m only guessing), and of that number, 26 are known to exist at present. One dual ownership goes to producer Norman Lear and internet entrepreneur David Hayden, who were successful online bidders for the handsome sum of $8.1 million, and apparently without a hitch. I’m mesmerized because everything I buy online causes me to fret. Like, is my Charmin tissue the real thing? Because if not, what a disappointment.
The Constitution, whom we have James Madison to thank for penning, is everlasting. He was a writer extraordinaire, yet I’m sure there were days when his wife Dolly would sigh, “James, if you can pen a Constitution, would it kill you to make out a grocery list?”
Of those 39 amazing framers, who drafted and signed it, they were a varied lot, from a wet-behind the ears, 26 year-old Jonathon Dayton, to the wise but feeble, 81-year-old Ben Franklin, who was so ill he had to be carried in. Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights, this fabulous Constitution has only been amended 17 times — for the likes of prohibiting slavery, giving women the right to vote and the direct election of senators. Many other amendments have been proposed but not passed because our intelligent framers deliberately made it difficult to modify, so it couldn’t be changed on a whim. In thanks, we should be eating Dolly Madison cupcakes at every picnic.
I love America and I’m button-bustin’ proud of our Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution, but I’m especially grateful for the courageous signers and their fighting spirit. I’d like to think I’d have been by General Washington’s side telling King George to shove his taxes. My only regret is that we didn’t keep the British accent, because I really have a marvelous British accent. Over the years my kids have lost their minds hearing me publicly announce, “Don’t be cheeky you little bloke. Now get over here and kiss your queen.”
Try it. Your kid’s embarrassment will be well worth the effort.