Why did Britain lose the war over America's independence???


by The riddler
Tags: america, britain, independence, lose
arildno
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#37
Jul6-10, 04:03 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Though the thread is mostly just chitchat now, there is a third reason you missed: The British were fighting a war several thousand miles from home, which mean their troops in the US had to be almost completely self-sufficient. That helped neutralize their advantage of being a large country with a powerful military.
That is certainly an important factor.
Coupled to Astronuc's mention of over-extension of the Empire, and my own mention that the British Crown's near bankruptcy as a result of the Seven Years' war, this indicates that the resources the Crown had available was rather limited.
Not the least when held up against a militia-trained populace that had reached a level of affluence&self-confidence who thought it the most natural thing in the world should be self-government, in particular with regard to taxation.
mheslep
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#38
Jul6-10, 01:15 PM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
What do you mean "we"? Maybe they get Newfoundland. That's it!
Ssshhhh. The secret plan is to get claim on the North Sea oil as Norwegian citizens, then renege.
turbo
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#39
Jul6-10, 01:22 PM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
What do you mean "we"? Maybe they get Newfoundland. That's it!
Why would anybody want Newfoundland? The cod stocks are severely depleted, and their stunted "timber" is suitable only for turning into toothpicks. What's left? You can't make much of a living selling funny accents.
Astronuc
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Jul6-10, 01:54 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
Why would anybody want Newfoundland? The cod stocks are severely depleted, and their stunted "timber" is suitable only for turning into toothpicks. What's left? You can't make much of a living selling funny accents.
And besides, the British spell funny.
Studiot
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#41
Jul6-10, 02:13 PM
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And besides, the British spell funny.
Don't you guys spell phoney the same way as us then?
turbo
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Jul6-10, 02:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Studiot View Post
Don't you guys spell phoney the same way as us then?
A. A. Milne was English, and he followed the English tradition of using "u"s as frequently as possible. Hunny? Please!
brainstorm
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#43
Jul6-10, 08:41 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Though the thread is mostly just chitchat now, there is a third reason you missed: The British were fighting a war several thousand miles from home, which mean their troops in the US had to be almost completely self-sufficient. That helped neutralize their advantage of being a large country with a powerful military.
Doesn't anyone think that ideology played a role. If loyalism among the colonists had remained dominant or even sufficiently strong, I would think it would have been possible to repress rebellion just by ridiculing anyone foolhardy enough to suggest such a thing. Maybe media and hegemonic techniques have advanced a great deal since the 18th century, but can you imagine being able to successfully instigate a rebellion against the US, British, or other hegemonically well-situated modern government?

On the other hand, maybe you could say that the political philosophies of nationalism, republicanism, etc. that were popularized in the 18th century WERE the ideological fuel for garnering sufficient interest in rebelling for colonial independence. If pro-imperial ideology had been developed more strongly than republicanism, couldn't the colonists just have been motivated to remain in solidarity with the British empire in the interest of imperial solidarity and prosperity through unity?
mgb_phys
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#44
Jul6-10, 09:13 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
The British were fighting a war several thousand miles from home,
And where everything had to be carried over the north atlantic in wooden ships.
Which is why this little beastie should be America's national animal



In 1776 many ships only made the crossing once before being ruined, although it prompted the use of copper bottoms.
russ_watters
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#45
Jul6-10, 09:48 PM
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Quote Quote by brainstorm View Post
Doesn't anyone think that ideology played a role.
As former military, I tend not to focus much on ideology except when it plays a big part in the tactics of the soldiers (see: Japan in WWII). But certainly popular support for any war will play a part in whether a war is even fought or how much effort is put into it.
brainstorm
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#46
Jul6-10, 10:11 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
As former military, I tend not to focus much on ideology except when it plays a big part in the tactics of the soldiers (see: Japan in WWII). But certainly popular support for any war will play a part in whether a war is even fought or how much effort is put into it.
True, the force that leads to abdication by one side or another is not determined by which soldiers believe most strongly in their cause but by which fight most effectively, right?

But, I'm still interested in what motivates soldiers to pick one side over the other, especially in civil wars or insurgent revolutions. I'm also interested in how an ideology can be used to promote warfare and then modified to achieve the same goals of the losing enemy by political means after the fact.

It sounds like conspiracy theory, but once a war is fought to establish dominance of a particular ideology, that ideology can be appropriated more easily to serve almost any political goal because it has become little more than a rallying cry for team-spirit. This is why I think it is possible to use the ideologies of democracy and republic to garner support for a commander-in-chief and strong central command.

I wonder to what extent the ideologies of independence and freedom were utilized to promote economic agreements benefiting GB through colonial industrial exploitation. Once the colonists were free to regulate their own political-economy, did they not pursue trade with Europe out of capitalist self-interest? This seems to be the same pattern that occurs when slavery is abolished in favor of a wage-labor system where workers voluntarily serve whoever will pay them to. Similarly, look how popular anti-colonialism became in the period following WWII with the effect of creating many small post-industrial economies with substantial prosperity as the result of imports.

Sorry to throw so many broad examples together in one post. I'm just pointing out how the instigation of war can be part of a larger ideological progression that can eventually achieve economic domination regardless of which side wins the war militarily.

You fight communism only to get a political economic system where central planning drives a military-industrial complex and other economic institutions that ensure economic dependence on central government. And of course the defense (and other government-driven industries) are devoted to the goal of preserving freedom and preventing communism, while simultaneously creating an economy of trickle-down government spending.
russ_watters
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#47
Jul6-10, 10:44 PM
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Quote Quote by brainstorm View Post
True, the force that leads to abdication by one side or another is not determined by which soldiers believe most strongly in their cause but by which fight most effectively, right?
Yes, and in WWII, ideology often worked against the Japanese. They fought to the last man in cases where a staged withdrawal would have both inflicted more casualties on the US and enabled the retreating troops to survive and fight again.
But, I'm still interested in what motivates soldiers to pick one side over the other, especially in civil wars or insurgent revolutions.
Interesting and complicated question. In the Civil War, probably hundreds of thousands of people died largely because the best general of the war (Lee) decided based on loyalty to his home state. I haven't heard anything to suggest he felt an actual ideological connection to the South beyond that.
I'm also interested in how an ideology can be used to promote warfare and then modified to achieve the same goals of the losing enemy by political means after the fact.

It sounds like conspiracy theory, but once a war is fought to establish dominance of a particular ideology, that ideology can be appropriated more easily to serve almost any political goal because it has become little more than a rallying cry for team-spirit. This is why I think it is possible to use the ideologies of democracy and republic to garner support for a commander-in-chief and strong central command.
Not quite sure what you're getting at with that, but it doesn't strike me as conspiracy theory either. The idea that the conquering entity would harness the pre-existing ideology to help pacify the locals seems reasonable. Can't think of any examples of that, though.
I wonder to what extent the ideologies of independence and freedom were utilized to promote economic agreements benefiting GB through colonial industrial exploitation. Once the colonists were free to regulate their own political-economy, did they not pursue trade with Europe out of capitalist self-interest? This seems to be the same pattern that occurs when slavery is abolished in favor of a wage-labor system where workers voluntarily serve whoever will pay them to. Similarly, look how popular anti-colonialism became in the period following WWII with the effect of creating many small post-industrial economies with substantial prosperity as the result of imports.

Sorry to throw so many broad examples together in one post. I'm just pointing out how the instigation of war can be part of a larger ideological progression that can eventually achieve economic domination regardless of which side wins the war militarily.

You fight communism only to get a political economic system where central planning drives a military-industrial complex and other economic institutions that ensure economic dependence on central government. And of course the defense (and other government-driven industries) are devoted to the goal of preserving freedom and preventing communism, while simultaneously creating an economy of trickle-down government spending.
Not sure about all that...I'll think about it some more.
lisab
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#48
Jul6-10, 10:56 PM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
And where everything had to be carried over the north atlantic in wooden ships.
Which is why this little beastie should be America's national animal



In 1776 many ships only made the crossing once before being ruined, although it prompted the use of copper bottoms.
Any idea where the timber came from? Or what species were used?
mgb_phys
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#49
Jul6-10, 11:49 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Any idea where the timber came from? Or what species were used?
The victory was built in 1760 and used 6000 trees, 90% of which were oak and the remainder elm, pine and fir (presumably for masts and spars?)
Galteeth
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#50
Jul7-10, 01:45 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
In the Civil War, probably hundreds of thousands of people died largely because the best general of the war (Lee) decided based on loyalty to his home state. I haven't heard anything to suggest he felt an actual ideological connection to the South beyond that. .
He was a supporter of slavery, although not an initial supporter of succession.
arildno
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#51
Jul7-10, 02:35 AM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Any idea where the timber came from? Or what species were used?
At this time, Norway was a great exporter of timber. So was Sweden and Finland.
mgb_phys
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Jul7-10, 08:32 AM
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Quote Quote by arildno View Post
At this time, Norway was a great exporter of timber. So was Sweden and Finland.
The Oak would be British, 6000 trees is about 100acres of woodland.
The spruce and fir for the masts would probably be either Baltic or Scandanavian.
turbo
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Jul7-10, 08:45 AM
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The masts probably came from New England. Eastern white pine was the wood of choice for masts, because the trees were large enough to make large single-stick masts. Without the large pines, masts had to be made with 2 or more segments, and they were weakest at the joints. Solid pine masts allowed British ships to maintain full sail under conditions that other ships might find dangerous. This is the reason that the crown claimed all the large pines in the colonies from the 1600s onward. The more onerous size limitations imposed by Parliament and the king in the 1760s and 1770s seemed less a matter of military necessity, and more as a revenue-generating move.
arildno
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Jul7-10, 09:12 AM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
The Oak would be British, 6000 trees is about 100acres of woodland.
Might well be.

The spruce and fir for the masts would probably be either Baltic or Scandanavian.
Possibly.

I merely offered one possibility as to where timber could have come from, by mentioning major exporters of timber at that time. Russia under Catherine the Great was probably also an exporter.

It might be that there was sufficient oak in britain at this time to supply its own demands, but I don't know.
What I do know is that at this time, oak was being depleted in Norway, so that most of the timber exported would have been from evergreens like fir.


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