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American Revolution - Was it worth it?

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  • American Revolution - Was it worth it?

    Looking at how America has shaped up over the last two hundred years and how it similiar it has turned out in terms of education, freedom of expression, quality of life etc compared to similar colonies which did not rebel (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and to European countries it was supposed to be different from, it begs the question of whether the war of independence actually achieved anything.

    What would have been different if the rebellion never took place? It may have been different if you were native American or Mexican, but that is pretty hard to prove. The experience of living in the US is almost identical to living in any other western democracy so the question is: what did the revolution actualy achieve?
    Last edited by billscottmorri; 16 Jul 08, 08:22.
    What would Occam say?

  • #2
    This could be interesting!

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    • #3
      Hmmm theres a huge number of varibles that emerge here. They almost imeadiately start crowding each other and to consider one thing you have to instantly consider nine other events.

      The first thing that jumped out at me was the slavery question. In the 1830s the anti slavery movement came to critical mass in Britian, and suceeded in outlawing the trans Atlantic slave trade, and slavery in much of the Empire. At the same time the cotton industry was reviving the economic incentive for slavery in the US. Would the British abolitionsits cause the southern cotton growing colonys to form the same sort of political bloc as they did as part of the US and were at odds with the abolitionist movement here?

      A second question is if the British government had continued its policy of prohibiting settlement west of the Appalacian mountains. This was a major source of friction between the colonists and the crown.

      No time to identify the thirty other items at hand...

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      • #4
        The Empire was never shy about land grabs and I think South Africa offers the best model here where the British gobbled up one chunk after another - no real reason to assume that they would have been any less greedy in the US given the vastly superior resources available.

        The cotton / slavery / Southern states thing is very valid, little doubt that some sort of rebellion was inevitable as would be the outcome.

        Development would have been slower probably, but the result by 2008 would have been very similar, so again, it suggests that the War of Independence had some first class sentiments, but realy didn't acheive a great deal.
        What would Occam say?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
          Looking at how America has shaped up over the last two hundred years and how it similiar it has turned out in terms of education, freedom of expression, quality of life etc compared to similar colonies which did not rebel (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and to European countries it was supposed to be different from, it begs the question of whether the war of independence actually achieved anything.

          What would have been different if the rebellion never took place? It may have been different if you were native American or Mexican, but that is pretty hard to prove. The experience of living in the US is almost identical to living in any other western democracy so the question is: what did the revolution actualy achieve?
          What makes you think that the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. would have turned out the way they did in the absence of the American Revolution?

          This guy wouldn't have had much to write about without the American Revolution...

          Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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          • #6
            Well the intelectual movement, ie the enlightenment that fostered the spririt of the AWOI was very well embeded in the UK aswell, very strongly so. Voltaire was extremely complimentary of Britains movement and this was before during and after the AWOI. The Napoleonic war as I have said slowed some political reform till a bit later but as the reform acts of 1832 and afterwards showed, things were already developing very strongly beforehand.

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            • #7
              The things that made America great were thoroughly Enlightenment ideals - America did have the chance to create a unique political system but ended up copying the British one almost lock stock and barrel.

              The Empire could never have held on to the settled colonies and there is no reason to assume that they would have developed any differently.

              For example none have copied the few innovations the US brought to the table, so it is pretty hard to see the value in the American revolution.
              What would Occam say?

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              • #8
                I think US would still achieved responsible government sometime in the early 1800's anyways. I think the biggest impact would have been on Canada not getting the 46,000 United Empire Loyalist would have greatly changed the future of Canada
                FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                  What makes you think that the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. would have turned out the way they did in the absence of the American Revolution?

                  This guy wouldn't have had much to write about without the American Revolution...


                  They would likely turned out the same just slower to get there


                  John would have likely have ended in the US instead Doc.
                  FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PatBC View Post
                    They would likely turned out the same just slower to get there


                    John would have likely have ended in the US instead Doc.
                    I dont think the AWOI independence speeded up change in the commonwealth. As I said before it was the Napoleonic wars that slowed it because of the government clamp down on groups and institutions like the press especially when invasion seemed likely.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PatBC View Post
                      I I think the biggest impact would have been on Canada not getting the 46,000 United Empire Loyalist would have greatly changed the future of Canada
                      There would be no Canada...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                        There would be no Canada...

                        Not neccessarily it just might have had a far greater french flavor.
                        FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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                        • #13
                          I think the lack of refugees from America would have slowed Canada's growth and also changed its profile too, but assuming that the American colonies became self governing during the 19th century, the economic spill over to Canada would still have been significant.

                          So apart from Canada's development no one seems to have any issue with the idea that the AWOI was a bit of a non-event on the whole?
                          What would Occam say?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                            I think the lack of refugees from America would have slowed Canada's growth and also changed its profile too, but assuming that the American colonies became self governing during the 19th century, the economic spill over to Canada would still have been significant.

                            So apart from Canada's development no one seems to have any issue with the idea that the AWOI was a bit of a non-event on the whole?
                            Apart from you blokes not speaking German today...I guess you're right...
                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                              Apart from you blokes not speaking German today...I guess you're right...
                              You think the US as a member of the Commonwealth would have sat out either war?
                              FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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