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legality of history

 
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 08:29 am
When you consider the history of occupation how much more does the claim of certain Canadians have on its neighbours territory for its supporters than the British have over the whole of north America.The legality of rebellion when the mother county was involved in a fight for it existence against the murderous french is still questionable after two centuries. When you take into consideration the rebels had no mandate from it citizens, the rebellion could be regarded as an illegal act only maintained by warfare by a few opportunists.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,826 • Replies: 35
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Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:03 am
@xris,
It would be good if you could rephrase your question -- I'm not clear exactly what you're asking about. But at least in the case of the American Revolution, there was mutual agreement in the end that granted independence to the colonies, thus making the legality of the rebellion irrelevant -- it was a fait accompli, and there ceased to be British claims for the American colonies.

Also, almost by definition, a rebellion is illegal -- but that's only with respect to the laws of the power against which the rebellion is directed. What is abundantly clear is that the British administration of the American colonies subjected the citizens to a different standard of law than what was granted to citizens within the British Isles, and this was particularly true for judicial appointments. So it can be equally argued that the British administration was illegal.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:26 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
It would be good if you could rephrase your question -- I'm not clear exactly what you're asking about. But at least in the case of the American Revolution, there was mutual agreement in the end that granted independence to the colonies, thus making the legality of the rebellion irrelevant -- it was a fait accompli, and there ceased to be British claims for the American colonies.

Also, almost by definition, a rebellion is illegal -- but that's only with respect to the laws of the power against which the rebellion is directed. What is abundantly clear is that the British administration of the American colonies subjected the citizens to a different standard of law than what was granted to citizens within the British Isles, and this was particularly true for judicial appointments. So it can be equally argued that the British administration was illegal.
It did not have the consensus of the majority , what drove the rebellion was that those who occupied the land did not own it.Reasons for rebellion can never give it credence nor the right by force be legally maintained.If we hold true these reasons many can claim land that they occupied by war is their entitlement. If we dont then the colonialist that now occupy those lands should return them to the original occupants.America however you look at its history has not been occupied by its rightful owners for more than two hundred years. I am forming a volunteer regiment of red coats and we intend talking back what the rebels so cruelly stole from us..
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:09 am
@xris,
xris;54530 wrote:
It did not have the consensus of the majority , what drove the rebellion was that those who occupied the land did not own it.
You can't be talking about the American revolution here, then. The revolution did not formally involve all the colonies until after the Declaration of Independence, which was signed more than a full year after the revolution had begun. It was originally a popular uprising of the people of Massachusetts against a virtual police state that the British had imposed in Boston. Volunteers started flooding into Boston from around the colonies after the uprising began. The Continental Congress, which composed and ratified the Declaration of Independence, was comprised of delegates chosen by popular gatherings or by local assemblies. So inasmuch as the majority could express itself, it WAS a majority consensus.

You're also mixing ownership with sovereignty.

xris wrote:
the colonialist that now occupy those lands should return them to the original occupants... I am forming a volunteer regiment of red coats and we intend talking back what the rebels so cruelly stole from us...
And that the British, Spanish, and French colonists so cruelly stole from the original inhabitants of this continent.

xris wrote:
America however you look at its history has not been occupied by its rightful owners for more than two hundred years.
And Britain, however you look at its history, has not been occupied by its rightful owners since 1066 when sovereignty was stolen from the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes.

So let me know as soon as you expel the Normans from Britain and end their illegal occupation.

Of course then the Britons and Celts can go expel the older illegal occupants back to Angles, Lower Saxony, and Jutland from whence they came...
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 12:18 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
You can't be talking about the American revolution here, then. The revolution did not formally involve all the colonies until after the Declaration of Independence, which was signed more than a full year after the revolution had begun. It was originally a popular uprising of the people of Massachusetts against a virtual police state that the British had imposed in Boston. Volunteers started flooding into Boston from around the colonies after the uprising began. The Continental Congress, which composed and ratified the Declaration of Independence, was comprised of delegates chosen by popular gatherings or by local assemblies. So inasmuch as the majority could express itself, it WAS a majority consensus.

You're also mixing ownership with sovereignty.

And that the British, Spanish, and French colonists so cruelly stole from the original inhabitants of this continent.

And Britain, however you look at its history, has not been occupied by its rightful owners since 1066 when sovereignty was stolen from the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes.

So let me know as soon as you expel the Normans from Britain and end their illegal occupation.

Of course then the Britons and Celts can go expel the older illegal occupants back to Angles, Lower Saxony, and Jutland from whence they came...
As i am a Celt i dont worry if you can talk the invaders into leaving , yes ill have middle saxony..Yes the principle i state does command either we have our lands back in the Americas or it is returned to the original inhabitants.The situation in the colonies was not so unevenly displayed as you would have us believe, many stayed loyal to England and it was only the benefit of Canada that allowed the rebels to maintain their hold.
Resha Caner
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 12:45 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
It would be good if you could rephrase your question -- I'm not clear exactly what you're asking about.


I don't think xris is asking a question. I think he's making a statement - that rebellion is illegal. In that regard, he is correct. Rebellion is always illegal, and I think you've agreed with that Aedes.

You are also correct, though, Aedes, that legality does not determine the legitimacy of a rebellion. Sometimes the sovereign power is tyrannical.

But from there, xris, your point and your history are very muddled. You seem to be mixing rebellions with imperialism and general oppression. I get the impression you are picking and choosing who you think is right and who you think is wrong. You may have good reasons to do so, but you have not explained them clearly, and it makes your statements appear arbitrary.

Take this for example:

xris wrote:
The situation in the colonies was not so unevenly displayed as you would have us believe, many stayed loyal to England and it was only the benefit of Canada that allowed the rebels to maintain their hold.


Huh? Yes, many stayed loyal to the crown during the American revolution. What does that mean? It doesn't mean they were a majority. Neither do rebellions stop to take a straw poll. Rebellions do not proceed by vote, but by force. The British did not respond benevolently, but with force. Your point is?

And the bit about Canada just confuses me. Canada was a frustration to the American rebels, not a help.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 01:08 pm
@Resha Caner,
To have a mandate the rebels must secure the majority or they are acting without consent.Minority rebellions are only significant if they succeed and i claim that this is what this was. After the success no one apart from those who decided to leave had no say in the outcome.It came at a time when England was fighting a major battle against France and had little reserves to aid the royal loyal citizens of the American colonies.Its citizens where no differently treated than the poor souls at home but had the distance from authority on their side. They cared little for freedom or the will of the peoples only their own greedy interests.It may be dressed up in finery but it was a rebellion with desire. The white house was sacked three times,i believe, by loyalists but the rebels never gave them credence only condemnation for not allowing them to secure crown lands sooner.It was a rebellion of a desire for land, not freedom or for self determination ,just greed..
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 08:07 pm
@xris,
xris;54549 wrote:
The situation in the colonies was not so unevenly displayed as you would have us believe
No, it was not at all -- New York was full of loyalists, and in the Carolinas and Georgia there was nearly a civil war over the topic... But there was a plurality with very little dissent in the Continental Congress, and their positions were publicly mandated, so whatever, it was a divided society but majority did rule in the end -- at least to the extent that it could be ascertained. In fact despite the considerable setbacks of losing New York, losing Philadelphia, the rebellion only gained popularity with time, especially after the Battle of Trenton.

You're also forgetting the ragtag beginning of this war. Most of the initial rhetoric that led to the war came out of my former hometown of Boston, and this had been going on for years before the war began. The British turned Boston into effectively a police state, and the first battles at Lexington and Concord were not part of a general rebellion -- they were a popular uprising of an informal group of militias. The next battle, at Bunker / Breed's Hill, was more organized on the part of the rebels in response to a massive British offensive. THEN and only then did it begin to incite rebellious spirit among all the colonies, who began sending hoards of volunteers to besiege the British within Boston. And that was when the Continental Congress organized itself and took months to debate whether this should escalate into a formal rebellion or not.

This all happened real-time. There was no opportunity to take a step back in advance and have some kind of referendum, because the colonies were not a unified body at the beginning. Honestly, you think the people in New York cared about Sam Adams and his loudmouthed whiners in Boston??

xris wrote:
it was only the benefit of Canada that allowed the rebels to maintain their hold.
The one rebel foray into Canada was soundly rebuffed, partly by Canadian loyalists, and the only rebel victory anywhere near Canada was the raid on Ticonderoga. Beyond the first year of the war, most of it happened in New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, nowhere near Canada.

In fact the greatest foreign influence on the outcome of the war was the British need to pacify their Caribbean colonies, which were more valuable than the American colonies.
Resha Caner
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:33 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
To have a mandate the rebels must secure the majority or they are acting without consent.Minority rebellions are only significant if they succeed and i claim that this is what this was. After the success no one apart from those who decided to leave had no say in the outcome.It came at a time when England was fighting a major battle against France and had little reserves to aid the royal loyal citizens of the American colonies.Its citizens where no differently treated than the poor souls at home but had the distance from authority on their side. They cared little for freedom or the will of the peoples only their own greedy interests.It may be dressed up in finery but it was a rebellion with desire. The white house was sacked three times,i believe, by loyalists but the rebels never gave them credence only condemnation for not allowing them to secure crown lands sooner.It was a rebellion of a desire for land, not freedom or for self determination ,just greed..


Sorry, but this sounds niave. Yes, elementary school history often simplifies a complex situation, whitewashing the rebels and making them look like a monolithic group of profound thinkers and proponents of freedom. They were not. But neither were they unified by greed and land grabbing. It was a mixed bag, each person having his own motivation for joining the rebellion. I could give you a long list of books to help round out your view of some of the issues. For example, "Inventing America" by Garry Wills and "The Perils of Peace" by Thomas Flemming. Some biographies might be good as well to help you understand the individuals, such as the one on John Adams by McCullough.

And whats this about burning the White House? It hadn't even been built at the time. Are you getting confused between the Revolution of the 1770's and the War of 1812? The White House was burned by the British in the War of 1812, and there was a bit of chicanery among the American leaders to use the war as an excuse to grab Canada. There's a fascinating book about the perspective of the British regarding 1812 by Jon Latimer. I might be a bit biased because I had a few chats with the author, and am distantly related to one of the primary American generals from that war, but anyway ...
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 03:45 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
No, it was not at all -- New York was full of loyalists, and in the Carolinas and Georgia there was nearly a civil war over the topic... But there was a plurality with very little dissent in the Continental Congress, and their positions were publicly mandated, so whatever, it was a divided society but majority did rule in the end -- at least to the extent that it could be ascertained. In fact despite the considerable setbacks of losing New York, losing Philadelphia, the rebellion only gained popularity with time, especially after the Battle of Trenton.

You're also forgetting the ragtag beginning of this war. Most of the initial rhetoric that led to the war came out of my former hometown of Boston, and this had been going on for years before the war began. The British turned Boston into effectively a police state, and the first battles at Lexington and Concord were not part of a general rebellion -- they were a popular uprising of an informal group of militias. The next battle, at Bunker / Breed's Hill, was more organized on the part of the rebels in response to a massive British offensive. THEN and only then did it begin to incite rebellious spirit among all the colonies, who began sending hoards of volunteers to besiege the British within Boston. And that was when the Continental Congress organized itself and took months to debate whether this should escalate into a formal rebellion or not.

This all happened real-time. There was no opportunity to take a step back in advance and have some kind of referendum, because the colonies were not a unified body at the beginning. Honestly, you think the people in New York cared about Sam Adams and his loudmouthed whiners in Boston??

The one rebel foray into Canada was soundly rebuffed, partly by Canadian loyalists, and the only rebel victory anywhere near Canada was the raid on Ticonderoga. Beyond the first year of the war, most of it happened in New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, nowhere near Canada.

In fact the greatest foreign influence on the outcome of the war was the British need to pacify their Caribbean colonies, which were more valuable than the American colonies.
I cant see where you disagree with my post apart from the need to fight france rather the rebels. So do you think they had a legal right to claim america by rebellion and not by a consensus of the colonialists.No one thought of taking a vote in this land of the free.Who claimed the royal lands after the rebellion was it the rebels? How did the new elite obtain their lands by purchase or by right of war?

Resha Caner wrote:
Sorry, but this sounds niave. Yes, elementary school history often simplifies a complex situation, whitewashing the rebels and making them look like a monolithic group of profound thinkers and proponents of freedom. They were not. But neither were they unified by greed and land grabbing. It was a mixed bag, each person having his own motivation for joining the rebellion. I could give you a long list of books to help round out your view of some of the issues. For example, "Inventing America" by Garry Wills and "The Perils of Peace" by Thomas Flemming. Some biographies might be good as well to help you understand the individuals, such as the one on John Adams by McCullough.

And whats this about burning the White House? It hadn't even been built at the time. Are you getting confused between the Revolution of the 1770's and the War of 1812? The White House was burned by the British in the War of 1812, and there was a bit of chicanery among the American leaders to use the war as an excuse to grab Canada. There's a fascinating book about the perspective of the British regarding 1812 by Jon Latimer. I might be a bit biased because I had a few chats with the author, and am distantly related to one of the primary American generals from that war, but anyway ...
Who said they where the educated elite or they where unified by the need for land?If your saying greed did not take part in the rebellion then the books you recommend dont take human nature into this historic event.Did they let George keep Pennsylvania, no it was shared out with the rebels a very good reason for rebellion.I am no expert in the details of the american history but i do know that most of what is written about this period is coloured with romantic nonsense.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 08:11 am
@xris,
xris;54627 wrote:
If your saying greed did not take part in the rebellion then the books you recommend dont take human nature into this historic event... I am no expert in the details of the american history but i do know that most of what is written about this period is coloured with romantic nonsense.
Do you have some alternative source material to cite? Or are you making all of this up? :listening:

xris;54627 wrote:
do you think they had a legal right to claim america by rebellion and not by a consensus of the colonialists?
Do you think that King George III would have honored a formal consensus of the colonists? Honestly, are you seriously asking this question as if even a 100% unanimity would have made a difference??

xris wrote:
No one thought of taking a vote in this land of the free.
It wasn't the land of the free -- yet.

But historical estimates suggests that loyalists were in a small minority:

Loyalists (American Revolution)

xris wrote:
Who claimed the royal lands after the rebellion was it the rebels? How did the new elite obtain their lands by purchase or by right of war?
The ownership didn't change. It was the same before the war as after. Oh, except for the British administrative buildings, like this famous one in Boston (The Old State House, one of my favorite spots to take pictures, and the former seat of the British colonial government) -- they changed functions...

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/104405784.jpg
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 08:47 am
@Aedes,
American Loyalists History has many opinions and we could battle all day on the rights or wrongs of it .This link puts a different point of view thatshard to dismiss.My point is that we had no right to steal it from the native Americans nor did the Americans from us.If only 40% of the colonist supported the illegal act of taking crown lands they had no right in morality or British law.The legality of history, in this case a matter of rebellion claiming the moral high ground in my opinion was wrong.Land taken by force is not a legal act.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 10:33 am
@xris,
Oh boy, where to begin, aside from the fact that you've cited a website called "redcoat.me.uk" that does not cite a single source or method. It's easy to dismiss a point of view that doesn't even claim to be based on evidence.

Secondly, you say the Americans had no right to steal land from the British.

They didn't. The land had already been theirs. The revolution ended British sovereignty, it did not (for the most part) alter occupancy or ownership. This is by stark contrast to the colonial activities that expelled Native Americans.

Third, British law did not make any allowance for popular sovereignty among the peoples in the colonies. It doesn't matter what the proportion of loyalists versus rebels were, because the British had no mechanism to honor or support popular sovereignty.

Fourth, the rebels had plenty of reason to claim the moral high ground, when you look at the number of laws imposed upon them by the British to establish British trade monopolies, to raise tax revenue, to squash free speech, and to prevent the colonial citizens from having the type of representation in government that citizens of the British Isles had.

Fifth, you say "land taken by force is not a legal act". You say this ignoring the blatant fact that it was the British who sent an army to "pacify" Lexington and Concord, it was the British who launched the invasion of the Charlestown peninsula (up Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill), it was the British who sent an occupying army into Boston, it was the British who sent a naval armada and an army to occupy New York. The rebels did not undertake a significant offensive until the invasion of Canada several months after the war had begun, and their next major offensive wasn't until Trenton more than 18 months after the start of the war.

The rebellion was mainly civil disobedience until Georgie sent Gage and Howe to go and pacify it. And the British military activities turned it into a defensive war at first. So ask yourself what the legal and moral basis was for the British actions.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 01:39 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Oh boy, where to begin, aside from the fact that you've cited a website called "redcoat.me.uk" that does not cite a single source or method. It's easy to dismiss a point of view that doesn't even claim to be based on evidence.

Secondly, you say the Americans had no right to steal land from the British.

They didn't. The land had already been theirs. The revolution ended British sovereignty, it did not (for the most part) alter occupancy or ownership. This is by stark contrast to the colonial activities that expelled Native Americans.

Third, British law did not make any allowance for popular sovereignty among the peoples in the colonies. It doesn't matter what the proportion of loyalists versus rebels were, because the British had no mechanism to honor or support popular sovereignty.

Fourth, the rebels had plenty of reason to claim the moral high ground, when you look at the number of laws imposed upon them by the British to establish British trade monopolies, to raise tax revenue, to squash free speech, and to prevent the colonial citizens from having the type of representation in government that citizens of the British Isles had.

Fifth, you say "land taken by force is not a legal act". You say this ignoring the blatant fact that it was the British who sent an army to "pacify" Lexington and Concord, it was the British who launched the invasion of the Charlestown peninsula (up Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill), it was the British who sent an occupying army into Boston, it was the British who sent a naval armada and an army to occupy New York. The rebels did not undertake a significant offensive until the invasion of Canada several months after the war had begun, and their next major offensive wasn't until Trenton more than 18 months after the start of the war.

The rebellion was mainly civil disobedience until Georgie sent Gage and Howe to go and pacify it. And the British military activities turned it into a defensive war at first. So ask yourself what the legal and moral basis was for the British actions.
Ah so your source is bona fide and mine is contemptible. Did you read it and what part do you decide was propaganda without reason.If you read it the taxes where to assist in defence of the colony and dont say the british had no right morally or legally, it was rebellion against the crown, it had every reason.They had representation they had a better standard of taxation than their counterparts in britain, it was a determined act of rebellion for personal gain.Your argument they did not steal the land because it was theirs by right of war is the sound of desperation , supporting and argument that is failing by every reason. They where encouraged by foreign assistance to gain and steal crown lands by british enemies, they where soldiers of fortune.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 07:52 pm
@xris,
xris;54682 wrote:
Ah so your source is bona fide and mine is contemptible.
For god's sake feel free to quote me for real, but spare us the fallacious editorialized pseudoquote.

I don't have a "source". I have references. There are 169 academic journal references in JSTOR using the search terms "loyalist", "american", and "revolution", though not all are pure research articles. I have read a good 15-20 of them. The highest contemporaneous estimate of loyalist proportions at the outbreak of the Revolution was 1/3 of the white population, but this no other reference even comes close to an estimate that high, and some explicitly call it a gross overestimate. None contend that loyalists were ever a majority.

Here are a couple for you, but I can cite many more if you're actually interested.

Calhoon, Robert M. The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1766-1781 (1973)

N. E. H. Hull, Peter C. Hoffer, Steven L. Allen. Choosing Sides: A Quantitative Study of the Personality Determinants of Loyalist and Revolutionary Political Affiliation in New York. The Journal of American History, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Sep., 1978), pp. 344-366

Brown, Wallace, The King's Friends: The Composition and Motives of American Loyalist Claimants. Providence: Brown University Press, 1965


As for your reference, its conclusions are completely contrary to every published estimate in the academic literature, yet it somehow omits even a shred of data to support its conclusions.

I didn't say your reference was contemptible, as you so contemptibly attribute to me.

But it's useless. Some random web page you've come across in a hasty Google search is not evidence.

xris;54682 wrote:
Did you read it and what part do you decide was propaganda without reason.
I read the whole thing, including other pages on the cite. If you're going to be a historical revisionist, at least have the pride to base revisionism on data.

xris;54682 wrote:
If you read it the taxes where to assist in defence of the colony
And this is historical nonsense. It's a flat out lie, in fact. The Stamp Act, Townsend Act, and Tea Act were all to enforce British monopolies.

xris;54682 wrote:
and dont say the british had no right morally or legally, it was rebellion against the crown
For this I refer you to the Declaration of Independence, which explicitly enumerates the violations committed by the crown that abrogated any duty of fealty on the part of the colonies.

Declaration of Independence wrote:
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 05:15 am
@Aedes,
My history tells me they where not victims of imperial oppression, in the majority of colonies they had a good degree of self government and the taxes imposed on them where in the main avoided by the colonists.This resulted in the colonies costing more for the british than what they where recovering in taxes.We had lost hundreds of soldiers defending the colonist from the french and the indians and all we had in return was rebellion from our cousins in America.The rebels including Washington wanted to break the peace treaty with the indians and kill or evict them from their lands.The British did not or could not afford this expensive war without the colonists support.When you consider the vast majority of the country was either black, indian or loyalist the 30% of colonist who where actively fighting the British made up a very small minority of the colonies.Greed was the driving force greed.I refer you to one book"bloody noses" by Robert Harvey..but i do suppose it will not meet with your selective approval.
Resha Caner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 07:37 am
@xris,
xris,

I have heard it said several times now - even once by a Brit - that the British are still hurting from their loss of world influence - that they are now a small, insignificant island of imperialists without an empire. The result is a growing resentment toward the U.S. That shouldn't be overstated, because the UK is still important, especially as an American ally. But it is interesting in light of the line of argument you're taking. You're saying the Revolution was a scam by elitist American colonists to snatch property from the British crown. But how did the Brits come by that property in the first place? Are India, China (i.e. Hong Kong), and Argentina (i.e. the Falklands) doing the same thing? (edit: I could also add the Irish, Scots, and Welsh for that matter) It's really an untenable argument because it will unwind all the way back to the garden of Eden where God will have the claim that Eve needs to give back the apple.

As a sidenote, the U.S. is struggling with similar problems. We've always warned ourselves not to let power go to our heads - not to become an imperialist nation like what happened to Europe. Despite those warnings, it basically did happen and we're hurting over Vietnam and Iraq (attempts, by the way, to do better than the French and British imperialists respectively).

I don't think anyone is denying your points. Yes, there were loyalists. And, yes, in some cases their rights were trampled on. But to take the extreme position that the British crown did nothing wrong to provoke the situation is absurd. The British have a world-wide reputation of treating their colonies with a double standard and you need to realize that. It's not unique to the British. Every world power throughout history has had the same problem.

With all that said, I'd love to continue this conversation on a reasonable basis - the one of credible evidence that Aedes is advocating. I've read a few German history books - fascinating, but not easy, given that my German is at a preschool level. It was fascinating to discuss the British perspective on the War of 1812 with Jon Latimer. Thank you for mentioning "Bloody Noses". It looks like an interesting read (though most of the reviews mention that it is not very objective). Even so, I'd love to hear the British perspective on the American Revolution - but it needs to be tempered with an understanding of the nationalistic emotions that can color these conversations.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 11:38 am
@Resha Caner,
Resh im not bitter its too long ago for me to bear any animosity.I dont worry about our influence or our loss of international influence.It was an academic debate on the one sided view many have on the war fought by traitors to the realm against our brave red coats or by courageous sons of liberty against a tyrannous imperialist homeland.We,the british, are never taught the details of american wars and we too readily accept the hollywood images.The legality of historical events are not as well defined as would like them to be. We did not loose we just failed to take it seriously enough, till it was too late.The only souls that really lost where the red skins.Resh we still see america as our closest friend and ally.Xris
Resha Caner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:08 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
we still see america as our closest friend and ally.


And, as I said, the UK is still a very important American ally.

xris wrote:
im not bitter its too long ago for me to bear any animosity.I dont worry about our influence or our loss of international influence.


I'm glad to hear that. At one point the discussion seemed to get a bit emotional, and that would be a shame. You've started a topic I am very interested in, and I'd like to continue.

xris wrote:
It was an academic debate on the one sided view many have on the war fought by traitors to the realm against our brave red coats or by courageous sons of liberty against a tyrannous imperialist homeland.We,the british, are never taught the details of american wars and we too readily accept the hollywood images.The legality of historical events are not as well defined as would like them to be.


I agree with all of this. And, Americans are not taught much world history of value unless they take history at a college level. I expect it is the same in the UK. To mention my experience with Latimer again, he is a British history professor (in Wales if I remember correctly), and had an excellent understanding of American history.

It's not that either nation is delinquent in teaching history. It's really a question of who needs to know history in great detail. Though I love history, I really don't think it's necessary for every citizen to have a detailed understanding. I'd prefer people specialize where they have the talent for it, and then respect specialists in other fields.

xris wrote:
We did not loose we just failed to take it seriously enough, till it was too late.


I do want to continue, because this is a very interesting comment. Is that what Brit schools teach? I can give you some humorous parallels from American history.

A common theme regarding the Vietnam war is that the U.S. lost because liberal radicals created a political environment under which the military couldn't fight the war it wanted to fight. There is some truth to that, but the underlying foreign policy was so flawed that it is only a contributor to the loss of the war, not the major factor. It's a common political tactic - to elevate secondary reasons to a primary position.

With respect to the American Revolution, I was taught a "we kicked British butt" version of history. But, that was over 20 years ago. Maybe it's changed. It wasn't until I was in college that I got a more balanced view. The American view now tends to state that Britain lost because it overextended itself. So, when the French entered the war, it was too much to handle.
Phronimos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:26 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
You can't be talking about the American revolution here, then. The revolution did not formally involve all the colonies until after the Declaration of Independence, which was signed more than a full year after the revolution had begun. It was originally a popular uprising of the people of Massachusetts against a virtual police state that the British had imposed in Boston. Volunteers started flooding into Boston from around the colonies after the uprising began. The Continental Congress, which composed and ratified the Declaration of Independence, was comprised of delegates chosen by popular gatherings or by local assemblies. So inasmuch as the majority could express itself, it WAS a majority consensus.


My knowledge of the revolutionary era is decidedly limited, but this does not seem to be historically accurate from my brushes with this period. That is, the fact that all 13 colonies sent delegates to the continental congress does not mean that a majority of people from their selected states supported colonial independence from Britain, in fact from what I've heard this was more a gradual transition during the war than a speedy about face. So to speak of a majority consensus for revolution is probably wrongheaded, which is not to say that there was not a critical mass of people who did advocate for this view, only that there were also those who pushed simply for reform, others who were royalists, and many others who were either apathetic or ambivalent.

EDIT: After reading the rest of the posts in this thread, I don't think you're initial characterization was as reductionist as I initially thought. We probably just disagree about when a majority consensus was generated during the war.
 

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