I found this the other day, and it reminded me why I was so passionate about 1976 and the bicentennial celebration. Everyone went back to the basics of our country, and learned their history again. Here was an article I found written by an attorney from York, PA. We need to remain 50 United States of America, not one big Federal State.
Mr. J. F. Rauhauser, Jr. Esq., President of the York County Bicentennial Commission, Inc. tells the story in his discourse, “The Secret History of the Birth of the Nation.”
“The facts are unassailable and the law irrefutable. In fact, and by law, the United States of America was created, – born, if you will – on November 15, 1777, in Yorktown, Pennsylvania. Not in Boston; nor even in Philadelphia. Not on July 4, 1776 by the Declaration of Independence; nor yet by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. But instead, the United States of America first came into being, as a sovereign independent nation, by action of the Continental Congress, duly convened in the colony of Pennsylvania, and in the town of York, which thus became the nation’s first capital.
It happened this way. Representatives of the thirteen colonies, sitting in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, received news that a great force under British General Howe was approaching that city. Bundling their public papers into guarded wagons, the representatives agreed, on September 18, 1777, to move to the town of Lancaster just east of the Susquehanna River. A brief entry in the Journals of the Continental Congress indicates some members of Congress did stop in Lancaster on September 27, but it was then quickly decided “to repair to the town of York, in Pennsylvania,” thus affording to the Congress the added protection of the broad expanses of that river. Congress thereafter convened in York from September 30, 1777 until June 27, 1778, when it returned to Philadelphia, only then evacuated by the British.
Among the Resolutions adopted by the Congress on July 2, 1776, before it left Philadelphia, was one which proposed that a plan for the permanent binding together or confederation of the 13 newly independent colonies should be prepared. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania, as Chairman, and delegates from each of the other colonies served the committee to carry out this resolve. A draft of the Articles of Confederation was shortly submitted to the delegates, but only limited consideration was given to the matter until it was taken up in almost daily debate after the Congress convened in York.
Then it was, on November 15, 1777 that the Articles of Confederation were officially adopted. Then it was that the participating colonies agreed ‘…hereby severally (to) enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for …common defense, the security of …liberty and…mutual and general welfare…’
By Articles I it was established that “The stile of this confederacy shall be ‘The United States of America.’
Until that moment The United States of America did not exist.
True it is that the 13 colonies declared their separate independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776 in Philadelphia, but in that same Declaration of Independence they solemnly declared themselves to be “free and independent states” with the right retained by each to do “all acts and things which independent states may of right do.” That Declaration did not create a union of any sort. It created 13 independent states.
True it is that each independent state or colony thereafter had to ratify the act of its authorized delegates in the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, but, by definition, the term ratification gives assent as of the time of the original event. The original event was the adoption of the Articles on November 15, 1777, in York, Pennsylvania, which created The United States of America.
True it is, also, that the present Constitution of the United States of America was adopted in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, but its preamble states the purpose for its adoption to have been ‘to form a more perfect union,’ or, in other words, to improve on the union that therefore existed.
In brief, the United States of America was officially created on November 15, 1777 and thereafter, upon ratification, operated throughout the American Revolution under the Articles as its First Constitution. The experience gained under the first charter dictated the necessity of having a government with more centralized power. And although the delegates met in Philadelphia for the avowed purpose of improving, by amendment, The Articles of Confederation, they did in fact adopt an entirely new and second Constitution.
It is perhaps a little known, infrequently told, almost secret history. But it is true, – in fact and in law. It happened in Pennsylvania. In the Capital City of Yorktown. On November 15, 1777. Then and there The United States of America was born. (11)”