Axelgear wrote:Ahem, let's go from the end to the beginning here. It seems the quickest way to solve this...
First of all, those taxes were NOT to repay loans. Those taxes were to pay for the border guarding and British troops in America. Britain did not impose the same taxes in Canada. Why not? Because the Canadian Colonies were already paying for their own defense force. Americans refused to defend their territories and paid for it. The taxes HAD to be enforced or Britain would have to take loans to pay for the debt incurred by America. America would never pass a tax to pay for what they were getting for free in the first place, and Britain didn't have time to put it through. In retrospect though, it would have been a good idea.
As to the strong-armed laws, Britain, in its tactics, was trying to defend its interests. Americans were clearly violating the law and preparing to rebel, and Britain tried to quash it before it came to be. Had Lexington not happened, it actually seems like America may not have even rebelled. The fact is, however, that Americans had broken the law and Britain had to enforce it. The harsh tactics were there for the simple purpose of giving the British Troops the ability to prevent rebellion. Not a smart tactic but it was not without reason.
America's independence was fought over a right to self-governance, but this lack of self-governance was only desired after Americans defied Britains attempts to try and protect them from France anyway. It is a sure thing that, had Ameirca not allied with France to oppose Britain, it would have been invaded, if not then, then later by Napolean (Because he DID try it. He just lost about 3/4ths of his army to Yellow Fever and gave it up before firing a shot). America oddly owes its existance, once again, to Britain for that little fact, even if it wasn't intentional. Britain wanted to defend its interests in America, America didn't want to pay to defend itself, and so began the downward spiral to war.
It does seem funny that the lack of the willingness to become borderguards was what spurred on the same fierceness to rebel. Had America decided to guard its territory (Meaning the tax could be implemented through the colonial government and would have been less likely to be rejected), who knows? America could have remained an English Colony as long as the rest of them did.
they teach in schools these days? YES, those taxes were being used to repay war loans from the Seven Years War. And the comments about defense are, in a word, asinine - the colonies were, from their founding down to the time of independence, using their own, internally-raised militia for their own defense (paid for by the colony's taxes upon its own populace, and not supported in any way by Britain). If you doubt this, I encourage you to read a few more history books, or research the 1744 Expedition by the New England colonies to capture the fortress of Louisburg, in Nova Scotia. And guess what? The Colonies paid for that little adventure, and commanded that little adventure, and died finishing that little adventure... and then the British promptly turned around and gave it back to the Frenchies. At least in the French&Indian War they blew it up and kept the land!
Let us move this forward into the modern era. You shop for food at a supermarket. The government decides, for various reasons, that it is going to buy stock in one of the supermarket chains. Once they have their stock, they have a sudden and pressing need for money: they decide to impose a special tax on all groceries sold by the supermarket. BUT, they exempt the supermarket chain they own. People protest this. As in all real-life scenarios, a handful of people see the Hand of Tyranny descending upon their shopping experience. They picket the supermarket, and convince people not to buy from it. The government responds by closing all the other supermarkets, so that you may only shop at their supermarket. People in your area ask them to reverse this. The government replies with the middle finger, and in punishment close all the Corner Mart and Walmart stores, and disbands the state legislature. Troops move in to secure the supermarkets, and the government says that YOU must house them in YOUR home at YOUR expense.
I repeat. The revolution was NOT over taxes, it was about a long, continuous string of abuses by a government which turned down time after time after time any overtures to productively solve the problem. The British government officials declared that the colonists were like stupid, misguided children who needed the discipline of their stern and wise Britannic father, who knew what was best for his little poor uneducated colonial children. The colonists asked again and again for redress to be paid to their grievances. Their answer came with repeated slaps in the face. The British burned and shelled towns (Falmouth, Norfolk); they seized local government property; they hired foreign mercenaries to conquer the colonists when their own soldiers proved unable to do the job. And then, and THEN, they had the GALL to be SURPRISED when we fought back!
Axelgear wrote:Taxes were not the root cause, they were the catalyst. When people refuse to pay, Britain must enforce the law. When people try to break the law, Britain must make the law harsher.
It wasn't until December 1773 that the colonists as a group began breaking the law. That was AFTER Britain had removed from them the right of trial by jury and removed their forms of self-government. For instance, the Gaspee Incident. It was only Rhode Islanders that participated. Why then were the magistrates removed in New Hampshire and Georgia? Georgia wasn't responsible. They didn't even consider themselves part of the other colonies.
Axelgear wrote:Lexington was what can be called a Surprise Attack of Unparalleled Magnitude, just like the D-Day invasions.
Nope, sorry. The British made an error of arrogance
, which is far more deadly a mistake; they believed that the colonials would "run for the safety of their wives' skirts" the moment they saw a formation of British troops. Neither side wanted to fire the first shots; the first shot was unidentified and remains so to this day, but following that shot, the British cracked, and fired without orders. They promptly thought the rest of the mission would be a cakewalk. They didn't recall the first Powder Alarm, where ten thousand colonists turned out due to the rumor that the British had shot a few locals. And the British still thought they would run for their wives' skirts. Surprise Attack? NOPE. Arrogance.
It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. - attributed to Samuel Adams
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” - Richard Henry Lee