What were the original war aims of the 13 Colonies?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,709
SoCal
#1
What were the original war aims of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolutionary War?

I know that the colonists ultimately got independence and got territory up to the Mississippi River with the exception of Florida, southern Alabama, and southern Mississippi. However, were those their original war aims or were their original war aims something different? Also, if their original war aims were different, what exactly were their original war aims?

BTW, any reading on the topic of the colonists' original war aims would be greatly appreciated--especially if this reading can be found online for free. :)
 
Apr 2017
984
U.S.A.
#2
The colonies originally simply wanted better representation so they wouldn't be taxed unfairly (at least having a say in decisions that affected them), as well as to have better rights. Britain initially simply saw and treated the colonies as an import/export market, anything beyond that was a luxury. Independence became a goal later, after some successes and realizing it would be a better goal.
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,521
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#3
There was some thought that Canada would be a 14th rebellious colony. That proved delusional as most Canadians stood by the crown.

It wouldn't surprise me if at least some Americans wanted the Ohio Valley opened to more white settlement. I've never heard of specific territorial claims made in 1775 or '76. The Declaration of Independence lists many war aims, or at least grievances, but they are all political, not territorial. I suspect drawing the western border at the Mississippi, the northern border at the Great Lakes, fishing rights in the Grand Banks, etc, were all added later. Probably the only reason the US did not get Florida in 1783 is that it had been conquered by our ally Spain during the war. Florida was British between 1763 and 1780-1.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,709
SoCal
#4
The colonies originally simply wanted better representation so they wouldn't be taxed unfairly (at least having a say in decisions that affected them), as well as to have better rights. Britain initially simply saw and treated the colonies as an import/export market, anything beyond that was a luxury. Independence became a goal later, after some successes and realizing it would be a better goal.
So, if Britain would have offered the American colonists representation in the British Parliament in 1775, the war would have ended shortly afterwards?

Also, after the colonists began demanding independence, did they have a specific frontier in mind?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,709
SoCal
#5
There was some thought that Canada would be a 14th rebellious colony. That proved delusional as most Canadians stood by the crown.
Why'd the Canadians stand by the crown?

It wouldn't surprise me if at least some Americans wanted the Ohio Valley opened to more white settlement.
Yeah, I've heard that the colonists were very angry at the Proclamation of 1763.

I've never heard of specific territorial claims made in 1775 or '76. The Declaration of Independence lists many war aims, or at least grievances, but they are all political, not territorial. I suspect drawing the western border at the Mississippi, the northern border at the Great Lakes, fishing rights in the Grand Banks, etc, were all added later. Probably the only reason the US did not get Florida in 1783 is that it had been conquered by our ally Spain during the war. Florida was British between 1763 and 1780-1.
What do you think that the American colonists desired their post-independence frontier to be back in 1776?
 
Apr 2017
984
U.S.A.
#6
So, if Britain would have offered the American colonists representation in the British Parliament in 1775, the war would have ended shortly afterwards?

Also, after the colonists began demanding independence, did they have a specific frontier in mind?
Possibly, yes.
The colonists would at least want the states and their existing borders, and if they could all the territory up to the Mississippi. This was a point of contention for years afterwards. The British armed Indian tribes and coaxed them to attack American settlements in the border regions. I'm a bit vague on the history but a coalition of Indian tribes in Michigan and Ohio fought a war against America in the late 18th century.
Quebec didn't want to join the 13 colonies because it was them that they fought a war against in the French and Indian war (an extension of the Seven Years war). As far as they were concerned it was better being under the British then the Americans. Not sure why the rest of the Canadians stayed loyal.
 
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Chlodio

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Aug 2016
3,521
Dispargum
#7
The American Revolution was about differing interpretations of what British democracy was, with the Americans claiming more rights than the British crown was willing to acknowledge. The French Canadians had still been French only 15 years before. They still had little knowledge, heritage, or tradition of British democracy, and the American argument was largely lost on them. The British had wisely invested some effort in wooing the French Canadians into becoming loyal subjects of the British Empire. (See the Quebec Act.) Conversely, the British had foolishly squandered whatever goodwill they had in the 13 colonies.

Even into the 1780s and 1790s the American states were disputing over their western boundaries. At one point, North Carolina claimed all of Tennessee. George Washington started the French and Indian War by trying to claim modern day Pittsburgh for Virginia, despite the fact that it is now in Pennsylvania. Most of the 13 colonies/states really had no idea where their western boundaries were. There were numerous overlapping claims, and most of the frontier had never been surveyed or mapped.
https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1160.html
State cessions - Wikipedia
 
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