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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/13/15

1776, a Year of Illusions, or of Diabolical plans?

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The point being that even before fully addressing the issue of the causes of the war, this author had already moved on, quickly switching into battle mode where he remained for the rest of the book. He went full bore into what can only be called the anti-heroics of the skirmishes of the war -- which indeed was what they mostly were, skirmishes. And anti-heroics is indeed the correct phrase to describe what the colonial soldiers were engaged in. Talk about "keystone cops," as soldiers, ineptness does not quite even begin to capture how ill-prepared and how lacking in courage and commitment these revolutionary soldiers, America's so-called "original patriots," really were. If this was truly a revolutionary cause, one would not have known it by either the weak commitment to it they demonstrated, or by the way the colonial soldiers acquitted themselves on the battlefield.

Quite frankly, the colonies attacking Quebec to begin the "so-called" American Revolution, made me laugh because it so reminded me of GHW Bush attacking Iraq for no sensible reason. Surely the reader will recall that Bush's attack too was also based on an illusion: the illusion of finding the non-existent WMD. Anyone who does not believe it was an illusion should ask General Colin Powell, who mortgaged his reputation on the altar at the UN to defend Bush's ill-fated decision.

As the narrative proceeds, almost as an after-thought, the author must have realized how truly unsatisfying his idea of an illusion as the only rationale for the American Revolutionary War really was; and as a result, he furtively tried to augment it by poetically pointing out that the new American nation was simply "finally growing up," becoming "an adolescent nation," no longer needing its British training wheels to survive. And while this prosaic, almost poetic description is fine for novels and fiction, it does not quite rise to the level of solid respectable history, nor does it cut it when talking about the geopolitics of nations. All his empty prose does is beg the question of what indeed were the real reasons for the "so-called" American Revolution?

If you ask the more thoughtful of contemporary historians, the answer they will give rests at least in part upon another conspiracy.

Yes, there was indeed a conspiracy of sorts behind the "so-called" American Revolution, but it was not one about imagined British designs to take over a colony it already owned.

It was a conspiracy by both the colonists and America's socially-adjusted historians to hide the truth about the very basis of the young nation's economic prosperity and of its survival, both being utterly dependent on the much discredited and immoral institution of slavery, a dependency that occurred in both the North and the South.

It is a matter that is crystal clear in the historical record that Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, in the North -- even though they only had a few thousand slaves -- nevertheless grew fat on the slave trade: Rhode Island and Connecticut did so directly in the triangular trade of Molasses and Rum for slaves via the Caribbean and Africa; and Massachusetts and New York did so indirectly by supplying tons of fish and other staples to the slaveholding sugar cane barons in Barbados and Brazil to feed their slaves. Both were places that used up slaves like an electronic grinding machine,

Equally in the South, where Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland were making "grand theft dough" from both the use of slaves in their own version of the plantation grinding machine, and by selling tobacco, rice and indigo to Europe, the Caribbean, and to other slaveholding nations of the world. There also was a brisk, almost symbiotic relationship, between the North and South in traded goods based on slavery.

Why then all this conspiratorial secrecy about the American nation depending on slavery for its survival, when this was everywhere patently obvious and out in the open, escapes me.

Part of the reason is probably due to the collective desire by the American colonists to cover-up what was a wide open secret: that the entire Western Atlantic had been lit up like a Roman Candle at a New Year's celebration with brushfires of slave revolts -- from Cuba to Barbados, and from Brazil to Peru. Arguably, the only real revolution going on at the time the "so-called" American Revolution began, was the worldwide revolution against slavery and the slave trade.

The British, the French and the Spanish all had been made to heel by slave revolts in their respective colonies. Independently, but under the same worldwide compulsion, they all were involuntarily forced to give up slavery. Equally, and perhaps most important for the American colonial story, they all also had mandated that slavery be given up by their respective colonies.

And all of the colonies did in fact give up slavery except two, Brazil, and guess who? The American colonies.

Come hell or high water, the American colonies, the last of the world's Slavocracies, saw the handwriting on the wall, but nevertheless were not about to obey the British mandate issued towards the end of the war, to give up the very source of their survival, as well as the source of their wealth and prosperity, literally the mainstay of their economic survival, slavery.

So, just as the American's "so-called Revolution" was about to begin, the rest of the world was beginning to see the folly and human price of slavery, even if they were still in denial about the dimensions of its devastating consequences or utter moral depravity. They had no choice but to sue for peace on the slaves' terms. But colonial America was not about to yield to "a technical foul" based solely on the immorality of slavery -- the very base of their Slavocracy. It was not about to stop the slave trade, instead, it did just the opposite, it "doubled-down" on it.

It is little known, but well documented, that the explosion in slaves in America in fact did not begin until after the "so-called" American Revolution, which by any objective standards was an ignominious and cynical revolution that used the rhetoric of slavery as its calling card. In fact, whites too remained slaves for 40 years after the "so-called" revolution, even though they were euphemistically referred to as "indentured servants."

It seems that of the new revisionist historians, Professor Gerald's Horne's research comes much closer to giving us a solid answer to why the American colonies actually went to war. I won't belabor the points he made again since I have reviewed his book "The Insurrection of 1776," here and elsewhere. But as a quick and dirty summary, suffice it for me to point out that he argues that Colonial America seized on the constellation of factors, a perfect storm of "a once in history" pregnant moment in which all of the stars were aligned for it to declare its independence, literally at British's expense.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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