It has been our practice thus far to always provide positive examples and literature in these Hero’s Handbooks. However, knowledge, important knowledge, can be found in negative examples as well. A few weeks ago we published a Hero’s Handbook, entitled Colossus of Independence, in which we encouraged action–for by a single action history can be made. In this week’s Hero’s Handbook, we present the reverse of this concept–how certain acts foment our problems instead of allaying them. The above video (go here if  video is not displaying) is a dramatic interpretation of the ‘Proclamation of Rebellion’ sent by King George III of Britain in response to the Battle at Bunker Hill. This proclamation was made soon after the Continental Congress’ Olive Branch Petition arrived in Britain; however, as King George refused to read the petition, this proclamation is often taken as the de facto reply to the last conciliatory measure made by the Continental Congress. It came also to represent the final straw in the debate on British American Independence.

George III, Proclamation of Rebellion

To give a very little context to the king’s personal motives, King George was struggling to reestablish the power of the monarchy over an empire that covered one quarter of the globe. He was responding in this particular instance to a battle which had cost over a thousand British soldiers. I believe the Proclamation of Rebellion was meant as a show of strength, and an attempt to force the American colonies to come to terms with the crown. Unfortunately, it did not have the desired effect.

I have printed the Proclamation in its entirety below. Imagine, as you read it, the thoughts of those on both sides of the conflict. Who are the heroes and who are the villains in this conflict?

A Proclamation of Rebellion

Whereas many of our subjects in divers parts of our Colonies and Plantations in North America, misled by dangerous and ill designing men, and forgetting the allegiance which they owe to the power that has protected and supported them; after various disorderly acts committed in disturbance of the publick peace, to the obstruction of lawful commerce, and to the oppression of our loyal subjects carrying on the same; have at length proceeded to open and avowed rebellion, by arraying themselves in a hostile manner, to withstand the execution of the law, and traitorously preparing, ordering and levying war against us: And whereas, there is reason to apprehend that such rebellion hath been much promoted and encouraged by the traitorous correspondence, counsels and comfort of divers wicked and desperate persons within this realm: To the end therefore, that none of our subjects may neglect or violate their duty through ignorance thereof, or through any doubt of the protection which the law will afford to their loyalty and zeal, we have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue our Royal Proclamation, hereby declaring, that not only all our Officers, civil and military, are obliged to exert their utmost endeavors to suppress such rebellion, and to bring the traitors to justice, but that all our subjects of this Realm, and the dominions thereunto belonging, are bound by law to be aiding and assisting in the suppression of such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous conspiracies and attempts against us, our crown and dignity; and we do accordingly strictly charge and command all our Officers, as well civil as military, and all others our obedient and loyal subjects, to use their utmost endeavors to withstand and suppress such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which they shall know to be against us, our crown and dignity; and for that purpose, that they transmit to one of our principal Secretaries of State, or other proper officer, due and full information of all persons who shall be found carrying on correspondence with, or in any manner or degree aiding or abetting the persons now in open arms and rebellion against our Government, within any of our Colonies and Plantations in North America, in order to bring to condign punishment the authors, perpetrators, and abettors of such traitorous designs.

Given at our Court at St. James’s the twenty-third day of August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, in the fifteenth year of our reign.

God save the King.