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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 04 Jun 13, 15:11
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
You don't get it: we have/had no aristocracy. The rule of law awarded no man a privilidge based upon birth. Yes, the rich had greater influence than the poor, but there were no legal barriers to becoming rich.

This is the sort of mindset that cost the Brits so dearly in this period: the belief that their system was innately superior, and that the rebels were fighting to change the design of a flag.

Your system was not, and is not, superior. America was settled by men who dislike the idea of nobility (in the sense of lineage) and monarchy. They especially (still true today) resent being told what to do by anyone, especially outsiders.

The average rebel did not care a whit about slavery or what rich men thought. What he cared about was some fat mad bastard sitting thousands of miles away telling him what to do, and sending a bunch of forgieners to enforce it.
I'm sorry Arnold but thats not true. Slavery and the British freeing of slaves was a major issue at the time (There was even an article about it that was going to be in the decleration of independence) but left outand Clinton's proclomation in the South had a huge effect. I have seen American historians even admit this and talk of the irony of people fighting the British for freeing slaves.

Of course there was a provincial aristocracy and they ended up rulers afterwards. You don't call them aristocrats but thats what they were. Its why guys like Samuel Adams were quite bitter afterwards.
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  #47  
Old 04 Jun 13, 15:59
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Originally Posted by History fan View Post
I'm sorry Arnold but thats not true. Slavery and the British freeing of slaves was a major issue at the time (There was even an article about it that was going to be in the decleration of independence) but left outand Clinton's proclomation in the South had a huge effect. I have seen American historians even admit this and talk of the irony of people fighting the British for freeing slaves.

Of course there was a provincial aristocracy and they ended up rulers afterwards. You don't call them aristocrats but thats what they were. Its why guys like Samuel Adams were quite bitter afterwards.
That's because Sam Adams and others such as Patrick Henry were generally fanatics that were needed to jump start the Revolution but weren't needed to govern afterwards as they were too radical.

And not all of the Congress and those who ended up ruling were colonial landholders, or 'aristocracy' as you like to label them. John Adams certainly wasn't and he became president.

Different game, different rules in the US-definitely not the same in Great Britain.

As for slavery, it was the British who let it be introduced in their colonies, generally practiced by the southern colonial 'aristocracy' inherited from Great Britain. And it should be again noted that both the US and Great Britain outlawed the slave trade ca 1807.

Sincerely,
M
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  #48  
Old 04 Jun 13, 16:36
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Originally Posted by History fan View Post
I'm sorry Arnold but thats not true. Slavery and the British freeing of slaves was a major issue at the time (There was even an article about it that was going to be in the decleration of independence) but left outand Clinton's proclomation in the South had a huge effect. I have seen American historians even admit this and talk of the irony of people fighting the British for freeing slaves.

Of course there was a provincial aristocracy and they ended up rulers afterwards. You don't call them aristocrats but thats what they were. Its why guys like Samuel Adams were quite bitter afterwards.
What Massena said.
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  #49  
Old 05 Jun 13, 16:03
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What Massena said.
He still does not contradict what I said though during the AR.

I reccomend Rough Crossings by Simon Schama as well as Liberties Exiles as 2 good books on the subject
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  #50  
Old 11 Jun 13, 08:05
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In the first draft of the Declaration of Independence slavery was abolished.

Unfortunately, three of the four southern states (Georgia, North and South Carolina) threatened to veto the independence vote if the 'offending' passage was not removed (the vote for independence had to be unanimous).

So, the passage was removed-independence before the abolishment of slavery or no independence at all and slavery would still have been there.

The issue became the overriding political issue between 1815 and 1860 and was only resolved by armed conflict at a cost of 630,000 dead, including about 30,000 dead black troops from Union black regiments.

The main issue, though, for the War of the Revoution was British high-handedness in how they handled the American colonies after the French and Indian War. A little over 150 years of 'benign neglect' and suddenly micromanagement from the king and parliament tended to drive the Americans away from loyalty to Britain and a desire for independence. That was a monumental blunder on the part of the British government.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 11 Jun 13, 09:11
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He still does not contradict what I said though during the AR.
He doesn't have to. He's Massena: when he speaks on a historical matter, that's the answer.
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  #52  
Old 11 Jun 13, 18:30
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Your system was not, and is not, superior. America was settled by men who dislike the idea of nobility (in the sense of lineage) and monarchy. They especially (still true today) resent being told what to do by anyone, especially outsiders.

The average rebel did not care a whit about slavery or what rich men thought. What he cared about was some fat mad bastard sitting thousands of miles away telling him what to do, and sending a bunch of forgieners to enforce it.
Before I'd start I'd just like to say I believe the colonists had every right to fight a war of independence

That being said. I don't know what you are complaining about some fat mad bastard telling the colonies what to do. The colonists were the freest people in the world at the time under the protection of the most liberal power at the time with generally a higher standard of living and minuscule taxation compared to the average Englishman. The British generally left America basically to run itself in what is called "benign neglect" and the only time Britain did intervene was to fight the French or Indians. I don't like the view that Britain was some sort of evil oppressor because it wasn't. In the words of Dr Samuel Johnson, "taxation is no tyranny" and it would appear 1/3 of the colonists agreed (not to mention many Englishmen outright supported the Americans).

As I said before, I completely agree with the principle of self determination of a people to govern themselves, but I just want to make it clear, the colonists were not oppressed by the British at all.
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  #53  
Old 11 Jun 13, 20:55
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That being said. I don't know what you are complaining about some fat mad bastard telling the colonies what to do.
King George the III, George the Mad.

Liberal or not, the colonies were tired of being told what to do by some fat mad git and his band of ministers.

Taxes, firearms ownership, they are all just symptoms of the same issue: the orders from across the waves needed to stop.

And so, eventually, they did.

How light the hand upon the leash may matter to an Englishman, but not to the Americans.
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Old 12 Jun 13, 05:30
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
King George the III, George the Mad.

Liberal or not, the colonies were tired of being told what to do by some fat mad git and his band of ministers.
Well....only 1/3rd did mate.

Another 1/3 didn't think it was oppression at all
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  #55  
Old 12 Jun 13, 06:12
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Well....only 1/3rd did mate.

Another 1/3 didn't think it was oppression at all
And one-third were apathetic.

And the one-third that did give a flip won.

Sincerely,
M
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  #56  
Old 12 Jun 13, 08:42
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Well....only 1/3rd did mate.

Another 1/3 didn't think it was oppression at all
And so the trend of Amnerican politics was set.

But, as history shows us, they were the ones who cared carried the day. Its pretty much the story of US politics ever since: the correct force at the correct point.
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Old 12 Jun 13, 10:28
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In the words of Dr Samuel Johnson, "taxation is no tyranny" . . . .
Point of fact: did not the Stewart monarch's attempt to levy taxes without parliamentary enactment help to precipitate the English Civil War? Not that that was the only cause, but it was one cause: Britons nearly a century-and-a-half before their American descendants had a real problem with "taxation without representation." They may even have seen it as "tyranny."
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Old 12 Jun 13, 10:41
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Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Point of fact: did not the Stewart monarch's attempt to levy taxes without parliamentary enactment help to precipitate the English Civil War? Not that that was the only cause, but it was one cause: Britons nearly a century-and-a-half before their American descendants had a real problem with "taxation without representation." They may even have seen it as "tyranny."
.
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  #59  
Old 12 Jun 13, 11:11
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What is generally not understood is that the theories and principles that led to the American revolution were part and parcel of the Age of Enlightment thought. American and Canadian colonists actually had more liberty and control over their affairs than the common Englishman, Scot or Irishman. The colonies were not oppressed when compared to the folks back home.

The issue was as much economic as it was political or 'philosophical'. The colonial system (raw materials out of the colonies, manufactured goods back from the home country) was in use by the British, Spanish, French, Portugues, etc. - it was the model of the day. It had its detractors in the colonies and added strength ot political arguments. Politicially, the ideals of liberty and representation and their adoption were possible in colonies *because* there was more freedom of thought, more social mobility, looser controls and higher levels of education amongst the growing middle and colonial upper class. Such events could not (likely would not) have taken place in England of the late 18thC but they were not unknown in London, Salisbury, Yok, Edinburgh or Dublin..

Like most colonies where the white population was 3rd or 4th generation colonial family stock, ties to the home country were less firm, society more politically liberal and the spread of liberal Enlightenment thought took hold more easily. Britain was more conservative and the changes that came there came slower and via the Commons and a similar rise of the middle class who demanded and exercised their expanded political franchise.

The idea of the "oppressed" colonies make good *nation founding* mythology but it is not really based in fact. At least no more so than the average member of any colony or even the home population were treated any better than the American colonists.
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Old 13 Jun 13, 08:15
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Originally Posted by The Purist View Post
What is generally not understood is that the theories and principles that led to the American revolution were part and parcel of the Age of Enlightment thought. American and Canadian colonists actually had more liberty and control over their affairs than the common Englishman, Scot or Irishman. The colonies were not oppressed when compared to the folks back home.

The issue was as much economic as it was political or 'philosophical'. The colonial system (raw materials out of the colonies, manufactured goods back from the home country) was in use by the British, Spanish, French, Portugues, etc. - it was the model of the day. It had its detractors in the colonies and added strength ot political arguments. Politicially, the ideals of liberty and representation and their adoption were possible in colonies *because* there was more freedom of thought, more social mobility, looser controls and higher levels of education amongst the growing middle and colonial upper class. Such events could not (likely would not) have taken place in England of the late 18thC but they were not unknown in London, Salisbury, Yok, Edinburgh or Dublin..

Like most colonies where the white population was 3rd or 4th generation colonial family stock, ties to the home country were less firm, society more politically liberal and the spread of liberal Enlightenment thought took hold more easily. Britain was more conservative and the changes that came there came slower and via the Commons and a similar rise of the middle class who demanded and exercised their expanded political franchise.

The idea of the "oppressed" colonies make good *nation founding* mythology but it is not really based in fact. At least no more so than the average member of any colony or even the home population were treated any better than the American colonists.
But the problem was that the American colonists considered themselves Englishmen and being taxed without being involved in the process, which was the major complaint, was galling to them. And the handling of the problem by the British only compounded the situation. The attitude from Britain was basically to shut up and do what you're told. After decades of benign neglect, that didn't sit well. The fault was with king and parliament and their handling of the situation.

Sincerely,
M
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