As we are talking about the unquenchable thirst for self government amongst the English speaking peoples, it is timely to remind ourselves of the way the USA seized her independence.
If you visit Boston, the cradle of the revolution, you will find there the techniques of propaganda and memorials to unflinching bravery in the cause of independence. It is an uncomfortable visit for a British lover of liberty. The British government managed to combine being on the wrong side of several of the important issues about taxation, representation and self government, with monumental incompetence in handling its formidable firepower against a small and lightly armed opposition.
There were always some who favoured a full break from the mother country. Others became radicals as the British blundered. Britain provoked more fury by the colonists through her deeds whilst showing more vulerability in battle than her well armed forces should have demonstrated. The British government managed to make superior arms a disadvantage, offering too few concessions too late on each occasion of challenge. They turned many thousands of loyal and bemused Englishmen turned colonists into independence seeking Americans by their words and deeds.
Understandably the American historical accounts at the main sites celebrate each victory, and condemn each British use of force when temporarily successful. The story of the thousands of American colonists who enlisted with the British is left largely untold. No true lover of liberty, even a British one, can fail to be moved by the drama, the impudence, the scintillating success of the challenge mounted to remote rule by a small band of dedicated politicians who wanted the right to set their own taxes.
The revolutionaries used the arrival of tea ships in Boston to stage the very memorable picture of the trade issues. They threw the imported British tea into the harbour in a PR stunt worthy of the best. Americans wanted the right to handle their own trade.
They used the sorry shooting of a few of an unruly crowd in Boston by a handful of British troops caught in a difficult situation as an example of an unfeeling massacre by a superior army. They turned the costly defeat and overthrow of the colonists lines at Bunker Hill into proof that a colonial militia could take on the British forces. Paul Revere’s famous ride to warn of the approaching Red coats was made the more famous by his unfailing ability to turn out printed versions of very emotional and successful American propaganda.
Most lovers of liberty agree that people should have a say in how they are taxed and how they trade. The American Republic was founded on those very principles. The strong prosecution of the one sided war by the side weaker on paper showed just what home advantage, and a just cause can achieve. Many once loyal colonists converted to the cause of independence as they saw how the war was going. The British recruited many more revolutionaries to the cause, both by their inept political response and their hopeless use of force.