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Famous Speeches of American Independence

"When you make a declaration of Truth and stick to it, you must receive. The outer has no power of itself at all. Its duty is simply to know that the "I AM Presence" is acting."

Beloved Saint Germain - Saint Germain Series Volume 3, Discourse 13:156

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A delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774, Adams was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. He helped get the Constitution ratified in the Massachusetts Convention, and became Governor of Massachusetts in 1794.

Samuel Adams

“On American Independence” - Second Continental Congress, Philadelphia, 1776

In this speech, Adams declares that by voting for the Declaration of Independence, Americans have restored "the Sovereign to Whom alone all men ought to be obedient" (meaning God) to the "throne" of America.”
He recounts that “There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing Providence in our favor: our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels: so that we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.”

He insists that, “The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity and a better preparation for defense; more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence and support us in the dignity of free imperial States.”

Samuel Adams
“On American Independence”

BACKGROUND
Adams' speech was delivered the day before the familiar parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed by the remaining 56 delegates of the assembled Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on August 2nd, 1776. Prior to this, the resolution for independence had been adopted on July 2nd. The decision to publish the wording of the Declaration written by Thomas Jefferson and signed only by President John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson as the instrument in which to announce the Colonies' independence decision publicly was made on July 4th.

HIS MOTIVATION
"If I have a wish dearer to my soul…it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent."
Adams notes the ability of men to “deliberately and voluntarily” form for themselves a political society. He cites John Hampden, John Locke, and Algernon Sidney whose ideas and actions paved the way for such a feat.

THEME OF HIS SPEECH
In this speech, Adams recognizes that this was not simply a battle that would determine the fate of two nations, but the fate of the world at large. He declared, “Courage, then, my countrymen; our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.” Adams declares that by voting for the Declaration of Independence, Americans will have restored "the Sovereign to Whom alone all men ought to be obedient" (meaning God) to the "throne" of America.

KEY FACTS STATED IN HIS SPEECH

Of this new founding of a nation, Adams states:

"Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature. Leave the bird of night to the obscurity for which nature intended him, and expect only from the eagle to brush the clouds with his wings and look boldly in the face of the sun."

Of this new founding of a nation, Adams states:

"Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature. Leave the bird of night to the obscurity for which nature intended him, and expect only from the eagle to brush the clouds with his wings and look boldly in the face of the sun."

August 1, 1776

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