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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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  #1  
Old 25 Feb 16, 10:43
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The American Revolution: Not a Just War

Hi

I've no real POV on this matter, though I'm sure the last sentence of this abstract will incur some wrath. I found the article 'interesting'

Quote:
Was the American Revolution a just war? Did it adhere to the accepted standards for determining a just war? This article evaluates the American situation in the 1770s, including the Americans’ claims to be Englishmen, the level of taxation in the colonies, their level of freedom, and the violence perpetrated by American colonists. It also investigates the validity of the primary American argument – no taxation without representation. The reporting of key events and American propaganda is explored along with its significance for the overall question. Finally, this article evaluates the American Revolution in light of standard just war rules. The conclusion of this article is negative: the American colonists did not, overall, fight a just war
.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...0.2015.1035947

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Andy H
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  #2  
Old 25 Feb 16, 13:00
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The issue I've always had with the just war theory is that it is entirely relative and unenforceable. If everyone agreed on what was and wasn't just there would be no war in the first place.

The Germans thought their war was just. After all they were just trying to reclaim the Danzig corridor and parts of West Prussia that had been German for centuries before 1918. It sort of snowballed out of control after that.

The Japanese were only fighting to take what was wrongly denied to them at Versailles and later to escape from an embargo that was strangling them.

Saddam was only trying to reclaim the 19th province of Iraq after the locals had been stealing his nation's oil.

The Islamic State is fighting the very definition of a just war in their eyes since they're only doing what their false prophet told them to.

See how easy this is? Often what is just is decided after the fact, usually by the winner. I don't mean to say that the only war crime is losing or anything like that. There is almost always an absolute right and wrong to most situations but trying to convince people of that, much less enforce it is extremely difficult and is often what causes wars in the first place.
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Old 25 Feb 16, 13:54
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Well, had there been no revolution at all I'm of the opinion that the United States' fate probably would have mirrored Canada's, albeit on an accelerated timetable. They would have gained autonomy and finally outright independence one way or another, the question is how soon.
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Old 25 Feb 16, 14:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frisco17 View Post
The issue I've always had with the just war theory is that it is entirely relative and unenforceable. If everyone agreed on what was and wasn't just there would be no war in the first place.

The Germans thought their war was just. After all they were just trying to reclaim the Danzig corridor and parts of West Prussia that had been German for centuries before 1918. It sort of snowballed out of control after that.

The Japanese were only fighting to take what was wrongly denied to them at Versailles and later to escape from an embargo that was strangling them.

Saddam was only trying to reclaim the 19th province of Iraq after the locals had been stealing his nation's oil.

The Islamic State is fighting the very definition of a just war in their eyes since they're only doing what their false prophet told them to.

See how easy this is? Often what is just is decided after the fact, usually by the winner. I don't mean to say that the only war crime is losing or anything like that. There is almost always an absolute right and wrong to most situations but trying to convince people of that, much less enforce it is extremely difficult and is often what causes wars in the first place.
No its only simple for the very simple. Go and read the definitions of a just war and if you don't wear your finger out doing this come back and post again.
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Old 25 Feb 16, 14:39
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No its only simple for the very simple. Go and read the definitions of a just war and if you don't wear your finger out doing this come back and post again.
You're missing my entire point. Who's to say that definition of just is correct? Note importantly who is going to follow it when it goes against their national interests? These sort of things only last as long as they are convenient and serve the interests of the powers that create them.
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Old 26 Feb 16, 15:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
Well, had there been no revolution at all I'm of the opinion that the United States' fate probably would have mirrored Canada's, albeit on an accelerated timetable. They would have gained autonomy and finally outright independence one way or another, the question is how soon.
And strangely many in the United States are still intrigued with the British Royal Family, if only as celebrities. It's interesting to speculate on the what if. Since both Canada and the eastern United States were British, I suppose an argument could be made that we would be joined in a north American constitutional monarchy. But of course what of the western US? Would The Louisiana Territory be taken over by Britain? Probably yes, as a spoil of the war with Napoleon. What of the Southwest US? Would Britain have gone to war with Mexico to gain Texas, California et. al.? How about slavery? Would Britain have abolished it if British plantation owners were still taking advantage of slave labor for the cotton trade?
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Old 26 Feb 16, 17:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Its hard to imagine any force that opposed the British Empire not having right on their side. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan may in fact be the only exceptions.
Well for a start, the British Empire banned slavery long before the US did - and it didn't take a Civil War to do it.
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Old 26 Feb 16, 20:43
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It's always been the fact that the off-shore middle class Anglo's were just a bunch of smuggling, tax dodging freeloaders.

They were protected with British blood and gold, then expected to carry on as if nothing happened whilst their other Anglo's are squeezed tightly to pay for their liberty....And they 'the off-shore middle class Anglo's' called it 'tyranny'.... Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin and Tojo had nothing on us Brit's!

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Old 26 Feb 16, 20:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
It's always been the fact that the off-shore middle class Anglo's were just a bunch of smuggling, tax dodging freeloaders.

They were protected with British blood and gold, then expected to carry on as if nothing happened whilst their other Anglo's are squeezed tightly to pay for their liberty....And they 'the off-shore middle class Anglo's' called it 'tyranny'.... Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin and Tojo had nothing on us Brit's!

Paul
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Old 27 Feb 16, 00:41
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
Well for a start, the British Empire banned slavery long before the US did - and it didn't take a Civil War to do it.
Check your history: India wasn't freed of the Imperial yoke until after being forced the lose thousands of men in WW2, and they're still trying to get their gems back.

The funny thing about the Brits is that you banned enslaving individuals, but thought nothing of enslaving cultures and nations.
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Old 27 Feb 16, 02:03
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Check your history: India wasn't freed of the Imperial yoke until after being forced the lose thousands of men in WW2, and they're still trying to get their gems back.

The funny thing about the Brits is that you banned enslaving individuals, but thought nothing of enslaving cultures and nations.
"You Banned" Was Belgrave alive and responsible for those things back then was he ?

Also India not a nation, it was a lose collection of independent States that were an off shoot from the fading Mughal Empire.

Look at this way being a British Empire subject was much better than being an Indian or Black or Hispanic in the USA at the time. Why do you think Canada resisted all Invasion attempts ?
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Old 27 Feb 16, 02:08
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Its hard to imagine any force that opposed the British Empire not having right on their side. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan may in fact be the only exceptions.
In no particular order:

The Spanish Empire (Including the Inquisition)
Imperial and then Revolutionary and then Napoleonic France.
Imperial Germany
The Ottoman Empire
The Russian Empire (Including Serfdom)
The Zulu Empire
The USA
Imperial China
The Boers
Various Afghan tribes and rulers.
The Grand Mufti in Sudan

Shows you to be wrong
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Old 27 Feb 16, 05:25
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Imperial and then Revolutionary and then Napoleonic France.
In order to be historically correct, first it was Royal France (Ancien Regime), then the Revolutionary governments, the Consulate and then Imperial France, the last two being Napoleonic.
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Old 27 Feb 16, 05:51
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The Zulu Empire
Because it was guilty of what, being in the way of imperial ambition?

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Imperial China
Right because how dare they resist being flooded with opium?

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The Boers
Again imperial ambition.
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Old 27 Feb 16, 10:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Check your history: India wasn't freed of the Imperial yoke until after being forced the lose thousands of men in WW2, and they're still trying to get their gems back.

The funny thing about the Brits is that you banned enslaving individuals, but thought nothing of enslaving cultures and nations.
Would you like to google 'what was the largest volunteer army of all time'?

But lets not get deflected from the OP topic ay!

Paul
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