compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
said John Brewer in his introduction to the chapter entitled "Ideas of Revolution"
in the book which accompanied the "1776" exhibition in Greenwich, London,
at the National Maritime Museum during 1976. The raison d'etre of the exhibition
was to tell ... The British Story of the American Revolution.
John Brewer went on to say ...
" IT WAS NOT intended to bring a new class to power, and many of its leading ideals were neither novel nor socially subversive. Its chief concern was with individuals' rights and the political, not social, mechanisms designed to preserve them. But what was distinctive and revolutionary was the way in which familiar ideas were transformed from pious ideals into political action and European theories adapted to special, American conditions.
The Declaration of Independence began the process which only ended with
the American constitution of 1787. It was a watershed in the conflict between
the British Government and the American colonies. On the one hand the bulk
of its text looks back, surveying and recapitulating American grievances against
George III and his ministers; on the other, it looks forward, laying down in the
bold clear prose of Thomas Jefferson's opening paragraphs, the principles on
which any future American government would be based: the equality of men
and the existence of 'inalienable Rights'. "
In his inaugural address in 1941, President Franklin D Roosevelt said ...
"THE democratic aspiration IS no mere recent phase
in human history... IT was written in Magna Carta."
Magna Carta - Latin for Great Charter - was agreed at Runnymede in 1215 and sealed by King John after powerful barons had rebelled and captured London. Held up as the embodiment of freedom and equality, it is revered in the US and credited with justifying the resistance to the rule of George III and influencing the Declaration of Independence.
AS a NEW DAWN approaches for American politics, IT WOULD INDEED BE
APPROPRIATE that the principle of inalienable rights be extended by the
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