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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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  #46  
Old 02 Mar 16, 03:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
"Downtrodden?" A peasant tenant in Britain (or worse France etc) would probably disagree, but who ever gave them the sole right to define the term in the first place?
Nobody, and indeed I did not propose to compare the situation of all the classes of colonists in the North American colonies with one class, tenant farmers, in the home islands. If you do so, you will certainly find that some classes in the colonies - native Americans and slaves, firstly, but also landless monthly and day laborers - were worse off than tenant farmers in Yorkshire, but also that their plight was not improved by independence.
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  #47  
Old 02 Mar 16, 15:41
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Yeoman farmers did well in many parts of Britain especially with the onset of the Agricultural Revolution under George III's patronage - it was further down the chain that there were problems. However in the long term this had the effect of pushing the redundant rural population into the towns where conditions were probably not much better but the new industrial revolution needed labour.
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  #48  
Old 02 Mar 16, 16:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
I don't know about "defending the white man's burden" ,I was just trying to point-out that the "Age of Empire" was not all bad.It's a pity that your historical reading appears to have been all one sided.(I can quote other sources which tell a different story-if you're interested).
I'm a descendant of one group of natives the Brits decided were too brown to warrant keeping what they had.

Pretty hard sell to convince me the Empire was anything but malignant. I'm sure it had its positives if you were white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
The matter of British Concentration camps would take us far off topic, but it will be noted that the camps - which were not deliberately constructed to starve people-were closed by the pressure of British public opinion.
Yeah, after thousands of women and children died. From my reading, it was more world opinion than British, though. The murdering poof Kitchener was kept on the public rolls until he drowned in another war, something one would think was unlikely had the British people been truly outraged.
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  #49  
Old 02 Mar 16, 21:46
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The American Revolution is a pretty meh war in terms of justification. The colonial subjects had it pretty good overall compared to most people in the world at the time, despite specific grievances. A better life than a lot of the home-island British who did have full representation in parliament. As a war for some pretty abstract principles you might say they were "in the right" on several issues, yet at the same time one struggles to muster a great deal of care looking back on it.

The British empire wasn't a nice empire (as if there could be such a thing), and the American colonists weren't really nice people either. For every positive trait the new American state possessed, there was some group of disenfranchised people whom it wasn't granted to. For every fiery speech about the evils of colonialism there was an American experiment with conquering new lands and subjugating its people. The American state sort of tripped and fell and accidentally drove the remaining Native Americans out of their lands in a relentless westward drive, conquered swaths of Mexican territory and then had their own turn of the century dabbling in Asian imperialism. I respect the high minded principles of the constitution, but the people charged with carrying them out had to be dragged kicking and screaming into modernity, passing racist and sexist legislation, or just refusing to apply the law equally when the letter of the law demands that it should. That the country could cry "Freedom" while maintaining a vast, brutal slave underclass indicates a lack of self awareness bordering on the absurd.

Overall, I would probably say winning independence was a good thing, but I don't say that without hesitation. It's hard to say. It was not the least just war of all time, certainly, but it was far from the most, also.
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  #50  
Old 03 Mar 16, 02:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
I'm a descendant of one group of natives the Brits decided were too brown to warrant keeping what they had.

Pretty hard sell to convince me the Empire was anything but malignant. I'm sure it had its positives if you were white.



Yeah, after thousands of women and children died. From my reading, it was more world opinion than British, though. The murdering poof Kitchener was kept on the public rolls until he drowned in another war, something one would think was unlikely had the British people been truly outraged.
No ,entirely British, I assure you. The British were in no mood to accept gratuitous advice from foreigners at the time- rather like some Americans now really.
BTW since you're seemingly a rapid Anglophobe, whence came your Avatar ?
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Old 03 Mar 16, 03:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoseDeafMutes View Post
The American Revolution is a pretty meh war in terms of justification. The colonial subjects had it pretty good overall compared to most people in the world at the time, despite specific grievances. A better life than a lot of the home-island British who did have full representation in parliament. As a war for some pretty abstract principles you might say they were "in the right" on several issues, yet at the same time one struggles to muster a great deal of care looking back on it.
This is moving the discussion beyond the question of whether it complied with the established principles of just war.
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  #52  
Old 03 Mar 16, 18:59
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In this case I don't think it is so much a matter of geographical distance but one of separate ethnic identity that grows out of long separation of a colony from it's mother country. That Canada was slower in developing it's own identity probably has as much to do with dependance on Britain as any other factor. It was simply more profitable for Canadians to maintain close ties than it was for the other colonies.

The simple answer to the question the original post raises is to turn the argument around and ask if it was just for Britain to oppose with military force the independence of colonies that no longer had the same social structure as Britain. The more eglatarian social structure that developed out of necessity in a frontier society was in stark contrast to the aristocracy of Britain. In other words it was a class struggle between hereditary aristocracy and a new kind of meritocracy that developed in the new world not out of noble ideas but out of the difference in conditions.

In hind sight we could make a case that the world would have been a better place if the U.S. had remained a British colony. It could in fact have prevented two World Wars if the U.S. had added it's strength to British hegemony. While we look on the collapse of the Roman empire as something of a tragedy I suspect future historians may take a similar view on the British Empire.

The history of the human race is that people with separate identities war against each other. Trying to justify any particular war sends you down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of conflicting realities. It would be better if we tried to find the flaws in human nature than spend our energy on weighing who was right and who was wrong in some relatively minor struggle 200 years ago.

The U.S. revolution would have been impossible if France had not been at war with Britain. The colonist would not have gone to war under any other circumstance. I guess we should then blame the French but then France would not have been at war if the Roman Empire had held so we could blame the Romans for their immoral empire.

The only thing we need concern ourselves with is if the next war is moral. The causes but not the justifications of past events are relevant.
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Old 03 Mar 16, 19:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfhnd View Post
In this case I don't think it is so much a matter of geographical distance but one of separate ethnic identity that grows out of long separation of a colony from it's mother country. That Canada was slower in developing it's own identity probably has as much to do with dependance on Britain as any other factor. It was simply more profitable for Canadians to maintain close ties than it was for the other colonies.

The simple answer to the question the original post raises is to turn the argument around and ask if it was just for Britain to oppose with military force the independence of colonies that no longer had the same social structure as Britain. The more eglatarian social structure that developed out of necessity in a frontier society was in stark contrast to the aristocracy of Britain. In other words it was a class struggle between hereditary aristocracy and a new kind of meritocracy that developed in the new world not out of noble ideas but out of the difference in conditions.

In hind sight we could make a case that the world would have been a better place if the U.S. had remained a British colony. It could in fact have prevented two World Wars if the U.S. had added it's strength to British hegemony. While we look on the collapse of the Roman empire as something of a tragedy I suspect future historians may take a similar view on the British Empire.

The history of the human race is that people with separate identities war against each other. Trying to justify any particular war sends you down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of conflicting realities. It would be better if we tried to find the flaws in human nature than spend our energy on weighing who was right and who was wrong in some relatively minor struggle 200 years ago.

The U.S. revolution would have been impossible if France had not been at war with Britain. The colonist would not have gone to war under any other circumstance. I guess we should then blame the French but then France would not have been at war if the Roman Empire had held so we could blame the Romans for their immoral empire.

The only thing we need concern ourselves with is if the next war is moral. The causes but not the justifications of past events are relevant.
Good post. +1
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  #54  
Old 03 Mar 16, 22:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfhnd View Post
In this case I don't think it is so much a matter of geographical distance but one of separate ethnic identity that grows out of long separation of a colony from it's mother country. That Canada was slower in developing it's own identity probably has as much to do with dependance on Britain as any other factor. It was simply more profitable for Canadians to maintain close ties than it was for the other colonies.

.
The Northern two British Colonies didn't have much choice to join the American revolution because the British Army in North America was head quartered in one of the two northern colonies (Quebec) and the British Navy in North America was HQ'd in the other (Nova Scotia). There was a rebellion in 1837 in Canada but it lead to the kind of reforms for self government that if implemented in the lower 13 British colonies in the 1770's would probably have prevented the revolution. Those 1840 reforms spread through the British Empire and changed the way colonies were governed. Moreover, the War of 1812 gave something of a founding mythology to Canada.

Nothing expresses Canada's 19 century patriotism and loyalty to Britain quite like the Maple Leaf Forever


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  #55  
Old 04 Mar 16, 05:25
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Always worth noting the reaction to the American invasion of 1812 when it was Canadian militia units that initially sprang to arms. Indeed the first unit to rally against the Americans was French Canadian
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Old 04 Mar 16, 08:15
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Always worth noting the reaction to the American invasion of 1812 when it was Canadian militia units that initially sprang to arms. Indeed the first unit to rally against the Americans was French Canadian
Indeed, and even later in 1813 the American attempt to take Montreal was defeated at Chateauguay by forces entirely (100%) made up of citizen militia from Quebec.
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Old 04 Mar 16, 08:33
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Are Brits really still butthurt over our Independence? Sounds that way.
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Old 04 Mar 16, 09:20
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Originally Posted by 101combatvet View Post
Are Brits really still butthurt over our Independence? Sounds that way.
The feelings of posters are neither here nor there. "Just" in this case doesn't mean "just according to my own personal opinion" but "complying with universally accepted standards".
And the author of the article is a US professor teaching in a Californian institute.
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Old 04 Mar 16, 09:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
No ,entirely British, I assure you. The British were in no mood to accept gratuitous advice from foreigners at the time- rather like some Americans now really.
BTW since you're seemingly a rapid Anglophobe, whence came your Avatar ?
He is the greatest Briton there ever was or could be. The height of the British people.

I would have used Flashman, the most noble Briton that people has produced, but a good image in difficult to come by. And then there is the issue of from what period of his glorious career to represent him?
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Old 04 Mar 16, 09:36
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Originally Posted by 101combatvet View Post
Are Brits really still butthurt over our Independence? Sounds that way.
You have to remember that we ended a winning streak. Back in the 1700s British troops surrendering and the Empire being ejected was a novelty.

I the 20th Century it became routine, but back then it was news.
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