Jack Marino '23
You are wrong about the American Revolution. Not just you specifically, but ninety-nine percent of the people reading this article are wrong about the American Revolution. The Revolutionary War was not some lofty struggle to overthrow the tyrannical King George III and bring freedom and democracy to the colonies. Instead, elitists attempting to preserve their position of power stirred up the masses against an imagined enemy.
Hostility between Britain and her colonies traces itself back to the end of the French and Indian War, when George Washington led a surprise attack against French forces in the Ohio River Valley, and ultimately was forced to surrender his entire army. Due to the weak colonial army, Britain was forced to send tens of thousands of soldiers to win a war that they had no part in starting. Afterwards, Britain asked herself: should the colonists, who recklessly attacked French forces, amassed substantial war profits, and gained massive tracts of land upon Britain’s victory, pay for the war? Or, should the British, who suffered economic recessions to protect their American brethren, cover the cost? I think everyone would agree that Britain chose the right option.
The primary argument of American Revolution fans is that the colonies had no representation in the British parliament, so they therefore were not responsible for the expenses. However, there are many cases in which colonial representation in Parliament would have been to the colonists’ detriment. For instance, most colonists supported expansion into native American lands west of the Appalachian mountains, but Parliament’s proclamation of 1763 prevented this—for good reason. If colonists had flooded into the western territories, a war with Native Americans would inevitably have started, necessitating the mobilization of even more British troops.
So, as taxes piled on, Bostonians—led by the Adams brothers, John Hancock, and Paul Revere—fought for freedom against their British “oppressors” by tar-and-feathering British sympathizers, burning government buildings, and assaulting Redcoats; it turns, these were not the best negotiating tactics. (It is important to note that in the pursuit of democracy, America’s second president John Adams signed the Sedition Act of 1798, which effectively banned political opponents from criticizing his administration.)
Anyway, taxation without representation was not what the colonists were worried about. Colonial governments twice rejected plans to integrate American seats into the British Parliament (the first plan was Benjamin Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union; the second was the British Parliament’s offer to all seats for the colonies after the Battle of Saratoga) and most of their tax complaints related to the enforcement of decades old unpoliced taxes (like the Sugar tax for example).
Knowing that the colonists neither cared for representation nor a stable democracy, the American Revolution’s primary goals were selfish. The colonists rebelled to escape from the taxes that financed their war; the colonists rebelled for the right to freely expand west into Native American land; the colonists rebelled because they were fed propaganda targeting their benevolent government in England.
So therefore, it is time to right the wrongs of our past. It is time to Make America Great Britain Again!
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