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Illegitimate gripes?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by BruschiOnTap, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap Rookie

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    This holiday always makes me think about our nation's history and I have come to one conclusion about our nation's founding which some have found offensive, but I simply say it as a matter of fact: The gripes of colonists were completely illegitimate and simply rhetoric spouted by the rich/educated to mobilize popular support.

    The taxes levied by Parliament were decried as 'Taxes equally detrimental to the Commercial interests of the Parent Country and her Colonies.' However, even after the new tax laws went into effect, Americans enjoyed the lowest tax rates in the empire. Secondly, the taxes were put in place to help finance the French-Indian War (or Seven Years' War as it's known in Britain), which the British fought in defense of its American colonies. Asking those same colonies to help pay doesn't seem unreasonable, especially if rates were as low as described.

    Another detail nearly always overlooked: during the (roughly) 200 years since British ships first began dumping colonists on American shores, political power shifted from the Crown to Parliament (a trend catalyzed by the English Civil War). However, the Constitutional Convention chose to put its blame on George III: 'He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.' As king his powers to pass laws and levy taxes were weak.

    'He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.' There were no police forces back then and apparently there weren't enough people to protect the colonies:

    'He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States'
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    'He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.'

    'He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.' So apparently he is paying for mercenaries and a large standing army to do a job he could have left up to the Indians for free(?)
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    'A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.'

    He twice offered peace treaties before this declaration was written. Although this line would do nicely in describing certain, more contemporary, heads of state.
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    The ideas put forth by Jefferson, Madison, etc., were great, but owning slaves whilst writing 'all men are created equal' should raise more than a few eyebrows. Certainly we give Bush that sort of scrutiny when considering he's an oil man.

    Still, military ability is what counts and the colonists were able (with help of the French and German mercenaries) to successfully gain popular support and stage an insurrection to win political independence. Happy 4th!
  2. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting post. I think it is worth emphasising that Tony Blair actually runs the country, not the Queen. As you correctly said, the English Civil War put paid to Royalist power and did so in the 16th Century:
    http://www.open2.net/civilwar/ is worth having a look at, for those who don't know anything about the Civil War.
    The Queen does have the power to refuse to pass Acts of Parliament but has chosen wisely not to use it recently.
  3. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap Rookie

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    that's a nice Civil War website, it covers a lot of ground. I think that Civil War was such a fascinating period of history which most people are completely unaware of. There were just so many sides and factions and reasons for every event that you could argue for hours about any part of the conflict.

    now I have to ask the question: roundhead or cavalier?

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