Mon 19 Oct, 2015 12:02 am
This is a serious question, not a troll or a hoax. By "fraud" I mean justified by spurious premises that didn't reflect the true motives of the revolutionary leadership, and which today persist as part of the national mythology.
The Stamp Act was repealed in 1766.
The Sugar Act (which replaced the Molasses Act) was repealed in 1766. The Revenue Act of 1766 which replaced it reduced the duties from 3 pence per gallon of molasses to 1 penny.
The Tea Act of 1773 which resulted in the Boston Tea Party actually made tea less expensive to the colonist; even with the small tax added on, British tea imported legally was cheaper than tea smuggled in to evade tax duties.
The Quartering Act of 1774, by its own language, allowed only for "uninhabited" houses to be occupied by British troops, "making a reasonable allowance for the same" (i.e. the owner was to be compensated), and then only if proper troop quarters weren't available and on a temporary basis.
So far as I can tell, American colonists in 1775 had only piddling tax to pay. What they really objected to was having to acknowledge the legal power of the British to tax their own colony at all, despite the fact that a large portion of British debt stemmed from protecting the colonies from foreign nations during various wars, and that the British maintained a large garrison of troops to protect colonists from Indian uprisings. This brings us to the next fraud:
"No taxation without representation."
Putting aside complex questions of who was allowed suffrage in electing either members of British Parliament or the various colonial legislatures (and the number of freemen versus slaves, indentured servants, women and Indians), in 1775 the British population was about 7.5 million and that of the colonies was about 2.4 million. Furthermore, roughly 20 percent of American colonists were loyalists.
Even if Americans had been given seats in the House of Commons (where tax legislation originated), proportional to their population, they would have obtained only about a quarter of the seats, and loyalists would have reduced their effective vote to about 15 percent of seats; so that taxes applicable to the colonies could still be passed. In actual fact, American representation according to existing procedure would have been much lower.
The American revolutionary leadership knew this. They didn't genuinely want representation, because they would be a marginalized minority within British Parliament, with no more excuses to flout British law.
Correction: I wrote:
"... and loyalists would have reduced their effective vote to about 15 percent of seats..."
This should read 20 percent, not 15 percent (since 4/5 of 25 is 20).
Too late for an edit.
One of the big catylists was the riots that began breaking out in response to the tension that began to form between Britan and the colonies like the Boston massacre where a huge mob of colonists sorrounded a British squad and pelted them with chunks of ice and clam shells, many of them were also wielding clubs due to their professions in making rope (you had to beat rope with a club). The fear for their lives combined with the crowd screaming at them to fire caused the British to fire a volley into the crowd killing several people and wounding others.
But despite the massive outrage this caused a lawyer by the name of James Madison (our first Vice President and later second President) defended the British soldiers and a jury found them innocent on all charges. But one of the huge reasons for the revolution was that despite this the case was overturned by British leadership and they passed a new law stating that all disputes between colonists and British citizens of the isles would be handled in Britan by a British court and not in the colonies.
For Madison at least this was the final straw and he became one of the representatives for the Continental Congress and advocated a breaking from Britan. Soon after this British soldiers also went to seize all the weapons and powder from two garrisons of minute men who fought rather than give up their towns only defense against native tribes when soldiers weren't present and these two skirmishes were technically the very start of the war. Which was more impromptu rather than an actual battle and lead the colonies to begin taking sides in order to help the very small force resisting the British.
P.S. The Townsend Acts were repealed in 1770.
Adams, not Madison, defended the British tried after the Boston Massacre.
The Administration of Justice Act allowing British officials to be tried in Britain at the discretion of the royal Governor applied only to Massachusetts.
Not sure how the British could overturn a colonial trial verdict (or why they would need to move trials to Britain if they could), nor why they would overturn an acquittal of their own men. Do you have a citation for that?
Really sorry it was John Adams, I was a bit tired and made a stupid mix up.
Once again sorry about my mix up, I realized my mistake the moment I woke up. But two of the men were charged with manslaughter and would have still gotten short prison sentences over death where in a British court it would be assured that all would be acquitted. But I'm not going to speak anymore on the subject, it's clear you know much more about all of this than me and it would be stupid of me to try to make any points. But I did read the documentation of the trial in the library of congress so at least there's that.
. . . the fact that a large portion of British debt stemmed from
protecting the colonies from foreign nations during various wars, and that
the British maintained a large garrison of troops to protect colonists from
Indian uprisings . . .
All things considered, they might have done better to protect the Indians
from the colonists.
@Tes yeux noirs,
You're thinking of England, I made 100% sure to be right about one thing and that was it.
It is a pro-British canard that Britain protected the colonies. During King William's War (the equivalent of the Nine Years War on the continent) and Queen Anne's War (the equivalent of the War of the Spanish Succession on the continent), American colonists protected themselves against Indian allies of the French. In King William's War, the colonists raised troops, armed and supplied them and sent an expedition overland against Montréal and another by sea against Québec city. Virtually the same plan was followed in Queen Anne's war, with some financial support from the Queen, but no troops. It was as unsuccessful as the expeditions in King William's War. An expedition did arrive in Boston later with 5000 troops, but they were not there to defend the colonies, they were going to attempt the capture of Québec city. They failed spectacularly.
In King George's War (the equivalent of the War of the Austrian succession on the continent), colonial troops and ships once again attacked New France, and, after a six week's seige, took the fortress of Louisbourg. Promised British troops never arrived, and some historians estimate the 8% of the adult male population of Massachusetts was killed in the war.
During the French and Indian War (equivalent to the Seven Years War in Europe), the British finally sent troops--for all the good that it did. At Great Meadows in western Maryland, when Washington set his troops to digging trenches and redoubts to construct Fort Necessity, the Captain commanding the Royal American detachment, Americans enrolled in the British army, refused to participate unless Washington paid his troops three shillings a day for their labor, in cash--something Washington was unable to do. The Royal Americans took no part in the fighting. When Braddock marched into Maryland and Pennsylvania, Washington, although ill, went along as a volunteer. The French and Indians, badly outnumbered, nevertheless attacked. The regulars fell into confusion, and even fired on one another. When the Virginia militia went forward and began firing on the Indians, accustomed to their fighting style, the red coats fired on them. Braddock was fatally wounded, and as his army marched away, would only have a guard of Virginia militia. When he died, Washington had him buried on the east side of the camp, so that the traces of the grave would be obliterated as the little army marched away, so as to prevent the Indians from digging up his remains and desecrating them. (In the 1820s, when a road was being constructed from Washington to St. Louis, remains were found which were believed to be Braddock's.) When Forbes' expedition marched on Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburgh, although repulsed initially with heavy losses, the French retreated. Their Indian allies decamped, because Forbes had Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania militia, who knew how to fight them on their own terms. Between the Braddock and the Forbes expeditions, Washington, as commander of the Virginia militia, protected the frontiers of Virginia and the Carolinas, fighting and winning 20 battles with the Indians in ten months time. As a result colonists on those frontiers were not subjected to the same attacks and harassment as colonists on other frontiers. After the Forbes expedition, Washington resigned his commission.
At that time, 1757, Governor Shirley of Massachusetts (effectively the Governor of New England) was recalled and replaced by a gentleman named Thomas Pownall. In April, 1758, Pownall wrote to the Lords of Trade, the body responsible for the colonies to say that one in seven adult males in New England were serving the King by land or by sea. He stated that Massachusetts before the war had had an annual budget of about 45,000 pounds sterling, but that in the current war, the colony had acquired a debt in excess of 330,000 pounds. He then went on to state that the legislature had passed a scheme to sink the debt in two years time by increases in property taxes and surtaxes on imposts and excises. He then pointed out that the people of Massachusetts accepted the new taxes, because they had been passed by their elected representatives. This was a lesson which was lost on the authorities in London.
While it is true that the Stamp Act was repealed and the burden of the Sugar Act was reduced, at the same time, Parliament passed the American Colonies Act, generally referred to as the Declaratory Act, which stated that Parliament had the right to legislate for the Colonies in all matters just as they did for Britain, including in matters of taxation. William Pitt in the Parliamentary debates stated his opinion that: "It is my opinion that this Kingdom has no right to lay a tax upon the colonies." Acknowledging the right of Parliament to govern, he further stated that taxation was no part of governing, but rather, that it was a free gift of the colonists. Hard headed members of Parliament alleged that they had that right, because the colonies were "virtually represented in Parliament."
Claims about Britain protecting the colonies, or even spending very much money on defending them are horseshit.
EDIT: After King George's War, in the peace negotiations, the British handed the fortress at Louisbourg back to the French. Taking it was all to do over again. When Amherst lead his expedition against Louisbourg in 1758, militia and shipping from New England made a large part of the expedition. Although troops were sent to the American colonies in that war, they did nothing to protect the colonists. Their entire focus was on defeating the French and taking New France--Canada--away from them.
Britain is presently spelled Britain. I think that was Tes yeux noir's point.
Personally, I don't mind misspelling as that can happen from speed of typing and brain twists with homophones to keys sort of stuck, to the poster being just poor at spelling forever, to having dyslexia or similar, to people with advanced arthritis, or mangled fingers. But it bothers Tes yeux noirs.
Ah okay thank you. Ugh, this entire thread has just been an embaressment for me. This is the last time I try to make a post at 2 AM. >~<
Don't worry about it . . . if Bill shows up in this thread, the way he writes, you'll look like a literary genius.
Also, some of us may like some rottweilers.
Another irritant not mentioned was the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774. The Proclamation established a boundary between the eastern colonial colonies and the western indian lands, called the Indian Reserve. The Appalachian Mts. was more or less the boundary.
The Quebec Act of 1774 was the one that pissed off the wealthy landowners of Virginia, including a one G. Washington. This act made a large part of the lower colonial land a part of Quebec Province. That included Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Prior to this act the Indian Reserve was not being administrated and land was being taken for personal use or profit. Now all this land was administered by the provincial government of Quebec. This made the land acquired by wealthy eastern landowners pretty much worthless. This act also gave a lot of concession to Catholics, being as how 90% of Canada’s population were French Canadians. This didn’t sit well with the colonial Protestants.
The Quebec Act was part of the Intolerable Acts passed by England as punishment for the Tea Party.
If one wants to look for a cause of the revolution than my vote is the French and Indian War. This war demonstrated to the colonialist that they had grown up and didn’t need mommy and daddy any more. They realized they could defend themselves, feed themselves and sustain themselves without the help of their parents. They wanted to get out of the house.
England was forcing them to stay. They imposed new house rules to show them they were still the parents and ruled the roost. The child rebelled and eventually left going where they did not know. They wanted out and they would let fate decide what would happen to them.
Good reply from Xingu. The loss of valuable land and trading concessions via the Quebec Act of 1774 is undoubtedly an important factor:
"Frontiersmen from Virginia and other colonies were already entering that area. Land development companies such as the Ohio Company had already been formed to acquire ownership of large tracts and sell land to settlers and trade with the Indians...In particular, the colonial governments of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia were angered by the unilateral assignment of the Ohio lands to Quebec, which had each been granted them in their royal charters."
And indeed, these motives stretch back to the days of the French and Indian War:
" Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia was an investor in the Ohio Company, which stood to lose money if the French held their claim. To counter the French military presence in Ohio, in October 1753 Dinwiddie ordered the 21-year-old Major George Washington (whose brother was another Ohio Company investor) of the Virginia Regiment to warn the French to leave Virginia territory."
(Both quotes from Wiki)
As for "anti-popish" sentiment among the American colonists, I'm sure it was helpful in whipping up popular resentment, but I'm skeptical of its importance in motivating the elites who pressed for a revolutionary war of secession.
I'm less convinced (but open to persuasion) that the French and Indian War convinced Americans that they didn't need the British to protect them. The British (and their colonial militia partners) were doing poorly until a change of British government, when William Pitt took over military planning. Pitt stepped up British military support in the North American theater of the Seven Years War, including three major expeditions involving large numbers of regular troops, and it was this that turned the North American war in Britain's favor.
The French by contrast concentrated on European operations, in part because of a British naval blockade, but also because of a disastrous French plan to end the war through an invasion of Britain.
As for the American Revolutionary War, without foreign aid it is doubtful that the ragtag American militias would have won. Washington's Prussian chief of staff, von Steuben, took training and administration of the Continental Army in hand; victory at Yorktown depended on French naval blockade of the peninsula to prevent the reinforcement of Lord Cornwallis; and without French supply of gunpowder and essential munitions to the Americans, a shortage of basics would have doomed the American war effort to failure.
I'm scarcely an expert on the topic, myself. I hope to learn things here in addition to expounding my own views.
Hopefully, years of online discussion experience has reined in my own impulsiveness.
Some of the additions to the Forums distribution list are helpful.
What puzzles me is the "Two accounts one ip address" modification. Presumably it's applied to me since this is my topic.
It isn't clear to me who, other than Able2Know staffers, would have access to user IP address information, or why staffers would respond to an abuse of the system by such a coy, indirect method.
I did recently have trouble logging in, imagined that my account information had become corrupted, and after unsuccessfully attempting to have my password emailed to what I vaguely recalled to be my registration account, and failing (no such account registered), getting panicky and attempting to reregister. As far as I know, that second registration was abandoned prior to completion, when I realized that I had simply been confused and entered the wrong password. Both registration attempts used the same User ID (puzzledperson), so there is no question of my attempting to double my influence with multiple screen names. While the bizarre cognitive problem which caused my confusion is troubling to me, it scarcely represents a problem for site administration.
I'd appreciate it if the "Two accounts one ip address" forum header were removed. I'd complain directly to the Able2know staff but for some reason my editor won't work properly when attempting to type the description necessary to open a new ticket. Hopefully this indirect feedback will be effective. If not, I'll have to use another computer to retry opening a ticket.