Exactly 240 years ago the British colony of America declared its independence from London and the creation of the United States. The events of those days formed the basis of American national pride, which we will declare in Washington. But say nothing about how much in common the story of the war in the Donbass, Brexia and other modern challenges, it is extremely irritating USA.
July 4, 1776 the second continental Congress adopted the Declaration of independence, which finally “broke the political ties between America and Britain. Americans will mark the anniversary with the traditional fireworks and barbecue and the outgoing President Barack Obama will deliver a touching speech in which talk about boundless loyalty to the American people to the ideals of freedom and against tyranny. At the same time, if you look at the events of the XVIII century through the prism of modernity, you can see a lot of Parallels, which is unlikely to please Washington, and the European establishment.
“As modern British, the Americans were opposed to taxation without representation. They looked on the king’s soldiers, as modern nationalists look at the workers”
The conflict between the colonies and the metropolis has evolved over 10 years. The founding fathers of the US were not convinced revolutionaries or separatists and to the last hoped for reconciliation with the crown. Suffice it to say that at the time of publication of the Declaration the war for independence went on for more than a year, and assumed the functions of government, the continental Congress couldn’t decide on secession until the very last moment, did not Express complaints against king George, taking the position: “the Tsar good, boyars – bad”.
The thirteen colonies differed in size, device, private, corporate, Royal and way of life. Somewhere were humming political life and a sharp factional struggle, where it was quiet and peaceful. To combine them and create a “cordial Union of the colonies” was extremely challenging in the political, administrative plan. And if the Crown had shown a bit more tact and understanding of colonial Affairs, the state called the United States is unlikely to be all there is.
Xenophobia and euroscepticism
In 1763 ended the Seven years war, which Britain won narrowly and “Russian impermanence” – who came to power in Russia Peter III changed sides from the winning side (France, Austria, Spain) to the losing (England, Prussia). Although the British managed to kick France out of Canada and India, financing of Frederick the Great, heroically struggling against the three strongest continental powers at once, cost a fortune. Money in the British Treasury had the word “all”. And when a king doesn’t have enough money for his toys, he begins to carefully look if there was anything extra have filed. Colonies in America at that time was not subject to any “external” taxes, with the exception of a certain number of trade duties, bearing rather the adjustment function (by itself, the access to American resources and guaranteed market for their goods meant for London much more). Given the fact that in the colonies this war started, it seemed logical to look for excess Americans. In addition, the British very did not want to disband regiments recruited during the war, therefore it was decided to throw them in prison, placing their contents on the local.
Initially, the introduction of new duties in the colonies was perceived even without enjoying it, but without open resistance. Another thing – the presence of Royal troops. Danger from the French in Canada was no more, but, wherever the troops, the soldiers gladly took whatever odd jobs at dumping rates, and the local “working class” constantly staged skirmishes with the “red coats”. In addition, in those localities where stood the troops of His Majesty, sharply grew the number of residential burglaries, robberies and rapes. In General, the perception of the local population and British troops occupied about the same place that is now occupied by the “middle Eastern migrants”. And then followed the soldiers to the continent was settled by a Royal army of auditors, tax and customs commissioners. Contain the crowd of “these parasites” the colonists did not want to.
Meanwhile, the first public clash between the colonies and London took place only after the adoption in 1765 Act stamp duty”, according to which registration of all civil documents (sales transactions, receipts, certificates, lawsuits, and Newspapers) were subject to collecting in favour of the Metropolis. It’s not even in the amount of the levy, the Parliament and the British government demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how the economy of the colonies. Merchants carried colonial goods in London (or smuggling in Holland), bought it everything needed and came back. They alone saw live pounds. In Virginia, for example, the official means of payment were receipts under the tobacco crop. Receipts received its contents even officials, priests and military who are in the pay of the colony. A collection of Crown offered to pay in pounds and nothing else.
So protests, then riots and other “people’s lustration” aimed against the tax. Them, for example, dumped in the tar and were forced publicly to abandon their posts under threat of physical violence. In new Providence the collector from dismissal refused, and the crowd put him alive in a coffin, nailed the lid was lowered. “Voluntary” dismissal brave tax collector agreed only after the grave and began to dig.
But the most dramatic events unfolded in Boston, where the crowd for a night on the bricks smashed several houses of Royal officials, as well as the mansion of a local politician Thomas Hutchinson, the future of the last Governor of the colony of Massachusetts. In the city by that time already openly operated group, which later will be called “sons of liberty”. Have funded one of the richest local merchants, John Hancock, and operational leadership engaged local politician Sam Adams. It is the “sons” knocked the crowd, consisting of petty criminals and laborers, to organize riots. Subsequently, Adams went through Parliament an Amnesty for their members.
At the same time, several intelligent and well-read the goals remembered on the outcome of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Crown never enjoyed the same freedoms that the French or Russian, and after 1688, the king and the step could not do without the permission of Parliament. Any tax is a voluntary gift to His Majesty, and no one has the right to impose the British levies without the consent of the people’s representatives. However, the colonies were not represented in Parliament therefore, Parliament had no right to levy taxes in the colonies. First the thought was formulated by a Boston politician James Otis: “taxation without representation is tyranny”. Parallel to this came the Virginia lawyer Patrick Henry (the future first Governor of Virginia and the founder of the glorious southern tradition – “in any conflict with the Federal government need to threaten secession), who formulated the classical rhymed slogan: No taxation without representation – “no taxation without representation.” Interestingly, the same idea was expressed by the supporters of Breccia: UK pays to Brussels billions of pounds, at the same time European bureaucrats who manage this money, no one was elected, which violates the bill of rights 1689, which has not been canceled. It has become almost the main argument in the agitation for secession of the United Kingdom from the EU.
In parallel, Hancock and other colonial merchants were able to convey the essence of their problems to the partners of the metropolis. From London merchants with representation of all good, and they put pressure on the government. The act was repealed, but the idea that the Parliament in the colonies is not all-powerful, the British did not like. So they adopted the “Act of supremacy” which was to ensure that the Metropolis may do anything, and the colony must obey.
Import substitution and patriotism
“With the new directives of London the Americans decided to fight with the traditional Protestant values of humility and moderation”
Meanwhile, the UK is still desperately needed money in London for the fourth time in five years, the government changed and a new Cabinet of Ministers again looked at the colony with Mercantile interests. Moreover, the position regained and Charles Townshend, who participated in the development of the “Act on stamp duty”. The logic of his actions was simple: if the colonies against direct charges, let us introduce a host of new duties.
At the same time, among the colonists, and among modern skeptics, began to flourish conspiracy theory: the “evil boyars” from the Parliament want to destroy the freedom for which so long fought a British citizen. Took place a religious motive: the majority of the colonists belonged to a small Protestant congregations that have arisen both in England and in the colonies (starosvetsky and novosvetsky). Arrived on the continent troops and officials professed mostly Anglicanism and, to a lesser extent, Catholicism. The Anglican Church has joined the fight for the flock and representatives of “traditional” faiths wail that morally depraved, steeped in sin London wants to forcibly convert the colonists, and if not, to colonize the continent Anglicans and Papists”. “Act of supremacy” and the new levies 1767-of, charge which arrived the next Horde of bureaucrats, strengthened the colonists in that thought.
With the new directives of London the Americans decided to fight with the traditional Protestant values of humility and moderation. In practice, this meant “civil” an embargo on goods from the metropolis and active import substitution. London, where a political crisis was in full swing, gave up on the colonists by the hand, deciding that the “mad” and thereby made a mistake. Manufacturing in the colonies was growing by leaps and bounds, creating an economic base for future independence. According to historians, 1767 became a watershed year after which the separation of the colonies was only a matter of time. Despite the fact that many merchants signed an agreement on the embargo, quietly it broke, including the main author of this plan – already mentioned above, a merchant of Hancock, which earned good money, importing smuggled goods from Holland.
To dealers who did not want to join the ban on imports from Britain, could the guys from “sons of liberty” and to hold a conversation on the topic of patriotism. One of the shops of Boston, whose owner clearly did not comply with an embargo, a crowd had gathered, intending to crush the shop. The owner barricaded himself inside and opened fire on the crowd and killed 11-year-old boy. So the city finally turned into a powder keg. A week later one of the English soldiers, who sought part time, grappled with the locals. To rescue a co-worker rushed an army detachment, but also to the other side of the conflict, the cavalry has arrived, armed with stones and sticks. The street was winter, one of the soldiers slipped and the gun went off. Hearing the shot, fire were fired into the crowd the rest of the soldiers. Five died, nine people were injured. To defend the soldiers in court volunteered a young and famous lawyer John Adams, who at that time still did not share the revolutionary aspirations of his cousin Sam – the leader of the “sons of liberty”. The future US President managed to pull the military out of the loop, two received sentences for manslaughter, the jury acquitted the rest.
Sanctions and anti-sanctions
Not to say that the metropolis was not trying to resolve the crisis in the colonies and especially in rebellious Boston. But distances were great, the British officials too lazy, and the Empire too unwieldy, and in the end, all reasonable actions of the British were late for at least six months. The abolition, in 1870, Townsends fees really made it possible to achieve a fragile truce (duties remained only on tea, which Hancock and other merchants were carrying smuggled from Holland), but by the time the colonies had already formed two political centers: the Bostonians prefer direct action, Virginians have used up tons of paper, creating an ideological basis for the American revolution. Thus all the colonies learned to interact with each other and create a parallel from the British authorities in the provinces where the governors were dispersed by the local parliaments, fearing unrest.
To correct the Affairs of the East India company, London did its monopoly in the tea market. This somewhat undermines the colonial merchants, first purchased in London, but in General, due to the destruction of the long chain of intermediaries the price of tea were to fall by a third. And although the East India company was a staunch friend of the colonies, and even lobbied for the abolition of townshends duties, the colonies took this decree, which five years ago would not have caused any protest, as yet another attack on their freedom (now Parliament decides for us who we tea to buy), and again imposed an embargo on the supply. My role in this was played by all the same Hancock and other smugglers, whom the East India company inevitably would be squeezed out of the market. Meanwhile, in the port came in the ship “Dartmouth,” Laden with tea. The consignee were the sons of Governor Hutchinson, and to leave with an order they didn’t want. So in the mind of the Governor has matured cunning plan. The local Parliament, controlled by Sam Adams, does not allow to unload the ship well. But the goods must pass through customs within 20 days from the date of arrival, and if this does not happen, it is considered contraband should be confiscated and therefore still fall into the hands of customers. The problem was that the “sons of liberty” also it is understood that on the 20th day, about a hundred people dressed in costumes of the Indians and seized the Dartmouth and two other ships with the same shipment came a few days later. For three hours the “Indians” threw all the tea into the sea, and all subsequent events by the standards of a leisurely 18-th century developed rapidly.
After learning about the Boston tea party, the metropolis adopted five “intolerable laws”. The port of Boston was declared closed to all merchant ships to pay compensation for the damaged cargo (with the exception of court food delivered by order of the army or the Governor). The power of local parliaments in the colony of Massachusetts was confined to a purely symbolic, all judicial and administrative post officials could now appoint a Governor or king himself. Military presence intensified, the soldiers could take quarters for any homes that command deems suitable for this. Only the fifth act is not directly concerned Massachusetts. It was the “Quebec act,” extended the rights of Catholics in Canada. But the colonists, not without reason, believed that England is going to use the Francophones to suppress unrest. Conspiracy theories about what London wants to settle in the 13 colonies “Papists”, got another confirmation.
Then the delegates of the 13 colonies gathered at the first continental Congress that sent quite peaceful petition to the king. Claims for compensation recognized fair, but only after the cancellation of “the intolerable laws”. At the same time, Congress enacted a total embargo on trade with the mother country until the resolution of the crisis, the colonies began to prepare for war – the smugglers bought weapons in Europe and shipped it to Massachusetts. There were pulled together volunteers from all over America.
In London I saw these preparations for a full-fledged revolt and demanded that the generals actions. On the night of 19 April 1775, British troops moved to Concord town, intending to seize the Arsenal of the militia. The British easily swept the first barrier near the town of Lexington – “the redcoats” fired first, and the untrained militia fled. Troops went to Concord, began to search the city in search of weapons, broke out several fires. All this enraged the colonists: “first, their main forces were afraid to fight, but now the rebels have decided that the “redcoats” plan to burn the settlement. The Americans attacked and, thanks to the best position, caused the British defeat. The war started for independence, and in the “city of brotherly love,” Philadelphia was about the second continental Congress.
Separatism and Amaxa
“Help the militia could have France and Spain, but in order to seek assistance from foreign powers, it was necessary to declare sovereignty”
Not to say that all the other colonies were happy “these buyanyaschey the Bostonians”. However, the news of the battle of Lexington and Concord forced most of the “moderates”, including Ben Franklin, to the side of the “radicals”. However, fearing that an independent colony would become an easy prey for France and Spain, the colonists made one last attempt to reconcile with the mother country by sending to king George the “olive branch petition”. They still believed that the Tsar good, boyars – bad.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts went to George Washington (almost the only man with military experience, which was at the disposal of Congress) in order to create from scratch the continental army and lead the siege of Boston, where he was locked in the Royal troops. Delegates also de facto took over the functions of the provisional government. A kind of “transition” characteristic of such conflicts is enough to look at least on Donbass in 2014. There is a continental Congress, which is absolutely illegal from the point of view of the metropolis, but has the audacity to lead. There are local assemblies that are legal (if they do not have time to disperse) and also operate something, while most react to the orders of Congress, and not the Royal governors who are present and even in some cases something direct. Such a situation is prevented as the effective combat and control of the country in difficult time of war.
In the spring of 1776, the Congress adopted a resolution on the establishment of the provisional government, the preamble of which was written by John Adams: “Because to give any oath of allegiance and to demonstrate loyalty to any state institution under the auspices of the British crown… is in contradiction to common sense and his own conscience… necessary is the cessation of activities of all authorities of the aforementioned crown. It was the preamble, Adams became the document, which was guided by local parliaments, creating fully independent from the British authorities. To get off this road was impossible. In the German lands recruiters George actively recruited mercenaries who had to deal with the rebels. The aid of the militia could have France and Spain in the hope to regain in the Seven years war the land, but to seek assistance from foreign powers, it was necessary to declare sovereignty.
The Declaration of independence wrote virgines Thomas Jefferson, edited the text for John Adams and Ben Franklin. Originally written the document they were much more emotional, but during the debate Congress the “dried” formulation and clean all the attacks on slavery. In fact, the final text is an enumeration of the numerous grievances that the Crown caused the colonies. A sort of mournful book, is addressed to foreign powers, who for a year followed closely the events in America. Finally adopting the Declaration, the delegates did not, although their personal independence by that time already had time to declare a major city, and even one colony as a whole (the first independent state became a tiny Rhode island is still the smallest of the American States). Most of the separatists, of course, but they believed that such a decision should be taken unanimously.
The second continental Congress declared the independence of the United States of America July 4, 1776, the Charter to wait forever wavering new York. After 9 days their signatures under the document was signed and new Yorkers, and dispatches were flying in different region. There was no way back, and the War for independence soon became a war of the European powers. It was the French and Spaniards will win for the Americans the war, but with Paris it will play a bad joke: many veterans are imbued with Republican ideas, that will encourage the French revolution.
Any revolution – Russian, French or American – the after years looks something inevitable, but for contemporaries the revolution is always sudden. It is unlikely that after 1767 and crisis townshends duties to the Crown have been able to prevent the separation of the colonies, but before the war was still years, and the founding fathers of the United States clearly did not suspect what was in store for them fate. The delegates of the II Congress, going to Pennsylvania, I sincerely hoped that in a few weeks they make several petitions and will accept a few resolutions, but in the end they will be able to achieve reconciliation with London as was possible before. Then France and Spain are frightened Americans more than “familiar to evil” in the form of the British Parliament.
If you look at the story of the present day, it catches the eye of many Parallels and coincidences. The Americans were the first Euro-skeptics and anti-globalists first in the period when the British Empire made a powerful bid for world domination. As modern British, the Americans were opposed to taxation without representation. They looked on the king’s soldiers, as modern nationalists look at the workers. They fought for their interests by means of trade embargoes and destroyed the tea as Russian authorities are destroying the Polish apples. As well as today’s conservatives, they are extremely feared the spread of “foreign” religions in America – Catholicism and Anglicanism. Among them were the extremely popular “conspiracy theories” about the “London conspiracy”. The French actively helped the colonies as “volunteers” – another parallel with today.
But it is unlikely Barack Obama will say about this in his today’s speech.Related posts: