October 24, 2011

"Is America built on a lie?"

That's #1 on the "Most Popular" list at bbc.com. The actual title of the article when you click on it is: "Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?"
[A debate in Philadelphia], presented by the Temple American Inn of Court in conjunction with Gray's Inn, London, pitted British barristers against American lawyers to determine whether or not the American colonists had legal grounds to declare secession.

For American lawyers, the answer is simple: "The English had used their own Declaration of Rights to depose James II and these acts were deemed completely lawful and justified," they say in their summary.

To the British, however, secession isn't the legal or proper tool by which to settle internal disputes. "What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union? Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right," they argue in their brief.
That's all very interesting and relatively sedate compared to: Is America built on a lie?

132 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

If this be treason, I'm glad we made the most of it.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

"What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union? Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right," they argue in their brief
Yes Lincoln “made the case against secession” at Appomattox Court House not the Inns of Court. Had the British “made their case” at Freeman’s Farm, the Declaration would have been ILLEGAL, and Washington et. al. hung.

Dan in Philly said...

Is Katzenbach v. McClung (1964) built on a lie?

Bob Ellison said...

Make way for reparations. We're gonna owe Britain a lot for this land. Specifically, we'll owe the royal family.

TosaGuy said...

""What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union?"

It did secede from Mexico.

John Lynch said...

"There are no 'mitigating circumstances' when it comes to rebellion against a liege lord."
Yoshi Toranaga

"Unless you win."
John Blackthorne

Scott M said...

sigh...conflicting edits.

Suffice to say that "Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right" by having more of just about every war material that mattered coupled with an effective naval blockade. Arguing the case with words, written or spoken, had little to do with it. Likewise the American Revolution. The facts on the ground were that we assumed sovereignty within specific geographic boundaries and there wasn't much the Brits could do about it.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

"There are no 'mitigating circumstances' when it comes to rebellion against a liege lord."
Yoshi Toranaga

"Unless you win."
John Blackthorne

This.

Sofa King said...

There's a rather strange logical leap from "is illegal" to "is a lie." Particularly in a nation that criminally punishes truthful libel.

John Lynch said...

King John and King Charles were unavailable for comment.

Chuck66 said...

Actually I don't think Texas, or the whole Confederacy thing, is the same. We weren't a part of core Great Britian, but part of their empire. It would be more like if Puerto Rico wanted to leave. Or Guam.

Dan in Philly said...

Treason never succeeds,
and here is the reason,
for if it succeeds,
none dare call it treason.

I understand why the Prof finds this question intresting. If the establishment of our country isn't illegal, why not? If it is, what is legal? What kind of social contract is written upon a lie, or written on treason, or whatever? What are we as Americans, anyway? Is any government actually legitimate?

This is why I bring up the 1964 Court case. I hear railing against the commerce clause all the time, and railing against the abuses of the presidency for many years, both against the republicans and democrats. The fact is the commerce clause is legal because it is legal, and the founding of America is legal because it is legal.

If you want more prfound and deeper proofs and reasons, look to God, for this world is too flawed to give you a better one.

Oclarki said...

I think everyone likes to think that had they been alive in 1776 they would have been a supporter of independence. However, the more I think about it, the more I'm not sure. It's not like the colonies were under Soviet communism. In fact England was the most free nation on earht at the time, and the colonies had a pretty good deal, all things considered.

Scott said...

Wow. What a controversial and provocative topic.

Canuck said...

Legal?

The Declaration proclaims natural rights, which cannot be granted by any Parliament.

PETER V. BELLA said...

The DI was illegal under then British Law. However, once the Brits conceded and lost the war, the issue was and is moot.

Christopher in MA said...

"Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers." - Ben Franklin

Personally (as I am not a lawyer), my opinion is that America is built on the premise "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Those words are not a lie, even if in 1776 we had not yet achieved that summation (and have, in fact, been going away from it ever since).

But I imagine quite a few of the usual suspects at Althouse will enthusiastically declare "YES!" to the proposition.

traditionalguy said...

America is built upon a truth that the King of England and his Parliament were a den of thieves who spent had borrowed money in defeating their enemy France and then wanted the colonists alone to pay the bill as it came due.

To get away with this theft, the thieves wanted to confiscate the gunpowder supplies. But they ended up shot and fought to final defeat by their intended victims.

But the Kingdom of England still played games to get the USA back for the next 160 years.

t-man said...

If law can't be enforced, it is not law.

BarryD said...

LOL

Apparently Britain is built on a world-class level of denial.

BarryD said...

BTW we can always hand the UK back to the Germans, who would have owned it, twice, had it not been for the US.

Rumpletweezer said...

This post should give Mick an opportunity to say something fresh and new.

Skyler said...

Just as property law includes property rights by conquest, so does selection of government.

Winning makes it legal.

Losing makes it illegal.

traditionalguy said...

The Roman Pope has always been the authority level that European Military Conquest Kingdoms revert to for their legal authority within an over arching entity called Christendom.

The Scottish Presbyterians have been their mortal enemy and always will be.

The Pope is pushing for a World Currency today to save Europe from collapse into separate countries. Hmmm.

Sigivald said...

One wonders what "law" could be relevant to a revolution and the founding of a new state?

Amazingly, it turns out that as treason, rebellion was already illegal under British law.

Equally amazingly, it turns out that the relevance of this in the United States is exactly zero.

(Equally irrelevant is Texas' position today, as Texas voluntarily joined the Union as a free and equal state.

It wasn't colonized and then ruled as a captive market with no governmental representation, last I checked; it has two senators and a pile of representatives in Congress.

So there might be just the tiniest dissimilarity between Texan secession and the American revolution.

Just a bit. Maybe.)

raf said...

Was the Norman Conquest of 1066 legal? Was England built on a lie?

Paco Wové said...

"That's all very interesting and relatively sedate compared to: Is America built on a lie?"

The Beeb is just playing to their core audience.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
BTW we can always hand the UK back to the Germans, who would have owned it, twice, had it not been for the US


Vee NEFFER vanted England! Ve only vanted our proper place under dee sun! Undt, later a bit of lebensraum…. Also ve haf zum teo-logical disputes mitt ze Joos….Swinehund Learn zum history! Don’t make me starp on ze hobble-nailed bootz undt come undt teach you a lesson!

cubanbob said...

Its this kind of legalese nonsense that brings scorn on the profession. Great! We are an illegal nation according to the BBC! Call the Royal Constabulary and place us all under arrest!. These kind of arguments are nothing more than mental masturbation.

traditionalguy said...

The fate of England is at a tipping point with the Muslim workers taking over while very few others do the necessary work to keep the country going.

Their lost North American territory is suddenly very much in their sights today as a life boat.

Piers Morgan and other Brits have come to daily lecture us louts on how a civil society works. Why do they care, except that they all plan to live here soon.

edutcher said...

The Federalist Papers argued that secession was the final protection against a Federal government gone wild and there's nothing in the Constitution to stop a state from seceding - although the Republic of KS would look awfully silly out there with the US all around it.

This is why more than a few on the Right denounce Lincoln as the first statist POTUS.

TosaGuy said...

What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union?

It did secede from Mexico.


No more than the US did from Britain. At the time, TX wasn't a state of Mexico.

Chuck66 said...

Actually I don't think Texas, or the whole Confederacy thing, is the same. We weren't a part of core Great Britian, but part of their empire.

Technically, the Empire came after the Sepoy Mutiny when the Crown took over what was an East India Company enterprise.

LordSomber said...

The poms have grown quite spiteful in their decline.
Crab buckets, tall poppies and all that.

ic said...

Secession is always illegal. American rebellion was illegal. That's why it was a "rebellion", rebel against the laws of the land. Those dead white British citizens residing in America fought a war, they won. The South could have seceded if they won. Texas could claim independence if it so desired and won a fight. In fact, Texas claimed independence illegally from Mexico, then it claimed "co-dependence" with the US.

Winners of wars decide what is legal.

Original Mike said...

"Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?"

Who cares? Seriously.

Clyde said...

Sounds like those barristers are about 237 years too late on their case.

Greg Hlatky said...

"I won" - George Washington

rhhardin said...

Law is built on sovereign violence. It can't then judge that origin.

You're looking at most at regret, not crime, which I suppose somebody somewhere probably feels, but not many.

It's not a legal question.

Roman said...

We won the war! Endit.

Tim said...

"Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right," they argue in their brief."

Indeed so. The battlefield is the ultimate arbiter of legality, for better or worse.

Don't like the result? Go to war and win.

Otherwise, stop wasting time with mewling about "injustice."

Chuck66 said...

You could say that our war for independence started out as an English civil war. That our founding fathers were demanding the same reforms that many within England were also calling for (and eventually got....as far as I know).

The more I read from our founders, the more I admire them. Common Sense is a favorite. And the whole natural law thing. That the government can't make any laws it wants. Early abolishionists saw this.

KenK said...

If some Brit had showed up in Philly to contest the legality of the DOI then he'd have got a musket ball through his head. And deservedly so too. Law should conform to reality not the reverse.

Only lawyers would even care about this shit. Especially after all the time that has passed.

BarryD said...

Abolition was a significant part of the moral justification of the American Civil War.

Had the Confederacy formed around an issue where the Confederacy was fighting for MORE individual liberty or for equal treatment (say the North paid little in taxes and the South was forced to pay for all the expenses of the US, while only the North had representatives in DC), the moral balance would have been on the side of the Confederacy.

But that's not how it went.

Cedarford said...

BarryD said...
BTW we can always hand the UK back to the Germans, who would have owned it, twice, had it not been for the US
===============
Smug American fantasy. Britain was protected in both wars from invasion by the Royal Navy.

As for the rest of Europe, the late arrival of Americans in WWI and WWII was not determinative of the outcome in either conflict.

Cedarford said...

As far as secession goes, the Brit Barristers ignore a more recent example of secession - Scotland.

And when the Brit lawyers get riled up at THAT issue, slip the knife home by quietly saying Ireland and the IRA..then walk away.

Original Mike said...

"To the British, however, secession isn't the legal or proper tool by which to settle internal disputes."

Well, come and get us, then. You know where we live.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
As for the rest of Europe, the late arrival of Americans in WWI and WWII was not determinative of the outcome in either conflict


EXACTLY C-fudd, 4 million fresh US troops had nothing to do with defeating the Kaiser…
and equipping 90 US divisions, a goodly amount of the British Army, the Free French Forces, 10% of the Soviet Tank Force, the production of 3 STRATEGIC Air Forces (8th, 15th AF, Strategic Forces Pacific), 5 TACTICAL Air Forces (9th AF, FEAF, USMC Air Wings, MTO air forces, and the USN Carrier Forces) and the world’s largest navy did NOTHING to defeat Herr Hitler, Mussolini, or the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces…
It’s bad enough your some kind of Neo-Nazi, but please try to get your World War II history right…I know the end is painful, Der Fuhrer kills himself, tragically, but the facts are the facts.
(PS I know it’s “You’re” not your, but you might as well be the Typo Nazi AND the Regular Nazi)

BigFire said...

There was a war. American won. Now, stop crying over spill milk. It's unbecoming of you England.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
To the British, however, secession isn't the legal or proper tool by which to settle internal disputes


No, beheading the Sovereign is how they usually like to do it….

Revenant said...

It wasn't secession, because the British government of 1776 was one which had never been the ruler of the colonies.

The reasoning, as I understand it, went like this:

1. The king is the legal ruler of the colonies, as he (or his predecessors) had granted the colonial charters.

2. Parliament claims rulership of the colonies, but their claim is false because their authority derives from their claim of representation, and the colonies aren't represented in parliament.

3. The king has abused his authority.

4. Parliament has established that it is legal to rebel against the king and replace him with a new political entity.

richard mcenroe said...

Fine by me. Best two out of three. Winner gets a crack at that sweet North Sea Crude, loser gets to learn to speak German/Russian/Arabic...

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


The REAL reason it was legal was that King George III was an USURPER! And hence had no legal right to the throne or control of the US colonies. If Mick had been alive then, he’d have made a living creating broadsides demonstrating it!

n.n said...

Is there a statute of limitation for intellectual curiosity? If not, it would be similarly interesting to review the establishment of all empires, nations, states, cities, tribes, etc., past and present. I'm absolutely certain there is a long list of outstanding grievances which remain to be properly addressed.

Original Mike said...

"There is no controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law." -- Al Gore

Cedarford said...

Crypto Jew -

"As for the rest of Europe, the late arrival of Americans in WWI and WWII was not determinative of the outcome in either conflict."

That is the truth, and choke on it, bitch.

Astro said...

Legal? The Brits want to discuss legal? Okay, how about the British empire in China, India, South Africa, and a dozen other places around the globe. Were those various occupations of countries legal ?

235 years later and they still have a lotta d@mn gall.

Original Mike said...

"That is the truth, and choke on it, bitch."

I don't know about WWI, but you're delusional if you think Britian would have survived WWII, whether Germany or Russia eventually prevailed on the continent.

Greg Hlatky said...

The REAL reason it was legal was that King George III was an USURPER!

If you were a Jacobite supporter of the Stuarts, that's what you'd think.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
That is the truth, and choke on it, bitch

Well argued….tightly reasoned..so I take it the facts were not up to the Sturmbannfuhrer’s liking? Just get back to me on how the M-4 Sherman did NOT equip the French, The British, and the US Army’s and provide substantial support to the Red Army. And then please explain away the mounds of ruins caused by EARTHQUAKES and not 1,000 plane raids of the US 8th and 15th Air Force. And I guess those 30,000 U-boote crew, they just happened to open the screen door at the wrong time and sink the boote and the 112 Escort Carriers built by the US had nothing to do with it? Of course, the fuel, food,a nd ammunition, the “deuce and a half” had nothing to do with it, either….the 82nd Airborne nor 101st contributed anything….

Heck even Alvin York managed to cause your Kaiser’s Army fits, and he was just one Tennessee redneck with an ’03 Springfield…Chateau Thierey ring a bell? Meause-Argonne?
You must be taking lessons from “J” on how to be historically illiterate and then insulting when pinned by the truth.

ic said...

Cedarford: the little mouse that roared.

BarryD said...

"Smug American fantasy. Britain was protected in both wars from invasion by the Royal Navy."

ROTFLMAO

More denial.

The British were a tough bunch, much tougher than today, I think. The people of the UK deserve the utmost respect for their fortitude through both world wars.

However, WW II in particular was an air and ground war. Germany used ballistic missiles. Britain would have been toast without American supplies, and ultimately without American air power.

MikeR said...

Silly question. Obviously, there is no higher legal authority than - who won the war?

Or maybe today there is, because there is a United States and a United Nations to fight wars and enforce their rules. If they do.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


The Fuhrer was an IDIOT C-fudd…a fool, started wars he could NOT win…wasted resources exterminating us Jews…mismanaged his economy…

Any way the US made sure that your little Paper-Hanger got everything he deserved and more…makes me proud to be US Jew. As to Britain, the best that could be said of Britain is that without the US it might not LOSE, WWII. It could never defeat Germany, but it MIGHT be able to survive the German onslaught. Of course a brighter pair than Hitler or Goering would have seen Britain defeated by May, certainly August 1940…the Luftwaffe would ahe dispatched the RN, had it been able to defeat RAF Fighter Command, and then Seelowe would have seen the hob-nails in Picadilly Circus….thankfully C-fudd’s inspiration was as bad a personnel manager as he was a strategist.

Nightbird Glineux said...

It doesn't matter what the Brits think of our Declaration of Independence. Not at all.

What matters is the 1783 Treaty of Paris which ended the war, and I'm surprised that the many erudite commentators here haven't brought it up before.

Mary Beth said...

It became legal as soon as the British recognized the American government.

edutcher said...

ic said...

Secession is always illegal. The South could have seceded if they won.

Wrong.

The attitude in the North toward secession was, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out". What changed that was the firing on Fort Sumter - which was viewed the way later generations view Pearl Harbor.

States had been seceding since the last months of 1860 and Lincoln could do nothing because the popular will wasn't there.

BarryD said...

BTW we can always hand the UK back to the Germans, who would have owned it, twice, had it not been for the US.

As far as WWI goes, wrong. The Michael Offensive, the Huns' last gasp in the West, had already been turned back before the Doughboys made their debut in combat - which only lasted about 4 months. The presence of the Americans was more psychological than anything else.

Abolition was a significant part of the moral justification of the American Civil War.

Only for the abolitionists. The majority of people were fighting traitors who had fired on the United States. As an example, after the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, 50,000 Union soldiers deserted.

Paddy O said...

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Suggesting it was well known to be illegal under British law, the question being with British law was, in fact, recognized as controlling.

It is, one side said.
No it aint, the other side responded.

Fighting commenced to show which side had the might to prove which was right.

Cedarford said...

Crypto Jew - Your people really have to stop with the Nazi smears you launch on anyone that disgrees with your kind on any subject. It has gotten old from overuse, the world has moved on, the smear doesn't work anymore. (Save it is still effective in instilling fear in sectors of America where Jews are dominant and jobs rest on their goodwill)

WWI was settled by the French and Brits stopping Ludendorfs last gasp offensive, coupled with the Royal Navy choking Germany into starvation.
WWII's outcome was a sealed deal once the Red Army regrouped and took the offensive after Stalingrad and Kursk. All America did was expedite the war's conclusion and ensure the Soviets didn't end up controlling all of Europe save Britain and the Ibernian Penninsula.

Revenant said...

I don't feel like arguing over the contributions the American military made on the ground in 1940s Europe (although I will note that the "America had nothing to do with allied victory" crowd seems to have forgotten there was an Asian theater to that war too).

But I will point out two tidbits of information: the British and Soviet economies and war machines were utterly dependent on aid from the United States. Absent the United States, the Soviets would still have had tanks, guns, ammunition, and manpower -- but no food, clothing, trucks, trains, or air transport. Britain would have been in similar straits.

Absent American involvement, the best-case scenario for the Allies would have been Japanese victory in the east, Britain confined to its isles, and a stalemate between Germany and the USSR. Germany would have kept its 1939 possessions, because Britain would never have been able to mount a counteroffensive (no men, no materiel) and the Soviets would have been too focused on not starving to death to invade German territory.

dbp said...

Aren't wars of independence fought precisely because there is no legal path to that result?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Your people really have to stop with the Nazi smears you launch on anyone that disgrees with your kind on any subject. It has gotten old from overuse, the world has moved on, the smear doesn't work anymore. (Save it is still effective in instilling fear in sectors of America where Jews are dominant and jobs rest on their goodwill)

SMEARS, is that what we call the TRUTH in C-fudd Land…that you’re intellectual mentors were INCOMPETENT, mass-murderers?

WWI was settled by the French and Brits stopping Ludendorfs last gasp offensive, coupled with the Royal Navy choking Germany into starvation.
WWII's outcome was a sealed deal once the Red Army regrouped and took the offensive after Stalingrad and Kursk. All America did was expedite the war's conclusion and ensure the Soviets didn't end up controlling all of Europe save Britain and the Ibernian Penninsula


The war ended because Germany was exhausted from the Blockade and the realization that with 4 million new troops to hand that the Kaiser Heere was licked…..as to the Second World War, you fail to mention that 1 in 6 Soviet aircraft was US or British, and that 1 in 10 tank was British or US…Lend-Lease baby….you fail to mention the 600,000 Germans busy defending the Reich from the 8th Air Force and RAF Bomber Command…think of an extra Panzer Korps at Prokhorovka, and another 27 infantry divisions, plus the 1,200 aircraft defending the Reich. No, the US contribution to the Second World War was vital to Western victory.

And you know, that little Paper-Hanging Corporal brought his defeat upon himself. All he had to do was sit on his hands, post-7 December 1941, but no your boy had to declare war on the US, and really seal his fate. It’s possible if ole schicklegruber had NOT done that he could have done a Brest-Litovsk with Stalin and at least not lost WWII. But what can you expect from a bunch German Romantics who were pretty second-rate overall?

Cedarford said...

Original Mike said...
"That is the truth, and choke on it, bitch."

I don't know about WWI, but you're delusional if you think Britian would have survived WWII, whether Germany or Russia eventually prevailed on the continent.

============
The Germans had already given up on taking Britain after 1940, and made multiple attempts to settle the war with UK leaders, even before June 1941.
My guess is if the US hadn't intervened but kept happily selling war material to Britain and the Soviets...with the Soviets ending up in control of Continental Europe...the Soviets would have been content to leave the Socialist Brits (who tossed Churchill out for a socialist at war's end) alone, just as they were fine leaving Tito and Yugoslavia alone and out of any followup conquest. They might have even left France and Benelux alone, and worked on managing their conquests of E Europe and all of Germany.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Aren't wars of independence fought precisely because there is no legal path to that result

*Ssshhhh* don’t tell the lawyers that, they think they matter in International Affairs.

Alex said...

Was the Norman Conquest of 1066 legal? Was England built on a lie?

Yes indeed it was as is all of Europe.

Alex said...

C4 - it was important to stop the spread of Soviet Communist aggression.

Original Mike said...

"The Germans had already given up on taking Britain after 1940, and made multiple attempts to settle the war with UK leaders, even before June 1941."

Settle the war??? You mean the one they started? Settled, just like the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact "settled" things with Russia?

You do seem to have an inordinate trust of the Nazis.

30yearProf said...

Who cares. THe British treated it as "illegal", in fact, as treason. They tried to enforce their view. The Colonists beat them soundly.

It's called "The War of Independence." We won. To the victor goes the nation.

The British lived by the "we won" principle throughout their colonial period.

NOW, they want to change the rules??? Nope.

Don M said...

Secession is revolution. Revolution is always treason, with only one exception:

The exception is, if you win.

Don M said...

The US provided over 400,000 vehicles to the Soviet union in WWII. Roughly 200,000 of those were Studebaker trucks, which freed the Soviet Army from rail supply bottlenecks.

Dependence on railroad supply was a key limit on German offensive capability.

Another roughly 4,000 vehicles provided by the US to USSR were M-4 medium tanks. By contrast Germany only produced 8,800 Pzkw IV medium tanks.

David said...

I'm with Joe. Lincoln was "right" because the North won the Civil War. South wins, he does not look so right.

Rights are meaningless unless they can be enforced.

Jose_K said...

don't know about WWI
it was even worse for the british.
The germans went nuts with the total war and a real inside job with the Louisitania, there were arms in it making it a valid target, allowed Wilson to go to a war against the wish of the americans. Most are of irish, treated like subhumans by the british, and german descend.
After a single batte with 1.5 millions death there were stucked in the mud.A the USA saved the UK.

Cedarford said...

Revenent - good post, but....

British and Soviet economies and war machines were utterly dependent on aid from the United States. Absent the United States, the Soviets would still have had tanks, guns, ammunition, and manpower -- but no food, clothing, trucks, trains, or air transport. Britain would have been in similar straits.

The US was making a killing as a neutral nation selling war stuff to Britain, with Russia's allies in American finance working like crazy to figure out how they could make huge material sales to the Soviets possible after 1941..finally coming up with government guarantees after Pearl Harbor that took away the risk that made lending impractical when we were out of it and the Soviets were losing. (American financiers sympathetic to the Bolsheviks had made a killing earlier in the Soviet Union particularly in the 1920s before our stock market crash - financing industrializaion)

The bulk of the aid was delivered after Pearl Harbor and after the Soviets turned the tide in June-July 1942. It helped expidite Soviet victory. Without America's significant materials supplement, it might have taken the Soviets another year and millions more lives to defeat Germany. But since we did have Germany declare war on us and we absolutely helped after that, we deserve our slice of the actual allied victory.

On your list, the Soviets had the food (we sent very little), clothing, needed no train locomotives until late 1944 and then only ones made modified to their unique track size. But trucks sent mainly through Iran, medicines, specialty parts were all a big assist in helping Russia move against the Germans, faster than without us.

If you look at it a different way, the Brits, Canadians, Filipinos once we landed, and Aussies and Indians were very helpful in aiding us in our defeat of Japan, but none were determinative in our eventual victory. No even General Slim in Burma.

Jose_K said...

It became legal as soon as the British recognized the American government
Agree.
BTW: the UK were the first to recognize South american independence

bagoh20 said...

Hey Mick, Does this mean Obama is qualified to be President?

ddh said...

Is the Church of England legal? Is Ireland legal?

As for American independence, the Treaty of Paris (1783) resolved the legal issue, and the Treaty of Ghent (1815) and every other treaty with the United States that the United Kingdom has ratified confirms that resolution.

Alex Ignatiev said...

The right to rebellion must be vindicated by force of arms. That's why tyrants disarm the populace.

Additionally, to rebel legally you require sufficient moral justification; thus, secession to preserve slavery=illegal; secession to protect southerners rights=legal. That's why lost causers talk about their ancestors rights as the reason for the civil war, conveniently forgetting that among those rights held sacred by the South's leadership was chattel slavery of black people.

Cedarford said...

Original Mike said...
"The Germans had already given up on taking Britain after 1940, and made multiple attempts to settle the war with UK leaders, even before June 1941."

Settle the war??? You mean the one they started?
=================
Read your history books. France and Britain declared war on Germany. The Germans never wanted that war with Britain, and tried many times to get the Brits to settle on an Armistice.

**************

"Alex said...
C4 - it was important to stop the spread of Soviet Communist aggression."

Agree! The American strategic thinking, by 1944, not shared with the US public - was that it was as important to keep the Red butchers out of as much of Europe as possible as it was to beat the Nazis.

cubanbob said...

@edutcher said...

Seldom mentioned is the fact that the Royal Navy needed the US Navy during WW1 to completely embargo Germany and the resultant starvation is what brought the Germans to surrender. Throw in the fact that the US was already supplying the allies and the US was landing huge numbers of troops to the front made it crystal clear to the German's they had no chance to win.

As for the second world war,the Red Army rode in to Berlin on American trucks, tanks and vehicles and eating American rations. Only a fool (C4) would believe for a moment the Soviets would have won the war all by themselves.

Original Mike said...

"France and Britain declared war on Germany."

Oh, pulzhee!

dbp said...

France and Britain had made it clear to the 3rd Reich that invasion of Poland would mean a declaration of war.

The idea that Germany did not start WWII is, to be generous, a fringe opinion.

fivewheels said...

Maybe we can concede the illegality long enough to stick the Windsors with the national debt. Then revolt again. Sound like a plan?

caplight said...

C4
To some degree it seems you view possible outcomes from a static 1944 view or so. But what if Germany had completed development of the atomic bomb, jet fighters and bombers and more accurate rocket delivery of ordinance?

Original Mike said...

"The Germans never wanted that war with Britain"

And the bank robber doesn't want the police to get involved. "It's between me and the bank. Youse guys stay out of it."

Revenant said...

The bulk of the aid was delivered after Pearl Harbor and after the Soviets turned the tide in June-July 1942.

"Turned the tide" is an interesting way of saying "stopped the Germans from conquering any more of their territory". The Soviets didn't actually reclaim their territory *from* Germany until 1944, and they were entirely dependent on American aid to pull that off. So like I said earlier -- absent American aid, the best-case scenario for the Allies was that Germany would keep the territory it had acquired.

Also, "the bulk of the aid came after mid-1942" does not refute the statement that the USSR's victories against the Germans were dependent on American aid. We gave them a stupendous amount of food, fuel, vehicles, munitions, etc, between winter of '41 and autumn '45. The key supplies from early '42 were food (starvation was widespread due to the loss of the western farmlands), clothing, aircraft, fuel, and farm equipment (the tractor factories were all repuposed to make tanks).

And with that, I think I've paid enough attention to you for this month.

andinista said...

Countries are created or disappear across legal singularities. These singularities are not instantaneous, there is a finite period of lawlessness.

The conquered always hold grudges, and claim that significant actors' actions were illegal before the advent of the singularity: as a means to de-legitimize the new country. Pay them no heed. The new country will rise and fall on its own merits, and what will come after no one can say.

Jaske said...

This reminds me of John Cleese and Dependance Day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q0q_dZTz-s
It's a joke, realized or not.

wv: ackiese - what Bill the Cat specialized in after Bloom County

Mary Beth said...

Illegal isn't the same as a lie. As far as I know they were truthful about what they believed and what they were doing.

caseym54 said...

Settled in Washington v Cornwallis

Big Mike said...

@caseym54, make that Washington and comte de Rochambeau v. Cornwallis.

BarryD said...

Scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, rock smashes scissors.

Settled.

caplight said...

One other question C4, why were both Churchill and Stalin constantly pressuring FDR to open up new fronts against the Germans if our contribution was so inconsequential?

Ralph L said...

The Allies needed American money & credit long before April 1917 and again before Dec '41. Would the French Army mutiny have ended without the knowledge we were coming?

Britain could easily have been starved into submission in 1942 without our efforts.

Brian O'Connell said...

By setting up the debate as one between British and American lawyers, the lawyers have guaranteed that the lawyers will win- which I suspect is the true purpose of this exercise.

A legal "framework" is subordinate to a political regime, and is valid only within that context. Usually, the switch from one political regime to another -which may require a war- isn't legal under the first regime's legal framework- or under the second's for that matter.

This debate is a political move to get people to buy into the idea that the law trumps everything, always. But inter arma enim silent leges. (Yeah... Star Trek.)

Synova said...

Some things are wrong because the question itself is built on a wrong assumption about the nature of the universe and everything.

The gist of the Declaration of Independence is a denial of the application of English law, jurisdiction and sovereignty over the colonies.

The question of legality is absurd.

But people today are constantly applying the notion of legality and law to areas where it does not apply. It's an assumption that all activity must always be subject to laws and thus can be illegal even though there are no powers with jurisdiction.

We end up with ridiculous things like Spain bringing criminal charges against people with no connection to Spain for actions that happened no where near Spain to others who have no connection to Spain.

The phrases, "You're not the boss of me," and "Go ahead. Make me," come to mind.

Alex said...

ICJ Jurisdiction

The International Court of Justice acts as a world court. The Court has a dual jurisdiction : it decides, in accordance with international law, disputes of a legal nature that are submitted to it by States (jurisdiction in contentious cases); and it gives advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of the organs of the United Nations or specialized agencies authorized to make such a request (advisory jurisdiction).

Of course you can ask who gave them this authority - the world government?

Cedarford said...

caplight said...
One other question C4, why were both Churchill and Stalin constantly pressuring FDR to open up new fronts against the Germans if our contribution was so inconsequential?

==================
Because the Soviets were justly irritated 1941-1944, that they were doing 85% of the war effort against the Germans and taking 95% of the casualties. A two-front war would take some of the heat off and shed some blood of some other people besides the Red Army cannon fodder.

Churchill was always concerned the Bolshies, as he called them, would sweep into all of Europe once the Germans fell. So he urged the US to shed some lives in N Africa and Italy to help retain Brit assets in the Med and also to tie up the Nazis in Italy until the US/Brit/Free Pole advance naturally stopped at the Alps foothills. Italy was never a path into Germany. It was good faith to the Politburo to show other allies were fighting and dying.

Geoff Matthews said...

And this is why wars matter. Wars are extra-legal means for accomplishing goals.
Might makes right, peace comes from the barrel of a gun, etc.

Seeing Red said...

To get away with this theft, the thieves wanted to confiscate the gunpowder supplies. But they ended up shot and fought to final defeat by their intended victims.



Not according to the history channel.

We didn't win. They gave up cos it cost them too much.

I think that was it.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Lawyers can quibble about anything. Why don't the Brits sue France for illegally invading them at Hastings in 1066?

br549 said...

I forget where I read it (what else is new) but if I remember correctly, only about 1/3 of the population of the colonies actually wanted independence.

Being of Irish decent, I really don't care what any of the English think.

Revenant said...

Not according to the history channel. We didn't win. They gave up cos it cost them too much.

Um... when the other side gives up and you wind up with everything you were fighting the war for, that's called "winning".

J said...

"Sir, they [Americans] are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging."
Dr. Johnson

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OldGrouchyCranky said...

Bloody hell, as perhaps our British and Canadian cousins like to say. If the Bloody Brits don't like our independence, they may try again to overturn our well established independence, a fact and not only in law but in war.

They tried twice to overturn our independence and failed. Do they truly want to try a third time? Of course, right now, that might be the best way for them to ignore their declining economy and society.

If they do, it's pretty much guaranteed that they won't be able to try a fourth time and Britain will be a republic once we settle their hash; it won't be pretty because they are good fighters still, they're no match for us.

Heck, their debating society wasn't a match for Buckley years ago.

caplight said...

C4
Thanks for your take. you said, "Italy was never a path into Germany. It was good faith to the Politburo to show other allies were fighting and dying." Heck of a price paid for that.

J said...

wow Byro-"Caplight" (what a ridiculous name), the acid-head-LDS troll now putting on his phony nazi-history schtick. Wait, Byro--better not let Digby or DU see you hanging with C4. YOu don't know jack about real history either, little RN flunkie, regardless of your swastikas in the garage, next to the LDS and occult books

J said...

While C4 has some...un-PC issues he's essentially correct (unlike JoeJoe the heretic, the wiki king) that the nazis' fate wasn't sealed until Stalingrad. Der Fuhrer himself admitted that. In the summer of '42 the soviets would rarely engage the germans, who roamed the streets at will--instead they attacked weak points in the line--e.g the rumanians and italians (little match for the red army). The Fuhrer's blunder was not pulling out in fall '42--demanding war --ratkrieg--to the end .The german army stayed, the weather got exceptionally nasty, and the soviets encircled them, and destroyed the luftwaffe on the ground, routed the ru. and ital. and finally encircled the germans, cut off supply lines, etc. Paulus and his men defecting did not help matters either. So it was not at all a slamdunk as Joejoe the heretic suggests.

Seeing Red said...

Not according to the history channel. We didn't win. They gave up cos it cost them too much.

Um... when the other side gives up and you wind up with everything you were fighting the war for, that's called "winning".



Ehhhh, how ---it was awhile ago. I can't remember the exact phrasing. It wasn't the valiant revolutionaries who finally drove them out.

It was the way it was said. It wasn't pro-America freedom fighters.

Basically it came across as tho they were denigrating our efforts.

I know a win is a win but still, it rankled.

RossAZ said...

Cedarford reminds me of Creationists that think they win arguments by quoting out of context.

Joe, Revenant, et al, have provided good arguments (factual) that American aid was deterministic. I'll add my own: 53% of the bombings of Germany, as well their facilities in occupied Europe, was by American crews; 47% of the D-Day invasion force was American, who were assigned the more difficult beaches; American aid to the Soviet Union was in the order of 10s of thousands of tanks and planes, and 300,000+ Jeeps, but this only represented about 20% of American aid, the rest was food, machinery, and resources. No help there, certainly not deterministic about WWII.

I can't say that if Americans didn't do this then X wouldn't happen, no one can. History is hindsight, change one thing and it becomes another timeline. I can only wonder what D-Day would have been with 47% fewer troops. A quick win perhaps? The Germans surrendering in '44, weeks after D-Day?

Americans could have aided the soviets in manpower through Iran or Vladivostok, but Stalin would have none of that. He as well Hitler treated all people like pawns. If you look closely at the Great Patriotic War, Stalin was as bad as Hitler. The Germans died from the Russian winter as much as Soviet bullets, and the Soviet people died by Stalin as much as German bullets.

I wish the Soviet people had had a Churchill or a Roosevelt, fewer would have died. But Stalin used people like the Russian landowners used serfs. Scratch that, he was worse.

The American entrance into both theaters was determinative by all the examples given. To say otherwise is fringe, given that no credible historians on any continent agree that it wasn't. Not even historians in the Russian Confederation.

J.,

The Germans were finished in the winter of '41 (summer oils, summer clothes, scorched earth). It was all downhill from there. That they went on so long was the stupidity of Der Fuhrer.

On hindsight, the Japanese lost on Dec. 7th (Pearl, Philippines, Corregidor, etc.) and the Germans on 22 June 1941 (an operation that was made possible by trade with the Soviets during the Pact), as well the 9th December 41.

Why? because it set the following in motion: the isolationist USA joined the war; and thus the Axis added a country with a large industrial base, a large agricultural base, a large resource base, a large population, and a Republic at war (Republican democracies can be really nasty in war).

Molly said...

"Treason never prospers. Here's the reason: For if it prospers, none dare call it treason."

AllenS said...

Russia paid for the material that we sent them during WWII, Cedarford? I was not aware that they paid for anything. Do you have any cites (links) that you could share?

bagoh20 said...

I believe how the British got control of the colonies in the first place was illegal, so what?

bagoh20 said...

Everything in the western hemisphere belongs to a small ragtag frozen clan from Siberia.

This is Eskimo land. We had to choose between blubber or bangers, so we started a new country. True story.

Mick said...

Same silly rationale as the Willfully Blind who think Obama is an eligible natural born Citizen (or who know he's not, and participate in the treason).


"Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right. The Declaration of Independence itself, in the absence of any recognised legal basis, had to appeal to "natural law", an undefined concept, and to "self-evident truths", that is to say truths for which no evidence could be provided. "


Right, so I guess they never heard of "Law of Nations"-- Vattel.

Obama apologists like to say that natural born Citizen was never defined also. Like the Constitution is a dictionary, and "no one knows" what one of the 3 requirements for Presidential eligibility means. Minor v. Happersett is foreign to them, as are the plain words w/in it that is the precedent for the meaning. To them the plain words are written in a foreign language.

Justia, run by Obama supporters, has been sabotaging specific references to Minor v. Happersett in at least 25 cases! I guess the "law prof" doesn't think it blog worthy.

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/justia-com-surgically-removed-minor-v-happersett-from-25-supreme-court-opinions-in-run-up-to-08-election/#comments

Indigo Red said...

Of course, the Declaration of Independence was illegal; it was treasonous and everyone in 1776 knew it. But, was the DoI a lie? Yes, much of it was a lie, much of it was a horrible exaggeration, and much of it was true; in total, it was great propaganda. A large part of the conflict concerned whether the Colonies were subject to Crown dictate or Parliamentary representative law. The rebels had many supporters in Parliament, none in the Royal Court, and Parliament termed America as "Crown Colonies" clearly recognizing the King's authority there and since the Colonies were mostly the result of Royal Land Grants, it's hard to argue Parliamentary authority. Still, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

British lawyer and debate participant Sally Jane O’Neill said the colonists knew their actions amounted to treason. She quoted the famous statement Franklin uttered as he scrawled his John Hancock on the sheepskin parchment of the Declaration: “We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” To great laughter, O’Neill remarked, “In my line of work, that’s about as complete an admission of guilt as you get.”


Michael Beloff, another British team attorney, joked at the debate, “There really is no need for you Yanks to keep picking at these ancient scabs two centuries or so later. You won!”

Once again, might makes right and war does solve problems.

J said...

Maybe try Locke's 2nd Treatise of Civ. Govt. for starters (a key doc. for Jeff. and FF's, joto) They probably got in ebonics or big print-abridged somewhere, Byro the failed male nurse (indigo,bag, mick,etc).

Indigo Red said...

Lockes' 2nd Treatise lends justification to the Rebellion; however, Locke does nothing to absolve the participants of treason, nor does it change the British sovereign's right to maintain the State in a condition harmonious to its well being. Only the military defeat of British forces absolved the Rebels of treason and rendered legitimacy to the Declaration of Independence.

The fact remains: America's founding as an independent nation was an illegal act according to the laws of the acknowledge sovereign state of Great Britain; the causes which led the Colonies to the separation, if not outright lies, were certainly inflated for propaganda purposes and happy I am that they should have done so.

J said...

Oh it does, does it. Obviously you haven't read Locke's 2nd Treatise (nearly 100 years before AmerRev anyway), which is about ideas and principles, not your phony-Brit. legalese (including the right to petition a corrupt or tyrannical govt. or dissolve it when necessary). Now, back to yr wikis, knave

Indigo Red said...

A little too quick to leap to the Wiki accusation without due cause. Me thinks you have been to Wiki too often.

Holmes said...

West Virginia's statehood was illegal; it never had Virginia's consent. But here we are...

No Name said...

"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..."


I'm no lawyer, but that sounds pretty straightforward to me.

Seems to me we were telling the english that their damn bloody laws no longer held sway here- that we were going our own way, or would die trying.

Come n get me, copper!

Rich Rostrom said...

Holmes: West Virginia's statehood was illegal; it never had Virginia's consent.

Western Virginia Unionists met in convention at Wheeling a few weeks after the Richmond convention declared secession. The Wheeling convention declared that all state officers who accepted secession (e.g. Governor Letcher) had forfeited their offices by committing treason. The convention then elected a new slate of state officers, and invited loyal state legislators to assemble.

This "Restored Government of Virginia" later approved the action of Congress in creating the separate state of West Virginia.

So, technically, "Virginia" did consent to the creation of West Virginia.

The "Restored Government" also exercised jurisdiction over Union-controlled parts of eastern Virginia, such as the Arlington area and the city of Norfolk, until the end of the war.