Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Parallels in History: You do the math...

1. In 1773, a financially insolvent but politically influential East India Company appealed to the British Parliament for assistance. It received a monopoly on tea exports to the colonies; an act that precipitated the American Revolution.

2. Popular thinking has it that “evil” governments get overthrown. However it is weak governments such as the English presence in America in the 1770s, not tyrannical ones, that are more likely to be toppled.

3. In the American Revolution, the British had to fight a war across an ocean, on unfamiliar terrain, against an enemy whose concerns were not truly understood and who could be a friend in public and a foe behind their back. Yet England pressed on, confident that the Americans could not stand up to British moral and military superiority and fearful that a loss would trigger a “domino effect."

4. After the French and Indian War, England decided to station an army of about 10,000 soldiers in North America to safeguard the colonies and "manage" the Indians. This generated tremendous resentment. Americans feared the soldiers would abuse the populous and the army undermine their liberty.

5. In various American cities there were "riots," which included the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.

6. In 1765, a multi-class alliance of American merchants, intellectuals and workers organized the Sons of Liberty to coordinate resistance.

7. During the American Revolution, there were American propagandists who wrote pamphlets to further the cause of Independence. The most prolific of those writers was Thomas Paine.

8. Both the English and the Americans provided incentives to secure the affiliations of regional peoples and leaders. The Native American tribes that depended most heavily upon colonial trade tended to side with the revolutionaries.

9. England considered American revolutionaries insurgents and criminals.

Were there Americans, as well as those from other nations, that sought to exploit the political upheaval for their own profit or fringe ideology? Sure... but sometimes revolutionaries are just revolutionaries.

"Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana



Anonymous the Patriot said...

Americans have God and Democracy on our side in Iraq!

6:59 AM  
Blogger MKM said...

What was that quaint old English phrase? Oh yes, "for god and Queen."

7:24 AM  

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