I hate July the 4th.
I consider it the single worst day in our entire history as a people. It was on this day in 1776 that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. In revolting against the British Empire, our ancestors began the process of transferring their allegiance to the ideology and institutions that rule us today.
The original Southern Nationalists like Rhett and Yancey celebrated the memory of July the 4th as an act of secession. In a longer view of history, the American Revolution severed our ties to a more distant and less intrusive government, severed the Southern colonies from the British West Indies, undermined slavery and set the stage for abolition in North America and the Caribbean, and institutionalized Americanism as the reigning ideology in our national government.
If we had never revolted in 1776, we would have eventually gained our independence without a fight like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Alternatively, if the British had succeeded in defeating the Revolution in the Southern colonies, a small and impoverished American Republic might have emerged in New England, which would have been contained to the eastern seaboard by loyalist Canada, New York, and Dixie.*
In this scenario, the British Empire would have remained focused on North America and wouldn’t have shifted toward Asia and Africa in the 19th century. Instead of being divided by the American Revolution, Britain would have retained all of its plantation colonies in the Treaty of Paris, and the power of the slave interest in Britain would have been further magnified by the rise of the Cotton Kingdom and the seizure of the French West Indies and Spanish West Indies from New England’s allies.
Abolitionism in Britain would have been defeated. By extension, abolitionism would have been defeated in France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, as only Portuguese Brazil would have been left standing among non-British slave societies in the Golden Circle. The events of the French Revolution would not have devastated the Caribbean because Saint-Domingue would have become a British colony in 1783.
The United States (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine) would never have dominated the North American continent, the Western Hemisphere, and by extension, the rest of the Western world. Instead, Yankees would have been contained to New England where their “City on a Hill” would have become the Portugal of North America.
The Declaration of Independence with its famous claim about the equality of all men would have become a forgotten document after Jefferson’s execution for treason: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Federalist Papers with their lies about the distribution of power between the federal government and the state governments would have become forgotten U.S. propaganda after Madison’s execution for treason: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
In the Southern colonies, the traditional view of things that it is self-evident that all men are not created equal, that all men do not have certain inalienable rights, and that important distinctions exist between races and classes of men which ought to be recognized and left undisturbed in law and custom would have remained the prevailing belief system under British monarchical institutions.
Were it not for July the 4th, we wouldn’t have had to fight and lose the bloodiest war in our history to reestablish this principle. A vast buffer state based on New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania would have emerged that would have separated us from Yankee influence and domination of our national government.
The South would be better off today if the American Revolution had been defeated here in 1783. Not only would there be more “liberty,” we could be celebrating our “independence” from the United States, its Jacobin ideology, and the negro president who presides over its failed institutions and vast centralized government.
* In light of all the trouble the United States would later cause for the British Empire, King George III and Britain would have been much better off just giving the Yankees their independence.
Update: Conrad Black has an interesting article on the American Revolution in National Review.