5.11.07

America's Allies in the Revolution

This article comes from the Catholic Monarchist Group at Yahoo. It is in reply to a web site submitted in a thread which concerned Spain in the American Revolution. I post the reply by Mark Amesse of that group. I have only corrected some of the mispellings. Mark is passionate in his writing.

"...Of course Spain, France, the Calvinistic Dutch all had (at least they thought) a stake in seeing the American traitors win their rebellion. The major European players were all heavy into the colonial mercantile enterprise, but the British had pulled well out in front. The turning point would have to be when James the Duke of York (later James II) took the Dutch colony of New Netherlands for Britain, which of course was renamed New York in James' honour (1642, the during the Second Dutch War). This was a major victory for the city of New Amsterdam (New York) controlled the most important water way on the Atlantic. A century later the French and Indian War (AKA Seven Years War) turned against the French and France's Canada was lost to the British.

The examples could be multiplied, but are unnecessary for it is easy to understand why these powers wanted to check British Imperial hegemony. The error comes, and far too often, when Catholics try to imply that since France and Spain were Catholic kingdoms the American Revolution must be compatible with Catholic social doctrine and just principles. Let us not forget that France and Spain would be punished for its allegiance with the American traitors. The French Revolution would likely never have happened without its sister in America, and Spain, well the U.S would spend the next century and more aiding in the "liberation" of Spanish colonies (Cuba and the Philippians to name just two).

There is one piece of propaganda here which I simply can not pass over in silence. Let me quote it and than refute it:
"[Britain's] harsh laws, acts and proceedings after the [French and Indian] war forced her colonial empire, especially the 13 colonies in North America, to help pay for the war, to raise additional revenue and to maintain British government leaders and military forces in the colonies."

There were no harsh laws passed against the colonies after the F & I war. I challenge any one to give me a law passed that was harsher than any law found in England proper. And of course, only the 13 Whiggish colonies rebelled. The former subjects of the French crown, now subjects of George III, in Canada were overwhelmingly Loyalist. While not perfect the former colony of New France were given much to be thankful for by the legislation coming out of Parliament after the F & I war not the least of all being the Quebec Act. The Test Act was repealed (this required government officials to renounce the Catholic Faith) and the tithing which normally was collected for the Church of England was collected and given to the Catholic Church. The French colonial laws and structures were retained as they were under France.

What upset the Whigs in the 13 colonies were not harsh laws at all. As the Tories gained influence in Parliament (most notably the king's friend Lord North as Prime Minister) they began to enforce anti-smuggling and mercantile laws. John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Treason, was known as the "Smuggler-King". The wealthy Whiggish colonial oligarchy was none to happy to have their illicit profits endangered.

It was the English taxpayers, not the American, who were overburdened paying for the colonial defense. The military expense for safeguarding the American colonies was around £170,000 annually (fine sum in those days) and yet the colonies weren't paying for their own defense. The Townsend and the Stamp Act were intended to recoup only a third of the cost. That means the English taxpayers were still being asked to pay for 2/3 of the colonial defense and yet we are supposed to believe that the Americans had it rough? What tyranny – we are told, was that Half Penny tax on tea.

While some, such as the Tory Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, wanted to offer the Parliament something to offset the cost and head off the tax legislation making its way through Parliament, the Whigs had no intention of offsetting even some of cost for the continued defense of their lives and property; instead they wanted the benefits of colonial status without any of the burdens, or responsibilities owed to their mother country."

Mark Amesse

2 comments:

Mark Amesse said...

Dear Richard,

Thank for making corrections (though I noticed a few on this read through you missed too!). As you know my post was a rather informal reply to a member of my forum who, despite his royalist sympathies, remains a supporter of the American Revolution.

de Brantigny said...

No one is perfect.