Systematic Political Science


         The Law of Prägnanz and Gestaltqualitat for the Political Conviction of the United States Declaration of Independence

Dallas F. Bell, Jr.

1. Introduction 

Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) began experimental studies in human perception that led to Gestalt psychology.  Gestalt (German; literally meaning shape or form) has been defined as an integrated whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.  Wertheimer observed that humans perceive motion when there is a rapid sequence of individual sensory events.  For example, lights on a Christmas tree seem to move as they each turn on in sequence--phi phenomenon.  As each individual light turns on, their relationship to the other lights makes a whole that gives the effect of motion. 

1.1. The Law of Prägnanz

The law of prägnanz (German meaning conciseness) is considered a fundamental principle of Gestalt perception.  The law implies that humans are innately programmed to experience things in a regular, orderly, simplistic and symmetrical manner.  Those aspects refer to six specific gestalt laws.  The first law is the law of closure that says the mind will experience elements it does not perceive with the senses in order to complete a figure (e.g. if a small portion of a rectangle's edge is missing the mind will close the gap and perceive a rectangle.)  The law of similarity describes the mental grouping of elements into collective totalities such as rows of black and white dots or rows of Os and Xs.  The third law addresses the proximately of things where those that are close seem to be a whole, as in a sequence of small circles in a row.  The law of symmetry says that symmetrical images are perceived as a whole in spite of distance.  For example, sets of brackets may be close together but each set is perceived as separate from the other sets.  The fifth law, continuity, shows how the mind continues visual, auditory and kinetically perceived patterns, such as two intersecting lines will be perceived as two lines and not four angels. Lastly, the figure-ground principle indicates humans have the innate tendency to perceive one aspect of a figure from the foreground and another from the background.  There is only one image yet by re-perceiving another view can be seen. 

Systematic political science expands the law of prägnanz to individual and societal behavior.  It recognizes that humans are innately programmed to experience things in a regular, orderly, simplistic and symmetrical manner as they relate to the Natural Laws of Freewill (NLF) and the monads of systematic theology.  The chosen theology directs the epistemology to perceive things in a sequence consistent with beliefs.  If a part is missing the mind will fill in the gap, etc. 

1.2. Gestaltqualitat

Gestaltqualitat refers to a set of internal relationships of something that makes it a whole.  The unitary characteristic for human behavior is the Divine standard and authority for behavior and the dependent configurations or pattern of parts is compliance or noncompliance with NLF.  All expression of speech can be analyzed accordingly, especially political documents.  The zeta function could be used in comparative models.  (In an email exchange in January, 2008, between Oruganti Shanker and Dallas F. Bell Jr., O. Shanker affirmed the potential usefulness of the zeta function for analyzing texts.  He and Giovanni Motta authored the recent paper titled "Use of Word Relationship Graphs to Analyze Texts in Different Languages."

1.3. Political Conviction

Political conviction arises from individual perceptions of persistent government inconsistently with compliance of NLF.  Individuals are convicted to act and form movements to redress the governmental wrongs.  To be convicted means to be rebuked or to be told a fault.  A T1 conviction comes from God's Holy Spirit [John 16:7-11], the salvation gospel [Acts 2:37], innate conscience [John 8:9, Romans 2:15], and the Law, NLF {James 2:9].  For example, the people of the ancient city of Nineveh were rebuked and told their violations of NLF by Jonah (c. 776 B.C.)  They experienced repentance, reformation and survived destruction [Jonah 3, Matt. 12:41].  People with T2 and T3 beliefs will experience stress from the cognitive dissonance of not complying with NLF and can be expected to oppose efforts of people with political conviction. 

The laws of prägnanz can be seen as both descriptive (what happens) and explanatory (why it happens) of behavior.  They can then explain such political documents as the United States Declaration of Independence

2. The Divisions and Analysis of the U.S. Declaration Of Independence

2.1. Divisions of the Text

2.1.1  Opening Statement 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 

2.1.2  Preamble 

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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. 

2.1.3  Charges for Violations of NLF (a Partial Listing of NLF Violated) 

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. (La, Lb) 
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. (La, Lb) 
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. (La, Lb, 10)  
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. (Lb, 8)  
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. (Lb, 8) 
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. (Lb, 6) 
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. (Lb, 8) 
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. (Lb, 8, 10) 
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (8, 10) 
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. (Lb, 8, 10) 
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. (8) 
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. (8) 
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: (8) 
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: (8, 10) 
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: (6, 9) 
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: (8, 10) 
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: (Lb, 8, 10) 
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: (Lb, 8) 
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences (Lb, 9) 
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument (8)
for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: (8) 
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: (Lb, 8) 
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. (8, 9) 
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. (6, 8) 
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. (6, 8, 10) 
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. (6, 8, 10) 
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. (6, 8)  
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (6, 8, 10)
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 

2.1.4  Closing Statement 

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. 

2.1.5  Signers; Theological/Epistemological/Eschatological Beliefs; Education; Occupation(s) 


Samuel Huntington; Congregationalist; Self-taught; Lawyer
Roger Sherman; Congregationalist; Informal, Honorary M.A. from Yale; Cobbler/Surveyor/Lawyer 
William Williams; Congregationalist; Graduate of Harvard; Merchant 
Oliver Wolcott; Congregationalist; Graduate of Yale; Lawyer/Judge/Soldier/Sheriff


Thomas McKean; Presbyterian; Studied under Francis Allison; Lawyer
George Read; Episcopalian; Private school - Chester Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College, Law studies; Lawyer/Judge 
Caesar Rodney; Episcopalian; Informal; Judge/Sheriff/Plantation Owner/Soldier    


Button Gwinnett; Episcopalian/Congregationalist; Mercantile; Merchant/Plantation Owner 
Lyman Hall; Congregationalist; Graduated Yale College; Physician/Minister 
George Walton; Episcopalian/Anglican; Self-taught; Lawyer/Judge


John Adams; Congregationalist/Unitarian; Graduate of Harvard; Lawyer 
Samuel Adams; Congregationalist; Master of Arts, Harvard; Politician/Merchant
Elbridge Gerry; Episcopalian; Graduate of Harvard College; Merchant
John Hancock; Congregationalist; Graduated Harvard College; Merchant
Robert Treat Paine; Congregationalist/Unitarian; Graduate of Harvard College; Lawyer/Judge/Scientist 


Charles Carroll of Carrollton; Catholic; Jesuits' College at St. Omar, France; seminary in Rheims; Graduate, College of Louis the Grande; Bourges; studies in Paris; Studies, apprenticeship in London; Scholar/Merchant/Plantation Owner 
Samuel Chase; Episcopalian; Classical education in Law, Baltimore; Lawyer/Judge 
William Paca; Episcopalian; Philadelphia College, Studied Law at Annapolis; Lawyer/Judge/Plantation Owner 
Thomas Stone; Episcopalian; Parish School, Law Studies; Lawyer

New Hampshire: 

Josiah Bartlett; Congregationalist; Medicine; Judge/Physician 
Matthew Thornton; Presbyterian; Educated in Worcester, Massachusetts; Physician
William Whipple; Congregationalist; Common School; Judge/Soldier/Merchant  

New Jersey:

Abraham Clark; Presbyterian; Self-taught, Surveying, Law; Lawyer/Surveyor/Sheriff
John Hart; Presbyterian; Farming; Land Owner
Francis Hopkinson; Episcopalian; Graduate of the College of Philadelphia; Lawyer/Judge/Author/Musician 
Richard Stockton; Presbyterian; West Nottingham Academy, Graduate of College of New Jersey; Lawyer 
John Witherspoon; Presbyterian; Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh; Doctorate of Divinity, University of St. Andrews; Minister/Author/Educator 

New York: 

William Floyd; Presbyterian; None; Land Speculator
Francis Lewis; Episcopalian; Westminster; Merchant 
Philip Livingston; Presbyterian; Graduate of Yale College; Merchant 
Lewis Morris; Episcopalian; Graduate of Yale College; Plantation Owner 

North Carolina:

Joseph Hewes; Quaker/ Episcopalian; Graduated Princeton College; Merchant 
William Hooper; Episcopalian; Harvard College; Lawyer 
John Penn; Episcopalian; Informal; Lawyer


George Clymer; Quaker/ Episcopalian; Private; Merchant
Benjamin Franklin; Deist with Episcopalian influences; Self-taught, apprenticed as a printer. Honorary Doctor of Laws, Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford; Scientist/Publisher
Robert Morris; Episcopalian; Private and Apprenticeship; Merchant/Land Speculator 
John Morton; Episcopalian; Informal; Judge/Farmer
George Ross; Episcopalian; Private, Classical. Read law in Philadelphia; Lawyer/Judge
Benjamin Rush; Presbyterian; B.A. at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), M.D. at the University of Edinburgh; Physician 
James Smith; Presbyterian; Informal, Classical education. Apprenticed law with brother George; Lawyer
George Taylor; Presbyterian; Ironmaster; Merchant 
James Wilson; Episcopalian/Presbyterian; Attended the Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh; College of Philadelphia. Honorary M.A. from Philadelphia College, studied Law with John Dickinson; Lawyer/Judge

Rhode Island:

William Ellery; Congregationalist; Harvard College; Lawyer/Judge/Merchant 
Stephen Hopkins; Episcopalian; Self-Educated; Lawyer/Educator/Merchant 

South Carolina: 

Thomas Heyward, Jr.; Episcopalian; Private classical education, Law studies in America and England; Lawyer/Plantation Owner 
Thomas Lynch, Jr.; Episcopalian; Graduated Cambridge University; Lawyer 
Arthur Middleton; Episcopalian; Graduate of Cambridge; Plantation Owner
Edward Rutledge; Episcopalian/Anglican; Graduate of Oxford, Studied at Middle Temple (London), Member of the English Bar; Lawyer/Plantation Owner


Carter Braxton; Episcopalian; William and Mary College; Plantation owner
Benjamin Harrison; Episcopalian; Attended William and Mary College; Plantation Owner/Politician
Thomas Jefferson; Deist with Episcopalian influences; William and Mary College; Lawyer/Plantation Owner
Francis Lightfoot Lee; Episcopalian; Private; Plantation Owner
Richard Henry Lee; Episcopalian; Private school at Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Plantation Owner/Merchant
Thomas Nelson, Jr.; Episcopalian; Private, in England. Graduate of Cambridge; Merchant/Plantation Owner
George Wythe; Episcopalian; Informal, Law Studies; Lawyer/Educator 

2.2. Analysis of the Divisions

face="Arial" > 
The opening statement alludes to the fact that, in time, political systems must be opposed in order to comply with innate NLF that emanate from the infinite God of the first cause of all effects.  In the preamble, compliance with NLF requires the alteration or abolishment of government systems that oppose the political convictions of truth whereby is the unalienable rights for mankind.  The indicting charges for violating NLF show the unfitness of the government to rule which no longer has Divine authority or standards.  Because for governments to violate or allow violations of NLF, such as committing robbery or murder, means that people cannot meet their needs if their legitimate earning are stolen or if they are murdered.  The closing statement demonstrates that the process of peaceful appeals for change to compliance with NLF and separation to independent states, to include war, is warranted by the Supreme Judge of the world--the God of the Bible.  The signers were all Christians or were influenced by Christianity's compliance to NLF.  They all demonstrated (education, writings and occupations) that they were likely in the top percentile of problem solving abilities or IQ.  This would make their document a T1 text.  The signers were opposed by people with T2 and T3 beliefs, by those that did not understand the Divine role of government, and by those that failed to act due to the (evil) spirit of fear.  (It should be noted that the Christian denomination of Congregationalist refers to the protestant church at that time that claimed independence from a corrupt elite church hierarchy.  They established the colleges of Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth etc. and the Baptist church came from that movement. 

3. A Contemporary Declaration of Independence

Staying with the U. S. as a model, the declaration would be made by localities to the state and the U.S. federal government and/or states to the U.S. federal government.  The divisions of the opening statement, the preamble, and the closing statement would express much of the same logic as in 1776.  The British references would be applied to the state and/or federal government.  In no particular order, a partial listing of contemporary charges and their violations of NLF would likely be as follows. 

For being guilty until proven innocent in indiscriminate road blocks etc.: (8, 9, Lb)

For confiscation of private property by the government and private entities: (8, 10, Lb)

For the government sanctioned killing of unborn babies and the helpless: (Lb, 6)

For exploiting the poor with government gambling schemes: (Lb, 8, 10)

For the lack of vigorous prosecution and sentencing of child rapists and perverts: (Lb, 7, 9)

For confiscating over 55 percent of the legitimate earnings of the average citizen through taxes and fees: (Lb, 8, 10)

For ordering the use of private entities, such as commodes, light bulbs, seat belts etc.: (Lb)

For the government schools prohibiting the teaching of the infinite God of the first cause of all effects and His NLF: (La, 1)

For forcing the nation-state of Israel to relinquish its Divine lands: (La, 8)

For indiscriminate collecting of information on citizens and not restricting private businesses' information collecting efforts and using those businesses as surrogate information collecting agencies: (Lb)

For deciding private family matters and confiscating over 50 percent of inheritance assets: (Lb, 5, 8, 10)

For removing copies of NLF from government buildings and schools: (La, 1)

For dictating behavior on private property, such as prohibiting smoking: (Lb, 8, 10)

For destroying the best health care system the world has ever known: (Lb, 6)

For allowing the estimated amount of one combat regiment of illegal immigrants per day to invade the country.  They account for over 25 percent of crime and hospital nonpaying patients in many states: (La, Lb, 6, 8, 9, 10)

For attempting to hinder the rights of law abiding citizens to own weapons and have self-defense: (Lb, 6, 8)

For preventing business owners to provide goods and services to those they choose: (Lb, 8)

For preferring one law abiding group over another law abiding group in education and hiring policies, including Title IX sports: (Lb, 8, 9, 10)

For giving the proper right of marriage to perverts: (La, 1)

For not prosecuting pornographic activities: (Lb, 7, 8)

For not restricting blasphemous speech: (La, 1, 3)

For allowing the effeminate and criminals to occupy the military and police agencies: (1, Lb)

For turning government decision making authority over to other governments and the United Nations: (Lb, 8) 

As can be seen there are as many serious, if not more, violations of NLF today as there were in 1776.  This political document could be expected to be signed by much the same people as the original in 1776.  It would also be opposed by people for the same reasons.  International intervention would likely be opposed to the compliance with NLF but diplomatic efforts could still be made using the enemy of my enemy is a friend philosophy.  

4. Conclusion

It is said that nature abhors a vacuum.  If one theology is rejected by individuals and society then another theology must replace it.  A war for independence (1861-1865) was conducted by the U. S. southern states.  Those states were called the Bible belt for their historical orthodox Christian beliefs.  Based on a 1860 census 6 percent of all northern or federal white males 18-33 years of age and 18 percent of all southern white males 18-33 years of age were killed.  In today's numbers, the total would be approximately 9 million killed.  The southerners died for states rights over federal control.  This was for far less noncompliance with NLF by the federal government than arguably exists today. 

The principle of uniformity states that causes in the past are the same as causes now, i.e. the same NLF that dictated a past declaration of independence will also predictably provide the authority and standards for declarations in the future.  If the same 5 to 15 percent of the U.S. population became active in an effort today, as was the case in 1776, the numbers would be 15 to 45 million supporters of a declaration.   Strategically, that would be a more than adequate number to be operationally successful.  New Федор Достоевский, commonly translated from Russian as Fyodor Dostoevsky, wrote Идиот, (The) Idiot, in 1868.  His character, Myshkin, was a Christian that sought compliance with NLF whereas the character of Rogozhin was devilish and noncompliant with NLF.  They both loved Nastasya but Rogozhin killed her.  Those two characters expressed two views or perceptions (love) of the same object (Nastasya) which led to different behavior.  The political elite in Dostoevsky's novel acknowledged Myshkin's good but chose Rogozkin's evil. 

In due season [Eccl. 3:1-8], either individuals become politically convicted and reform the society to NLF or the society will justly be destroyed from violations of NLF with revolution occurring.  The presented Declaration of Independence is a model which expresses that viewpoint.  In the absence of a reformation, it would logically be treasonous to God not to act on His NLF.  That imperative would be for the survival of the innocent and so would be the Godly duty of mankind.  A homeschooled attorney and U.S. founding father named Patrick Henry made a proper conclusion to this thought with a somewhat timeless summary in the following speech on 23 March, 1775.

Patrick Henry's Text at St John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia 

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlement assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

                        ---------------ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.-------------------