Opposition to war lead to American Revolution

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#1
It is easy to argue the democracy of the US has always used military action to extend and establish its power. However, that behavior comes from the old war and the American Revolution was fought to break from the old world. The following is a quote from Thomas Paine. His words helped unite the colonist against British imperialism.

Every war terminates with an addition of taxes, and consequently with an addition of revenue; and in any event of war, in the manner they are now commenced and concluded, the power and interest of Governments are increased. War, therefore, from its productiveness, as it easily furnishes the pretense of necessity for taxes and appointments to places and offices, becomes a principal part of the system of old Governments; and to establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches. . . . It is time to dismiss that inattention which has so long been the encouraging cause of stretching taxation to excess. . . . To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not. . . . If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey, and permits none to escape without a tribute. . . . Can we possibly suppose that if governments had originated in a right principle, and had not an interest in pursuing a wrong one, the world could have been in the wretched and quarrelsome condition we have seen it? What inducement has the farmer, while following the plough, to lay aside his peaceful pursuit, and go to war with the farmer of another country? or what inducement has the manufacturer? What is dominion to them, or to any class of men in a nation? Does it add an acre to any man's estate, or raise its value? Are not conquest and defeat each of the same price, and taxes the never-failing consequence? . . . Government, on the old system, is an assumption of power, for the aggrandizement of itself; on the new, a delegation of power for the common benefit of society. The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the latter promotes a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation.
 
Feb 2016
4,358
Japan
#2
Not sure I follow. The colonists were fairly imperialistic, they wanted fair representation in parliament not some objection to imperial systems. If anything they would have liked the British to be more expansionist and less friendly with certain tribes...

Starting a war because you are opposed to war.... does not seem to make sense.
 
Feb 2014
1,863
Kingdom of the Netherlands
#3
Not sure I follow. The colonists were fairly imperialistic, they wanted fair representation in parliament not some objection to imperial systems. If anything they would have liked the British to be more expansionist and less friendly with certain tribes...

Starting a war because you are opposed to war.... does not seem to make sense.
Indeed, the Americans certainly had their own fair amount of imperialism just like the Europeans.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#4
Not sure I follow. The colonists were fairly imperialistic, they wanted fair representation in parliament not some objection to imperial systems. If anything they would have liked the British to be more expansionist and less friendly with certain tribes...

Starting a war because you are opposed to war.... does not seem to make sense.
I thought the colonist were defending themselves from British military aggression taken to force the colonist to submit to British rule. I would not say that is starting a war. In fact, it was the British military aggression that united colonist against Britain. Many of them were farmers who wanted nothing to do with imperialism or political matters. They just wanted to be left alone to farm their land and provide for their families. I think we need to have a better understanding of history and what it meant to be a peasant in Europe and how different life was in the colonies, with no authority above them depriving them of their rights and liberty.

Of course, all those people came from Europe and would think as people did in Europe. Only some of them cared about the power games played by politicians not all of them! Most were peasants, farmers, indentured servants, and those convicted of crimes in Britain who were deported as were the citizens of Australia. The important difference was made by those who had a liberal education and who made speeches and wrote papers about human rights and a New Social Order. They made this difference in publications and political action, and most importantly through public education transmitting a culture based on Greek and Roman classics. Only a few colonist came here with the necessary education, but they came for the purpose of establishing a New Social Order and they created colleges that became increasingly secular, and they built the foundation of a new way of thinking that was to become our democracy. What happened in the colonies was a manifestation of the Reneasaunce begun in Italy and was even better in the colonies because people owned their land and there was no establishment above them, that could deprive them their rights and the fruits of their labor.

So it is true, some in the colonies were as you say, imperialist straight out of Europe. But they were outnumbered by the common folk, and they did not control the education that united us in a democracy. You see, the fight between those power people and the humanist has always been part of our history and what side are you on? Many of those who stayed loyal to Britain lost everything and fled to other countries.

oday we are losing the fight for our independence, rights, and liberty, because the masses are not well educated in the history that made us different. We are giving it all away to the industrialist without a fight. I can't even use my new lap top without giving control of it to Windows and it is horrifying that no one is protesting this control of how our personal computers are used. This is not how the internet began and it is not how it should be. Our rental contracts deprive us of increasing more rights, and no one is complaining. No, we were not always so controlled and our failure to know our history is a big problem!
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,347
Las Vegas, NV USA
#6
The American War of Independence was the result of mostly loyal British subjects being denied rights held by those living in Great Britain with same qualifications. Taxes were imposed on the colonies from Westminster without colonial representation. The leaders of the revolt were largely the same class as those who had the voting franchise in Britain. On the other hand, the King and Parliament felt the costs of the recent war with France should be shared by the colonists. Many of the taxes were withdrawn but the quartering of British troops in private homes and the fact that colonials could not serve as officers in the British Army were among other issues that eventually led to the break.
 
Feb 2016
4,358
Japan
#7
I don't know of any military aggression.
As tensions were building the citizens began stockpiling weapons and powder. The British attempted to destroy these stores..... it's a bit of a push to describe this as military aggression?