The first successful English colony was established in 1607. The Virginia Company of
The process of granting a Royal Charter was the first step in establishing a colony and several of these were granted from 1607 onward by the various Kings of England. Most Royal Charters spelled out the terms of governance of the newly acquired territory. In every case the king was recognized as sovereign, English common law was the legal system and the local governors were authorized to manage the internal affairs and day to day matters as this section from the Charter for the Province of Pennsylvania 1681 demonstrates.
"AND Wee doe further, for us, our heires and Successors, Give and grant unto the said William, Penn, his heires and assignee, free and absolute power, to Divide the said Countrey and Islands into Townes, Hundreds and Counties, and to erect and incorporate Townes into Borroughs, and Borroughs into Citties, and to make and constitute faires and
Marketts therein, with all other convenient priviledges and immunities, according to the merits of the inhabitants, and the Tithes of the places, and to doe all and every other thing and things touching the premisses, which to him OI them shall seeme meet and requisite, albeit they be such as of their owne nature might otherwise require a more especiall comandment and Warrant then in these presents is expressed."
"AND FARTHER our pleasure is, and by these presents, for us, our heires and Successors, Wee doe covenant and grant to and with the said William Penn, and his heires and assignee, That Wee, our heires and Successors, shall at no time hereafter sett or make, or cause to be sets, any impossition, custome or other taxation, rate or contribution whatsoever, in and upon the dwellers and inhabitants of the aforesaid Province, for their Lands, tenements, goods or chattells within the said Province, or in and upon any goods or merchandise within the said Province, or to be laden or unladen within the ports or harbours of the said Province, unless the same be with the consent of the Proprietary, or chiefe governor, or assembly, or by act of Parliament in England."
Each colony charter had unique sections however they follow this general format:
- The King of England is sovereign
- The local authority may establish laws provided: Are consistent with English common law, No conflict with legislated laws of the Kingdom
- Locals may establish courts to enforce the laws.
- The grantee/colony may determine its own taxation/funding
- The duties paid by the colony to the king will be at the same rate as those paid by the rest of the empire.
Now with that in mind reread the Declaration of Independence again.
The Declaration is a listing of the many ways that the king of
Arbitrary legal system/judges
Subjection of the people to an illegitimate governing body
Trade restrictions to benefit special interests
Plundering private property
Fast forward from 1776 to 2006, not much has changed. We have: a abusive administration/bureaucratic system, judges that corrupt the law, centrally planned trade, illegal subversion of government to the UN, crimes against private property, excessive taxation etc.
The Revolutionary War had a legitimate legal basis for being waged and for dissolving the ties of governance form a tyrannical ruler. Yet 230 years latter we are laboring under a government that is more repressive in practice, and doing the same things as the one our forefathers rebelled against.