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How dare you, King George!

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Near the end of the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence, comes this bit:

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.

In 1776, England did not control North America west of the Appalachians, and the western part of the Carolinas, northern Georgia, and Florida were still held by natives. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were complaining that British armies had enlisted the aid of Indians during the French and Indian War. These alliances would continue during the Revolutionary War.

Another sixty years would pass before the natives east of the Mississippi were vanquished, exterminated or moved west, as armies led by Mad Anthony Wayne and Andrew Jackson, among others, pitted tribe against tribe and engaged in undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

The sobering law of nationalism is that building nations involves the destruction of others.

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About Harry Styron

I'm a lawyer who lives in Branson, Missouri, whose professional interests involve real estate, construction and local government.

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