I’ve chosen this passage for our daily devotion today because it is the Fourth of July weekend. In the 1770s, American colonists rebelled against the rule of King George III (King of Britain and Ireland) and declared independence. King George hired Hessian mercenaries to assist the British troops already in America to crush the rebellion in the colonies. The Revolutionary War lasted eight years from 1775-1783. As many as 150,000 died in battle or by disease during the war.
The thirteen colonies in rebellion included Georgia. The rebellion was largely over the crown’s desire to increase revenues through taxation. Colonists called them “The Intolerable Acts.” The colonists organized via the first and second Continental Congresses, to boycott British goods and to create an army with George Washington as its commander. Independence from Britain was declared in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
The Declaration contains a long list of grievances against King George and some of the most consequential words in American history, including this famous sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Discerning that King George was a hopeless tyrant, the colonists took political leadership in their own hands and declared, “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another….”
And so our nation was born.