The Man Part II
In an age when position and privilege were more highly valued than talent and intellect Wallace fought for freedom and inspired the people of Scotland to fight with him. So effective was he that, despite his lack of rank in an age when rank was all, he was dubbed Sir William Wallace and appointed, in the absence of a rightful king, the Guardian of Scotland. There we have the key to why William Wallace is revered. The Scots who fought with Wallace did not fight and die because it was their feudal duty to do so, or because they owed him a favour. They didnít fight because they were on a promise of riches or lands. They fought for Scotland because Wallace inspired them to do so. Sir William Wallace inspired an entire generation of Scots, not least the young Earl of Carrick who would eventually win the battle for freedom at Bannock Burn, as King of Scots.
This generation of Scots, inspired by Wallace, would write the Declaration of Arbroath after his death. Central to the Declaration of Arbroath there is a key phrase ďFor it is not for Glory, nor for Riches, nor for Honour that we are fighting but for Freedom alone! That which no honest man gives up but with life itself!Ē William Wallace didnít write that phrase. But he was the inspiration for the men who did! He lived for that principle and he died for it! William Wallace gave the Scots their dignity and their self-respect and he gave the nation its soul. In years to follow, the Declaration of Arbroath, inspired by Wallace, would in turn inspire the founding fathers of the United States of America as they wrote their Declaration of Independence.