Keep Hope Alive
Contributed by a friend , who wishes to remain anonymous.
read the historian, Edmund S. Morgan's book: "The Birth of the
"The American colonists were reputed to be a quarrelsome, litigious, divisive lot of people, and historical evidence bears out this reputation. The records of the local courts in every colony are cluttered with such a host of small lawsuits that one receives from them the impression of a people who sued each other almost as regularly as they ate or slept. Their newspapers bristle with indignant letters to the editor about matters that now seem trifling. Ministers (religious chiefs) kept the presses busy with pamphlets denouncing each other's doctrines.
Within every colony there were quarrels between different sections. Eastern Connecticut despised Western Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island, was at odds with Providence, and the rest of New England looked upon the whole of Rhode Island with undisguised contempt. Western North Carolina was so irritated by Eastern North Carolina that civil War broke out in 1771.... So notorious was this hostility which every American seemed to feel for every other American.
Not only did the different sections of every colony quarrel with each other, but every colony engaged in perennial boundary disputes with its neighbors. Even when faced with Indian uprisings, neighboring colonies could seldom be brought to assist each other. When New York was attacked, Massachusetts found that her budget would not allow her to send aid. When Massachusetts was attacked, the New Yorkers in turn twiddled their thumbs.
So notorious was this hostility which every American seemed to feel for every other American that James Otis averred in 1765 that "were these colonies left to themselves tomorrow, America would be a mere shambles of blood and confusion." And an English traveler who toured the colonies in 1759 and 1760 came to precisely the same conclusion: "Were they left to themselves, there would soon be civil war from one end of the continent to the other."
Twenty years later these same people united to create a government that has had a longer continuous existence than that of any western country except England." In 1765 John Dickinson, of Philadelphia, thought that American independence from Great Britain would bring "a multitude of Commonwealths, Crimes, and Calamities, Centuries of Mutual Jealousies, Hatred, Wars of Devastation." Twenty four years later he saw the United States adopt its present Constitution, which he had helped to draft.