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Then guard your rights, Americans,
Nor stoop to lawless sway, Oppose, oppose, oppose, oppose,
For North America.
We led fair Freedom hither,
And lo, the desert smiled! A paradise of pleasure
Was opened in the wild ! Your harvest, bold Americans,
No power shall snatch away! Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
Proud Albion bow'd to Cesar,
And numerous lords before;
And many masters more:
We've never fallen a prey; Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza,
For free America.
Lift up your hands, ye heroes,
And swear with proud disdain, The wretch that would ensnare you,
Shall lay his snares in vain: Should Europe empty all her force,
We'll meet her in array, And fight and shout, and shout and fight For North America.
Some future day shall crown us,
The masters of the main,
To England, France, and Spain;
Shall tremble and obey
Of brave America.
Duyckinck, Cyc. of Am. Litt. (2 vols., N. Y., 1855),
13. What Was the Revolution? (1775) By Ex-PRESIDENT JOHN ADAMS
(Written in 1818) One of the interesting remembrances set down by Adams in later life.
The American Revolution was not a common event. Its effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the globe. And when and where are they to cease?
But what do we mean by the American revolution? Do we mean the American war? The revolution was effected before the war menced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. A change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. While the King, and all in authority under him, were believed to govern in justice and mercy accord
ing to the laws and constitution derived to them from the God of nature, and transmitted to them by their ancestors—they thought themselves bound to pray for the king and queen and all the royal family, and all in authority under them; as ministers ordained of God for their good. But when they saw those powers renouncing all the principles of authority, and bent upon the destruction of all the securities of their lives, liberties and properties, they thought it their duty to pray for the continental congress and all the thirteen state congresses, etc.
There might be, and there were others, who thought less about religion and conscience, but had certain habitual sentiments of allegiance and loyalty derived from their education; but believing allegiance and protection to be reciprocal, when protection was withdrawn, they thought allegiance was dissolved.
Another alteration was common to all. The people of America had been educated in an habitual affection for England as their mother country; and while they thought her a kind and tender parent (erroneously enough, however, for she never was such a mother) no affection could be more sincere. But when they found her a cruel Beldam, willing like lady Macbeth, to "dash their brains out," it is no wonder if their filial affections ceased and were changed into indignation and horror.
This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people, was the real American revolution.
By what means, this great and important alteration in the religious, moral, political and social character of the people of thirteen colonies, all distinct, unconnected and independent of each other, was begun, pursued and accomplished, it is surely interesting to humanity to investigate, and perpetuate to posterity.
To this end it is greatly to be desired that young gentlemen of letters in all the states, especially in the thirteen original states, would undertake the laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing task, of searching and collecting all the records, pamphlets, newspapers, and even handbills, which in any way contributed to change the temper and views of the people and compose them into an independent nation.
The colonies had grown up under constitutions of government so different, there was so great a variety of religions, they were composed of so many different nations, their customs, manners and habits had so little resemblance, and their intercourse had been so rare and their knowledge of each other so imperfect, that to unite them in the same principles in theory and the same system of action, was certainly a very difficult enterprise. The complete accomplishment of it, in so short a time and by such simple means, was perhaps a singular example in the history of mankind. Thirteen clocks were made to strike together; a perfection of mechanism which no artist had ever before effected.
In this research, the glorioles of individual gentlemen and of separate states is of little consequence. The means and the measures are the proper objects of investigation. These may be of use to posterity, not only in this nation, but in South America and all other countries. They may teach mankind that revolutions are no trifles; that they ought never to be undertaken rashly; nor without deliberate consideration and sober reflection; nor without a solid, immutable, eternal foundation of justice and humanity; nor without a people possessed of intelligence, fortitude and integrity sufficient to carry them with steadiness, patience, and perseverance, through all the vicissitudes of fortune, the fiery trials and melancholy disasters they may have to encounter.
But America is a great unwieldy body. Its progress must be slow. It is like a large fleet sailing under convoy. The fleetest sailers must wait for the dullest and slowest. Like a coach and six, the swiftest horses must be slackened, and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even pace.
John Adams, Novanglus (Boston, 1819), 233-334; John Adams, Works (Boston, 1856), I. 175-179 passim.