24 March 2010

American Revolutions 1.0 and 1.5

Before there was the American Revolution that lead to the creation of the United States of America, there was Leisler's Rebellion in New York, which lasted from 1689 to 1691, during the brief republican period in England, which deposed the king's representative, instituted democratic government and attempted to put in place redistributive economic policies. Like the first French Revolution (1789), that followed a century later along the same lines, it failed. When the English Civil War was won by a new British monarch, he dispatched a new Governor-General to New York who was returned to power under force of arms and the leaders of Leiser's Rebellion were gruesomely executed for treason.

Similarly, in 1754 in Albany, New York, at the Albany Congress, Benjamin Franklin proposed to delegates from nine American colonies the formation of a union of the American colonies under a constitution similar to that of the Articles of Confederation (1781) adopted after the Declaration of Independence (1776) and before the current United States Constitution (1789) and Bill of Rights (1791) were adopted. This proposed Albany Congress union would have retained the British monarch as a nominal supreme leader (along the lines of Australia today). It was approved unanimously by the delegates at the conference but failed to receive approval from the colonial legislatures, so the idea was dormant for a while. Franklin mused that it might have prevented the revolutionary war and the British acts that led up to it, if it had been adopted.

All of which is to say that there are dress rehearsals in history, but they don't get as much press.

1 comment:

Michael Malak said...

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