Q: Archbishop J, What’s with our Republic?
The move to becoming a republic in 1976 was a significant next step in our evolution as a nation after independence was achieved in 1962. Both are important milestones. Both signal a direction for self-governance, autonomy and charting our course in the world of nations.
Sometimes we forget just how young we are: 57 years independent and 43 years a republic. In contrast, England took 1,000 years of bloody war before the Magna Carta (1215). Then it took another 800 years to evolve the equality of all citizens.
America took the Magna Carta and built on it to write their Declaration of Independence. This document framed the aspiration of a people and the equality of the citizens.
Yet, the US remained divided between the North and South over the issue of slavery. Was the black man equal before the law? This was a question over which America fought a bitter civil war 1861–1865, one hundred years after its independence.