American Revolutionary Wars – Book Summary (1)

American Revolutionary Wars – Book Summary (1) 

[1] The use of force and repression on American civilians, during acts of frustration and control by the British forces was widely used to impose control and stability throughout the Thirteen Colonies of America.

My previous post has been principally on footballing terms, covering other aspects concerning social, political and economic problems as well. This time, I would like to dwell into another thing of my interest, be it history. Moreover, in order to increase my understanding of a complex situation over mainly how and why the American Revolutionary War started, I would also like use this post to list out the most essential aspects on the matter using bullet points for more simplicity. By using the bookRevolutionaries: Inventing an American Nation by respected American historian and political scientist Jack Rakove, of which I am continuing to read recently, I hope I can do a decent job of really picking out the key points in an ongoing research process forpersonal understanding onlyLet this be not in any way, to claim credit for Jack Rakove’s historical and analytical work, but rather to appreciate.

  • Many restrictions made by the British government on the 13 colonies, particularly Boston and Massachusetts, particularly on the civilians’ liberties in terms of trade and commerce, loyal and active for the British Crown. Many acts of repression were drawn out to favour and help the British, restricting the benefits and freedom the American people.
    • Tea Act
    • Port Act
    • Navigation Act
    • Stamp Act
    • Boston Massacre
  • Many Americans wanted reconciliation and not revolutionary acts through warfare and violence against the British forces
  • Noncompliance of the Americans to the British limitations of liberties
  • Defence of self-preservation – use of arms the only way
    • “Without seeking to force or provoke events in Massachusetts, they had concluded that a military confrontation there was likely, and perhaps sooner rather than later” (Rakove, 2010: 60).
  • Role of the British Kings
    • King Charles II
    • King George III
  • Allegiance to France
    • “If Britain pursued a military solution in America, the colonists would need to secure supplies and succor from foreign sources – above all, France” (Rakove, 2010: 99).
  • Repression by British authority
    • Use of German troops
      • “First came reports that Britain had signed treaties with several small German states to supply mercenaries who would be used as combat troops and not (as once thought) to replace British troops sent to America. Items in the British press suggested that forty thousand soldiers would sail for America by summer” (Rakove, 2010: 98, 99).
    • Use of force by the British forces
      • “Only a government bent on restoring its rule by force would resort to so great an expense and effort. Then in early June word came of another bellicose pronouncement from the king, brusquely rejecting an address from the City of London urging the Crown to negotiate with the Americans” (Rakove, 2010: 99).
  • Fight for independence
    • “Now that the state of affairs was inverted. The British and Hessian troops and loyalist auxiliaries who reveled in ransacking their property felt no qualms about the desolation they were wreaking. The ‘patriots’ had renounced their allegiance, after all, and such destruction was the familiar price of rebellion” (Rakove, 2010: 110).
    • Political situation – with Britain
      • “In mid-February 1776, however, word arrived that Lord North had told Parliament that the government did plan to appoint an American peace commission. Its powers, composition, and instructions remained uncertain. Moreover, this proposal was part of a Prohibitory Bill extending the partial bans on colonial commerce into a sweeping measure subjecting all American ships and cargo to confiscation” (Rakove, 2010: 97).
      • “Amazingly , North believed these measures were conciliatory because the commissioners would be empowered to exempt from this severe decree any colony that returned to obedience” (Rakove, 2010: 97).
      • “The new and destructive turn the war took after July 1776 revealed intention and strategy, the military extension of the British government’s judgement that Americans were fit only to be pardoned or punished. Knowing that their desire for reconciliation was sincere, the moderates took this as an affront to their own sense of political morality and a damning indictment of the empire they reluctantly renounced” (Rakove, 2010: 110).
      • They may have thought that stupidity and misinformation offered a better explained of British errors than the ideology-laden belief that evil ministers were mounting a sinister campaign against human liberty. But the results of such errors, as evidenced by the escalating campaign of 1776, were what mattered. For men who had made the improvement and accumulation of property the great goal of life, the war’s wanton and needless destructiveness best explained why Americans were right to fight” (Rakove, 2010: 110, 111).
    • Political situation – within America
      • Roles of politicians
        • Dickinson
        • Robert Morris
        • Samuel Adams
        • John Adams
        • John Jay
  • Support from foreign forces/countries
    • France
    • Spain
    • Native Americans
    • African Americans
    • Netherlands (eventually)
  • Roles of different political groups
    • Patriots
    • Loyalists
    • Moderates

[2]Rakove, J., 2010, Revolutionaries: Inventing an American Nation, Vintage Books, London