1775-1783: Revolution or…?

Well, it’s a new month: September! And time for a new theme; I need you to VOTE – see the comments section. We’re leaving behind WWI (now found in the August 2014 Archives) and traveling farther back in time to a conflict fought between the years 1775-1783. There is the question: what shall we call it?

Most of you probably call it “The American Revolution.”  That’s fine and is an acceptable term according to society and the dictionary. However, I prefer to call it “The American War for Independence.”


Stay with me…we’re going to get a little technical here in just a second.  First, though, you can call the conflict anything you like (within reason of course), but you may find that you prefer one term over another. So “Revolutionary War” or “American War for Independence” – that is a question. (Sorry, I’ve been watching too much Shakespeare.)

“It would be beneficial to establish a definition of the term revolution and [political] reformation…  A revolution is motivated by a desire for autonomous freedom from God’s authority as expressed in biblical revelation. It results in a violent overthrow of a government based on a radical humanistic reordering of the whole social order apart from God’s law…  [Consider the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, or Communist Revolutions and you’ll start to get the idea.]

“A political reformation or war for independence is motivated by a biblical view of liberty to serve God according to His Word. This results in a rejection of all forms of political tyranny, wherein man exalts himself above the law of God… [The so called “Glorious Revolution” and American 1775-183 conflict are examples of political reformation].

“While revolution seeks for freedom it brings a worse form of tyranny. A political reformation based upon biblical truth is the only foundation of true freedom. Thus the French Revolution brought destruction and chaos, while the Puritan political reformations brought true liberty and peace.  (Streams of Civilization, by Garry J. Moes, published by Christian Liberty Press, page 99).

Based on these definitions and analysis, I believe that it was a political reformation – not revolution – that made the American nation. Therefore, I prefer to call it “America’s War for Independence.”

Were the Founding Fathers radical in their thinking? For their era, yes. Did they intend to rule without governing laws? No. Did they acknowledge God and moral laws? Yes (“…which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them…” Declaration of Independence, 1776). Thus, according to the definitions above, was it a revolution? No.  Was it a political reformation? Yes.

Now, I hope this post doesn’t sound like endless or empty arguing. Again, you can call it whatever you like. But I’m going call it The American War for Independence because I want to subtly remind people that America was founded on principles of faith, orderly government, and moral principles. I hope using a slightly different name will make people wonder, make them ask questions.

Now, if you need a break from the technical word choice and theories – please enjoy this video of War for Independence music played by Colonial Williamsburg’s Fife and Drum Corps…

See you next Friday – and VOTE for our topics!

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

P.S. I need you to VOTE by leaving a comment. Each week of this month I’m going to do a short, snappy biography on an American leader from the War of Independence era. Do you want military leaders or statesmen? The choice is yours and will be by majority VOTE. (After-all, voting is one of the privileges of America’s War of Independence).

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