Help support TMP


POLL: American War of Independence vs. Revolutionary War?


411 votes were cast.


Back to POLLS home page


Cacadores I Inactive Member writes:

'ACW1'
I propose it's called the 'First ACW', it being, historically, a civil war between Loyalist-minded British colonials and Independance-minded British colonials. They were both 'British' subjects or citizens at the time. Ethnically, there was no difference between the peoples, settlers, their accent, culture or indiginous armies fighting on either side. The deciding factor in the war, was not some mythical superiour ideals (justice, democracy and freedom for whites were already ingrained in colonial crown America) but it was French military help. Yes.

Economic greed
It might give Americans a sense of perspective to remember it was started by wealthy traders who wanted to become wealthier, i.e. for economic reasons: trade duties and taxation, rather than 'for freedom' as Mel Gibson attempted to make out. That's not a colonial British verses British Isles issue: British Isles traders had the same attidudes. Not wanting to pay for their own troops was an ecomomic issue, not a 'freedom' issue. British Isles traders had identical attidudes: the reason why the British Army was so small.
link

Freedom
The representative system of government was common to all the colonies. It began in Virginia with the first meeting of the burgesses in 1619; it was introduced in Massachusetts in 1634, in Plymouth and Maryland in 1639. After it had sprung up spontaneously in various colonies, it was recognized and ratified by the later charters, as in those of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the second charter of Massachusetts. Governors were constrained by the colonial financies being in the charge of the settlers.

Justice
Colonial America had a common law, an independant judicary functioning much as the judicery in England, with justices of the peace, county courts, juries and an appeal system, with no man above the law.

Grass-roots level democracy
Pluralist independant local government thrived and was encouraged. Colonial New England towns, for example were democracies of the purest type. Several times a year the adult males met in town meeting to discuss public questions, to lay taxes, to make local laws, and to elect officers. The political franchise was widening anyway. Washington bought little change to the on-going development grass-roots democracy in America.

The Foundation Myth
However, the common culture, civil war nature of the conflict and the slave-owning status of the 'Founding Fathers' who hypocritically promised 'liberty' doesn't fit too well with America's need for a simple 'them and us' foundation myth.

To give one example: to fit the Washingtonian myth, Loyalist settlers (patriotic to the existing democracy) become 'trators' while the rebels (technically and legally 'trators') subsequently and illogically now become the 'patriots'. America needs its own version of Orwell's book '1984' to get insight into the power of Wordspeak: the power to define the language as a means or controlling thought. Example: link

The Declaration of Independance, after all was a replacement constitution reflecting existing colonial mores, not some new idea as is strangely taught in many schools. I mention Mel Gibson only to illustrate how many historical events have to get invented or deleted into a sometimes false vicious 'them and us' senario in order to maintain this mythos.
link

Other necessities of the US foundation myth are rather surreal and odd, ranging from glossing over of revolutionary flag designs that included the union jack, to the now largely unknown stiff-arm salute that went with the original school pledge of allegence (I mention this to illustrate how myth distorts facts, not to stir controversy!) link

Conclusion
England and the USA have much to be grateful to each other for and the term 'Civil War' gives a more historically accurate perspective. The peculiar enmity and anti-opponent rhetoric that is often promulgated in AWI discussions by some Americans is unrealistic, unhistorical and out of place.

So I propose the name 'ACW1': The First American Civil War'.

What do you reckon? :-)


Back to the Homepage



2,994 hits since 14 Aug 2007
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

If you were a member of this website, you could participate in website polls. Would you like a free membership?

VOTING RESULTS
AnswerVotes%Chart
American War of Independence
230
56%
bar of chart
American Revolutionary War
110
27%
bar of chart
no preference
71
17%
bar of chart
POLL IS CLOSED
POLL DESCRIPTION

Which term do you prefer: "American War of Independence" (AWI) or "American Revolutionary War" (ARW)?