Rebellion or Revolution?
There is little difference between the revolution of 1775 and the revolution of 1861 except the years they occurred. Lord Dunmore’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1775 which freed slaves who would fight against American independence would be duplicated by Lincoln in 1863, for the same purpose of fighting against American independence. In the first Revolution, independence was gained along with the inherited system of British colonial slave labor; the second Revolution independence was lost as the whole country was saddled with the Whig agenda of big business and government acting in concert, a disease we have yet to recover from.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Rebellion or Revolution?
"The address to the King, upon the disturbances in North America…appears to be unfounded, rash, and sanguinary. It draws the sword unjustly against America. Arguments have been employed to involve them in all the consequences of an open, declared rebellion, and to obtain the fullest orders for our officers and troops to act against them as rebels.
Whether their present state is that of rebellion, or of a fit and just resistance to unlawful acts of power—resistance to our attempts to rob them of their property and liberties, as they imagine—I shall not declare. This I know: a successful resistance is a revolution, not a rebellion! Rebellion indeed appears on the back of a flying enemy; but revolution flames on the breast-plate of the victorious warrior. Who can tell, sir, whether, in consequence of this days violent and mad address to his majesty, the scabbard may not be thrown away by them as well as by us; and should success attend them, whether, in a few years, the independent Americans may not celebrate the glorious era of the Revolution of 1775, as we do that of 1688?
I tremble, sir, at the almost certain consequences…The Americans will certainly defend their property and their liberties with the spirit which our ancestors exerted, and which, I hope, we should exert, on a like occasion. They will sooner declare themselves independent, and risk every consequence of such a contest, than submit to the galling yoke which [British] administration is preparing for them. They will see that you are preparing not only to draw the sword, but to burn the scabbard. In the most harsh manner you are declaring them to be rebels! Every idea of a reconciliation will now vanish. They will pursue the most vigorous course in their own defense. May the loss of the first province of the empire be speedily followed by the loss of the heads of those ministers who have persisted in these wicked, these fatal, these most disastrous measures!”
(On Coercive Measures in America, John Wilkes; The World’s Famous Orations, W.J. Bryan, editor, Funk & Wagnalls, 1906, pp. 243-246)