Expanding on History – England
Today’s post will cover the British during the war, arguably a subject most of us here in America know nothing about. The focus of much of our learning about the war is on how we as a country won our independence, with little study of the events going on in the rest of the world. This leads to two uncomfortable truths about the Revolutionary War – the fact that it was a civil war (perhaps 100,000 loyalists fled abroad at its end), and that it was also a world war (the Americans could scarcely have won without French help).
The English taxes we as Americans read so much about were in fact levied as a result of the British government’s attempt to pay off debts incurred while protecting the colonies during the French And Indian war, and to build up money to finance future protection. In addition, some successful merchants in the colonies wanted to break free of controls imposed by the pro-British elite. Additionally the work of radical politicians and propagandists – such as Sam Adams and Paul Revere – who envisaged a break with Britain when many of their countrymen still hoped that it might be avoided.
In parliament, the houses were of a divided mind on the Americans. Some wanted to cut their losses and cease pouring money into colonies that did not contribute much back to the mother country. Other argued that by letting the Americans go, it might give Canada or the West Indies ideas of independence. Many did their best to curry favor with the King and simply supported his will. As with much of the history around the war, there were very few cut and dried lines to divide people.
The King was a different story. Having risen to power just after the completion of the French And Indian war, he inherited an unstable government deeply in debt. The increase in taxes to finance this debt would play a major role in the colonies decision towards independence. King George would spend the war falling into episodes of insanity and when peace was finally declared, the loss of colonies would drive him nearly permanently mad.
So the situation in England was barely more stable than in the colonies. Will the King remain mad? Will Parliament bend to his will? Will the English military enjoy the same success in game as in history? Join us on December 3rd for The World Turns Upside Down to find out.
Since this is the last post in the series, I wanted to document some of the great online sources for much of this information. The links below represent some great, and relatively brief reading if you are interested in learning more about a particular state or role within the game.
http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/exhibit/past – The exhibits about each state during the revolution were an invaluable resource for much of the summaries.
https://allthingsliberty.com/2015/07/how-the-british-won-the-american-revolutionary-war/ – An amazing article that delves deep into the world events going on at the time of the revolution.
https://allthingsliberty.com/ – A fantastic resource for all things Revolution
- Brian Stacy
- December 1, 2016
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