What if...taxation with representation?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Matt Black, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Let's idly speculate. After all, why not, it's fun!

    Let's suppose that Lord North's incoming Tory government had granted representation in Parliament to the 13 colonies in 1770. What then? Would there still have been an American Revolution? Would North America west of the Mississippi be Mexican? Would Canada and the US be part of the British Empire with full parliamentary representation at Westminster (and thus effectively have more control than the native 'Brits')?

    Or would what separates and divides us (and in particular that great geographical divide, the Atlantic, which was then far more of a barrier than it is today) have been in any event stronger than the ties that bind? Would it merely have postponed independence? Would all of North America north of the Rio Grande today be merely a Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations, like Canada or Australia?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. Melanie

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    Again lets speculate, what if the french had claimed or fought for possession of Australie, would we be speaking French? would the French dealt differently with the Aborigines?
     
  3. Matt Black

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    Australia probably wouldn't have been colonised by Europeans to anywhere near the extent it was had the French got their hands on it

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    I believe the fundamental differences between England and her North American colonies would be too large to overcome.

    While it may not have happened in 1776 (that actually was a fluke, anyway and the colonies should not have won independence - another topic for another time), it probably would have happened when England was fighting Napoleon - around the time of our second war for independence in 1812.
     
  5. Johnv

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    Probably not. The big issue was taxation without representation. In fact, the 1770's colonial residents considered themselves truly English. The story of Paul Revere yelling "the British are coming" is a myth, since the colinials referred to themselves as British. He likely said "the regulars are coming ('regular' is a name for the royal infantry) or the redcoats are coming(referring to the color of the uniforms).


    I think the the Lousiana purchase terrirories would either have become independent, or they would have remained in the hands of France.

    It depends. It's been speculated that the formation of the USA sparked the decline in the British empire, resulting in the independence of several nations. Presuming that to be correct, we could assume that the United Colinies of America and Canada would have parliamentary representation. So would the colonies of India and Israel, presumably, as well as others.

    Sans the US, a lot of things would be different. Communism might not have fallen. The attack on Pearl Harbor might not have been, and, who knows, Germany might have won WW2. China might be a Japanese colony, Alaska might be a Russian or Canadian territory, and the soviet union might not have fallen. Vietnam would be different, as would Korea, Iran, Columbia, etc. Texas, Arizona, and California might be Mexian terrorities, or they might be independent nations. Or, for that matter, maybe Spain would still own Mexico, California, Texas, et al as part of THEIR empire. The Netherlands, too, might still have empirical control over Indonesia, South Africa, and their other former colonies. Brazil might still belong to Portugal. We'd never have been given the Statue of Liberty, and Mickey Mouse might have been named Topolino instead.
     
  6. rsr

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    Hard to say. There didn't seem to be much public mention of independence before the disastrous policies of Lord North. But there were more differences than just representation and taxation, such as the British discouragement of settlement in the West. I seriously doubt there would have been a revolution at that time without those governmental policies.

    IMO, not likely. Spanish Louisiana had developed a unique culture unlike that of Mexico. It might well have been a separate country, though, but it's likely the Americans would have been able to grab a good deal of it.

    Possible, but I don't think so. I don't think the Canadians (among them many Tories forced into exile during the American Revolution) would have much desire to have Americans at all involved in their government.

    If they had, I doubt the Brits would be willing to grant representation on anything like an equitable basis (remember how long it took to get rid of the rotten boroughs in the mother country.)

    Still, these possibilities offer some fascinating theoreticals. Pitt decided to dissolve the Irish parliament and seat Irish members in the London parliament in hopes of bringing the unruly Irish more fully into the imperial fold. What if there had indeed been American and Canadian parliamentary members to make common cause with the Irish in the heart of Westminster?

    On the other hand, would the French Revolution have occurred when and as it did without the example of the earlier American victory? How long could the Bourbons stumbled on had it not been for the ruinous expenses of supporting the Americans and fighting the French across the globe?
     
  7. Salty

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  8. Dr. Bob

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    Big difference - old American West was part of SPAIN, not Mexico. Spain also controled Mexico.

    From 13 August, 1521 (Cort├ęs) until 16 September,1810 (Hidalgo), Spain ruled much of North America. After 10 years of revolution, Mexico became independent.
     
  9. Matt Black

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    Except that all of the Old American West that had been ruled by Spain and was not included in the Louisiana Purchase became part of Mexico on its independence in 1821. It is unlikely that Spain would have been able to retain the Louisiana Purchase territory whilst letting the rest go to Mexico.

    I have a further question - what if it had all held together? Would Americans and Brits be different in character than they are today? This is slightly different to but there are some parallels with the question "what if the UK was to become part of the US?" so there are some useful pointers such as the fact that the UK has a population just under a sixth of that of the modern US so we would be 'swamped' by American democratic representatives whilst nevertheless wielding considerable minority influence on the political process.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  10. Johnv

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    Not as we know it. The word "Hollywood" came from the name of a residential development (called holly woodland) in the region. In fact, Hollywood isn't a city. It's a community within the City of Los Angeles. Many of the studios which have a Hollywood address aren't even in Hollywood, but are in nearby cities such as Burbank.

    The word Hollywood today has simply become a synonym for the film and/or television industry. A large chunk of this industry doesn't even take place in Southern California. If fact, there's a major push by the locals to encourage the movie industry to use the LA/OC area as much as possible in filmmaking, because of lost jobs. We forget about the hundreds of thousands of jobs like lighting and sound techs, set construction workers, electricians, artisans, prop masters, not to mention the clerical and administrative staff. These folks make anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 a year, and depend on the industry staying here for their livelihood. Alas, the soaring land prices in the area have made it difficult to compete, and many production facilities are now headquartered on the east coast or Canada.

    But would we have a film industry? Probably. The industry was actually imported from European immigrants during the silent era. It was here that the art of filmmaking was made popular.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    I assume American independence in 1812 when Great Britain would be tied up in the Napoleonic Wars and Europe - long before Mexico gained independence.

    After that, the scenario would change dramatically!!
     
  12. Matt Black

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    But would Spain have been able to keep it after Mexican Independence 9 years later?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     

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