We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To be a little provocative, I have to say that Jeremy Bentham's comments on the Declaration (well before the American Constitution was composed) make sense to me. He seemed to know that no limited federal government would last and made a strong implication that the founders were naive to imagine that they could invent a new form of government without powers or inclinations to over-tax or oppress.
Here then they have put the axe to the root of all Government; and yet, in the same breath, they talk of “Governments,” of Governments “long established.” To these last, they attribute the same kind of respect; they vouchsafe even to go so far as to admit, that “Governments, long established, should not be “changed for light or transient reasons.”
Yet they are about to change a Government, a Government whose establishment is coeval with their own existence as a Community. What causes do they assign? Circumstances which have always subsisted, which must continue to subsist, wherever Government has subsisted, or can subsist.
For what, according to their own shewing, what was their original their only original grievance? That they were actually taxed more than they could bear? No; but that they were liable to be so taxed. What is the amount of all the subsequent grievances they allege? That they were actually oppressed by Government? That Government has actually misused its power? No; but that it was possible that they might be oppressed; possible that Government might misuse its powers. Is there any where, can there be imagined any where, that Government, where subjects are not liable to taxed more than they can bear? where it is not possible that subjects may be oppressed, not possible that Government may misuse its powers?
This I say, is the amount, the whole sum and substance of all their grievances.
My understanding is that most colonists were not enthused about the war either. By 1789, it all worked out OK anyway, winning admiration from many of the skeptics. For a while.
Keeping the Articles of Confederation is an interesting premise.
What little I know comes from 7th grade(?) history class.
IIRC I believe every state printed their own money and this made interstate trade difficult. The states were required by the articles to fund the federal government but in practice some were reluctant or did not fund at all as enforcement was difficult. There was no federal court system to resolve commercial/criminal disputes.
I was always left with the impression that if the Constitution had not replaced the Articles of Confederation, the nation would have disintegrated.
has a rather longish post on the four (or five) different Revolutionary Wars that happened between 1775 and 1783.
New Englanders had won theirs by 1776, and there was no British Army anywhere in New England after that date. The Puritans were fanatical jihadis and cared nothing for Locke, Paine, the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson, Washington, et al. They
just wanted to be alone. They had always governed themselves and they were determined to continue doing so.
Other groups had their own wars and ROE's. The Appalachian Scots-Irish were especially nasty.
Years ago, I read that the Revolutionary War was supported by around 30% or so of the populace, with about a similar number wanting to remain British subjects. The rest didn't want to participate, or didn't care which side prevailed. Also, a big chunk of the populace left the country post-revolution, most going to Canada. I suspect those numbers would have been hard to quantify.
At the risk of being un-pc, I think the founders got it right. Their discension was about taxation without representation which was cleverly omitted from Bentham's comments. Unless I missed something. That, to me, seems also the issue today, that we are being governed, and / or taxed without consideration of our views. In short, our representatives are not "representing" us.