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.
The Loyalists have no political descendant. There is no American alive today whose loyalty to the British Crown was passed down to him in an unbroken chain from 18th-century Loyalists. You would be about as likely to find a native speaker of Etruscan. Both Democrats and Republicans are factions of Patriot.
And yet: the Loyalists were right. At least on this one rather important question. Britain was not on a path to a weird, 1984-like future with gold braids and epaulets, crushed under the iron heel of the King, the Church of England and the Lords. Rather, the power of throne and altar and fief in Britain had been dwindling almost monotonically since Mary Tudor - a process which of course has continued to this day.
The Loyalists were right. And yet they have no intellectual descendants at all, not in the US and not anywhere else. At least from the point of view of their political DNA, they were simply obliterated - not unlike the Cavaliers, to whom their resemblance is more than passing. And in what folder does almost everyone alive file this event? I'm afraid that folder is progress.
It's a meaty piece, perfect for a sleety, snowed-in afternoon with a glass of brandy and maybe a big hunk of English Stilton. Mr. Moldbug has the disbelief in the word "progress" which we share and have written about here, and he shares my ambivalence about the justifications for the American Revolution (which he terms a "criminal mob"). However, I am glad that it happened and that the US is not joining the EU today.
I may or not be technically a Libertarian, but I do take liberty as an ethical and not a practical matter. There is little that is easy, practical, or neat about liberty.
Image: A nice wheel of Stilton, correctly wrapped in a linen napkin
I am thankful for the American Revolution. Can you imagine the settling of the West under the Crown?
Do you think there would have been a Homestead Act? Or any of a number of other actions that help establish this country.
By the way hope you aren't too cold. It was 82 today here in Florida and I have the AC running.
I am currently listening to Adams & Jefferson on audio. I had thought something similar, but decided that what had happened is that GB was influenced by the American Revolution, so that the monarchy part of Constitutional Monarchy became gradually weaker.
Assistant Village Idiot
i wonder, had England & the colonies never parted, if there'd have ever been the big wars of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Colonial list of grievances is not only lengthy, but well established as grounds not only for grievances but in removing the authority of England from the Colonies. This is part of the Western tradition of viewing Nations that grew out of Westphalia and required the understanding of Nations to be autonomous and their responsibilities not only to each other, but internally to their citizens (and conversely for citizens to recognize their limitations in giving up responsibilities, rights and means to carry them out to a National body). That stuff in the Declaration, that long, long listing of grievances is more than just that: it is putting forward that the internal laws of England had been broken by the Nation.
Out of that listing are many items that the common law, as given in understanding by William Blackstone's Commentaries on the English Law. Further that idea was not limited to Blackstone as England, itself, had incorporated the Law of Nations and the Law of War (by de Vattel and Grotius respectively) into its law system. If the Monarchy wanted to continue on in its sovereign role there was one very, very simple solution:
Respect the rights of these citizens under the common law and give them a forum for their grievances in Parliament.
'No taxation without representation' is not only a rallying cry, but a basic statement that the people involved in trade have some say over it under the common law system. In treating the Colonies in such a manner as to remove the concept of their having the right to be heard by the Nation, the Monarch was doing something absolutely at odds with how the colonists expected to be treated: he was treating them as foreigners living in a foreign nation under subjective rule by the Monarchy and not via the common law via Parliament.
If King George wanted the French and Indian wars to be paid off faster he could have given us the ability to be represented in Parliament so as to change the repayment rate.
Of course that is just a flashpoint that would bring the Revolution about, and the other things that had been going on, such as removing distributed autonomy for creating local law via representative administrative bodies and lesser courts, also served to change the basis of how that rule was constituted and seen. By shifting away from the concept of 'citizen' who is also 'subject' to pure 'subject' without right of recourse via representation, the Monarchy was doing something by fiat, with more than some approval by Parliament.
For the Revolution not to have happened, the English government (Monarchy and Parliament both) would have to uphold the institutions of the common law in the colonies. That long list of grievances is not only cumulative, but puts forward in plain language why these people feel wronged in a way that is clearly understood under the common law system: the Crown and Parliament were waging undeclared and private war on the colonies and the colonies would not put up with that any longer.
More along that line in this article I put together to understand the subject of Piracy, which also gets embroiled in this due to the nature of what England was doing at the time:
RE: "The Loyalists have no political descendant. There is no American alive today whose loyalty to the British Crown was passed down to him in an unbroken chain from 18th-century Loyalists." and..."At least from the point of view of their political DNA, they were simply obliterated....."
Geez. Do not tell this to old Aunt Mabel. Have branch in family tree who are from Empire Loyalists. Descendants are all over Canada and USA now but many of the clan are still Upstate or on land on the North shore of the St. Lawrence River that was granted by the King and some are still arguing over who owns Upstate NY. Sheesh. IIRC, they claim The Loyalists held Upstate NY at the end of the war and the King gave it away in the Treaty. In the summer folks from both sides of the border get dressed up and re-enact the history and the battles.
As It Appears In Jackson's Oxford Journal England, October 4, 1783
Although Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown in the Fall of 1781 marked the end of the Revolutionary War, minor battles between the British and the colonists continued for another two years. Finally, in February of 1783 George III issued his Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities, culminating in the Peace Treaty of 1783. Signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, the agreement — also known as the Paris Peace Treaty — formally ended the United States War for Independence.
Representing the United States were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, all of whom signed the treaty.
In addition to giving formal recognition to the U.S., the nine articles that embodied the treaty: established U.S. boundaries, specified certain fishing rights, allowed creditors of each country to be paid by citizens of the other, restored the rights and property of Loyalists, opened up the Mississippi River to citizens of both nations and provided for evacuation of all British forces.