Africa & Beyond

The Royal Wedding: America fought a war to be free of a crown – really?

Do not see this – please – as the ranting of one born in a colony under English rule, a rule that paralyzed her country of birth at inception in 1914 and a rule that followed England’s imperial pattern in her colonies: “dictate and change the government of colonies at her pleasure and regulate and restrict their commerce.” No, England has not continued to change Nigeria’s government as such but her deliberate design to create a defective union from the start has never given the country much chance although Nigerian rulers have a lot of blame to shoulder. A deliberate undercount of the Southern population as against the North peopled by citizens the English believe would continue to allow them to meddle which, not coincidentally, would allow them to profit. And it has worked. Pardon me; this piece is not about the devastation that English rule has wrought on Nigeria.

The Americans fought a war to be rid of the English Crown, their overlords but you would hardly realize it these days not only from the royal wedding-mania that has gripped the former colony but in the many ways that Americans continue to cede supremacy to their former overlords across the big pond.

Here are a few of the ridiculous rules that drove the republican and fiercely independent early Americans to more than rebellion: the rights of kings; “being public servants bound to exercise their authority for the benefit of the government, and ever maintained that it is the inalienable right of the subject freely to give his money to the crown or to withhold it at his discretion; England’s right to dictate and change governments of her colonies at her pleasure and restrict their commerce”, etcetera.

I must go back to the matter of Nigeria under England’s abusive rights of ownership – so to say – evidenced by the Crown’s right to “restrict commerce”. This letter from Nigeria’s National Archives was from the Ataoja of Osogbo, His Royal Highness Oba Latona to the District Officer at Osogbo in 1935 and is exerpted from Samuel Adenle I, Ataoja of Osogbo: Portrait of a Yoruba Oba by Depo & Tola Adenle, [this writer] 2006:

“My Good Friend, Greetings.

Over three weeks ago, I have supplied about five tons of palm kernel shells to the B.A.T. Coy Ltd. Oshogbo. Through you I should like to know if the firm needs more. Furthermore, I desire to know the costs of the one received and how its money would get to my hand…

On 11th October, i.e. the following day, the B.A.T. Manager sent Seven Pounds two shillings and six pence – in settlement of this debt that the seller could not directly ask from him to the D.O. for onward payment to Ataoja Latona. No negotiation between seller and buyer; none between seller and D.O. Incredible!”

Yeah, I was on America’s fixation with anything English, anything British these days of which the royal wedding is a mere progression on the shoving down the throat of the world rule Britannia these days. On television in America, the most watched shows are mostly imports or produced by British/English expatriates – the world can hardly distinguish even though the old tribes still wax strong: watch an Andy Murray tennis match and see the Highland lads and lass waving the Scottish flags. By the way, Scotland is my favorite British country; it’s home to one of my best friends, Katie and also home to perhaps my most beloved actor, [The Original Mr. Bond], Sean Connery. What’s more: I think the Scots are the best Brits!

Here is a roll call of some of America’s most-watched, richest … programs with British/English origins or created/produced/ etcetera: American Idol; So, you think you can dance; Who wants to be a millionaire; America’s Got Talent; X-Factor.

The wedding is drawing high ratings from the USA with millions of English royalty fans. Thousands have crossed the Atlantic to be able to get a feel rather than remain at home and watch on tv. When William headed for St. Andrew’s – where he would later meet his bride – I read how droves of wannabe princesses from the States sent in applications to be admitted to the same university.

Of course I love weddings and do wish William and Kate well. They went outside the box before getting into this union and can therefore be sure of having a much better chance at making a success of their union. Hei, I’m even Anglican and those Church wedding Hymns are always incredible; so I’ll watch the service.

I think Americans are too fiercely independent and too protective of their rights AND, pardon me, too innovative to want to go back to being subjects to a people long left with making their own money from vestiges from the old colonies, services – and pomp and pageantry.

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