Liberty for All!

Kali Jerrard

CounterCurrent: Week of 07/01/2024

It is hard to believe that the 4th of July is just two days away; time flies when you are having fun, or so the saying goes. I will be celebrating our nation’s birth in typical July 4th fashion—with friends, family, food, and fireworks—and in the process, will be reflecting on our nation’s wonderful history. 

From our humble beginnings to the greatest nation in the world, America’s founding is rich with stories of the great leaders who banded together to preserve liberty, truth, and justice for all generations. 

To celebrate the upcoming 250 anniversary of our nation’s founding on July 4th, 2026, we at the National Association of Scholars (NAS) are commemorating the events leading up to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 with insightful articles in an exclusive series on Minding the Campus. The American Revolution was not incited by a singular explosive, punitive act by the English government. No. Rather, each significant event that led to the eventual rebellion of the colonies against King George III of England compounded upon the last, and fed the growing discontent among the colonists. 

Just last week, David Randall wrote on the passage of the Intolerable Acts by Parliament in 1774 and the after effects in the colonies. The outrage felt by the American colonists was keen, but they were not outraged to the point of full armed rebellion. What some colonists in Massachusetts proposed in reply, specifically Samuel Adams and the Boston Committee of Correspondence, was a Solemn League and Covenant, which would “cease the importation of British goods,” and “boycott Americans who imported goods from Britain.”

The catch therein lay in the fact that the Covenant could not be imposed colony-wide, it had to be agreed upon town to town in Boston first. On June 28, 1774, the Solemn Covenant was submitted to the Boston Town Meeting, a motion was made to end and censure the Boston Committee of Correspondence, and that motion failed. Thus, the Solemn Covenant was adopted by Boston and could then spread across towns and Massachusetts. Randall explains its significance, 

We made our Revolution by seeking to persuade our fellow Americans, town by town, that radical measures must be taken to defend our liberty. We weren’t unanimous for taking a step that would hurt our individual prosperity—revolutionary nations rarely are. But we took that step, with local government and law as the handmaidens of liberty. The way we made the Revolution was wonderfully, quintessentially American.  

Randall’s point is a worthy one to consider—to effectuate change in a significant way, start at the local level. Perhaps the so-called “little man,” or organizations working quietly to achieve their goals, will be the change makers for our nation, for K-12 education, and for higher education. I would like to hope so. Remembering the history of America gives me an optimism I rarely have—that positive change can be made by a few who are determined. 

Our esteemed authors have thus far written 12 articles for the series. More are coming soon, including one this Thursday, July 4th! Don't miss it. If you would like to receive the American Revolution newsletter, please register here. Join us in celebrating our nation’s history and remembering our past in order to preserve our future. 

On behalf of NAS, Happy 4th to you and yours! 

Until next week.

CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by the NAS Staff. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.

Photo by Michael Flippo on Adobe Stock

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