A matter of liberty
Was America’s war of independence an act of rebellion?
Was the America’s war of independence an act of rebellion?
To answer this question we have to look at the American colonies and their relationship with England at the time of the revolution. America was colonized by English settlers under colonial charters, and these charters were mutual agreements between the king of England and the colonist; moreover, these charters established independent governments/parliaments in allegiance to the king like the English parliament itself. So if we look at the British Commonwealth, we see the thirteen American colonies, the English parliament with Scotland each having its own provincial government while sharing the same executive branch of government, the King. Here is where the legitimacy of the American revolution comes in. We would all agree that if the provincial government of Georgia began to make laws and tax the provincial government of New York it would be an outrage, and New York, would have the right to petition the king to end such a notorious usurpation. In the same light, if Ireland, for its own benefit, was to legislate and tax the citizens under England’s parliament this would be an direct attack on English liberty, a violation of the sacred principle of “taxation by representation.” So when the English parliament in the 1760’s began to enact laws of taxation for the subjects of the King in all thirteen American’s colonies, the colonist rightfully understood the arrogance of the act and rightfully petition King George III to end such violations. However, King George ignored the legitimate petitions of the colonist and fatally sided with the English parliament in its usurpation. In fact, King George went one step further, he removed the colonist out of his protection thereby revoking the colonial charters based on allegiance and set the colonist free. Before the signing the Declaration of Independence, the colonist were already separated from England by a broken allegiance, the Declaration of 1776 merely stated this fact. The tyranny of King George is now made more evident because now having broken allegiance based on mutual consent, he sent an army into the Americas in order to reestablish his authority by conquest and submission. The colonist, who were born and bred Englishmen with the knowledge of England’s struggle for liberty, understood what King George and the English Parliament were trying to do, that is, to enslave them to an arbitrary and foreign jurisdiction by force of arms thus removing their liberty, law and taxation by consent. The actions of the American colonists in the revolution upheld Romans 13 requirement to submit to the (legitimate) governing authority, for this authority during the American revolution were the local colonial governments, while the English’s parliament was acting in violation of jurisdiction and actually attacking constituted authority. (See Michael Farris – Constitutional Literacy)
Note: There was before the American revolution a limited federalism. Parliament did legislate over her colonies a policy of defense, foreign affairs, and imperial trade while the colonies exerted authority over domestic issues and internal taxation.