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venerdì 17 giugno 2011

The American culture of liberal democratic feeling and philosophy. The claims of independence from a tyrant king


On December 30, 1757, William Pitt, the newly appointed Minister of War the British Empire, wrote a letter to the governors of British colonies in North America. Signed in the middle of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), this letter was trying to pore end to conflicts between military and civilian settlers assemble. Even in a situation of extreme emergency, threatened and assaulted by Dale French troops hostile Indian nations, the American colonists refused to grant the British officers the power to force the lever to the various subjects without consulting local legislatures. Pitt's letter arrived then at the end of a long tug of war between the generals of the army of His Majesty and civilian representatives elected by the settlers. The exasperated minister, agreed with King, he recognized the traditional rights of the settlers, and gave power to the assemblies to form their own provincial armies as they saw fit, in addition, London undertook to repay the cost of war in the colonies.

This victory of the local legislative and executive branches of the military empire is just one example of the multifaceted and complex contrasts between the North American colonies and the motherland during the Seven Years' War. This conflict ended with the global exacerbate the delicate relationship between the Crown and its subjects overseas. Disputes relating to the formation of provincial regiments were added to the discontent of the trade embargoes imposed by the British naval officers to ensure that goods produced in the colonies to feed ended the French troops, through stages in neutral ports. A sow hatred between Americans and British also helped the issue never resolved the degree to be assigned to provincial officials, during military operations carried out under the command of British generals. Not to mention the living room of the royal troops in private homes colonial.

The years between 1756 and 1763 were decisive for the formation of American political identity, based on the primacy of civil over the military representatives. During these years, the settlers saw from London to recognize their rights as British citizens. However, what the Crown was willing to concede in a time of emergency war would not have been confirmed after 1763. In other words, the powers granted to the colonial legislatures during the Seven Years' War would be back under discussion in the 60s. Just to defend their autonomy and freedom, Americans have finally decided to declare independence and fight a tyrannical mother and illiberal.

Yet, in hindsight, the origins of American identity to be found further back in time: in fact, the institutional skirmishes during the Seven Years' War was a result of a philosophy of a liberal and democratic feeling existing and entrenched. In the 20s and 30s of the eighteenth century, American settlers were already armed with all the rhetorical and cultural tools that would characterize the successive historical phases. For example, as early as 1733 Lewis Morris and his son denouncing the authoritarianism of William Cosby, Governor of New York appointed directly by the king. The themes developed by the liberal faction of the pamphlets and publications Morris also illegal already included the right to press freedom and the principle of separation of powers.

The basis of this democratic spirit, there certainly were exigent circumstances, such as the remoteness of the colonies from the motherland and the presence in many colonies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms granted by the king at the time of their foundation. However, it is impossible not to recognize the deeper cultural foundations of American identity, which would be made even more evident with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The feelings and the modern democratic liberal conscience of Americans had two sources: the long tradition of individual rights found in English history at least since the Magna Carta (1225), and the principles of equality and justice developed in the framework of Christian culture. These two sources of ideals and political awareness placed into question the notion of empire, with its pragmatic needs, its institutional centralism, and its bumbling bureaucrats. After the experience of the Seven Years' War, developed the concept of freedom would no longer be tolerated by the Americans nor the arrogant pretensions of a king far away or the denial of rights guaranteed by tradition and by the Creator.

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