What do the British think about Revolution war?

Discussion in 'Revolutionary War' started by vashstampede, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    Back in high school I've read an article about how an American's British wife didn't really like the Revolution war, not sure if the article was real or made up.

    Of course, nearly all of the Americans today are proud of the revolution war.
    I am very curious about how the British think of it today. I want to hear honest opinions whether you think it's for the right cause, or it's treason, or no opinion at all. :D
  2. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    Not being British, I can't comment too much, but they refer to it as the American War of Independence.
  3. Steed

    Steed Member

    Ok, here's my opinion as a true patriotic Brit: the USA has every reason in the world to be proud of the War of Independence.

    We were unable give the people of the 13 colonies political, economic and social freedom. For example, you know the slogan "No Taxation without Representation"? The colonists had to pay unfair and arbitrary taxes on things like tea and official paperwork (the Stamp Tax) which didn't apply in Britain. They couldn't elect representatives to decide on these taxes.

    They gained this freedom in the war and subsequent birth of the new nation. Their new Constitution protected their liberties in a way unkown in any country in the world at that time and became a model for future nations emerging into democracy, like France 10 years later.

    I believe most British people think the same. It was a significant trauma for us back in 1783 but history has proved beyond doubt that the USA has done pretty well without us!
    cavtrooper, skyblue and Peter T Davis like this.
  4. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    "the USA has done pretty well without us!" - dunno about that though, seems to me that at least for the past century or so we've done pretty well together. ;)
    cavtrooper, Tristan009 and Steed like this.
  5. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    It's always good to see a vast array of opinions. I obviously was not alive at the time, but it seems like things got so bad, we had had enough. I'm glad that we are close allies today, but back then it just seemed like we were at each others' throats.
  6. Steed

    Steed Member

    Yes, it's great to be friends! And all of the civilised world is eternally grateful to the USA from for her tremendous sacrifices fighting on the side of liberty at our hour of need.

    And it should be noted that the American militiamen at Lexington, the first engagement, were under orders not to fire at the redcoats until fired upon first. So really, I'm sorry to say we messed that one up when we should have been much more conciliatory and sensible.

    Have you noticed that a surefire recipe for success in the cinema is to put an American with a Briton? Notting Hill, 4 Weddings and a Funeral, Relative Values, A Family of Class, The Persuaders and the list goes on.
    skyblue likes this.
  7. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I didn't know that, Steed. That's quite an interesting post. But yeah, those movies are for sure very popular.
  8. Tristan009

    Tristan009 New Member

    Being British myself, I can say that there are mixed feelings about the Empire.

    Whilst many are proud that we once controlled a large proportion of the world, there is no escaping the undeniable fact that British colonists were brutal, totalitarian rulers. Without a doubt, I would take the side of the Patriots in the Revolution.

    What is interesting to note is that British Colonialism is largely overlooked in our schools. I guess we just don't want to face the reality that our ancestors weren't exactly the nicest of people.
    cavtrooper likes this.
  9. SabraO

    SabraO New Member

    I don't think overlooking your country's misdeeds is anything unique. One thing I found living in Honolulu is that Native Hawaiians have a very different outlook on their history and annexation to the United States than anyone who's only lived on the Mainland would think. And of course this doesn't even touch at all on our treatment of native peoples in general. I can tell you that we are taught a very sanitized view of history in our schools.

    It is interesting to see the perspective that we had every right and reason to fight for independence. Well over two hundred years of history and over a hundred of close alliance should have mellowed things, of course, but we Southerners are good at holding grudges so anything is possible.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  10. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    The British don't really concern themselves with the Revolution that much. It was more of a minor nuisance set against the larger world view for them. In the long run of things they would have been better off to just let the US go or to address the issues, but that mindset did not exist at that time. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations just came out in 1776 and while he said that colonies were not worth the expense of defending as trade was more important than ruling them his views were just a bit late for Parliament to listen to.
  11. tripletaker

    tripletaker New Member

    Well I don't think the British have any feelings or grudges about what happened in the war. It happened many generations ago and history shows that the British were oppressing the colonists so naturally you would expect them to fight back.
  12. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    Were the British really oppressing the colonists as much as the colonists thought? The people certainly thought so because they were the ones that intially rebelled. However, there were rebellions if you want to call them that against the colonial legislatures going on as well and those were directed at the very men who became the Founding Fathers. See the Regulators for more information. There have been many schools of thought on this subject and it is not as cut and dried as many think. The old idea that the British were oppressing the colonists was a very simplistic and often romanticized version of the cause of the Revolution that came about after 1800 when Jefferson cast the Revolution as one of ideas. The Founders as well as the people of that time had many differing views as to what caused the Revolution. British oppression was just one idea and even that came in varying forms.
  13. ShamarV8

    ShamarV8 New Member

    When I was in school, we called it, "The War of American Independence." It wasn't referred to as the "Revolutionary War." No, the Americans weren't viewed as villains at all. In fact, the American War was viewed as being the English Civil War (phase II), with the Americans playing the role of Cromwell and the Parliamentarians, and the British playing the role of King Charles.

    The basic view of British historians is that it was impossible for Britain to hold on to the "Colonies," and that, in the long run, the war was both inevitable and to an extent a good thing as it forced a reorganization of Britain's imperial strategies.
    The aforementioned individuals (Adams, Jefferson, etc) are not vilified, but respected. The 19th century Prime Minister, Gladstone, called the American Declaration of Independence the single greatest political document ever produced by the mind of man.

    You talk about 1976 and the Bicentennial. I was in Boston at the time, and hoisted more than a few Samuel Adams ales in tribute to "The Rebels." Any bad blood between the USA and the "Mother Country" has been done away with a long, long time ago. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth came over in 1976 and gave a speech praising America and thanking them for reminding us of what we could not hold on to.
  14. pietastesgood

    pietastesgood Member

    If I recall from my high school course correctly, the British didn't really care much. They didn't really see the big deal about rights and having a written constitution and having taxation with representation, since they'd been living under the system for decades.
  15. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    I am glad that we Americans have been able to become friends with the British. I hope we can continue to have good relations well into the future. I hold no grudges. In fact, I would like to see a stronger Britain and wish them the very best. I consider our Revolution to be much like a child growing up and establishing himself as an adult individual, distinct from his family and their philosophy and control.

Share This Page