In the beginning were the thirteen colonies of Great Britain. The non-citizen subjects of the King were subject also to the authority of the British Constitution and British common law. They were not participant subject in the political life of Great Britain, but vassals of the motherland.
Beginning in the mid eighteenth century, dissatisfaction with the colonies relationships with Great Britain began to grow. In keeping with time honored practice, the motherland responded to that dissatisfaction with force – a clenched fist to crush any disobedience.
In the case of the rebellious colonies, the military effort to dominate the rebellion only stoked the burning desire for independence. It is difficult for me to imagine what providential protection was given those brave souls who defied their King and the world’s most formidable army.
They had no government. They had only the weakest cooperation from thirteen colonial governments, none of which were well established in their own right. I am amazed at how, after years of bloody war thirteen former colonies, each quite independent of the others, were able to form any cohesive alliances. Mutual protection against a common enemy seems to have their guiding principle.
I intend to present some thoughts on the development of the Articles of Confederacy in my next post.