Monday, 9 January 2017

Who were the baddies?

This is an interesting article about American Independence. It seems that in order to convince the American colonists, who were "the least taxed, most socially mobile, highest landowning, arguably most prosperous people in the western world", that they were so hideously oppressed by George III that they needed to fight a war about it, the leaders of the independence movement played on fears of the British supporting Native Americans, blacks and so on and other such dastardly deeds. I was perhaps unfairly reminded of this Mitchell and Webb sketch, the one in which two Nazi soldiers start to wonder if they are the baddies. At the very least, I think the modern British are pretty willing to see themselves as the baddies in any (non-WWII) historical war, and it's nice to see another point of view.

But is there any way of knowing what would have happened to Native Americans, blacks and so on if the Americans had lost the war? If there had been another rich north American colony that remained under British rule and gained its independence peacefully then I suppose we could carry out a comparison ...

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