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American Revolution really a revolution?

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sam72 Posted: Mon, Jan 21 2008 6:04 AM

I'm wondering what you guys think about the thesis put forth by Gene Fisher and Glen Chambers in their book "The Revolution Myth", where they put forth the view that...

"The American colonists did not revolt against constitutional
authority; they did not seek independence from the King of England. The king, instead, severed all ties with his American colonies. The Declaration
of Independence was not written to gain independence but to maintain and define what had been forced upon the colonies.”

 According to them, because of the Prohibitory Act passed by Parliamen the "revolution" wasn't secession or revolution, but a response to England that hadn't kept their part of the contract.

 Now, if this is correct, this seems to contradict people like Rothbard who hold a view that the revolution was just that- a revolutionary secessionist act. 

By the way, I haven't read the Revolution Myth. I picked that bit of information and quote up from around the internet.

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Juan replied on Mon, Jan 21 2008 11:54 AM
I found a piece on the American Revolution wich seems quite interesting (to me at least). The authors are not 'scholars' but they are pretty smart about politics...'m-a-little-bit-Country.html

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Deist replied on Wed, Jan 23 2008 9:13 AM

One of the Founding fathers John Dickinson argued that the British parliament (not specifically the crown) violated the constitutional nature of the colonies in relation to the mother country. He stated that on issues of international trade, Britian could regulate the colonial commerce but that taxes from London violated that compact since the colonies were meant to be completely self governing within their internal affairs. His political writing was very effective in drawing English support for the American cause since he argued from a constitutional and legal standpoint as well as a conservative one. Check out his "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania". You can purchase it from the Liberty Fund. He was also something of a peace advocate during the Revolutionary War. He was willing to reunite with England as long as the colonies were validated in their autonomy by a Home Rule Act from Parliament.

 Here is a link describing his writings:


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Deist replied on Wed, Jan 23 2008 10:17 AM

To be fair to Rothbard, it still was revolutionary or at least lead to alot of revolutionary changes. For instance colonial governments passed radical new laws based on natural rights more then simple tradition. Alot of primogeniture laws were abolished, new formations and systems of government and the abolishment of many colonial government privileges, especially in commerce. Also due to these laws the structure of many families changed radically. Before the revolution alot of families were dependent on the wealthiest oldest son, meaning that the offspring of his brothers were also dependent on him. The abolishment of primogeniture laws altered this relationship. Check out the book "The Radicalism of the American Revolution" by Gordon S. Wood. He is far from libertarian in his political views and is critical of alot of libertarian thought but his gathering of information certainly shows that the revolution was far from just keeping the traditional status quo.

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