From the title it is hard to determine where this post is going. We can be wrong about almost anything in this life and there seems to always be someone around to alert us of that fact. If we get something set in our minds that just isn’t true then we are the worst kind of wrong. But… that is not where this post is going. :)
Finally, here is the full question, were we wrong to separate from mother England, especially through violence?
Looking back with hindsight it is always easy to judge the past by today’s criteria. I will try not to do that but will use the wisdom of what came next to speculate how we might be different if we had not collectively made the decision we did.
It seems that the primary reason for our revolt against the mother country was money. We simply didn’t like being taxed, especially since we had no say in where those taxes would come from. Of course the other primary reason was probably the arrogance of a king and the nobles who depended on him for their lifestyles. They saw America as a source for income and not much else. When that income started dwindling they just raised taxes even more.
Was this reason enough to go to war over? Like most wars our revolution was an ongoing thing. One thing led to another. The Boston massacre might have started it but then a tit for tat scrimmages escalated it. Initially there was little thought of becoming an independent nation. We simply wanted to keep more of our income to ourselves instead of shipping it off to people we knew little about.
Even when the war became official with our “Declaration of Independence” barely half of us agreed with that document. Raising an army to go against the toughest in the world was by no means a sure thing. But soon the you kill us and we will kill you mentality took over.
In the overall scheme of the world we are still a relatively new country. Less than three hundred years of existence where many are ten times that old. Most countries have little or no idea about how they came about because they seem to have been always there.
What would have happened if we had not rebelled? A likely scenario would be Canada. Yes, they are independent of their mother country but did so by peaceful means about a hundred years later than us.
On my visits to our northern neighbors I have realized a basic difference between us and them. They, for the most part are much less belligerent than we are. They spend on the military about the same percentage as the rest of the world whereas we spend almost a hundred times more. Is part of this aggressiveness on our part associated with our founding? Is our obsession with guns and the NRA part of it too?
Canada, who for the most part have the same lineage as us took a very different track to world affairs. Would we be more like them if we had not rushed to war in 1776? That is an idea certainly interesting to ponder…