Is the movie the Patriot accurate about how the Americans won against the British?

Discussion in 'Revolutionary War' started by wulfman, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    One of the great lies told about Americans of African decent is that they were all poor, illiterate slaves under the heels of wealthy white Southerners. The fact is that many never were slaves, many prospered despite the prejudice, and, even in 1860, most slaves were "owned" by Northern absentee land-holders. About half of the Southern slave holders were "black". Most Southern slave-holders owned smaller plantations, and many of the slaves were family (both black and white slaveholders). We all know that Crispus Attucks was the first American to die in the Revolution (supposedly). I remember from South Carolina history that the first South Carolinian casualty was also of African decent. Francis Marion's "personal slave" was also one of his main soldiers. Both slave and free "blacks" fought bravely in the Revolution.
  2. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    Thomas, your statement is highly incorrect. The absentee northern land holder stuff is from the lost cause myth as is half southern slave holders being black. One look at any census record proves you wrong.
  3. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Where do you think these numbers come from? Why do you think Simon Legree was the bad guy in Uncle Tom's Cabin? Many Gitchees have written family histories. Yes, the majority of African Americans prior to the War had very difficult times, but the truth is that many prospered in spite of the hardships. Many were wealthy. Get over your prejudices, many African Americans can and do find success. You, sir, are racist when you tell the lies. Today you can go to Africa and buy a slave from African slave-traders (not legally). There are church groups who buy some and educate them. I would never deny that African Americans have and still do face hardships, why do you deny that many have known success in spite of the prejudice they face?

    Many of the African-American slaveholders "owned" family members (manumission was a difficult process), as was the case with many white slave-holders (such as the Carver family). Most Southern slave-holders of all colors held small numbers of slaves. Most Northern, absentee slave-holders were industrialists who held title to large numbers of slaves who supplied raw materials for their factories, usually cotton.
  4. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Try this. I assume that it is not beyond your reading level, but may be blocked from your consciousness by your prejudice.
  5. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    Ready for the bad news? You are using a source that is 90 years old. Second, your source shows your earlier statement to be wrong. You stated that half of the slave holders were black. This source does not even come close to saying that. You keep making generalized statements that are flat out lies.

    Blacks in the slave states owned slaves. That is a well known fact. They were a small number though. Free blacks were a minority that made up about 10% of the total black population. You might want to try this site with more up to date information.
    For a really good modern explanation of what you are trying to say, let's check with Dr. Henry Louis Gates on this site.
    His information shows that of the free blacks in the slave owning states, about 85% lived in the Upper South. That is not surprising considering two of those states were Maryland and Delaware which slavery had been declining to the point of vanishing.
    Louisiana is a very special case because when the US bought the Louisiana Purchase one of the conditions was regarding the status of the free blacks who lived there. That would change over time because as more American whites moved to the new state they didn't want to compete with the well established free blacks. The usual pattern of legal restrictions on free blacks followed the attaining of statehood, but was never really enforced well because as states that were losing their grip on slavery like Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky would see, the need for free black labor was vital and irreplaceable. Slave labor built most of the old America, but as free blacks increased in number they began to replace that slave labor.
    Maryland even tried the colonization experiment but nothing came from it. The real truth was that the labor of free blacks was an integral part of the state's economy. That alone should have been enough to end slavery, but the Lower South would never accept that idea because slavery was the cornerstone foundation of their political system. Without slavery which was institutionalized in Virginia in the 17th century as a way to bind the lower class whites to the upper class whites, the political power of the slave owners would disappear. The slave owners understood this. They spoke about it and wrote about it. They took action about it too. That action would destroy what they were trying to protect.
    See William Freehling's two volume set Road to Disunion and Edmund Morgan's American Slavery, American Freedom. Those two historians did a very good job researching the past.
  6. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    The original point of this discussion was about African-American patriots fighting for America during the revolution. You are so biased against African-Americans that you want them to all be lazy, welfare loving subhumans. The fact that, even in the face of horrendous prejudice from people such as you, many have been successful, most are pro-American, and they have been a part of America from the days of the earliest days of European involvement in America. From the days I first became involved in Physics I have known African-American physicists and mathematicians (as well as other academics). That was in the early 1960s, when there were far more barriers facing them. We should recognize those achievements, not demean them. Stop trying to keep African-Americans in what you want to consider "their place". Their place is wherever they, as individuals, can go, or have been.
    The fact that the article I cited has been around for a few years does not change the well-documented statistics included in it. After all, the 1860 U.S. census is over 150 years old. You seem to be caught in the trap of Rationalism, which starts with a priori "truths" and assume that any conclusions derived from those assumptions has to be true, and dismiss anything which disagrees with your conclusions. If your a priori truths are, in fact, false your conclusions will be false. I have known several Gitchees, as well as Gullah people from the Bahamas. They know their history and are proud of what their people have done. Much of their history is documented with written documents dating from when the came to America (their ancestors from Africa were frequently literate) Not all Africans were primitive tribesmen from the Jungle.
    I also suggest that you should read the sources you quoted, especially when African-Americans refer to the black-owned plantations of their ancestors. Also, be aware that the numbers of free blacks in the South quoted do not include the large number of bond blacks, who were free for practical purposes, but still under the protection of prominent white "owners", and not forced to move to the North (see your cited sources for the many reasons they did not want to be forced to move to the inhospitable North. Virginia had a law forcing blacks freed after 1820 to leav e the state within 1 year.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  7. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    There you go making the same generalized statements. I do not stereotype blacks so you can just drop that idea right now. Your problem is your history is not supported very well by the facts. You need to drop the Lost Cause mentality and get with modern historical analysis. You are holding onto beliefs that are not supported by factual evidence.
  8. athelstan

    athelstan New Member

    yes indeed gloine - the indiscipline of Bunker Hill was not repeated and the British developed an elite of Light Infantry and associated tactics, fast moving and flanking which were very effective especially under Cornwallis. He was normally outnumbered two to one and still came up with a tactical victory. Their real problem was at the Operational level. While Cornwallis beat Gates and Green at every encounter in South Carolina, he still lost.

    You have to remember that British opinion was split right down the middle with the Whigs, pro-American (until the French arrived on the scene it was not uncommon for high class Whig ladies to arrive at Ball in American uniform!). The Tories were in power with the King as a patron but could not make their mind up how to bring attract the loyalists and bring the Americans to their senses. In fact those loyalists that were attracted to the British cause were no match for the American partisans - either in determination or savagery.

    On military side, the British had real problems in recruitment - they even had to resort to paying Magistrates a bounty to hand out a sentence to thieves and vagabonds of service with the British Army. Quality of troops naturally dropped and desertions (always a problem) multiplied. Hiring Hessians was a partial solution but they were trained in Continental Frederick the Great style (not a lot of use in America) and except for their Jaeger regiments were mostly used for Garrison work. By contrast Washington never had any problem in recruitment.

    Even worse was the lack of a coherent Strategy (or indeed any Strategy) - seemed to think that one decent victory and the Americans would come to their senses.

    Entry of France, Spain and Holland spelt the end - and as you say, one third of British troops were immediately despatched to the West Indies where they did at least manage to take St Lucia from the French (am pleased to say having spent a nice holiday there).
  9. athelstan

    athelstan New Member

    Sorry - I will get the hang of this eventually - I was reading page 1 - sorry if the comments are out of context.
  10. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Looking back at this thread after a number of months, I want to mention how recent events in Africa have highlighted the enduring practice of slavery in Africa, and how many Africans today are fleeing Africa in hopes of a better life elsewhere even though they face prejudice and discrimination in the rest of the world. Tens of thousands of "colored" Americans fought for BOTH sides in the War Between the States. While researching the topic for a reply to Kate about Gettysburg, I found an article about how the Park Service disregards the service of colored troops to BOTH sides. I am sure that a little research will provide many more such instances. I constantly run into stupid, lazy, and dishonest people of my own race, just as I have my entire life known intelligent, resourceful, and successful people classified as Negroes (from as black as possible to able to "pass for white").
    As I said before, the role of "colored" Americans in the Revolution is generally understated. Free and slave alike, they fought for their country and have always been a big part of who we are.
  11. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    As long as the topic of "coloureds" and Slavery has been broached please indulge me a moment. About a year ago I was reading from a book in my personal library entitled: "The Pro-Slavery Arguements" circa 1852. It consists basicly of four essays advocating for the peculiar institution. One arguement which I would like to mention at this time is that "Slavery is Divinely endorced."

    The arguement runs -- Slavery is mentioned in the Bible (for instance, Moses was a slave) and God does not rail against it, therefore God must endorce the institution." This syllogism may be flawed, but it existed.
  12. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    Yes, quite a good percentage were black, a point missed by many when this action is discussed.

    Mel Gibson and historical accuracy, OH PLEASE!!!!!

  13. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    "Tens of thousands of "colored" Americans fought for BOTH sides in the War Between the States. While researching the topic for a reply to Kate about Gettysburg, I found an article about how the Park Service disregards the service of colored troops to BOTH sides."

    The NPS does not disregard the service of black troops to the CSA. There were no black men fighting for the Confederacy beyond a mere handful at best. The NPS this past year did depict the role of the USCT at the Battle of the Crater and other places. A lot of pressure was put on them in the past to put black soldiers into their proper roles during the CW. The racism of the past finally was overcome and the NPS changed to reflect that.

    If you think that was bad, consider when the NPS was still using the Lost Cause interpretation which was not that long ago. James McPherson has a very good book on the role of the USCT and there are several other good works on the subject.
  14. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    The most accurate number is around 70,000. True, after the war service records were altered to indicate that those were enlisted as non-combatants, but the fact that the white veterans insisted in recognizing those who fought bravely should be convincing, but people who want to "keep coloreds in their place" will continue to neglect how African Americans have contributed to this nation from the earliest days of our nation. Until we tell the truth, there will be no end to prejudice. Yes, there should be recognition of the rampant exploitation, but we should also recognize how many African Americans managed to thrive in spite of the vast obstacles. They should be proud, and many are. Is Liberia part of the lost cause you speak of? Or just the truth, at least in your case?
  15. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    There were 180,000 black men who served in the Union Army as the United States Colored Troops. There were next to no black men who fought for the confederacy. The role of the USCT is recognized at the NPS sites where they participated in battles. The role of slavery is now part of the NPS presentation at all Civil War sites. The problem is that many states still ignore it, but then that is because of racism at the state level.

    You can read about the NPS and its interpretive change in "Holding the High Ground: Interpreting the Civil War in National Parks."
  16. nailah783

    nailah783 Member

    That is one of my favorite movies, but I know that a lot of it was the magic of Hollywood. They had to make it more brutal than it was in order to evoke the emotions that they were trying to convey. I know that there is a lot covered up in American history too, so they wouldn't really show everything that happened during that time, and they can get away with it too because there is nobody around now to say any different. The only thing we have is the written soldiers account of what happened. Like everything else, there's always 3 sides to a story, their side, America's side, and the truth.
  17. nailah783

    nailah783 Member

    I'm watching the movie right now on A&E. I do love this movie. I guess it's coming on because it's so close to Veteran's Day. Heath Ledger at his best.
  18. TheApollonian

    TheApollonian Deus Ex Machina

    It's true that guerilla tactics were used but it shouldn't be the focus of the film. I found it all a bit too dramatic anyway but heck they won awards, right? There was a sense that being historically accurate was important but it got away with some artistic integrity intact. For example there wasn't enough portrayal of black troops and the British nicknames were too harsh, for love of drama I suppose. I thought the Patriot as still pretty good as Heath Ledger gave a great performance.

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