Excellent lesson and insight into the real history behind the American Revolution, and how to apply those strategies for the overthrow of the current tyranny.
"Revolutionary Majorities" -- Part One
An Essay by Louis Beam
If citizens of this country ever again enjoy the blessings of liberty and true freedom, it will not be the result of a majority of its citizens having risen up in righteous indignation at governmental abuse of themselves and their culture. If a restoration of the Constitution of our forbearers occurs - with all that this implies - it will probably not be because a plurality of citizens fought for it, supported it, or cared one way or another. If lawful government is reestablished it will come about because a revolutionary majority makes it happen.
Within the American historical experience a revolutionary majority may be defined as any number of citizens sufficient to initiate general hostilities against a destructive government.
The American Revolution of 1776 defines the term, sets the precedent and provides the example for patriots of today.
Throughout most of the Revolutionary War, those patriots who were seeking to overthrow the government lacked support of over two-thirds of their fellow citizens. John Adams, one of the "radicals" in favor of the Revolution and who was later to become the second President of the United States, stated that depending on how the war was going, those fighting for freedom had the opposition of from a third to two thirds of the people. Others like Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress Joseph Galloway was sure that four-fifths of the people "were or wanted to be, loyal to the King." (Galloway eventually sided with the Loyalists, as those who supported the King's government were called.) Colonel London Carter, a member of the Virginia aristocracy and a strong patriot, stated in his diary in March of 1776 (but a bare three months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence) that an observer of events in the Northern colonies was sure "nine-tenths of the people are violently against it" (independence).
The exact number of "the friends of government", as the patriots disparagingly referred to those who opposed the Revolution, cannot be stated with accuracy. As John Adams indicated, the number was in a constant state of flux, depending on political events and who was winning in the armed conflict. One thing is certain, however; the American Revolution was anything but a broad-based popular uprising of a disaffected people. Rather, it was a very unpopular rebellion of a politically radical minority who, because they possessed a clear understanding of the rights of man coupled with a deep concern for the state of relative personal freedom, were able to perceive the shackles of tyranny prior to their being presented for fastening. This discernment of tyranny at a distance not only set them apart from their fellow man but constrained them to rebel.
The radical political leaders of the Revolution such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, John Hancock, and Joseph Warren, to name but a few of the more well known, had to conduct their struggle for freedom in the face of disapprobation and rejection by their peers before the time of actual armed conflict, and after its commencement to charges and cries of "incendiaries and traitors." Indeed "the friends of government" knew little restraint when it came to condemning the Republic's Founders. The Loyalists called Washington, among other things; a liar, perjurer, murderer, blasphemer, criminal, traitor, patron of villainy, and a villain's chief. The other Founders fared little better and were variously referred to as being dregs, illiberal (sic!) and violent men, despicable wretches, bandits, rude, and depraved. While thus labeled by "respectable citizens," these men led the country toward rebellion.
Correspondingly, the Founders had an analogous movement among the common people which, although the objective of overthrowing the government was the same, the methods were those resorted to by people in every age when faced with overpowering force of all-powerful government, namely, mob action, riots, uprisings, midnight forays, and harassment, intimidation, or terroristic acts directed against governmental supporters. All of these and other acts came under the single heading of patriotism so far as their perpetrators were concerned.
After a review of non-battlefield hostilities, it becomes apparent that the American Revolution was won more by mob action than by armed conflict! Thus, any idea that the Revolution was won in an ordeal of battle is out of place in view of the facts.
During the entire length of the armed conflict from 1775 to 1781, the King's armies lost only 1,512 men killed in battle; this seven-year, battle-death casualty rate was exceeded by Union forces at Cold Harbor in 1864 during the first eight minutes of a single engagement. The King's armies had previously lost far larger numbers of men in the Seven Years War (French and Indian Wars) yet pressed on to victory. An adequate explanation then of the patriots' final triumph over the government must be provided by other than a military victory.
An answer, in great part, lies in the violence and vigilante action carried on by the patriots against the government and its supporters! Though most Americans today are familiar with the Boston Tea Party, few know much about the secret organization that conducted it, the Sons of Liberty. Led by Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Warren ("the greatest incendiary of them all"), and Paul Revere, they met in secret, dressed in disguises, and carried out vigilante actions under the cover of darkness. This revolutionary Ku Klux Klan was as much dreaded by "the friends of government" as its ideological offspring, the Klan, ever was by unruly Blacks. The Sons of Liberty and other similar groups were responsible, during the course of the conflict for independence, for causing tens of thousands of Loyalist to flee the country (the Klan was usually satisfied with merely running undesirables out of the county).
The means were simple and effective. Terror and intimidation were directed against the Loyalists. Methods used to create these twin scourges of "the friends of government" included, but were not limited to, whippings, coats of tar and feathers, banishment, church burnings (if run by a Loyalist preacher or used for a Loyalist meeting place), confiscation of property, and wherever deemed necessary - death of any one of several reliable methods.
Other patriotic groups formed throughout the thirteen colonies to carry on a relentless persecution of "the friends of government." Each organization operated independently of the other though often exchanged information on Loyalists.