Light And The Glory The Light and the Glory The United States Constitution has been the bedrock for the longest lasting government in all history. Why is it that our constitution still exists after more than two hundred years? Is it the incredible minds of those that framed it, or is it something else? In 1620, the Pilgrims departed from Holland and set out for America. Ten years later, they were followed by the Puritans. The Puritans and the Pilgrims experienced incredible hardships, which forced their reliance on God. There was little to eat, and shelter was no more than an uninsulated log cabin. As new generations grew up, they began to learn how to grow and harvest crops, which supplied them with plenty to eat, and comfortable lives.
They did not have to depend on God for their survival. Gradually, as the people strayed further away from God, there began to be witchcraft and many people with no moral standards at all. These once godly people had forgotten how God had miraculously provided for their grandparents. By the mid 1700s, America was in desperate need of a revival. This burden was laid on a mans heart whose name was Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards, a graduate of Yale at seventeen, began and sustained a revival that changed the course of American history.
Along with George Whitefield and countless other circuit riding preachers, Jonathan Edwards brought America down on her knees before God in repentance. America was indeed a new nation. It was about this time that America began to view itself as one nation, not just a handful of independent colonies. The only problem was that the Americans were not the only ones who had settled in the New World. They were bordered on the north and west by the French and on the south by the Spanish.
If anyone attempted to settle on the west side of the Appalachian Mountains, chances of survival were slim because of hostile Indians and cruel French trappers. America was far from having enough manpower to take on the French all by themselves. When King George III realized that his prized possession, the American colonies, was in danger of being taken over by the French, he sent troops to push the French- American boundary line deeper into the interior of the continent. This turned into an all out war known as the French and Indian War. Although the beginning of the war favored the French, the British eventually became successful in setting the French-American boundary well past the Appalachian Mountains. Along with the Great Awakening, the French and Indian War would be another turning point in American history because the colonists now realized that they were capable of building an army. The war also unveiled future heroes such as George Washington.
Most of all, it brought the colonies together in unity. Relations were now beginning to change between the colonies and England. The colonists were beginning to regard themselves as Americans rather than Englishmen. The colonies were now on a much higher spiritual level than England. King George again realized that his prize possession was in danger of being lost.
However, this time it was the colonists themselves that were the threat. To stop the growing rebellion in America, George III appointed a new prime minister George Grenville. Grenville decided to tighten Englands control of the colonial settlement past the Appalachian Mountains. This would result in the Proclamation of 1763 which canceled all the land grants given to the colonies in the past by other kings and parliaments. He also laid new taxes on the colonists that violated their rights because the colonists had no representatives in the English parliament. The Stamp Act and the Quartering Act were just a few of the burdens that Grenville laid on the colonists.
William Pitt and Edmund Burke were two men in the English parliament who encouraged Grenville to lift the tariffs and taxes. When Grenville arrogantly refused to lift any of the tariffs or taxes, it was one of the most costly mistakes he would ever make. Burdensome taxes were enraging the colonists. They did owe England a war debt of 37,000,000 dollars, but the Quartering Act had nothing to do with paying money to the English. Still, even if there was no Quartering Act, the colonists still had no representatives in the English parliament for the other taxes! In Boston, Massachusetts, the anger that the colonists had against England was beginning to turn into hatred. British regulars, roaming the streets of Boston and lodging in the homes of the people, only made matters worse. There was always taunting and teasing between the colonists and the soldiers, but on March 5,1770, taunting and teasing turned into something much more serious.
Children began throwing snowballs at some British soldiers standing in the street. Soon, adults joined in that were carrying pitch forks and other farm-tools. As the soldiers became angry, someone yelled Fire! and the soldiers fired into the crowd killing five colonists. This was later known as the Boston Massacre. When George Grenville heard of the tragedy in Boston, he repealed all of the taxes and tariffs except a tax on tea. England later shut down Bostons port because some the colonists threw a shipload of tea into the Boston harbor so that they would not have to pay the tax on it.
Because the port was closed, Boston had no way of providing food for itself. Instead of Boston starving to death and crying out for mercy like the British thought they would, something extraordinary happened. Other colonies such as South Carolina and Virginia sent a bountiful food supply to Boston and would send more if needed. England now found out something else: the colonies were not just a bunch of separate colonies, they were a nation! In 1774, when the first Continental Congress met, a war with England was now coming into sight. In the Congress, there was much debate over whether the colonists should go to war with England or succumb to Englands authority. Although there were English loyalists at the convention, Patrick Henry summed up the majoritys opinion with the end of an incredible speech which stated, I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! As 1775, came, a war with England was almost certain.
Minutemen were already training, drilling, and storing ammunition. Finally, on April 18, 1775, the English commander, General Gage, prepared seven hundred troops to capture the patriot leaders and crush the rebellion. Early the next morning, a handful of untrained minute men set up at the Lexington green to stall the British so that the main American force in Concord would have time to get organized for a fight. As the long line of British regulars began arriving at the green, the Americans realized that they were vastly outnumbered, but they stood their ground anyway. The British Commander said, Disperse you rebels or die. However, the Americans tenaciously held their ground.
As the British commanders continued to threaten the rebels, the Americans began to part from the green. Just as the Americans were leaving, a shot was fired which resulted in a powerful volley from the British into the fleeing rebels. The volley killed twelve Americans. When the Americans returned fire, it did little to the British. Although the first confrontation in the war had been a crushing defeat, the American War for Independence had begun! When the British were on their way to Concord, the tide began to turn. The minutemen began to fight like Indians instead of the traditional way.
Assaulting the British from behind rocks and trees was a very effective way to fight. By the end of the day, the British had more casualties and losses than the Americans did. The British agonizingly realized that this was much more than just a small rebellion. The next two months …