Today is July 4, otherwise known as Independence Day to Americans. Americans celebrate by barbecuing, going to the beach, and lighting off fireworks, among other things. While I am hopeful that at least a majority of Americans understand that July 4 is a celebration of the American colonists declaring independence from the British Crown, I don’t think that most Americans realize that the colonists, in effect, seceded.
As a libertarian, I think there are basically only two wars in American history that come close to being just by one side. One is the Civil War (which really wasn’t a civil war). I believe the South was justified in seceding from the North and Lincoln and the North was completely in the wrong for starting a war. But even with this war, I can only defend the South so far. They used conscription and fiat money to fight the war, which is any libertarian’s nightmare. And, of course, the South was absolutely wrong for having slavery, even if that wasn’t the main reason that Lincoln started the war.
The only other war that comes close to being just was the Revolutionary War. Again, I have the same problems with the colonists as I do with the South in the 1860’s. But overall, the colonists were fighting for liberty from a king. Although their level of oppression paled compared to what Americans today experience under their government, the colonists were justified nonetheless to want independence.
Great Britain should have allowed the colonists to peacefully go their own way. But like the U.S. today, there was an empire to maintain for the British.
It is funny how many people speak against secession today, particularly when you are talking about states’ rights. I always ask those people, “so you believe that we should be part of Great Britain now?” These people simply don’t understand that the colonists seceded. If secession had never occurred, Americans would all be British citizens.
So on this July 4th, I hope you are able to enjoy some time away from work and that you can have some fun with friends and family. In addition, give someone a little history lesson if you can do it without disrupting the mood. Oh, and Happy Secession Day!