Skip to comments.Was the Revolutionary War a reactionary war? 'Bunker Hill' reconsiders history.
Posted on 05/11/2013 8:47:49 AM PDT by Pharmboy
Nathaniel Philbrick's new book gets at the on-the-ground reality of the American Revolution, which the author writes began as 'a profoundly conservative movement.'
John Trumbull's "Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill." (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / Viking / May 12, 2013)
It turns out the modern incarnation of the tea party may have more in common with the original Boston hell-raisers than people think.
Americans have long romanticized the events leading to the Battle of Bunker Hill and the start of the American Revolution, most without really understanding what happened or what was at stake. In his new book, "Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution," National Book Award-winning historian Nathaniel Philbrick dives deeply and graphically into those treacherous days. The result is a riveting, fast-paced account of the nation's difficult conception but also about how people maneuvered in their time and place and under significant stress.
New Englanders of the era tended to be irascible and belonged to congregations that looked warily at anyone who strayed from doctrine. Absolutist in outlook, they defined freedom as "a very relative term" that usually began and ended with people like themselves (and notably not blacks or natives).
"To say that a love of democratic ideals had inspired these country people to take up arms against the [British] regulars is to misrepresent the reality of the revolutionary movement," Philbrick writes. "The patriots had refused to respect the rights of those with whom they did not agree, and loyalists had been sometimes brutally suppressed throughout Massachusetts."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Decades of abuses led to the revolution and our founders struggled to avoid a war that came to them anyway.
I’d hardly call that reactionary.
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...
The Boston Tea Party was a reaction, but I think Britain’s response to the Tea Party made people seriously consider whether they really wanted to be under King George III.
Couldn’t remember if it was Murdoch or the Koch brothers. *blush*
50/50 chance of getting it right ;-)
These days, all of Neo Europa, the North East, is loyalist. They have finally prevailed.
Now the Rats have multiplied and overrun the place.
How can you write this many words and not mention SAM ADAMS ?
Reactionarism might be defined as wanting to turn the clock back. At that time, the British Government was taking steps to reform the relationship between the colonies and the Crown, whereas the colonists where fighting to retain hard won liberties from the struggles between Crown and people during The English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In that sense, I suppose you could call it a reactionary government that was making innovations leading to tyranny.
Funny, but that was precisely one of my first thoughts...
I wish I remembered the author who proposed that idea.
All I got out of that was “Massholes have always been Massholes.”
Your meaning was loud and clear.
The Stamp Act Congress was held in NYC, as it was there from 1765-1770 that was the hotbed of revolutionary fervor; it then shifted to Boston.
The combination of increased taxes and economic hard times yielded a strong reaction to George III and the tinderbox was finally touched off by the Boston Massacre.
Those poor abused loyalists often earned the hatred of their neighbors long before the revolution. In my family genealogy research we’ve come across loyalists rewarded for turning in neighbors who were problematic for the crown. Things like being stripped of property or livestock which were awarded to loyalists. Sometimes my distant ancestors were loyalists who did it themselves.
Before you take exception, read Jefferson (with the assistance of Franklin & Adam's) actual words. He postulates the right of the action on the British Government's breach of the compact between the governed & the government. The settlers were resisting an aggression against their primal & previously enjoyed rights. (See Declaration Of Independence--With Study Guide.)
While the Left has always quoted passages of the Declaration out of context--the same technique they have used to distort the Constitution;--it cannot be understood except as a whole. It was carefully crafted to make a very different statement than that, which many of our contemporaries have been led to believe.
I think a definite account of the War of Regulation would make a great impact on the people today. Especially in the times we live in. People seldom mention it today.
Most of the American colonies were organized and administered as semi-private enterprises, not subject to the same onerous government as Britain, and were generally left to see to their own affairs. When the British government attempted to assert its authority through what were mild taxes and regulations by English standards, these actions struck colonists, who were used to being largely ignored by Whitehall in London, as tyrannical.