Sunday, July 12, 2009

The American Revolution Revisited

Amongst the recent posts at the LRC Blog are:

The Progressive runs Dr. Howard Zinn's Untold Truths About the American Revolution.

See also Hurrah for King George! by the late Dr. John Attarian.

Some time ago, I was recommended a number of books by a couple of monarchist correspondents (unfortunately, some of them are out of print):


El Jefe Maximo said...

I'm fairly conservative, and my own family was (most likely) Tory at the time of the American War of Independence, but, writing as an American, it is hard for me to accept the view that the secession of the American colonies (how I view the conflict -- not a "revolution" per se as happened in France) was an unmitigated disaster.

I would characterize the War for American Independence as more the appearance of a new nation, a new national consciousness, than a "revolution." It turned out to take an anti-monarchial tone (at least on the surface, I maintain that Americans are on some level monarchist -- look how the President, no matter who he may be, is venerated and ascribed almost divine powers).

My own impression is that the pre-war period saw the ascendancy of the radicals in America -- which the stupidity of the ministry in London needlessly abetted. It is a pity that the more concilatory policy apparent in the attempts of the British to negotiate in 1776-78 did not appear prior to the US Declaration of Independence.

On the American side, I think that war really got underway, more conservative views (on issues other than independence) asserted themselves (the Federalist Party of Hamilton, Washington and John Adams should be seen in this light).

In any case, I agree the loyalists have a story that needs to be understood, and I own that I have a good deal of sympathy for their position, particularly in the southern colonies.

I would add a book to your list: Piers Mackesy's The War for America, 1775-1783 which is as good a history of the conflict at the strategic level as you are likely to find anywhere, with emphasis on how the war appeared to the British government and the British military authorities, and how the war fitted into the then world strategic context.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your perspectives and for your book tip.

I do prefer the term American War for Independence over American Revolution, although -- as the title of this post bears witness -- I do sometimes use the latter term.

I believe the secession to be a mistake -- and perhaps even more so the departure from the monarchical order. I do not, however, see it as an unmitigated disaster -- at least not when it is seen as an isolated event.

You are probably right in what you say about the Presidential office, but it is nonetheless a perversion.