The American Revolution, In the U.S. it is taught that we fought bravely and won our Independence. People I have met from England say that over there it is generally said that they gave it to us, and didn't really care.
What are your thoughts?.......oh this should be a good one.
The revolution was a good thing for the american peoples morale, but it totally screwed over the African American population. Perhaps if the revolution didnt happen in that fashion that the african american population would be alot more well off.
Just some thoughts.
I would recommend a good History course in the revolution. I believe that England did decide the price had gotten to high to maintain a presence. Now is that called giving up or called getting beat is debatable. Even with Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown England could have continued the fight.
only thing i was ever taught about it was it happened not the events leading up to it or the battles etc. Have only read a little about it and am not really interested in it. I would say it helped the British when they entered the peninsular wars of the late 18th early 19thc.
But other than that its a few battle honours and dstinctions on regiments flags and uniforms. EG the Brandywine patch
Does anyone know of any good books regarding the American Revolutionary War?
I reckon we're due yet another re-interpretation of the conflict in book or documentary......not like that revisionist Hollywood movie Mel Gipson starred in.
I think it's fair to say the Poms could have continued the war and likely won, but at significant or potentially catostrophic expense to the ongoing administration/security of the rest of their empire.
I was taught that only about 40% of the colonist actually supported the revolution. It was these few that fought against the british actively.
The only real reason why American won the war, was because France got involved on our side. With the British Empire as big as it was back then...they had to do some massive re-deployments to other colonies, as well as at home against a possible cross-channel invasion. In the end, the cost of continuing to fight in the Americas outwieghed the small benifits of cheap cotton and tobacco
It's possible that if the British continued, they would have won. However, by Yorktown, the French were giving us quite a bit of support, which may as the conflict went on have included significant numbers of soldiers (or did they have soldiers there by Yorktown? My knowledge of the Revolution is a little sketchy).
It's still quite a feat for a bunch of lowly colonist farmers/hunters to have defeated and overthrown the most powerful nation in the western world, and something I'm proud of (no offense to the Brits )
Racing the CX21 and CX22 crews to the local greasy spoon for a fry up
I am a bit of a historian and have just finished reading an excellent book on the Revolutionary War. One of the best points raised was regarding the raid on the Concorde jail. Amongst the cannons discovered there were three French 24 pounder siege guns, which weighed 5600 pounds and required 8-10 men and 6 horse just to move them. These were not mere field artillery pieces, and it is widely accepted that their purpose was to threaten British shipping in Boston harbour. The British had no such weapons in country at the time, so they did not capture them from us. I have read that Samuel Adams had been dealing with the French prior to 1775-6 and that he burned various letters incriminating them in providing various items.
In other words, the ideological "spontaneous uprising by peace loving farmers against unprovoked aggression" myth is destroyed. The French had been involved for a long time. The American revolutionaries were merely the pawns in the long standing Anglo-French rivalry. The French sought to open a new front to occupy the British, and the majority of the Americans fought not for freedom, but to accquire land and property owned by their neighbours whilst doing so under the banner of a moral crusade for freedom. At one point the British Army had whole battalions and regiments consisting of Continental Army deserters too, so the "freedom" ideology wasn't shared by even the most professional soldiers that Congress had to offer!
In all truth we could have continued and eventually won the war, and if our King hadn't been going insane at the time and Parliament had refused to commit more troops we could have done so.
A good quote by Hannah Griffits, a Pennsylvania Quaker, from 1785 after witnessing the corrupt behaviour of the "new elite" in power in America.
"The glorious fourth - again appears,
A day of days - and year of years,
The sum of sad disasters,
Where all the mighty gains we see,
With all their boasted liberty,
Is only change of masters."
until 1780, the brittish kept a constant garisson of 21,000 troops in the colonies. however, after the battles of saratoga, the war turned south forth for the brits. saratoga proved that the colonials could beat the brits in a standing fight, and it brought the french in on our side. the french had one major thing we didnt: a navy. Im just finishing off my history degree here in college, and from what ive read on it (which i admit is not as much as it could be, im by no means well-read on the subject), I highly doubt that the brits let us win. It looks more like there finally came a point when they knew they were beaten. they had much more trouble reinforcing from england, and cornwalis ended up cornered between our troops and french naval ships at yorktown.
oh, and the general who won that decisive pair of battles at saratoga? Benedict Arnold. without that man we would have lost the war. if i remember correctly, during verious battles he had 6 horses shot out from under him, got hit in the leg twice, yet he still commanded his troops from the front
We handed their arses to them. It would have been stupid for the British to stay, even after they crush the American Armies that still puts life back to the 1760's. America didn't win until our second constitution was writen when the United State's showed the world that even the yankees had the ability to run their own states without the mother land.
I am inclined to agree with CX20 in that the story of the Colonies and the Revolutionary War presented a "coldwar-like" battlefield for the most powerful nations of the day(England & France) to fight either directly or by proxy rather than just a heroic story of the "home team" shedding the chains of tyranny.
But I think it's absolutely understandable how history books focus on a localized and sanitized story...because who wants to be reminded of the considerable role outside forces can play on local events?
I also agree motivations for participating in the conflict may have been financial for many of the participants on BOTH sides...let's face it....most decisions to act or not include a financial aspect to the decision.
I'd be keen to get the title/author of the book you mentioned CX20.
I've only looked at aspects of the War at the tactical level (& to a lesser extent the naval side) so I'm no expert.
I'm inclined to agree with CX20 that it was a colonial 'sideshow' to the major issues of the day in Europe and Aisa - a war fought largely by proxy by the Americans for the French and to a lesser extent, the Germans by the British (a significant part of the 'British' army was German).
In the end the British did not reniforce failure because of public opinion at home leading to pressure in parliament (see any paralells anyone? ). The fact that the King was barking is an incidental. The fact is that India and the direct threat from across the channel were far more important in the British mind, so the resources were pushed elsewhere.
We lost - noone just gives up in a war, but had we directed the might of the empire (and in particular the Royal Navy) it would have been a very different outcome...
CX20: ""In other words, the ideological "spontaneous uprising by peace loving farmers against unprovoked aggression" myth is destroyed.""
ME: He he, spirited agrairian reformers, the backbone of any new history.
Zach R.: ""After Clinton's defeat in NY, I would deffinately say the British were screwed from that second on.""
ME: Ya, but Clinton's latest victory in NY might get them back.
Royal: ""(a significant part of the 'British' army was German).""
ME: There's one fact that doesn't generally get much airtime. KGL 'yeeeha!'
But Hanoverians and Prussians and Walachians, Oh my! French army employed bukku Krauts too.