Jan 11, 2019 in History

Why American Colonists were Not Justified in Launching the American Revolution

The revolution was not justified due to numerous reasons. Firstly, the revolution resulted into violence and death. Any activity that puts lives of people at stake can never be acceptable. American colonists were not ready to compromise their strong stance, hence they went ahead to heat up the revolution ending up with 49,000 casualties not counting thousands of people who were maimed and wounded. This was not a price that many people desired to pay.

Secondly, the revolution resulted in undemocratic state. This is because during the revolution, the colonists based their campaign on the propaganda that promoted importance of democracy and freedom. As a proof that the colonies were preaching water and drinking wine, they went against the opinion of the majority and engaged in heartless war contrary to those who were loyal to British rule. Similarly, the colonies also feared the abolition movement that was sweeping all over Britain and the U.S., hence asserted that all they wanted was representation and freedom.

Arguments that American Levied Against the British and the British Counterclaims to the Arguments

There were the allegations levelled against the British. The first allegation was of unfair taxation. David McCullough, an American historian, argues that all the colonies in Britain were taxed. However, Americans alleged that they were the only ones who were being taxed. The Stamp Act was boycotted by the colonists asserting that they had their own rights. In reality, the British Government used taxation to control the colonies. However, even Britons were taxed. The British used the argument that they also paid tax to counter this claim that taxation only targeted the colonies. Moreover, this was seen by the colonies as the only way the King was able to maintain his crown.

Americans alleged that they had only virtual representation. This was the main area of argument between the Parliament and the colonists. However, most of the colonies were free to come up with their own policies without interference of the British Parliament. Nevertheless, the colonies had no vote or representation in the Parliament. They believed that their affairs could not be represented without having any member in the Parliament. However, behind this argument, the colonies wanted to be free and it is in this regard that the British gave the colonies some freedom to make their local policies. The King did not want any member from the colonies to be in the Parliament because it would delay the passage of important policies and acts such as the Act for Abolition of the Slave Trade.

Americans also alleged that the British were hated by the African-Americans, hence the reason to launch the revolution. This is not true because the main oppressors of African-Americans were indeed Jamaicans and West Indian colonies. The impression that the British were the main oppressors of the African-Americans triggered war resulting in the revolution. During the time, William Wilberforce and Tom Clarkson were already heading a campaign towards abolition of slave trade in the interest of African-Americans. This agenda was pushed into the Parliament resulting in the Act for Abolition of the Slave Trade. Indeed, the colonies created enmity between themselves. This is evident from the fact that when revolution was launched, they were the ones on the receiving end. In fact, if the colonists were given a representation in the Parliament, they could have delayed reformation of policies such as the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade with their own hidden agendas. Before the revolution heated up, London declared that all slaves in the British colonies would be free. This made Afro-Americans very supportive of the British Government.

The declaration of the American independence from Britain was seen as an opportunity for the continued invasion of the Ohio Valley, hence continuation of human rights violation in the name of agitating for freedom. Later the colonies learnt that the British rule was indeed more advantageous than the autonomy they were craving for. On the contrary, the British had forbidden colonizing the Ohio Valley in the interest of peace.

How the American Colonists Would Be Viewed by the Rest of the World if the Revolution Occurred Today

If such situation occurred in today’s world, the American colonists would be viewed by the rest of the world as undemocratic and self-centered nation. American colonists argued that the British were imposing taxation on them as a way of maintaining their control. They also claimed that they were denied representation in the Parliament. However, they had a hidden agenda that involved gaining their independence at the expense of their people. For instance, they went ahead to colonize the Ohio Valley where the British wanted to maintain peace. This evil initiative was followed by acts of human rights violations in the region.

There are examples in the modern world where leaders fight to stay in power at the expense of the people. For instance, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya fought for years to stay in power while the country was stuck in poverty and murders, lacked democracy, and had poor foreign relations. Just like the American colonists who thrived on propaganda, Gaddafi kept saying that countries that were fighting against him were not interested in democracy but in oil resources. A second example is the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the name of destroying Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that were never found. Despite the deaths of innocent citizens, it is hard to convince the world that the invasion was purely directed at the fight against WMD.

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The third example and the most recent is Syria. The government of Syria is said to have used lethal sarin gas that resulted in the deaths of its citizens in addition to the continued violation of human rights. Although the international community has evidence that the gas was used, the Government refutes the claim. It is also hard to understand who is right in this situation. But in essence, the people suffer when some hidden forces interfere with their interests. Just like during the American Revolution, violation of human rights cannot go unpunished, but the powerful will always avoid the responsibility.

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