Could the British have held America ?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Soren, Jul 22, 2008.

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Could the British have won the American war of indepence

  1. Yes

    26 vote(s)
    56.5%
  2. No

    20 vote(s)
    43.5%
  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Could they or not? What were the final deciding factors ?

    We have had nearly no discussions on this issue, except one VERY long ago (which was very interesting).
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Nope, would have been a colonial version of Iraq. :)
     
  3. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    With continued support from France, don't think the British could win. The French fleet at Yorktown helped seal Cornwallis' defeat.

    TO
     
  4. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    I think they COULD HAVE but they would have had to have maintained a constant reign of murder and destruction until they had everyone finally subjugated, and it would have taken a lot of effort. But Washington and his contemporaries were very close to losing the whole thing several times. I'm glad they didn't. . . .
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It would have been expensive, but with enough troops and a more enlightened colonial adminstration, they could have won.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I think what did the British in was the battle of Cowpens and Cornwallis' insistence in chasing down Daniel Morgan after that battle - in layman's terms he pissed away his advantage.

    If Cowpens never happened I think the British could of eventually won.
     
  7. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I think that is the key, the British leadership was arrogant stubborn, killed any hope of winning.
     
  8. Airfix

    Airfix Member

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    Until february 1778 the colonists were loosing the war.
    Then the french provided money, troops and transport.

    The prussian Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben came 1777 after meeting the ambasador Benjamin Franklin in Paris.
    He started to form an army out of that desolate mob the rebels called militia.

    Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, gouvenor of spanish-louisiana took the last british naval base apart from jamaica at the gulf of mexico on may 8th, 1781.
    Florida was given back to the spanish.

    Even the netherlands aided the colonists.

    Without help the colonists would have stand no chance.
     
  9. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I don't think they had any chance. We knew our land a lot better then they did. The only real help they got were Hessians. The AMericans had the help of the french fleet toward the end.
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    A question that begs to be asked is whether the people pro independence were "terrorists" in todays sense of the word . They harrassed , burnt and killed people out of house and home that were not pro independence
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    They probably would be but that was common in that day and age. Loyalist did the same thing in the southern states during the period leading up to Cowpens.
     
  12. hunter0f2

    hunter0f2 Member

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    No !! As stated byAirfix--- French intervention on the side of the Colonists ensured a British victory was not possible. Plus the Logistics of the whole operation!!
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    If the British advance south from Canada had been supported from NYC instead of heading off to the Chesapeake and invading PA from the top of the Chesapeake, the Colonials would've lost. No two ways about it.

    By coming down from Canada and across the middle of the state, the Brits essentially split the Colonies into two parts. The very active Northeast and the less active Middle Atlantic and Southern States. An olive branch is offered to the Middle Atlantic and Southern states (anybody who comes in and swears allegiance to the King gets amnesty). After that it is a question of chasing down the remenents of Washington's army while keeping the New England states cornered.

    With Washington's Army wiped out, the New England states get the same treatment that the Scots got back in 1745. Pretty much a burn an pillage deal. Show the Middle Atlantic and Southern States what they get if the step out of line again and breaks the back (hopefully) of the Rebellion up north.

    Whole plan is a Carrot and Stick deal.

    Would it have worked? Maybe at best. The Brits were trying to subdue a continent of 3 million people with an Army of 30,000 men. They had substantial help in the Loyalist poplulation, but also substantial resistence in the Patriots. Probably a third were for the Brits, a third were for the Patriots and third were trying stay out of it. With numbers that big running around, the Regular British Army just wasn't big enough to handle the area and numbers it was trying to control.

    More likely that this thing, even if the Brits win at Saratoga, becomes a long, smoldering, insurrection. A cross between Northern Ireland and the Gaza strip with certain Patriot groups control territory at the same time the King's Govt does and using the Revolution to settle old scores.

    It would've been long and ugly.
     
  14. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    It's hard to assign 21st century labels (and morals) to 18th century actions. Much different world.

    Some (mostly in the South) call Sherman's march to the sea during the American Civil War an act of terror.

    War is hell.

    TO
     
  15. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    they could win, but its a remote chance, because the americans was supported by foreign powers.

    i understand(my opinion), that the strugle for independence was also a strugle against monarchy. like the french revolution, isnt true ?

    i liked that comment by njaco:

    make us think about many things, isnt ?
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Assuming a British military victory, it depends on the post-war policies initiated (can anybody say "versailles "). If they continued to be strong fisted and use American taxes to finance their wars then the Yanks would have continued to rebel and fight in one form or another.

    If on the other hand, the British treated the Americans more like welcomed British subjects and treated the common man better, the steam woulda ran out of any revolution. There were plenty of pro-british in America. If the English played the American domestic policies smarter, there probably never woulda been a war. People just want to be left alone. They only fight when things get so bad they feel there is no choice.

    If there was a British victory, I think there is zero chance they would have adopted a more enlightened and benevolent attitude. The resources of the North America would been sucked dry like the Spanish taking gold from Meso-America.

    So No... eventually the Brits would have left. either by another war or through attrition.

    Damn good thing there was war! That would suck being a North American nation that shares its identity with the UK!

    :)

    .
     
  17. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    And instead of burger fries milkshake, fast food places would have Toad-in-the-hole and Bubble Squeak! :) Yum!
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    or have the Queen on our money!
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Still might happen...
     

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  20. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Definitely; I think a lot of people (particularly Americans) have no idea how many times we came close to losing the war. Valley Forge was probably the closest we came to just throwing in the towel and calling it a day; no food, no ammunition (well, very little anyway), no clothing, no real support, soldiers "defecting" left right, etc. The Continental Army did have the support of the Colonies for the most part, but there were still a lot of Colonists who were either on the fence (they didn't care who won the war, as long as they were more or less left alone to go about their business), or outright Loyalists who wanted to continue being a colony of His Majesty George III.

    If Britain had changed her tactics to more suit the type of insurgency war she were fighting, I think she would've done much better, if not actually won the war. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're an American like me), Britain insisted on fighting a 17th century war in the late 18th century; the rest, as they say, is history.
     
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