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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 11:37am
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Yes, but I think his point was they wouldn't have lost America without the militia. The worldwide war prevented them from bringing to bear more men and ships, but the militia and regulars had to wear down and beat the British troops in the colonies to actually win.

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 11:45am
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Yes, Samuel, pretty much.

bz249 wrote:
Sorry, but the American War of Independence was a global war in which the British found themselves as the Big Bad Guy which was fighting against everyone else...
Yes. Believe it or not I know this already.

I would appreciate it if you would slow down and hear me out here, instead of assuming I'm one of the Stereotypical American Militiawankers. I am not making this point to justify handing out guns to the populace, or to support the mythicized view of American history in which Washington is a demigod and the British were ogres and so on.

My point is entirely limited to the argument that in the North American ground campaign, the part of the war the colonials actually took part in, the militia played a significant role, and one that made the British position in the American colonies far more difficult than it would have been had the colonials relied entirely on European aid and the Continental Army for their defense.

For one, France, Spain, and the Netherlands did not enter the war until 1778. The colonials had been fighting for three years before any such declarations of war could start; they weren't winning, but the mere fact that they were still in the damn war suggests that they were doing something right. "Getting French aid" was a large part of what they were doing right, mind, but so was "organizing the populace against the British." Remember that the French proved far more willing to enter the war and support the colonists after the colonists proved their ability to put up a significant fight against British regulars- accomplishing things like capturing a British artillery train from Fort Ticonderoga, besieging and driving off the British garrison in Boston, and harassing British field armies until they could be engaged by the relatively solid core of Continental Army troops.

This is where the militia proved useful. If you examine the major campaigns of the Revolution, you keep seeing incidents like "column sent out to forage ran into militia and was driven back" or "column sent out to capture militia armory ran into militia and was driven back." The British armies could march wherever they pleased, but they could not send out small detachments in platoon or company strength without having to worry about them being ambushed. Even battalion and regiment-sized formations weren't always safe, though they were usually able to grit their teeth and push through the militia's opposition if they were willing to take the casualties.

Ever heard of a Fabian strategy? This is how one works.

And no, this was not the entirety of the conflict; no, the militia alone were not the sole force responsible for the British invasion; no, the militia did not win stand-up fights with equal forces of British regulars under normal circumstances. While we're at it, there's no such thing as the Tooth Fairy and the stork doesn't bring babies.

The fact that the colonial militia of the American Revolution were not superheroes does not mean they were 'irrelevant' as people here keep trying to dismiss them- any more than the Soviet partisans of the Second World War were 'irrelevant.'

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 12:30pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:

My point is entirely limited to the argument that in the North American ground campaign, the part of the war the colonials actually took part in, the militia played a significant role, and one that made the British position in the American colonies far more difficult than it would have been had the colonials relied entirely on European aid and the Continental Army for their defense.

For one, France, Spain, and the Netherlands did not enter the war until 1778. The colonials had been fighting for three years before any such declarations of war could start; they weren't winning, but the mere fact that they were still in the damn war suggests that they were doing something right. "Getting French aid" was a large part of what they were doing right, mind, but so was "organizing the populace against the British." Remember that the French proved far more willing to enter the war and support the colonists after the colonists proved their ability to put up a significant fight against British regulars- accomplishing things like capturing a British artillery train from Fort Ticonderoga, besieging and driving off the British garrison in Boston, and harassing British field armies until they could be engaged by the relatively solid core of Continental Army troops.

This is where the militia proved useful. If you examine the major campaigns of the Revolution, you keep seeing incidents like "column sent out to forage ran into militia and was driven back" or "column sent out to capture militia armory ran into militia and was driven back." The British armies could march wherever they pleased, but they could not send out small detachments in platoon or company strength without having to worry about them being ambushed. Even battalion and regiment-sized formations weren't always safe, though they were usually able to grit their teeth and push through the militia's opposition if they were willing to take the casualties.

Ever heard of a Fabian strategy? This is how one works.

And no, this was not the entirety of the conflict; no, the militia alone were not the sole force responsible for the British invasion; no, the militia did not win stand-up fights with equal forces of British regulars under normal circumstances. While we're at it, there's no such thing as the Tooth Fairy and the stork doesn't bring babies.

The fact that the colonial militia of the American Revolution were not superheroes does not mean they were 'irrelevant' as people here keep trying to dismiss them- any more than the Soviet partisans of the Second World War were 'irrelevant.'


Okay sure, the militia played its role, although most of the problems for the British Army was simply related to insufficient mapower, afterall the Colonial Army managed to organize an offensive campaign against Canada early on (to be defeated by the loyalist militia aided British troops :wink: ).

Later on yes, local discontent and the presence of armed civilians (and again insufficient manpower... the UK never had a huge land army, there is a reason why troops from Hessen was deployed in the NA campaign) meant that the British Army had to keep significant occupation troops in key locations and could not pursue the Continental Army at will. And yes the militia had played its role by threatening the British supply lines, which allowed the retreating Continental Army to survive. Which later allowed the build up of the anti-British coalition.

The question is what can we treat as significant. Like your partisan example. Were the Soviet and Yugoslavian partisan able to harrass German troops? Sure. Were they able to hold a large enough portion of the German Army which significantly weaken them in other fronts? Nope. Were their operations changed the balance? Nope, partisan activity become only significant from 1942 by the time the Germans already lost their chance to win the war. Were they able to contribute to the war effort? Yes, because of their action the war might have been shortened by a couple of month. Now is this a significant or an insignificant contribution?

The same could be said about the militia. They made this and that, which could alter the operation pattern of the British troops (though some main issues, namely the lack of available manpower, the low population and infrastructure density of the colonies remain with or without the militia) how significant it was is debatable. Not entirely insignificant, but way less significant than it is typical stated by certain groups.

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 01:07pm
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bz249 wrote:
Okay sure, the militia played its role, although most of the problems for the British Army was simply related to insufficient mapower, afterall the Colonial Army managed to organize an offensive campaign against Canada early on (to be defeated by the loyalist militia aided British troops :wink: ).
Well naturally; this sort of thing cuts both ways. An invading regular army in those conditions is going to have trouble winning against the combination of a defending regular army and a hostile population that keeps mobilizing infantry companies to harass said invading regular army.

Quote:
Later on yes, local discontent and the presence of armed civilians (and again insufficient manpower... the UK never had a huge land army, there is a reason why troops from Hessen was deployed in the NA campaign)...
Yes, I know this; my point is that even the armies the British were historically able to field would have enjoyed a good deal more success without having to deal with clouds of militiamen harassing them everywhere they went.

Quote:
The same could be said about the militia. They made this and that, which could alter the operation pattern of the British troops (though some main issues, namely the lack of available manpower, the low population and infrastructure density of the colonies remain with or without the militia) how significant it was is debatable.
I would argue that the militia's role was very significant, for the following reasons:

-The militia bore much of the burden of the 1775 campaign around Boston, which culminated in the siege of Boston and the withdrawal of the British garrison. This was one of the major early victories of the war, and did a great deal to establish New England as a rebel stronghold throughout the war- in 1776 and later years, the British concentrated most of their effort in the mid-Atlantic and southern colonies, precisely because they didn't expect to be able to finish off New England without disproportionate effort.

-The militia served as a recruiting ground for the Continental Army: the Continental officers were mostly drawn from the ranks of the most successful tier of militia officers.

-The militia were routinely employed by the Continental Army to fill out their ranks during major battles. Since the Continental Army itself never grew above fifteen to twenty thousand men to cover the entire eastern seaboard, this was fairly important. Without the militia, the British lack of troops would have mattered a lot less, because the colonials wouldn't have been able to muster a large enough force to take advantage of their lack of numbers.

-The militia limited British armies' options not only in terms of occupation policy, but while their armies were actively on the march. One obvious example of this was Burgoyne's 1777 campaign down the Hudson which led up to the British defeat at Saratoga; militia attacks on his supply lines and foraging columns slowed his advance and made his army much easier prey for the (militia-augmented) Continental force that actually took him on at Saratoga.

Quote:
Not entirely insignificant, but way less significant than it is typical stated by certain groups.
Which groups?

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 01:49pm
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bz249 wrote:
In that respect they did a great job, since they were able to keep their naval supremacy against the coalition (thus denying a land invasion against the British Islands), defend the strategically important fort of Gibraltar and with their gains in India they could pull a territory exchange with France for the lost Carribean bases. They ended the war with losing only the North American colonies, Florida and Menorca (to Spain) and Tobago and Senegal (to France).


Undoubtedly the British pulled off a great feat of arms in defending their gains, but I would not call the colonies lost as "only so-and-so". it was a terrible strategic defeat and only the European squabbling that followed it prevented other nations from taking advantage of that fact. It was a very severe blow.



The Asiduo wrote:
The article is just hilarious. But, sadly, it's not some isolated piece of propaganda: right-wing "think-tanks" in USA are actively rewriting history to show their point of "socialism is bad, capitalism and free markets are the supreme good". For example, I read one article from the Cato Institute about the fall of the Roman Empire, and the point of the article was that "Rome fell because it was a socialist state". WTF?. Rome, the quintessential commercial imperialist state, a socialist state?.

These guys are out of their minds.


Yeah, we actually discussed that article in here.


Simon_Jester wrote:
This is likely to strike you as excessive taxation. If your complaints to the central government are then repeatedly ignored, and the central government sends ham-handed officials backed by hostile soldiers to enforce the taxes you are complaining about... well, at that point, you are quite likely to rebel.


Now now, let us also not forget the active revolutionaries who sabotaged any attempt at a compromise, like the two Adams, Hancock etc. Who managed to write such insulting pieces to the British Government it is a wonder the British even kept their cool for so long.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Do these other factors just disappear because the war would not have ended in a colonial victory had it not been for the existence of a European-trained Continental Army to take out the large, concentrated British forces in pitched battles?


Yes. See India as a result of what happens when you get large popular uprisings that cannot defeat the "occupiers" in pitched battles. Or look at the Chinese Boxer rebellions, which were a lot more largescale than the Revolutionary war. The other factors you mentioned can at best make things unpleasant, but cannot deny the enemy victory.


Quote:
Given that a lot of other professional armies were crushed by Napoleon, "failed to defeat Napoleon" is not a strong enough criticism of a fighting force to justify saying it was "useless" or "laughable."


How nice of you to ignore my words about the Vendee etc.

Quote:
Or was the Prussian Army Napoleon beat at Jena 'laughable?'


In a word, yes. They neglected to keep up with military innovations, had a 71-year old and overaged officers command them and fought contrary to their own strategic principles as outlined by Frederick the Great (splitting their forces, not making proper reconnaissance, attempting to defeat an entrenched enemy with persistent musket volleys instead of bayonet charges etc). The Prussian Army at Jena was an army more suited to the parade ground than to the battle.


Quote:
I would not rate the militia as 'irrelevant' to the progress of the Boston campaign.


They were undoubtedly important to the Boston campaign. Nor where they irrelevant. I said their combat performance was laughable, especially looking at Bunker Hill. They were certainly important simply for being there, but without the trained continentals they alone would never have evicted the British.



Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 02:00pm
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Winston Blake wrote:
I wonder if this fundamental attitude accounts for American anti-intellectualism.

No, cynicism accounts for American anti-intellectualism. Too many Americans who claim to be intellectuals- this not only includes "left-wing" politicians, but also people as highly placed as NASA Administrators, and political activists who don't hold public office, such as environmentalists and feminists- build castles in the air, make promises they can't fulfill, or act like insufferable "holier than thou" jerks.



Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 02:58pm
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Don't know where to start since I need to be succint with my time. So I just picked what was directed at me personally first. In time and if not addressed by others I'll respond to the rest.
Simon Jester wrote:
On a side note, Spoonist, could you remind me again what makes you think this whole idea must be some exploded theory that's only taught now because it's simple enough to hand to undergraduates?
You mean beyond what I've already argued above? Like a lack of specie being the normal way of life for everyone involved? Colonies, crown, enemies, merchants, etc.
Now I never mentioned undergraduates etc, you did. Why I think it must be "lies-to-children"? It fits better with later ways of thinking than how they expressed their views back then. Thus, according to me, it must be a later construction. It fits too snuggly with certain worldviews etc. So after that alarm goes off its off to the google/wiki/etc to see if I'm wrong or of my inclination has any backing.
In this case it doesn't make sense for the colonies to express such a view and when I searched I find that they did not. If that was such a big reason then why isn't it mentioned in the grievancies by the colonies to the crown? Etc. Most of those documents are online. Like the declaration of independence, surely if it was such an issue it should be mentioned right? Nope.
Then its simply just the curiosity for knowledge that picks up after that. I'm always interested in knowing more, don't know why its just how I function.

So then I start reading up on stuff like the book I mentioned. How come you ignore its arguments totally? How come you don't question your knowledge? Did you for curiosity of learning something new look up the footnote or book at all? Or did you just assume that because you have studied the topic someone like me must therefore be wrong? Seems very strange mindset to me.
Simon Jester wrote:
I mean, didn't you throw in a disclaimer saying that you personally are not an expert on the history of the American Revolution?
Yes. So its depressing that you don't pick my arguments appart. Or point me to some flaw in my thinking that goes along with the evidence. Instead its just a bunch of appeal to your own knowledge.
:cry:
It would have been nicer if you did show me the errors of my ways because then I'd really learn something new.

Like if you had produced some evidence for the view, maybe a letter arguing such or a plea to the crown about more specie or whatever.
Simon Jester wrote:
The fact that you can find someone who disagrees with a theory does not mean the theory is wrong to the extent of being taught only as a useful lie-to-children before one gets round to teaching the real (more complicated) facts.
In history lots of models have picked up enough momentum to get a life of its own. Downfall of Rome being one. The slave triangle being another. Etc. Its not like physics where the facts are testable. Instead if a simplified model outgrows its intent and become established, it can generate interpretations of the raw data which are then assumed to be true. Like with archeology, we find stuff and have to interpret what the remains means, if we have an established model its very easy to assume that the remains follow the model up to the point where its hard not to. That wouldn't work in physics.
Add to that propaganda or simple nationalism and you got a lot of more grayscale in history that you don't get in sciences.


For me none of this is personal, which it seems to be for you as you have invested much more time into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 03:02pm
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[quote"Thanas"]Yeah, we actually discussed that article in here. [/quote]

Ah yes, the classic "the Goths were welcomed as liberators because they had a lower marginal tax rate" :D

Quote:
Now now, let us also not forget the active revolutionaries who sabotaged any attempt at a compromise, like the two Adams, Hancock etc. Who managed to write such insulting pieces to the British Government it is a wonder the British even kept their cool for so long.


Was it possible for there to be effective compromise though? The British wanted to accumulate gold in England which is in direct contradiction to the colonists desire to have gold.

Quote:
How nice of you to ignore my words about the Vendee etc.


I don't think you stated it by name Thanas. You just refered to France.

Sidewinder wrote:
Winston Blake wrote:
I wonder if this fundamental attitude accounts for American anti-intellectualism.

No, cynicism accounts for American anti-intellectualism. Too many Americans who claim to be intellectuals- this not only includes "left-wing" politicians, but also people as highly placed as NASA Administrators, and political activists who don't hold public office, such as environmentalists and feminists- build castles in the air, make promises they can't fulfill, or act like insufferable "holier than thou" jerks.


America has been anti-intellectual since at least the 1830s when rotation of office was the justification for the spoils system because any American was considered capable of doing any government job. The belief that anyone, even without training, is capable of doing any job is the root of anti-intellectualism and it has been with America for centuries.

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 04:17pm
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Imagine how history might have turned out, if the indians, who saved the colonists had been the callous, self-centered capitalists of today. :roll:



The optimist thinks, that we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist is afraid, that this is true.

"Don't ask, what your country can do for you. Ask, what you can do for your country." Mao Tse-Tung.

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 04:51pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
I will not attempt to defend his argument on this issue. I can see, and will expand, on why it makes sense to me in theory. But I cannot prove that it was a problem and would not presume to dispute scholarly papers which assert that deflation was not a problem in the colonial economy.
But by continuing to argue for it you are defending his argument and you are disputing scholarly papers. From where does the disonance come from. You could have just put in a "I'll continue this for fun" or similar. You don't instead you are trying to convey that you are not doing exactly what it is that you are doing?
I don't get it.
Do it for the fun of it instead, or just to show that that jerk of a Spoonist was talking out of his ass, or something.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Quote:
You see what I do know is that the whole british empire was chronically inflicted by a lack of specie as was the french but to a lesser degree, so it was not an american thing but a universal thing. Only Spain had enough for the extreme growth of trade. For them not to take that into account would mean that we would have seen similar stuff all over the commonwealth. Something which we don't.
A chronic, universal lack of specie would tend to strike with disproportionate force in places where imperial policy was draining specie away from the economy the fastest. If everyone is short on silver, and the government policy is to remove silver from the colonies and concentrate it in the homeland, the colonies will suffer greater, more rapid deflation than the homeland.
Do you have proof or underlying data? Or is it just hearsay? Where is this famous lack of specie?
The colonies did not see themselves as lacking in specie. How could they, that was how it was everywhere in the commonwealth. Instead they had lots of schemes on how to remedy the situation with banks of all sorts. It was rather the regulation or abolishment of those banks/schemes that they saw as heavy handed.
Here is another source for you:
http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/baac ... tionary.us
Quote:
Of all the potential options available for funding the new standing army in the west, why did the British decide to tax their American colonies? The answer is fairly straightforward. First of all, the victory over the French in the Seven Years' War had come at a high price. Domestic taxes had been raised substantially during the war and total government debt had increased nearly twofold (Brewer, 1989). In addition, taxes were significantly higher in Britain than in the colonies. One estimate suggests the per capita tax burden in the colonies ranged from two to four percent of that in Britain (Palmer, 1959). And finally, the voting constituencies of the members of parliament were in Britain not the colonies. All things considered, Parliament viewed taxing the colonies as the obvious choice.

Quote:
It turned out that making a case for the avoidance of British taxes as a major incentive for independence proved difficult. The reason was that many of the taxes imposed were later repealed. The actual level of taxation appeared to be relatively modest. After all, the Americans soon after adopting the Constitution taxed themselves at far higher rates than the British had prior to the Revolution (Perkins, 1988).

Quote:
The outcome of his analysis was that the Navigation Acts imposed a net burden of less than one percent of colonial per capita income. From this he concluded the Acts were an unlikely cause of the Revolution. A long series of subsequent works questioned various parts of his analysis but not his general conclusion (Walton, 1971). The work of Thomas also appeared to be consistent with the observation that the First Continental Congress had not demanded in its list of grievances the repeal of either the Navigation Acts or the Sugar Act.

Care to point out why those quotes above would be wrong to suit your lack of silver theory?
Simon_Jester wrote:
Quote:
So I don't buy it. It can only be seen as an extra burden by afterthought, not while it was happening. I continue below but if you spot any errors or oversimplifications please let me know, I'm always interested in correcting any false views I have.
It occurs to me that a province does not need to know why imperial policy is causing a famine to revolt because of the famine. If the colonial economy is in chaos (for any reason) and the imperial government continues to draw taxes from the colony, a revolt becomes quite likely.
Huh? The colonial economy was not in chaos. It was quite stable and improving after the war. The only starvation that you could possibly be refering to was in the aftermath of the first British troops actions. Which is assbackwards because you can not blaim the effects for the cause.
Simon_Jester wrote:
I think you misunderstand my point. It's not about "should taxes be paid?" it's about "can we keep paying these taxes without gutting the economy?" Or "will my business be able to pay these taxes and still run enough of a profit that I can keep paying my debts to the Bank of England?"
Again, nope. Didn't misunderstand your point but I feel the inverse to be true.
It was not a problem. The americas was rich. The economy was blooming. With peace trade could only pick up. The tax rate was not gutting the economy or destroying businesses. That's plain false. Do you have anything to back that up? Because the sources I read says the opposite.
What was a driving force was the trade restrictions being enforced. Because that would cut into profits for the rich and influential.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Parliament then proceeded to legislate the land banks away, as you say. This left the colonial economy in bad shape- again, hamhanded enforcement of policies that originated from people who had relatively little detailed knowledge of the realities on the ground in the colonies. Which is just a practical concern: when the colony is three months' travel from home, you're not going to have intimate detailed knowledge of what's going on there.
Bad shape? Hamhanded? Little knowledge? You have a clear bias that is just not easy to address properly.
Compared to england true poverty was almost non-existant.
The colonies paid very little in taxes to the crown compared to other brits. What the dissent was about was that the colonies wanted to collect its own taxes and use them locally as they saw fit without interference of england. They didn't want to pay taxes to pay for troops from england being stationed in the colonies, instead they wanted the same taxes to be handled locally and thus have raised those troops themselves under their control. Etc.
It was a powerstruggle on who gets to decide what. Never about tax rates or how to pay those taxes, heck the source above states that taxes was higher in 'free' US than under british rule.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Quote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
This was a pre-industrial society; taxes from the colonies were collected in specie: gold and silver currency, because the British treasury couldn't very well collect grain or chickens from scattered colonists three thousand miles away.
I believe this to be flawed. It could not collect what didn't exist. If what your friend says is true the colonies would not just be short on specie they wouldn't have any at all plus being seriously in debt and attacked by crown tax collectors. Since that didnt happen it must have been solved in another way. Probably by IOUs between trading companies etc.
My 'friend' is Dr. Terry Bouton, of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where I took a 400-level course on the history of the American Revolution. Not a place where you'd expect to see "lies to children," especially since in the same course Bouton was rather brutal about dismantling the myth of the Founding Fathers as ideal disinterested heroes, pointing out that the colonial upper class had very real, concrete interests at stake, which they did everything in their power to promote in the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary era.
So instead of arguing the point you show the credentials of your old proff? Why?
Simon_Jester wrote:
Moreover, it is a gross misunderstanding of my position to read it as "there was NO specie in the colonies."
Uhm, that was me. I said that if all taxes was paid in coin then the colonies wouldn't be short they would have none.
Simon_Jester wrote:
But the British policy, under mercantilism, was to keep the colonies as a market for manufactured goods while trying to drain them of gold and silver.
Not because of mercantilism. The specie in the colonies were not decreasing before/during the war with france+natives. Instead its only when the Brit bank needed to repay the wardebt that we see them demanding payment in specie.
Something which the colonies were willing to do, up until the brit bank got parliament to abolish the paper money in the colonies. So the colonies didn't mind lowering levels of specie. They minded not being allowed to print their own money. Because the local currency was much more effecient for the governers et al than specie.
Simon_Jester wrote:
It should not come as a surprise that this left the colonies short of specie relative to Britain proper, leading to deflation in the colonial economy so long as only specie-based currency was legal.
Which was my point in my first response. The colonies didn't mind the taxes or the deflux of specie. They minded not getting to print their own money.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Quote:
Mercantilism worked so good elsewhere that they built a global empire around the concept (and the spanish/french/dutch/etc). I fail to see the relevance of repeating how it works.
All of the famous eastindia companies worked on the same principle.
Yes, and the East India Companies were bad for the economies of the remote colonial areas they controlled. The Dutch and British East India Companies were engines for transferring wealth from the "Indies" to the Netherlands and to Britain, respectively.
Please show this was true for the american colonies. All the sources I've read says the american colonies were growing richer faster than britain proper. So pray tell me how did all those americans get rich if they were being sucked dry by the mercantile system?

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 06:58pm
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Before I start with anything else, I'd just like to notice that this thread was lifted from testing and therefore may contain some posts that would otherwise not be made in the History Forum.

NOTE: General notice, not directed at anybody in particular.



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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Why America hates Communism PostPosted: 2011-03-01 07:18pm
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Samuel wrote:
Ah yes, the classic "the Goths were welcomed as liberators because they had a lower marginal tax rate" :D


Indeed. Who cares about being enslaved, raped or killed? Lower taxes is what really matters.

Quote:
Was it possible for there to be effective compromise though? The British wanted to accumulate gold in England which is in direct contradiction to the colonists desire to have gold.


Many colonists themselves thought so. And I am pretty sure your sentiment above can also be expanded to every other colony.


Quote:
I don't think you stated it by name Thanas. You just refered to France.


What other popular armed uprising was there? Maybe the french revolution, but that too proves my point.



Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Communism, pilgrims and minuteman (rescued from testing) PostPosted: 2011-03-02 06:20am
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@Simon Jester re: Minutemen
Please note that we should have made a difference between minutemen and militia early on, but since we didn’t I’ll skip the nitpicks regarding that.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Which is the important lesson regarding this stupid meme.
What stupid meme? Who are you arguing against here? What, exactly, do you think my position on this subject is?
Could have been clearer sorry, but so could you. So lets recap.
This started with Winston Blake saying “Then they fought (5) a war of independence against Britain using (6) many private arms.” To which Spoonist (me) said “IIRC (6) is false.” Then General Schatten clarified with “The quick and dirty is that the 'Minutemen' are vastly overrated”. Then you gave two points “this neglects the popular perception” and “this also neglects the strategic realities the British faced because of the militia”. So as you can see it easily follows to regard your dismissive of Schatten as a defense for what Winston Blake wrote. Now just to be extra clear; I don’t think that that is your sole view but that was the context.
The stupid meme I was referring to was the reference to the 2nd amendment bruha to which Winston Blake referred. The meme being that a privately armed militia won the war against the brits. There are lots of arguments against such a view (I don’t think I need to list them all) but they all pale in comparison to French support.
Mind you, I don't think that you hold the meme position. The comment was directed at the context not at you. Sorry for any confusion there.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
But more importantly the whole concept is bogus in context. The war was won by the support of the French. Without them no victory is possible.
Are you aware that multiple factors can contribute to the same war? That, for example, the British might have lost the colonial revolts in the Americas because of French support for the rebels and the long supply line that made reinforcing the colonies difficult and the fact that the local population was at best unsympathetic and at worst actively mustering hundreds or thousands of armed men to shoot at them?
Do these other factors just disappear because the war would not have ended in a colonial victory had it not been for the existence of a European-trained Continental Army to take out the large, concentrated British forces in pitched battles?
Simon_Jester wrote:
bz249 wrote:
Sorry, but the American War of Independence was a global war in which the British found themselves as the Big Bad Guy which was fighting against everyone else...
Yes. Believe it or not I know this already.
I would appreciate it if you would slow down and hear me out here, instead of assuming I'm one of the Stereotypical American Militiawankers.
Uhm, Simon you don’t get to play hurt after you dismissed my comment like you did in the quote above this one. Let’s do another recap:
Schatten says the minutemen were overrated. Simon argues against that with the strategic realities line. Spoonist dismiss that by saying the war was won by the support of the French. You respond with the insult “Are you aware that multiple factors can contribute to the same war?”. Bz249 reply with it being a global war. Simon plays hurt that Bz249 thinks that Simon missed the global war bit.
See? You specifically belittled the global war bit and drummed up the militia is great bit. It seems that you equal the minutemen to French support. How can we not view you as another militiawanker?
Lets make it easy, in fact oversimplify it beyond reason. If you were to give the militia a % of the victory and the French support a % of the victory. The rest being all other factors. How would you rate it? 30%/30%? 10%/70%? 1%/90%?
Simon_Jester wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Regarding the Minutemen, you should argue your case against Samuel Adams, Charles Lee and George Washington all who argue against what you say. Pick their arguments apart first and then come back to us.
Were they arguing "disband the militia, they're useless?" Or were they arguing "we can't take the militia into a standup fight against British regulars?"
Do you see the difference between those two positions? A lot of armies, throughout history, have been tough and well enough equipped to easily defeat irregular forces in pitched battles. This does not mean the irregulars were unable to affect the war. There is more to a war than who has the largest force of 'heavies' to fight pitched battles in the open field.
You are still trying to argue this as if I’m an idiot. I didn’t make the claims you put forth. I claimed that Samuel Adams, Charles Lee and George Washington all disagreed with your argument as you gave it. So did you check out what they said? Nope. Did you instead try to belittle my comment? Righto.
Nice…
Remember the bit where I said: “Did they make a difference? Yes.
Where they important or did they even live up to the expectations of their creators? No.”
Now go back to square one please.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
But more importantly the whole concept is bogus in context. The war was won by the support of the French. Without them no victory is possible.
Are you aware that multiple factors can contribute to the same war? That, for example, the British might have lost the colonial revolts in the Americas because of French support for the rebels and the long supply line that made reinforcing the colonies difficult and the fact that the local population was at best unsympathetic and at worst actively mustering hundreds or thousands of armed men to shoot at them?
Nope, don’t buy it. The colonies were dependent on import/trade. Without foreign support all the brits had to do to win was cut of trade. They didn’t have to occupy the whole thing. Guess what? What did the brits do at the start of the war? They cut trade, go figure. Since you’ve read so much about it I don’t think I need to reiterate the economic situation in the colonies during the war or how close it was to collapse. Guess what would have happened without French support?
Simon_Jester wrote:
Do these other factors just disappear because the war would not have ended in a colonial victory had it not been for the existence of a European-trained Continental Army to take out the large, concentrated British forces in pitched battles?
Again you ignore my “they made a difference” comment to reinforce your argument. Sorry bud, I’ve already covered that. Let’s repeat for effect:
Did they make a difference? Yes.
Where they important or did they even live up to the expectations of their creators? No.
What won the war? French support.
Now say it with me next time. ;)
Simon_Jester wrote:
My point is entirely limited to the argument that in the North American ground campaign, the part of the war the colonials actually took part in, the militia played a significant role, and one that made the British position in the American colonies far more difficult than it would have been had the colonials relied entirely on European aid and the Continental Army for their defense.
If it were then we wouldn’t have this argument. I agree fully with the assessment, but I disagree that that was what you limited your argument to or that it was what you had put forth so far. Instead you dismissed French support as hugely more important by the “multiple factors” stuff.
Then you just rant away about what the militia did right. Which is not what I dispute. They did lots of things right. But a few nitpicks. You say that France did not enter the war until 78, true and I agree but my comment was about French support, to be clear, in which I include trade/arms/intel/pressure sold/given by France & allies earlier than that.
Another nitpick for the audience is that the militia was formed and tested during the war against france+natives. It was expected that they would give similar effect that they did then. Against the brits that effect was lacking.
In your rant you have lots of “as people here argue” and similar. Since I don’t know who you are referring to here I simply skip that because of time, if you feel that any of those was directed at me please clarify what you think I have not answered.
PS
I still expect to be proven wrong somehow.
DS

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