1752

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The First Chill Wind of Revolution

The French nobility admit it. In this age of science and reason, an aristocracy set above the people by an agency of the Divine seems ridiculous even to themselves. There are far too many incompetents who have inherited or bought their positions rather than earned it through merit. (The exception being the military rank of major and lieutenant colonel which are merit ranks.) While King Louis the 15th was fighting the War of Austrian Succession, he left the governance of France in the hands of two brothers, one of which wrote these chilling words this year... [1]

The race of great lords must be destroyed completely. -- René Louis de Voyer. [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Now you know why the French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville (TOH-keh-vill). was traveling through the United States of America in the early 1830s and taking notes. He wanted to find out how France could make a safe transition from an aristocracy to a democracy. In 1835, he published, Democracy in America, a book that many people quote from, but few have read. So let's quote from it. (No tears, please.) [4]
On Taxes: "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it." [5]
On the Evils of the Press: "In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates." [5]
On the Sheeple: "In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." [5]
On Despotism: "The foremost, or indeed the sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex, is simplified, and reduced as it were to a single principle." [5]
On Our Greatness: The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. [5]

The Liberty Bell Is Cast Again and Again

The Pennsylvania legislature needs a bell for the State House to summon legislators to session and to alert the public. Casting bells is beyond the expertise of the colonials so they order one from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in England. It weighs 12 tons and bears the inscription "Proclaim Liberty thro' all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.-Levit. XXV. 10." Pennsylvania is not prepared to install the bell yet so workers mount it on a frame and hit it. CRACK! Everyone is dismayed, but a couple of foundry workers recast the bell, adding copper and pewter to make the metal less brittle. They try it again, but now the tone seems unpleasant. They order another bell from England. It also sounds terrible so they give up. The newest bell is installed under the roof of the State House and the recast bell is installed in the steeple. The State House will eventually be renamed Independence Hall but the bell in the steeple will remain unnamed. It will also remain uncracked until some time between 1817 and 1846. No one will be able to recall when or how it will happen but stories will abound. And while we are talking about stories... no one in particular rang the steeple bell on the 4th of July, 1776 but most historians agree that it was probably rung along with every other bell in the city. The actual label "Liberty Bell" won't be used until the 1830s when abolitionists (who oppose slavery) will use the bell as their symbol and call it the Liberty Bell. The name will stick. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is a 4th bell. In case you've lost track, we have the original BELL 1, which was recast using additional metals into BELL 2. BELL2 is what we normally call "The Liberty Bell." There is also BELL 3 which was installed under the roof of the State House. So... where did BELL 4 come from? On the Bicentennial celebration of US independence from Great Britain, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry decided to make good on the Liberty Bell and cast a fourth bell with the inscription reading:
FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FROM THE PEOPLE OF BRITAIN
4 JULY 1976
LET FREEDOM RING
Several jokesters decided to picket the Foundry claiming that the British had sold Americans a bum product. With tongue firmly in cheek, the Foundry agreed to refund the money after the Americans returned the Liberty Bell in its original packaging.

Too Important not to Mention

* Benjamin Franklin proves that lightening is a form of electricity. (It is doubtful he used a kite and key.) [9] [10]
* Betsy Ross is born. Did she really make that flag? No documented proof. Just a family tradition. [11]
* Eye-gouging is now a felony in Virginia. Ouch! [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1752, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. French Expansion after The Thirty Years’ War. Big Site of History (June 6, 2008). Retrieved on 3 November 2015. “They also introduced two new ranks of officer, major and lieutenant colonel, to give more opportunity to talented commoners; these new commissions were awarded only for merit and were not available for purchase, like the ranks of colonel or captain. Supplies were more abundant, pay was more regular, and an effort was made to weed out the lazy. The inspector general of infantry, Jean Martinet (d. 1672), was so rigorous in drilling and discipline that his name added a word to the modern vocabulary.”
  2. Rousseau and Revolution, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 929-930. “The race of great lords must be destroyed completely. By great lords I understand those who have dignities, property, tithes, offices, and functions, and who, without deserts and without necessarily being adults, are none the less great, and for this reason often worthless.... I notice that a breed of good hunting dogs is preserved, but once it deteriorates it is done away with.” 
  3. René Louis de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 March 2016. “On 10 January 1747 Louis XV thanked d'Argenson for his services. He then retired into private life, eschewed the court, associated with Voltaire, Condillac and d’Alembert, and spent his declining years in working at the Académie des Inscriptions, of which he was appointed president by the king in 1747, and revising his Mémoires. Voltaire, in one of his letters, declared him to be 'the best citizen that had ever tasted the ministry'.[1] He died on 26 January 1757.”
  4. Alex Shrugged notes: I have actually read Democracy in America... the whole thing. I'm not making any larger a claim than that.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America). Wikiquote (2016). Retrieved on 25 March 2016.
  6. Liberty Bell: 1753. Government Publishing Office (GOVERNMENT SITE) (2016). Retrieved on 25 March 2016. “The bell was cast in London, England, and shipped to Pennsylvania. Soon after it arrived, the bell cracked. In 1753, a new bell was cast from the same metal by John Pass and John Stow. Their names and the year in Roman numerals, MDCCLIII, are marked on the bell. It also has a Bible verse written on it: 'Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof' (Leviticus 25:10).”
  7. Liberty Bell - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 February 2016. “The bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast with the lettering 'Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,' a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus (25:10). The bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.”
  8. News - The Liberty Bell - NSF -. National Science Foundation (GOVERNMENT SITE) (2016). Retrieved on 25 March 2016. “In June, 1753, a third version of the Bell was hung in the State House steeple, and tested. The tone was not much better, according to Assembly Speaker Isaac Norris. In fact, he went so far as to urge Whitechapel in London to cast another Bell for his provincial capital. The new Whitechapel Bell arrived in May, 1754. It also suffered bad reviews.”
  9. Kite experiment - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “In 1752, Franklin proposed an experiment with conductive rods to attract lightning to a Leyden jar, an early form of capacitor.”
  10. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 346-347. 
  11. Betsy Ross - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “However, there is no archival evidence or other recorded verbal tradition to substantiate this story of the first American flag, and it appears that the story first surfaced in the writings of her grandson in the 1870s (a century after the fact), with no mention or documentation in earlier decades.”
  12. Hening's Statutes at Large - LAWS OF VIRGINIA, FEBRUARY 1752−−25th GEORGE II.. Virginia Genealogy Web (2008). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “I. WHEREAS many mischievous and ill disposed persons have of late, in a malicious and barbarous manner, maimed, wounded, and defaced, many of his majesty's subjects, for the prevention of which inhuman practices: II. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Burgesses of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That if any person or persons, from and after the first day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty three, on purpose, shall unlawfully cut out, or disable, the tongue, put out an eye, slit the nose, bite or cut off a nose, or lip, or cut off or disable any limb, or member, of any subject of his majesty, in so doing, to maim, or disfigure, in any of the manners before mentioned, such his majesty's subject, that then, and in every such case, the person or persons so offending, their counsellors, aiders, and abettors, knowing of and privy to the offence as aforesaid, shall be, and are hereby declared to be felons, and shall suffer as in case of felony. III. Provided, That no attainder of such felony, shall extend to corrupt the blood, or forfeit the dower of the wife, or the lands, goods, or chattels, of the offender.”

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