The American Revolution, Taxes or Religion?

In School we have all been taught about the imposition of taxes by the British Government as being the "cause" that Americans most espoused as a reason for the rush to independence and the overthrow of the colonial government. Never let it be said that the tax amounted to 12 cents per anum, and the citizens of Britain were taxed upwards of 10 pounds or more.

Yet text books rarely point out the anti-Catholicism was at the heart of the revolution. Instead they focus on taxes and the like. That was hardly what the revolution was all about.

"I did verily believe, as I do still, that much more is to be dreaded from the growth of popery in America, than from the Stamp Act, or any other acts destructive of civil rights." Samuel Adams. (Yep the old Beer making fool himself)

This is why when King George III was being burned in effigy so was the Pope, as banners proclaimed that they would have no "Popish king". The oath with which the rebels forced Tories to make under penalty of torture and possibly death required them to "renounce the pope" and "the King" and "to turn Whig or Christian (Puritan)". Yet at the same time under George III the requirement to hold the king as the head of the church in England was lifted. The new oath now read:

A.B. do sincerely promise and swear, That I will be faithful, and bear true Allegiance to his Majesty King George, and him will defend to the utmost of my Power, against all traitorous Conspiracies, and Attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against his Person. Crown. and Dignity; and I will do my utmost Endeavor to disclose and make known to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, all Treasons, and traitorous Conspiracies, and Attempts, which I shall know to be against him, or any of them; and all this I do swear without any Equivocation, mental Evasion, or secret Reservation, and renouncing all Pardons and Dispensations from any Power or Person whomsoever to the contrary. So help me GOD

For the first time since Henry VIII destroyed the purity of the Faith in England, the English raised up a Catholic chaplain for an all Catholic regiments of American Loyalists. The first Catholic Chaplain since the Anglican schism was Fr. John McKenna.

From a thread intitled "Masons and 1 heretic"
reply by Mark Amesse dtd 101007


Sacred Heart Badge

The Sacred Heart Badge as worn by the Counter-Revolutionaries during the Terror and the Catholic uprising in the Vendee. Any person who was caught wearing this badge faced immediate execution by the "tolerant" French revolutionary government as being a reactionary, clerical and counter to the goals of the Revolution. Marie-Antoinette is mentioned as wearing one on her person as was Madame Royale.

In 1676, Our Lord Jesus Himself introduced the devotion to His flaming Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun of the Visitation. He promised, “I will bless every house in which an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.” He also revealed His wish that people not only have a picture to venerate in their homes, but also carry a small picture with them.

When the Sacred Heart Badge was first presented to Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1870, he exclaimed, “this is an inspiration from Heaven. Yes, from Heaven,” and proceeded to grant the badge a blessing for all time so that subsequent badges need never be re-blessed by a priest. He then added, “and I want Satan to be unable to cause any harm to those who wear this badge.”

The badge was adopted by the great Catholic resistance movements, such as that of the Chouans against the French Revolution, Andreas Hoffer’s Tyroleans against Napoleon, the Cristeros against the anti-Catholic Mexican government in the beginning of the twentieth century, and the Carlists against the Communist Revolution of 1936–1939 in Spain. The Cuban Catholics facing Castro’s firing squads also had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and died crying, “Long live Christ the King!”

With a history such as that of the Sacred Heart Badge, ANF’s Director Robert Ritchie could not help but be enthusiastic about spreading this devotion in America today, so in need of divine aid. Indeed, what better token of Faith and Divine protection could we wish for America?

Today the badge is different from the above only in that it now portrays the portrait of Jesus pointing to His Heart.

Sacre Coeur de Jesus.


18th century fashions

"But the most remarkable thing about her face was the splendour of her complexion. I never have seen one so brilliant, and brilliant is the word, for her skin was so transparent that it bore no umber in the painting. Neither could I render the real effect of it as I wished. I had no colours to paint such freshness, such delicate tints, which were hers alone, and which I had never seen in any other woman."
Elizabeth Vigee-la Brun

The above description by Vigee-la Brun of Queen Marie-Antoinette gives us an insight into the appearance of the Reine-Martyr. The discription talks of perfect skin. It was a trait shared by her eldest daughter, Madame Royale.

It was not so with many of the women of the time. Fair skin was sought after in a time when a tan meant low born. There were rules in dress and appearance that the most fashionable of the ones who thought they were fashionable strived for. Marie-Antoinette was the style setter of the last part of the 18th century. Indeed so much has been written about her clothes and their extravagance that when the truth be known that she mended and saved her clothes many are wont not to believe it. The reason for this is simple, it was the woman who wore the clothes and not the clothes that wore the woman. Her skin was perfect therefore she had no need of cosmetics to be worn day to day.

To be seen as having this alabaster skin women of the 18th century wore a cosmetic face powder. Below is the receipe to make 18th century face powder. (This is not a joke)

Face Powder

several thin plates of lead
a big pot of vinegar
a bed of horse manure
perfume & tinting agent

Steep the lead in the pot of vinegar, and rest it in a bed of manure for at least three weeks. When the lead finally softens to the point where it can pounded into a flaky white powder (chemical reaction between vinegar and lead causes lead to turn white), grind to a fine powder. Mix with water, and let dry in the sun. After the powder is dry, mix with the appropriate amount of perfume and tinting dye. (Gunn)

(uh huh)

But wait there is more...


Rouge was another favorite cosmetic. Its name is derived from the French word for "red." Like the popular white face powder, rouge was created from questionable ingredients, including carmine (a lead-based pigment.) People used rouge with wet bits of wool to daub fashionable red spots on their cheeks --- the general idea was that it made an aesthetically pleasing contrast to one's pale, powdered face.

Rouge was also available as a lipstick for both men and women. Sticks of solid rouge were created by mixing carmine with plaster of Paris. (Gunn)

NOTE: we don't do this any more. Lead is easily absorbed by the body and has the side effects of severe head pain, nausea, dizziness, bowel problems, blindness, and, if large enough amounts have been ingested, paralyzsis or even death.

Gunn, Fenja The Artificial Face
London: Trinity Press, 1973

Colonial Williamsburg is a wealth of information on everything 18th century. If you have never been there, it is not real cheap however it is within the means of most people to visit. more