General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Was emancipating ourselves from England a success in the long run?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9105 points ) August 19th, 2011

Can we know for sure that we did the right thing by successfully revolting against the crown?

Sure, we’re Americans, and the crown was taking advantage over us, but (and that is maybe a needless treasonous but) lots of you want health insurance, and a society that England eventually adopted.

There are so many eventualities that play a role that I assume it is impossible to know in the long run what the world would have turned out like if the revolutionary war had not occurred.

What do you think? If England had retained control of the eastern seaboard what would the world be like today?

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20 Answers

plethora's avatar

Does this require anything more than a simple “Yes”?

Nullo's avatar

I say it was a good move. The whole world superpower thing, for instance. I don’t want England’s health insurance thing.

Jaxk's avatar

I like the Brits but I’m not sure I want to be one. There are good and bad things in Britain but I’m not sure Page 3 Girls are enough to make me convert.

wilma's avatar

Yes, the whole freedom, democracy, liberty thing. The world would be a different place today without the spark from that revolution.

Ltryptophan's avatar

It would seem that this was WWI by the way…

I’ll not leave this open ended on my part. America created the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution which of themselves are enough to answer my question directly and suitably.

More over, the question can even be read here because of this very reason. We are truly blessed.

Below is @hiphiphopflipflapflop ‘s answer which shows the kind of conjecture which is interesting when thinking of what might have happened….

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Supposedly Great Britain would have kept the brakes on the growth of the colonies had they stayed under the crown. With the brakes off, the United States grew into England’s eventual strategic partner and successor. Think about it: we absorbed millions of Germans, Italians and Slavs (and many more) and turned their descendants into GIs and factory workers supporting Britain in both World Wars.

Ltryptophan's avatar

If someone could briefly explain how Canada might represent what I am speaking of I would appreciate it.

Nullo's avatar

@Ltryptophan But could we have had Canada without a United States? One wonders.

gorillapaws's avatar

I would sooner die than have my tax dollars go to support a figurehead monarchy. Everytime I saw the royal family prancing around I would want to puke. I think they’re cute and all, but only because I don’t have to pay for them. There are so many more important things that money could be spent on.

Macaria's avatar

I don’t think slavery would have continued as long as it did, so I’d say it was a good thing. Slaves built the south and the industries that were the backbone of the American economy. I hear they want to bring it back.

Macaria's avatar

Oh, and @gorillapaws the UK monarchy has provided a profit to the people since King George lost the Americas. In modern day terms:

The cost to maintain the royal family today is 40 million pounds per year. (works out to 65pence per person)

But the revenue paid to the UK from the royal lands is 200 million.

200 million in revenue subtract 40 million in salary costs equals 160 million pounds in profit.

Nullo's avatar

@Macaria The North had most of the industry and the fewest slaves. Nobody wants to bring back slavery.

wilma's avatar

@Macaria Who wants to bring back slavery?

@Ltryptophan If someone could briefly explain how Canada might represent what I am speaking of I would appreciate it.
I don’t believe that Canada would have become what it is today without the American revolution happening when it did.
Many American loyalists moved to Canada, that surely had at least a mild impact there.
Also, without freedom being fought for in North America, I don’t think the Canadians would have gotten out from under the oppression of the crown as soon as they did.
I think there was impact on Canada, maybe not a huge impact, but some nevertheless.

Macaria's avatar

I’m referring to the elimination of the minimum wage.

Macaria's avatar

Some of the colonies did not permit the Catholic Church, which had a large presence in Quebec. That had a lot to do with the politics of the day. As for the loyalists that moved north, it sounds like they were treated very well, and all immigrants were given large tracts of land to farm and lumber. That doesn’t sound very ‘oppressed’ to me, unless you consider they didn’t allow slavery, like the Americans did.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Empire_Loyalists.

Also, Canada had just been won by the English from the French in 1763, so at the time of the American Revolution, it was only newly flying the British Flag. The American Revolution split Canadians. Many went down to get involved, joining up to fight with either the Brits or the Yanks.

As part of the American’s tactics, they invaded Quebec in 1776 and were liberated by the British Navy, and it wasn’t until 1783 that the border between Canada and the US was officially made, so that area was very much a mix of French Canadians, English Canadians and Americans.

And don’t forget, Canada is the only country that successfully waged war on US territory. They burned down the US capital.

wilma's avatar

@Macaria are you equating the elimination of minimum wage with slavery?

wilma's avatar

I believe that the loyalists who moved to Canada probably were treated well, why wouldn’t they be? They were offered the free land as an incentive to come there. Many of them also brought their slaves with them, as slavery was also legal in Canada at that time.
If they felt loyalty to the British crown, they could escape the danger of the revolution and also bring their human property with them, why not? Sounds like quite a deal to me.
According to your link, the peaceful independence that later occurred in Canada was directly influenced by the impetus of the resettled U.S. Loyalists.

Nullo's avatar

@Macaria You can choose to not work for less than minimum wage. Slaves (at least the kind that we had in North America back in the day – different countries had different systems), on the other hand, work all hours, gratis, for the rest of their lives and their children’s lives, or else. Big difference.
It is vitally important that you make your inflammatory statements as clear as possible.

mattbrowne's avatar

It was a success for the vast majority of people. Exception: the very poor. Better be very poor in the UK than in the US.

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