Over the past two episodes, we explored the American Revolution from the point of view of both the British and the American colonists. While we both admittedly grew up in the American education system, and therefore have a much more one-sided learning of this historical event we decided to give it a go the best we could!
This is our best guess at what was actually said between the colonists and British leading up the war:
We couldn’t find the historical documents to confirm or deny that this was their actual exchange but our beliefs stand firm that this is historically accurate.
From all accounts, the British seemed to bungle the situation to be sure. They didn’t seem to ask for so much in the beginning but when the colonial rabble-rousers began to cause trouble (ie. The Boston Tea Party) King George acted in poor taste with the Intolerable Acts.
The colonists were masters of harvesting good sentiment towards their cause. While the Intolerable Acts were quite the overstep by the British, the colonists made the outrage go a step further.
Case in point is this political cartoon of the British forcing their Intolerable Acts on the people of Boston represented by a naked woman being assaulted by the British. It’s powerful imagery that no doubt helped sway many of the colonists to come to their colonial brethren’s aide and slowly jettison the colonies towards rebellion.
It is clear that at first the Revolutionary War was seen mostly as a way for the wealthy men of the colonies to get richer by blocking out their overlords, the British. However, along the way with the help of some talented persuasion on the side of the colonies and the mishandling of the raucous colonists by King George, it became a widespread war.
Even so, we found many (roughly 60,000 to 70,000) colonists remained loyal, as tories, to the British crown and thus had to flee America for places like Canada. I imagine while independence from the world’s largest superpower at the time would be a welcome event, to those colonists who had to flee their established homes it must have been far from the ideal outcome.
It was interesting to learn, however, that it is so widely taught and praised about in America and rightly so because it gave us independence, but in the British education system, it is barely touched upon. I guess considering what happened, there would be cause not to tarry on that topic for too long.
Much of history is told from the victor’s point of view but I think it’s a good practice to view from the other side and that appears to the trend in a lot of historical research these days. It takes something like America’s independence and makes it appear with perhaps less of a luster than many of us Americans are used to hearing. These podcast episodes are sort of our homage to both sides so we hope you enjoyed our whirlwind history.
Just the same do you have your own unique story regarding the American Revolution from either the American or British point of view? Please share your story with us if you do!