What if America’s founding fathers were stirred to revolution by their treatment at the hands of the British Parliament, not the Crown? What if they actually wanted firmer control in the hands of a single monarch, and took up arms initially in the name of the king? And declared independence from his “tyranny” only after George III refused to wield the power they offered? And wrote the American constitution with the problem of a weak executive fresh in mind? And gave the presidency greater powers than any English king had wielded in decades, merely shorn of regal pomp and style? So that, on one side of the Atlantic, there would be kings without monarchy; on the other, monarchy without kings?
In The Royalist Revolution, a radically revisionist account of the political thought of the American Revolution and its relation to the Constitution of 1787, Eric Nelson argues that these questions aren’t hypothetical. Something to ponder this Independence Day.