The Catholic Defender: Charles Carroll, Business Man, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Growing up in America in in the 1960′s and 70′s was a unique time in American life. Perhaps because of the heroism of the greatest generation during World War II. The importance that business and job creation has played beginning with the early 1900′s had much to do with America’s success winning both World Wars. Consider the influence of Andrew Carnegie who made it big in the iron industry, Henry Ford in the automobile industry, Thomas Edison in creating the light bulb. In the world of business, today, there are hundreds of successful businesses that has helped pull our Country forward.
Politics aside, when politicians get out of the way with their heavy regulations, it helps free Enterprise. Government should only ensure that laws are drafted to foster legitimate free opportunities for all. Today, our Government is acting much worse than what King George III of England had been on the original colonies.
The English Parliament was raising taxes on the colonies, most notably were the “Currency Acts of 1751 and 1764."
Because of the cost of the French and Indian War, King George III imposed another major tax which outraged the colonists.
The most known act of rebellion became known as the “Boston Tea Party” where colonists dressed up as Indians boarded an English merchant ship in the harbor and tossed the English tea in the harbor.
("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.")
England sent troops to America to squelch any rebellion, but by 1776, there was no turning back. On August 2, 1776, 56 leaders of the American Revolution signed the Declaration of Independence. Among those signing was a devout Catholic from Maryland, Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
Charles Carroll was raised in a well to do family built by his Grandfather and his Father. In middle 18th century America, compared to today, was not much more than the stone age. But with freedom and free Capitalism, Business opportunities began to move the United States forward.
Carroll’s family business ranged from grain products for livestock, orchards, business loans (banking), iron productions, cloth factories, it was really substantial at the time despite anti-Catholic laws that were on the books. By 1776, Charles Carroll placed his Patriotism and love on God, family, and Country on the road to freedom.
("That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.")
President George Washington had such great respect for Carroll that he wanted to make him Ambassador to France in 1796, but decided not too when seeing the importance Carroll gave to his Country in the world of business. I also might add that Carroll might have had a great impact on George Washington, that his conversion to the Catholic Faith could be through Carroll’s influence.
Charles Carroll said, “The accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.” Clearly, this is coming from his strong Catholic roots. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 states, ”As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed.”
As a young man, Charles Carroll was inspired by St. Francis de Sales writing “Introduction to the Devout Life” (1609) that gives a great Catholic teaching for Catholics living in the world as a pilgrim.
From this teaching, Carroll viewed the importance of religious liberty and the bridging of moral values, patriotism and business building a better America as a Republic.
From this great foundation, others would come and through their inventions and their building of business, would create the greatest nation the world has ever seen.
The greatest of these also gave back to society. Andrew Carnegie at age 66 was regarded as the world’s richest man through his Iron/steel Company.
President Donald Trump consistently has said that he wants to give back to America for giving him the opportunity of success that he has had in his life.
Like Charles Carroll, Andrew Carnegie and Donald Trump believe that people of wealth bore a responsibility to give back to support their fellow man. By 1911, Carnegie had given away 90% of his wealth to foster peace in the world, building thousands of libraries, building schools, gave to scientific research, helping teachers. In 2015, over 100 years later, Donald Trump has also put aside his business and wealth to work for the Nation.
Today, everyday we take advantage of the conveniences we have, like typing this article on my computer for My website or Charles would tell the Owners of the NFL to just play ball and quit disrespecting the flag.
In all that we have, we must keep alive Charles Carroll’s original basic call for faith, love of God, and love of Country. Freedom truly isn’t free, it must be fought for and preserved. President Ronald Reagan stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."