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Written by Barry Kowal   
Jul 04, 2015 at 09:44 AM

Hello Americans,Brits and others,
  today is July 4th.On July 4th 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed.So many Americans will be having barbecues,guzzling down many beers,watching fireworks as they view American history through rose colored glasses.
  I remember American history class in the USA when I was taught that King George III was a tyrant and he imposed harsh laws and taxes on the American colonies which lead to the American Revolution.
  At the same time school children in the UK were being told King George III was senile and mad.That the American War of Independence was not very popular in Britain.In the UK they equate the American Revolution with America's war in Vietnam.
  So what was the Declaration of Independence really about? I tend to follow a Marxist view.I tend to look to the purse first. Like Bono Vox of the rock group "U2" says in his 1983 hit song "New Years Day"

    "And so we're told this is the golden age
     And gold is the reason for the wars we wage"

  Look no further than November 7,1775 eight months before the "Declaration of Independence" was signed when John Murray,4th Earl of Dunmore,royal governor of the British Colony of Virginia signed a document known as Dunmore's "Emancipation Proclamation". The proclamation declared martial law and promised freedom for slaves of American revolutionaries who left their owners and joined the royal forces.
Formally proclaimed on November 14,1775 its publication prompted a flood of slaves (from both patriot and loyalist owners) to run away and enlist with Dunmore;during the course of the war,between 80,000 to 100,000 slaves escaped from the plantations.
It also raised a furor among Virginia's slave-owning elites (again of both political persuasions),to whom the possibility of a slave rebellion was a major fear.You read more about Dunmore's "Emancipation Proclamation"

  Surprisingly,many of the creators and signators to the "Declaration Of Independence" were slave owners (i.e.Thomas Jefferson).In creating the "Declaration Of Independence" the creators were very carefully to use the words "All Men Are Created Equal". Some wanted to use the words "All things are created equal".But using such language would give equal rights to slaves and women.At that time women were considered chatel-property of their husbands.
  On October 19,1781 British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington (considered by many to be the Father of America)at Yorktown,Virginia. Immediately after the surrender Washington wanted his slaves who defected to the British to be returned to him.
  So was the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution about getting freedom or was it about some rich plantation owners struggle to retain the economical institution of slavery in America? An institution that was very profitable to slave owners.

  Another question that immediately pops up in my mind is whether or not 80 years later was the Civil War really about slavery?states rights? 
   Once a gain a Marxist view.The year 1861 was the height of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. The people in the northern part of the US had many of the same products that were being manufactured in Europe.While the south was more agrarian.The north wanted to be more protectionist while the south wanted more of an open market. The north couldn't care less about southern slavery. But they did not want an open market.The north couldn't get people to fight a war by telling the people "we're going to fight a war to have more protectionist trade policies". But by using an emotional issue like "slavery".It would be a good catalyst to getting people ready to go to war. 

  So Americans, today on July 4th enjoy your barbecues,drinking your beers (shitty Budweiser),watching fireworks,waving an American flag (made in China) while you sing "God Bless America" or "Stars and Stripes Forever". I just hope you have some time today to take off those rose colored glasses.
Last Updated ( Jul 04, 2015 at 09:49 AM )

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