Monday, March 24, 2008
we're gonna march even further:
My God, he did it! Abu Muqawama, never one to back down from a challenge, explains how the British might have suppressed the American Revolution. Complete with actual historical study! And also these brilliant lines:
The British never attempted COIN in the U.S. colonies, but it is the opinion of Abu Muqawama that had they tried -- given a small standing army and instability elsewhere -- they might have enjoyed some success in the south and then perhaps extended control north. Would the colonies have remained pliant satellites of the British Empire? Probably not. But the British, had they been a little smarter, might have worked out some kind of devolution process which would have kept the U.S. a part of the commonwealth (like a sexier version of Canada, and without Tim Horton's).
I hereby challenge Matthew Yglesias to explain why Tim Horton's offers better coffee and coffee-complimentary fare than American coffee shops.
--Spencer Ackerman
Incidentally, achieving something like that was Franklin's long-term goal as the colonies' representative in London. He came around to the necessity of war very reluctantly. The problem was that the British hadn't developed to the point on thinking in commonwealth terms. And even dominion status was only fully worked out more than a century later when they desperately needed Canadian and ANZAC troops.

Re your earlier post: the British relied pretty heavily, at various points, on auxiliary troops who did not speak the language or share the culture--Indians and European (mostly German) mercenaries. As one would predict, that really pissed the colonists off.
Blogger TheWaldganger | 8:41 AM

What's the best book, from the British perspective, about the circumstances leading up to the revolution, as viewed from London?
Blogger Spencer Ackerman | 9:52 AM

Tom Ricks and "Charlie" very much like Piers Mackesy's "The War for America, 1775-1783." Ricks reviewed it a few weeks ago for the WaPo and allowed us to cross-post it on the blog.
Blogger Abu Muqawama | 10:18 AM

Perfect. Thanks, AM.
Blogger Spencer Ackerman | 10:21 AM

Canada achieved Dominion status in 1867, 50 years before WWI. The motivation was fear of US annexation via "Manifest Destiny." Remember Alaska was purchased in 1867, and "54-40 or Fight" was a presidential Campaign slogan in 1876.
Blogger charlie | 6:14 PM