History Channel’s Sons of Liberty Miniseries

If you haven’t watched this series, I would highly recommend you give it a chance.  I will warn that it takes some dramatic license and condenses the time frame in order to present a tight, three 2-hour miniseries rather than a more drawn out season-long series centered on the men who became known as the Sons of Liberty.

The series is focused on the events leading up to the arrival of General Gates of the British and the formal Declaration of Independence.  Many of the men that would go on to become our nation’s Founding Fathers have prominent roles in this miniseries.  For all of the series’ faults, it does an excellent job conveying the tone and the overarching themes and threats of the time.  It showed the British soldiers more as an occupying army than anything else, but it also showed the patriots as drunks, thugs, and rioters.

During the lead up to the Boston Massacre on screen, you can understand the motivations of either side.  The British, outnumbered and in the midst of an unruly crowd on the verge of violence, had justification in defending themselves.  The Colonists were likewise shocked when they did just that despite their own provocations just moments before.

Where the series has it’s faults are in the details.  Phrases and quotes were spoken by the wrong person, and the series falls short of providing the full discourse and philosophical thoughts that the HBO John Adams’ series so perfectly nailed.  The History Channel’s production though succeeded in showing the events in total and how each side kept escalating the situation until violence between the two was inevitable.

What I want to mention though is that the miniseries did one amazing thing.  It showed that the rebellious Sons of Liberty would have been rounded up and hanged pretty soon after General Gates’ arrival if not for their willingness to fight and their ability to fight on equal terms of the British regulars who marched to Lexington and Concord.  The British had numbers and experience.  The farmers, millers, and minutemen assembled on Lexington Green and at Concord Bridge had neither, but they had weapons with which to oppose and turn away the British Army that day.

What is so often forgotten in the present age is how the colonists were as well armed as the British regulars with privately held muskets, pioneer long rifles, and cannons.  Yes, cannons.  The American colonists were able to defend their right to free speech, their right to assemble, and to be secure in their papers and property, etc etc etc BECAUSE they had arms.  They had weapons, modern military weapons including weapons of such destruction as heavy cannons, and they were equal to those of their oppressors, not weakened civilian grade versions or likenesses.

At one point George Washington at the Contintental Congress was asked what the Massachusetts men could do with General Gage pressing martial law in Boston.  He said to resist.  I don’t know if Ole George ever gave that advice, but if he did, he had to have known that the only means of resistance when your oppressor means to bring arms to bear against you is to take arms up in defense and for that one must OWN, KEEP, and HAVE those arms and ammunition at your immediate disposal.

That is the foundation principle behind the Second Amendment to the American Constitution.

Thank you History Channel for really highlighting that, whether you meant to do so or not, because without those privately held arms, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Warren, and the others would be only footnotes in history as traitors to the Crown and the troubles in Boston would have been quashed by the full might of the British Empire before they became full blown rebellion.

Revolution

Have you ever seen a piece of fiction that seemed to almost be prophetic?  I am not normally one to be attached to any TV show as entertainment is a luxury when one has an almost four year old and a one year old.  There are simply more important things to do with my time.  I would rather by lifting weights, running, taking care of things around the house, cleaning guns, or any other number of things.

I am glad that I’ve taken the time to watch the first two episodes of this interesting show called Revolution.  The show is about a world where suddenly everything electrical simply stopped working.  Suddenly every car, airplane, refrigerator, air conditioner, television set, radio, a digital watch stopped working.  Nothing was exempt. 

How in the world would we cope with that today?

I, as much as anyone else, am reliant on electricity in order to function normally.  Within the first few minutes of my day, I have been awaken by an electrically power alarm clock, turned on my electrical lights, taken a shower in electrically heated hot water, and begun to construct breakfast for myself, my wife, and my sons from our electrically cooled refrigerator with the help of my electric stove or microwave.

I drive to work in a computer-controlled car listening to the radio or talking on my cell phone.  At work I sit at my desk with a telephone and a computer.

If the world suddenly was devoid of electricity and technology was forced to fall back to what was common at the time of the American Revolution, my life would change.  None of my life would remain the same, but for one thing, hope.  My faith is not in any of these trivial things.  They are meaningless toils under the sun and devoid of worth ultimately.

Would I be able to provide for my family?  To take game?  To farm? To stand ready to fight for them against raiders and outlaws?

Would I take in my neighbors or travelers?

The most challenging question to answer is, would I remain faithful to Christ if my entire world was dashed in an instant?  Would I stand tall through that trial and fight with human pride and arrogance or turn to Christ and fall to my knees fully humbled?  What would you do?

In a word, my brethren – though the worst should come – though we should be deprived of all the conveniences and elegancies of life – though we should be cut off from all our usual sources of commerce, and constrained, as many of our poor brethren have already been, to abandon our present comfortable habitations – let us, nevertheless, “Stand Fast” as the guardians of liberty – And though we should not be able to entertain the Heaven-born maid, with such affluence and splendor, as we have hitherto done, let us still keep close to her side, as our inseparable companion, preserve her from the violence of her adversaries, and, if at last necessary, be content to retire with her to those peaceful, though homely retreats of rural life, in which she was first entertained by our venerable ancestors – determined to contend to the very last for such an illustrious prize, and never to part with her, but for the more sure and complete enjoyment of her blessings in a world of glory.

Rev. Jacob Duche

Heavenly Father, I am human… I am weak… my fears and inadequacies cripple me… I kneel before You now and will continually do so until You call me home.  Buttress me and fortify me against the evils of this world, in the face of all of the trials and temptations I have yet to encounter, and of the world unseen that I might stand fast in the same way as my forefathers.  Seal my heart and spirit with the blood of Christ so that no trial or temptation may strike me down.  Allow me the honor of defending Christ here and forever.  I ask all of this in His name and professing the Glory of God forever.

Where do you place your trust: in the eternal power and majesty of your Creator or in the things that make your life easier to live?

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