The Massachusetts Historical Society will host “From ‘league & amity’ to ‘absolute Tyranny’: The History of Royal Government in the Declaration of Independence,” a program by Steven Sarson of Jean Moulin University, with comment by Brendan McConville of Boston University, set for Tuesday, April 4th.
This program argues that the Declaration of Independence was not anti-monarchist in principle. The document’s conclusion’s “circumstances of our migration and settlement here” referred (as in Thomas Jefferson’s draft) to a “league & amity with” the British people through the colonists’ adoption of “one common king.”
British monarchs subsequently largely abided by the terms of that “league & amity,” and it was only when George III attempted to impose “an absolute Tyranny” that colonists revolted. The subsequent creation of a United States Republic thus resulted from historical experience of “the present King of Great Britain” rather than from egalitarian ideology.
This program will take place from 5 to 6:15 pm, and will be held both in-person and virtually. Admission is free for Historical Society members and virtual attendance. $10 for in-person attendance. The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6 pm.
For more information or to register, click here.
Carol Kammen says
To New York State Senators James Skoufis and Shelly B. Mayer
We so appreciate the strong nudge that Senator’s Skoufis and Mayer have given the Governor of New York State regarding the sorry lag regarding the appointing a State Commission on the Commemoration of the American Revolution and
We applaud the early actions of our local colleagues across the state who have taken up the charge to see that informed and careful local commemorations of the events in their homeplaces take place, but
We would like to point out, that the battles of the American Revolution were also played out in places other than the Hudson Valley, and we in Central New York have gathered for some months to see that an organized, intelligent, and engaging commemoration of the multiple parties involved in the 1779 invasion into the New York frontier take place. We have come together as the 1779 Group to coordinate an appropriate educational and commemorative process.
Those involved include appointed county historians, directors of historical associations, members of various Haudosaunee nations, and scholars. We recognize the responsibility to tell the history of this event by looking at the indigenous peoples on the land, the acts of the invading army, the interactions that led to pushing the native people from their land and destroying their fields, and the ongoing consequence of that act. We recognize the needs of the young government to repel the British in order to bring about independence. We understand the motives of the Indian nations, which broke the Confederation causing some nations to abstain from taking action, and engaging others to fight off the incoming army.
There were consequences of this invasion for the soldiers who took part, and for the Nations of the Haudosaunee itself, consequences that have marked peoples from then to now.
This is an important moment to recognize wrongs, to understand motives and events, and to bring to the public a complex history that has led to the present.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 1779 Group,
Ruth Bradley, Cayuga County Historian
Carol Kammen, former Tompkins County Historian