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Old 08-29-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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So excluding places like Transylvania why didn't any of the other British colonies join in? I know the general thinking is French Canadians were afraid they wouldn't get lucky enough to have another Protestant nation leave them alone if they were part of it. But what about English Canadians (albeit I think there weren't all that many at the time). Similarly what about Bermuda, Jamaica, or other islands? Were they okay with their situation since they weren't really based around making finished goods? Or did the northern colonies oppose having colonies that were so overwhelmingly populated with slaves joining in?
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Maryland about 20 miles NW of DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
So excluding places like Transylvania why didn't any of the other British colonies join in? I know the general thinking is French Canadians were afraid they wouldn't get lucky enough to have another Protestant nation leave them alone if they were part of it. But what about English Canadians (albeit I think there weren't all that many at the time). Similarly what about Bermuda, Jamaica, or other islands? Were they okay with their situation since they weren't really based around making finished goods? Or did the northern colonies oppose having colonies that were so overwhelmingly populated with slaves joining in?


To answer this question you need to note that roughly 1/3 of the residents in the 13 Colonies were loyalists and worked to keep the 13 Colonies under Royal rule. In the West Indies, British colonies mainly Trinidad, and Jamaica needed the protection of the Royal Navy to keep the French and Spanish out.
What became Canada, Arcadia and Quebec were recent British acquisitions and largely populated by French colonists. The French had been in a war with the 13 Colonies and didn't have a positive feeling about the Americans.So the British held the upper hand in Canada and the West Indies. When the Americans beat the British, Canada got an injection of Loyalists who populated Upper Canada (Ontario) and tipped the balance in Arcadia (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) to the English speakers. Many French (Arcadiens)
headed to a remaining area of French influence called Louisiana and New Orleans. We know them today as Cajuns
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Quite to the contrary of the OP's post, the British needed the finished products ... sugar, molasses, and rum ... from the West Indies, which were among the richest pieces of productive land in the world at the time. Having gained possession of these from the Spanairds and the French, they were well worth protecting.

Along the way, the farmowners there became exceptionally wealthy ... and were accorded many privileges from the Queen. They bought seats in rotten boroughs, and the Sugar Plantation owners were well represented in the government, to the point that no legislation was passed without their participation for many years. Families from the islands' sugar wealth were able to maintain extensive homeland landholdings, prestigious houses in London, and so forth. Some West Indies families spent most of their time in England as gentry, not in the islands ... for years. So the relationship and political power of the West Indies farmers were protected, including the slave trade upon which they depended for labor, as well as troops for controlling the large labor force of slaves, and navy ships to protect the islands from other powers.

The American Colonies, OTOH, got few benefits and a lot of taxes from the gov't .... and restraint of their trade with the West Indies by the gov't. Overall, this wasn't atypical of how the European powers treated their colonies ... notably Spain, France, and the Dutch ... in getting as much wealth for the homeland from those places as possible. At the time, the 13 Colonies weren't highly productive compared to the exceptional wealth produced in other places, so the burden of gov't was a huge burden ... and expected to pay it's way via taxation plus return a profit to the Queen. From the perspective of the Colonists, they weren't getting value for their taxation.

Michener wrote an assessment of the West Indies islands and their political/economic significance in "Caribbean". A pretty good read, too.

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-29-2010 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Ireland tried a few years later to emulate the American Revolution and throw off British rule. Never heard of Wolfe Tone?

However, Ireland being much closer to Britain than America was made a war of independence a much tougher proposition, and Tone never really had a chance.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by mwruckman View Post
Many French (Arcadiens)
headed to a remaining area of French influence called Louisiana and New Orleans. We know them today as Cajuns
Actually, most Acadians didn't "head" for Louisiana or other places. They were relocated there by force. Today we would say they were deported, expelled or worse...
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Another interesting point from the British perspective ... when the treaties (and wars) among the European powers were being tossed around, dividing up the "new world" colonies ...

England didn't want Canada at all. They wanted the West Indies holdings, and would have preferred to have a few of the islands, perhaps only 500 square miles of holdings ... compared to all 3.8 million square miles of Canada. They viewed Canada as an unproductive land and a huge burden to govern compared to the value of islands in the West Indies with their sugar production and the location for the shipping to/from South America/Mexico, and the riches coming from there.

Other than localized mineral wealth in Central and South American landholdings, the West Indies were the richest lands due to their sugar production in the world at the time, for around a century.

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-30-2010 at 09:06 AM..
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Another interesting point from the British perspective ... when the treaties (and wars) among the European powers were being tossed around, dividing up the "new world" colonies ...

England didn't want Canada at all. They wanted the West Indies holdings, and would have preferred to have a few of the islands, perhaps only 500 square miles of holdings ... compared to all 3.8 million square miles of Canada. They viewed Canada as an unproductive land and a huge burden to govern compared to the value of islands in the West Indies with their sugar production and the location for the shipping to/from South America/Mexico, and the riches coming from there.

Other than localized mineral wealth in Central and South American landholdings, the West Indies were the richest lands due to their sugar production in the world at the time, for around a century.
Strange though how the British had the upper hand after most of these wars, yet France got to keep what it wanted (most) in the West Indies and gave up New France instead.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Texas
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I think it would have been interesting to organize a global rebellion, but a bit hard to coordinate considering the means of communication they had back then.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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There was also a huge unpopulated gap from the Penobscot to the Saint John River, with only the newly formed county of Sunbury lying in between, centered at the settlement of Campobello, which lay right on the present-day border and remained with the loyalists. Massachusetts was then able to claim everything up to the Saint Croix River, without resistance from anyone.

In the 1770s, there was a gap of more than 200 miles (many days of travel) between any significant settlement in Massachusetts Colony and Nova Scotia Colony. And probably only the barest of communications between them.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were then controlled by a mercantile elite for whom loyalty was more profitable than rebellion. They depended more on imports from Britain, since the territory then was less able to sustain itself than the colones further south with their agricultural potential.

Nova Scotia's colonial government at the time, aware of the revolutionary rumblings to the south, undertook to liberalize the government, thus voluntarily bringing about some of the reforms that were being sought in the American colonies. This had some effect on cooling any revolutionary zeal on the part of colonists who might voice disapproval of the royalist administrations.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-30-2010 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Strange though how the British had the upper hand after most of these wars, yet France got to keep what it wanted (most) in the West Indies and gave up New France instead.
Indeed ... the European politics, the wars, the instability of the French gov't which neeeded the money from the colonial sources (which came down to selling the land for the fastest ROI), made for a strange brew.

Much of what the European colonial powers fought for or to protect in the colonies was negotiated away by their home governments when they settled local wars.

With the uprisings in the West Indies, they had to deal with keeping those contained, too ... which meant more troops/sailors, equipment, ships, training. History of the area reveals more than once where a big force was repelled or destroyed by the combination of locals and Yellow Fever. England sent more than one large army to the area which came back with huge losses and hardly ever engaged in any action. True, too, there were times when a very small mobile force took a town or country when they surprised a complacent occupying force from another country. Like others, the English sometimes won an island or country simply because the local commander had the impulse to go attack a place ... and won the battle.
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