Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Polite Response to

Who made the following comments on the post "American Independence: A blessing or a curse?":

Flying Junior said...

That's the dumbest thing I ever heard in my entire life. Shut the fuck up and get the hell off of this blog, you dumb fucking limey barrister.

August 18, 2011 7:29 AM

Flying Junior said...


August 18, 2011 7:38 AM
This is an amazing demonstration of closed mindedness. You show an amount of ignorance which staggers belief for quite a few reasons.

First off, these are not constructive comments, but venting of emotion.

Secondly, You demonstrate a lack of understanding of late 18th Century North American History.

That is the North American Colonists were British subjects who were demanding their rights as Britons. One of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence was:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws

They also talk about "our British brethren". In fact, Thomas Jefferson said:
Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.—November 29, 1775
At least five signatories to the American Declaration of Independence and Seven Members of the Constitutional Convention belonged to the Middle Temple Inn of Court . How symbolic it is that copies of the American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence hang on the wall of the library of the Middle Temple in London. After all, they were the force behind both of them.

This is a description of one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Edward Rutledge:
After receiving a good English and classical education, young Rutledge commenced the study of law with his elder brother, John, who was then a distinguished member of the Charleston bar. As a finishing stroke in his legal education, preparatory to his admission to the bar, he was sent to England at the age of twenty, and entered as a student at the Inner Temple, London, where he had an opportunity of witnessing the forensic eloquence of those master spirits of the times, Mansfield, Wedderburn, Thurlow, Dunning, Chatham and Camden... A number of Inns of Court, or sort of colleges for teaching the law were established in London at various times. The Temple (of which there were three Societies, namely, the Inner, the Middle, and the Outer) was originally founded, and the Temple Church built, by the Knights Templar, in the reign of Henry II, 1185. The Inner and Middle Temple were made Inns of Law in the reign of Edward III., about 1340; the Outer, not until the reign of Elizabeth, about 1560.
Here is the biography of another signer of the Declaration of Independence, Arthur Middleton:
His parents were Henry Middleton and Mary Baker Williams. He was educated in Britain, at Harrow School, Westminster School, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He studied law at the Middle Temple and traveled extensively in Europe where his taste in literature, music, and art was developed and refined.

Keenly interested in Carolina politics, Arthur Middleton was a more radical thinker than his father, Henry Middleton. He was a leader of the American Party in Carolina and one of the boldest members of the Council of Safety and its Secret Committee. In 1776, Arthur was elected to succeed his father in the Continental Congress and subsequently was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Also in 1776, he and William Henry Drayton designed the Great Seal of South Carolina. Despite the time he spent in England, his attitude toward Loyalists was said to be ruthless.

While it is hard for one to understand how life was twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, yet alone 240 years ago, I believe I have a good understanding of the mindset of the founders having a similar background to them as a dual US-UK Citizen.

I should also add that being a Tory did not mean that one was against Independence. You can see what a Tory North America would be by simply looking to the North: Canada. The Treaty of Paris (1783) recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. New Brunswick was split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes.

Canada eventually gained it's independence, but through legal and non-violent means.

The Tories were not like those who wanted Independence and wanted it NOW (then?). There were those who felt that Independence should be achieved through legal means. It can be argued that that would have been the correct course of action, but that is through hindsight. Additionally, there were those who supported Independence, yet once they had thought that their goal had been achieved chose to support Britain--Most Notably Benedict Arnold.

But before you tar and feather Arnold, be aware that he distinguished himself through acts of cunning and bravery as a leader of the Continental Army. His actions included the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, defensive and delaying tactics despite losing the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain in 1776, the Battle of Ridgefield, Connecticut (after which he was promoted to major general), operations in relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix, and key actions during the pivotal Battles of Saratoga in 1777, in which he suffered leg injuries that ended his combat career for several years. Arnold's Role in Saratoga was so significant that it was still commemorated with a monument.

The Problem is that the Tories were the losers. John Adams said that 1/3 of the US Population Supported Independence, another 1/3 supported Union with Britain, and 1/3 couldn't care either way. Historians' current best estimates put the proportion of adult white male loyalists somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. Approximately half the colonists of European ancestry tried to avoid involvement in the struggle — some of them deliberate pacifists, others recent immigrants, and many more simple apolitical folk. The patriots received active support from perhaps 40 to 45 percent of the white populace, and at most no more than a bare majority

I would direct you to an event known as Shays' Rebellion which occurred only three years after the American Revolution ended, thousands of Massachusetts citizens took up arms against their new state government. This site tells the story of Shays' Rebellion which was a crucial period in The United States' founding when the survival of the republican experiment in government was neither destined nor assured.

Shays' Rebellion was a significant factor in the decision to rewrite the Articles of Confederation, an exercise that turned into the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Here are common reactions to Shays' Rebellion of the Time.

Henry Lee:
"You talk, my good sir, of employing influence to appease the present tumults in Massachusetts. I know not where that influence is to be found, or, if attainable, that it would be a proper remedy for the disorders. Influence is not government. Let us have a government by which our lives, liberties, and properties will be secured, or let us know the worst at once."

Samuel Adams said this about the Rebellion:
"Rebellion against a king may be pardoned, or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death."

George Washington wrote:
"I am mortified beyond expression when I view the clouds that have spread over the brightest morn that ever dawned in any country... What a triumph for the advocates of despotism, to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious."

As I said, your comments demonstrate a considerable amount of closed mindedness and ignorance.

I don't appreciate your unwillingness to be open to the well grounded opinions of others.

You are under no obligation to read my posts. I am not forcing you to do so.

I do resent your desire to silence me because I said something that you are too closed minded to appreciate.

I will remain here, but someone who shows the inability to make positive and constructive comments and lacks knowledge or willingness to learn like yourself is not a loss to this forum.

See also:
Hogeland, William Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776
"" " Inventing American History"
(Actually all of Bill's books are excellent)
Edward Rutledge
Peyton Randolph
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Revolutionary War Loyalist history and genealogy


  1. Laci, mon frere, events like Shays Rebellion should be included in the standard minimal education of every citizen long before they graduate high school.

    You are providing, sadly, an education in which our fellow Americans are deficient.

    Well, for most of us; there are still people like us who know this stuff.

    I wonder how many of the Republicans in Congress are aware that our government ran deficits from day one of our country?

  2. A good point about the US Budget deficit.

    It is dangerous to belief National Myths rather than pay heed to the realities that led to nationhood.

  3. My great-great-great grandfather left New Jersey as a United Empire Loyalist following the War of Independence. His family settled in the Niagara region of what is now Ontario. Many Canadians are descended from Loyalists. There's a statue in Montreal (I believe) that honours Benedict Arnold and his loyalty to Britain. It always freaks out American tourists!

  4. Debra, that you for your comment. I've tried to claim UEL status, but still haven't found a Loyalist on my Mum's (the American) side.

    I do have family members for fought for the other side on her side.

    I wish I had seen that monument in Montreal. I've seen the one on his house in London.

  5. I just finished reading The Fort by Bernard Cornwall.

    It is a historical novel about Great Britain's attempt to establish New Ireland in the Penobscot Bay region of Maine during 1779. They of course never established their colony but their fort never fell to the rebels either. Though probably due more to ineptitude of the Mass. Militia than to any great heroics by the two new Scottish units that defended it (not to take away from their success).

    According to the author, Paul Revere, who commanded the artillery on the doomed mission, was no legend either. Apparently at the time he was not well thought of outside of Boston at all until Longfellow's poem in 1861 made him a bigger hero. Apparently he was court-martialed over his role in the debacle.

    The author has a nice epilogue detailing what dialog and character interaction was created at the expense of history. He sought to create a enjoyable novel but wanted to leave no misconceptions.

    Very good book.

  6. Wow, I feel like my teacher who said, this is really good when I wrote a very good essay (believe it or not, I hated writing in school--but that was before computers).

    It would be nice if you could keep making comments like this, FWM.

    This is a really super comment.

    I might be nicer to you.

  7. I forgot to mention that the thing about this post that made me think of this book was the impact of loyalists.

    One of the reasons that England chose this region to establish its colony (beyond the good harbor, relation to Canada and the head of the logging trade) was that the region (still Eastern Massachusetts at the time) was full of displaced loyalists that were forced to flee Boston.

    The British forces did make good use of the community, relying on them for fresh vegetables and some meat. They did force their new neighbors to sign loyalty papers though, which put off the loyalists somewhat as if their loyalty was questioned. Probably though they were afraid that when the fort fell, they would be displaced by the rebels yet again, just as they were in Boston a few years before. For his part though, General McClean did agree to burn the agreements should the fort fall.

  8. The American Revolution is considered by some historians to have been this nation's first Civil War.

    During the late 1770's and early 1780's there were many bands of partisan guerillas as well as both british and colonial army units who wreaked havoc and committed atrocities against both loyalist and rebel supporters.

    According to the history I've read on this, the bulk of the truly nasty stuff took place in Maryland and colonies south of there.

    Benedict Arnold was unquestionably brave and daring. He might have stayed loyal if he had been accorded the respect he felt was due to him. In any case his treachery towards the rebels cause was hardly unprecedented.

    History IS written by the winners--at least that history which is taught in primary schools.

  9. Now now, democommie, you must have realized by now that myth about history being written by the winners is one of my pet peeves!

    Initial history may be written by the winners, but subsequent history is written by historians who have less cause to spin the facts, and earn their chops on factual history.

    Unlike clowns like David Barton.

    Too bad so many of our fellow americans are illiterate in the subject.

  10. Good point, democommie.

    It's one I should have mentioned in my post, but I was trying to keep the post short.

    And to think--my teachers in school said I never wrote enough!

  11. Thanks Laci for another fascinating post, and for keeping it short. Any longer and I'd have to take some time off work.

  12. I still stand by my statement, whether or not the idea was predicated by something said by Patrick Henry. Let's just go with blessing. I do not claim superiority over Great Britain, but the truth is democratic ideals came to their fruition a good half a century earlier in the New World than they did in Merry Old England. I would imagine the free people of the world generally would tip their hat to the Philadelphia experiment. For Laci to bring up such a ludicrous argument nearly 200 years after the Battle of New Orleans is patently offensive. I have always considered myself a friend of my beloved British cousins. I went to school in South Kensington 1967-1968. I can find my way on foot from Hyde Park to the Gloucester Square Underground Station. My last evening in London in 2002 wound up at The King's Head on the Thames.

    It's a no-brainer Laci, when the young queen was the greatest force for democratization in the U.K, Jackson democrats and whigs were forging a new democratic ideal unparalleled since the the last days of the Roman republic. I shan't criticize the empire. The U.S. has very early on had the same problems with manifest destiny and hegemony as had the British Empire. There is no glory in military conquest and annexation. Yet, would we give back Hawaii? California? Texas, Arizona and new Mexico? Not likely. You hve inspired me however to take another look at my sole volume of J.F. Bright's History of England The Growth of Democracy 1837-1880

    Believe it or not, my meltdown flameout was precipitated as much by your abuse of FWM as your provocative post about the framers. The week before, you called him the Village Idiot. Then came that disgusting post entitled A Fat White Man. That's what sent me through the roof. I notice that you have lately had a change of heart. I was starting to think maybe you're not such a bad guy after all. Then I read these comments directed to myself.

    Your comment demonstrates that you have shit for brains who has an IQ less than his shoe size so that he is unable to understand whaty I am saying to not realise that this comment derives from PATRICK HENRY.

    DO you know who he is, dipshit?

    If you are as ignorant about current events as you are about history, I would suggest that you shut your stupid fucking mouth, dump the shit from your cranium, and open your mind.

    You are only demonstrating to me that you are incredibly closed minded festering offal who needs to get his act together.

    Your departure is no loss.

    I only hope if you do return that you will have gotten your act together enough so that you can understand the complex thoughts that I am presenting to you.

    BTW, Flying Fuckwit, do you think Patrick Henry would approve of the Conduct of Congress during the Budget and Debt ceiling dramas?

    If nothing else, you are a pompous ass with a rather inflated ego. But take note this is the first time I have insulted you. Cursing is simply a beautiful way of venting emotion.

    Love and Peace Brothers and Sisters,

    Flying Junior

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. And you, Flying Junior are just an ass.

    You failed to understand the post and have provided nothing of substance to show you understood what I have written so far.

    But take note this is the first time I have insulted you.

    Your insults are wasted. I find you to be an ignorant fool who is incapable of understanding complex ideas.

    Too many drugs?

    Although I have one thing to say to you if you really think "he truth is democratic ideals came to their fruition a good half a century earlier in the New World than they did in Merry Old England.":

    1 Will & Mary Sess 2 c 2

    Figure it out for yourself.

    You have only demonstrated that you are historically ignorant despte your numerous visits to the UK.

    I attribute it to your stupidity and closed mindedness.

  15. Flying Junior, take a flying leap off your high horse.

    You wrote: "I do not claim superiority over Great Britain, but the truth is democratic ideals came to their fruition a good half a century earlier in the New World than they did in Merry Old England. "

    Seriously? Do you know nothing about the premise of magna carta, the existence of Parliament? Where do you think all of these wonderful institutions came from - ok, to be fair, many of them came from Scotland rather than England, but they are all part of the UK.

    I appreciate the frustration that Laci experiences when it comes to arguing with those less informed and less rigorously logical, those who merely parrot the distorted drivel they hear from the likes Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, or the distorted pseudohistory espoused by David Barton.

    I do not see substance in your response to Laci, only umbrage. You indicate on your profile that you believe in the power of love. That's fine in a song lyric; but I believe in the power of fact and the exercise of rigorous critical thinking, and the pursuit of excellence rather than reducing everything to the lowest common denominator.

    Laci very reasonably evaluates current events with an informed appreciation for the thought of our founding fathers (and mothers).

    While you may dislike his venting of frustration, I have to support and agree with the underlying premise from which it springs.

  16. I was told to give you a hint: 1688.

  17. 2nd hint to 1688, Bill of ......

    Laci might be cross with me, but I distrust your ability to do research. Even with the advantages of search engines. You have to know at least enough to ask the right questions, to provide the correct parameters for a search.

    And I don't think you have that.

  18. Touche! Dog Gone.

    He's already demonstrated he is befuddled.

  19. Flying Junior, among other things, you called Laci a Limey Bastard. Limey, yes I'll give you that.

    But Bastard? Are you seriously trying to pretend here that you were not trying to insult him?

    Yes, we felt the love there.

    You need to recheck how you label your emotions, and then go practice how to count. You might start with reviewing sesame street...

  20. Excuse me, but you are ignorant of Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights of 1688 and other democratic institutions which came from Britain which allowed to the "democratic ideals came to their fruition a good half a century earlier in the New World than they did in Merry Old England."

    Are you sayinig that the US constitution is a democratic document when it failed to allow for universal sufferage?

    It also did not allow for the direct election of Senators.

    And that Electoral College...

    You gonna tell me that Bush really beat Gore?

    Come on, Flying Junior, you need to bone up on your American History before you start calling someone a pompous ass.

    In fact, you might want to take up a remedial reading course as well so that you can understand what someone has written.

    Although, complex ideas may be a bit beyond you.

  21. I didn't go back to specifically re-read your comment when you flounced off in a huff, Flying Junior.... but were you trying to express affection with dropping the F-bomb?

    It appeared to me you were using 'fuck' in the insulting meaning of the term, not as an affectionate vulgarity for making love.

    FEEL THE LOVE???????????????????

  22. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked"