|Teach Our History|
The United States of America
Volumes have been written about America's countless blessings. Who else can claim such freedom that permits us to rise up as far as our talents will allow in pursuit of happiness? Our founding fathers gave us the formula for political success that, in little more than a century, allowed a small segment of the world's population (less that 6%) to become the richest industrial nation on earth. It allowed us to create over half of the world's total production and enjoy the highest standard of living in the world. It also produced a very generous people. No nation in recorded history has shared so much of its wealth with every other nation as has the United States of America.
Prior to the founding of the American Republic, the blessings of liberty were inconceivable by both subject and ruler. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, which transformed civil government into the servant of the people and the people into the master, became the most revolutionary political documents in all of history.
Why did the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution work? Why didn't America simply engage in a power struggle at the top, like so many other nations, and degenerate into despotism?
Typically, when oppressed people revolt and overthrow their oppressors, they form a "pure democracy". A type of self-government which functions on the rule of the majority. A pure democracy has no standard of justice or fairness, and people voting as a mob can impose horrible injustice upon innocent victims. This type of democratic rule is one of the most unstable forms of government. Karl Marx favored such democracies because they could readily be converted into socialism and then into communism. As he said in the Communist Manifesto:
...the first step in the revolution by the working class... is to win the battle of democracy.Fisher Ames, who penned the First Amendment to the Constitution, said:
Liberty never yet lasted long in a democracy; nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.
And James Madison, writing in the Federalist Papers in 1787, argued for the Constitution by saying:
...democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property... and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
There was not a single Founding Father that wanted a democracy. So, when we are told that the American form of government is a democracy, that is not true. The government of the United States of America is a Constitutional Republic.
A pure democracy is unstable and by its essence cruel and enslaving. Our Constitutional Republic is stable and life-giving to individual citizens. It is founded on righteous and moral laws and the willingness of the people to obey and live by them.
And where did these righteous and moral laws come from? Quite simply, the Bible. The Founding Fathers searched the scriptures for God's civil laws of government and used them to frame a republic which would achieve permanent freedom for the individual.
The Declaration of Independence set forth the dignity of every man and his God-given (not state-given) right to be free to enjoy "certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (Happiness is not guaranteed, but it can be be pursued in an atmosphere of political freedom.)
The War for Independence was not just a rebellion against government authority by people who wanted to govern themselves. I was a struggle to regain the God-given rights that King George was taking from the colonists.
Most wars have their mottos. We are all familiar with "Remember the Alamo!" The motto of the American Revolution was: "No king but King Jesus!"
At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams declared:
We have this day restored the Sovereignty to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising and the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.
The Constitution is the legal instrument by which our God-given freedoms were set forth article by article and guaranteed.
Just what is the extent America's Christian heritage? The United States Supreme Court spelled it out in 1892:
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian... This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation...we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.