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American Revolution Perspectives


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#1 Kisseena

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 06:14 PM

Okay, so I'm reading this article about how history is all about perspective, and that you should just teach all perspectives and allow students to choose what they want to believe for themselves.

 

So I saw this thing about how the British and the Spaniards have different views on Sir Francis Drake.

 

So, I'm wondering. A question for the LAers on the other side of the pond: (Why do we say that? It's not a pond, sillies.)

How is the American Revolution taught to you guys? Is it even called that for you guys? Are Americans viewed as the wimps and you guys are the bomb? Or are you guys like, "Oh we were pretty mean to them, yeah."?

 

Cuz we pretty much learn that we were trying to get out of your evil clutches because Britian sux lolol.

(I'm slightly exaggerating. Maybe.)

 

Also, I wasn't sure if this should go here or in Science & Humanities, so if it needs to move, do what you gotta do.



#2 SteveT

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 06:26 PM

We call it, "The War of Colonial Aggression."  Great Britain will rise again!

 

--cough--

 

As I recall, the English viewed it as a small civil war at best, but more of a rebellion.  The French saw it as a good opportunity to stick it to Britain, which is something we Americans tend to forget.


Edited by SteveT, 07 October 2013 - 06:26 PM.


#3 Selena

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:43 PM

Also good to point out -- not all the colonials wanted to revolt! It was a pretty mixed bag of opinions. The colonists had a better opinion about their British overlords than we presently do about Congress.

 

One side of my family was settled on the east coast at the time, and they actually fought for Britain during the whole thing. The king gave them a land grant in Canada afterwards, so we got the hell out of dodge.

 

Sure, we snuck back in when the Oregon Trail era happened, but that's not important.



#4 Doctor Pogo

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:43 PM

There was a world war going on at the time of the American Revolution.  Fighting all across the planet, between England and France and their respective allies.  What we think of as the American Revolution was just a tiny piece of the larger conflict.  I think that's the primary reason we were able to win it - Britain was spread out fighting campaigns all over the world.  If they'd been at peace and had real power available to bring to bear in the colonies it would have ended very differently (think of the Indian Mutinies for how that might have looked). 

 

But the colonial rebellion was just a little thing, and they had bigger fish to fry.  It was completely unimportant on the scale of things going on at the time.  It didn't become important until later, when that little rebel colony turned into a massive continent-spanning superpower.



#5 Chukchi Husky

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:02 AM

The American Revolution isn't taught at all in English school, at least when I went to school.  A modern British perspective would probably see it as a good thing, as the Empire was evil, and showing any pride for being British is the same as being racist.  The exceptions are football and Europe..

 

To show how dominant American culture is in Britain, ask anyone British about the Civil War, and they;ll immediately think of the American one.


Edited by Chukchi Husky, 08 October 2013 - 06:56 AM.


#6 Kwicky Koala

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:03 AM


showing any pride for being British is the same as being racist

 

Um, are we living in the same country here? Do you not recall that big Olympics thing that just happened? British patriotism is at an all time high at the moment. Now English pride, that has been demonised.

 

ask anyone British about the Civil War, and they;ll immediately think of the American one

I disagree. They might not think of any but if they do I think it will be the English one.



#7 Egann

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

 

ask anyone British about the Civil War, and they;ll immediately think of the American one

I disagree. They might not think of any but if they do I think it will be the English one.

 

Seriously. You've forgotten Oliver "I-beheaded-the-king" Cromwell? However does that work?



#8 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:45 PM

I'm inclined to agree with Catterick. Civil War means the English Civil War. Of course, if you were to ask today's youth, you might just get a blank look in response. You'd certainly get a blank look from me, unless you clarify which civil war you're talking about.

 

We're never taught about the American War of Independence in the UK. There's just far too much history. There's King John and the Magna Carta, there's Henry VIII, Richard III, Elizabeth I, there's the two World Wars (where the focus is primarily on how bad the trenches were and how bad blitzed Britain was - the US barely gets a mention). Heck, we even did something on the Renaissance in Italy.  In GCSE history, I was taught about Nazi Germany and the Cold War, and only then when I was taught about the Cold War, did I even get a little smattering of American history and that was primarily the Cold War period.

 

The American War of Independence as a concept to be taught just isn't that important in the shaping of Britain. You don't need to know how America was founded in order to appreciate America's help in World War I and II. You don't need to know how America was founded to grasp its importance in the Cold War (in fact, during my history lessons on the Cold War, the American War of Independence was never mentioned). It is only important to Americans, just as the English Civil War is only important to the English.

 

You might be disappointed to know that we hardly even think about the topic, but you shouldn't feel so bad. We're very proud of our World Cup victory in 1966 against West Germany. There is this national myth that the Germans really care about football matches against us because of our rivalry on the football pitch and presumably our past rivalry in warfare. In reality, the Germans don't care at all and are far more invested in football matches against the Dutch. Most Germans don't even know who won the 1966 World Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

ask anyone British about the Civil War, and they;ll immediately think of the American one

I disagree. They might not think of any but if they do I think it will be the English one.

 

Seriously. You've forgotten Oliver "I-beheaded-the-king" Cromwell? However does that work?

 

 

Maybe Chukchi knows a lot of Irish people. They hate Oliver Cromwell; to them, he's analogous to Adolf Eichmann.


Edited by Wolf O'Donnell, 08 October 2013 - 01:46 PM.


#9 Kisseena

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:54 PM

Ohhh okay.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if you guys learned about people trying to get gain independence for themselves from you guys, since you guys pretty much ruled everything back in the day.

 

I just wanted to know what the other side of the story would look like.



#10 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:06 PM

Ohhh okay.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if you guys learned about people trying to get gain independence for themselves from you guys, since you guys pretty much ruled everything back in the day.

 

I just wanted to know what the other side of the story would look like.

 

On a related note, I was never taught about how the other nations in the British Empire gained independence, so it's not just you guys. It's the Indians, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Zimbabweans etc. There just isn't another side of the story. Not for you or any other of the former colonies.

 

The only reason I know about Hong Kong is because I'm of Hong Kong descent and it happened within the past ten years. I watched it happen on TV.


Edited by Wolf O'Donnell, 08 October 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#11 Chukchi Husky

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:56 PM

showing any pride for being British is the same as being racist

Um, are we living in the same country here? Do you not recall that big Olympics thing that just happened? British patriotism is at an all time high at the moment. Now English pride, that has been demonised.


It is something I'm frequently told about, how British identity is slowly being destroyed, and part of that is to make British people find any patriotism as racist, unless it's Scottish independence.
 

We're never taught about the American War of Independence in the UK. There's just far too much history. There's King John and the Magna Carta, there's Henry VIII, Richard III, Elizabeth I, there's the two World Wars (where the focus is primarily on how bad the trenches were and how bad blitzed Britain was - the US barely gets a mention). Heck, we even did something on the Renaissance in Italy. In GCSE history, I was taught about Nazi Germany and the Cold War, and only then when I was taught about the Cold War, did I even get a little smattering of American history and that was primarily the Cold War period.


That's more than what I was taught in history during secondary school. The first two years was the entirety of British history in brief from the Roman Invasion up to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, mostly on Henry VIII's split on the church and the Spanish Armada, and a bit on the Stewarts, mainly the Gunpowder Plot, and the English Civil War. I think the Magna Carta was mentioned once and I did nothing on Richard III. The next three years was spent on learning about Germany from the end of World War I to just before World War II.

 

ask anyone British about the Civil War, and they;ll immediately think of the American one

I disagree. They might not think of any but if they do I think it will be the English one.

Seriously. You've forgotten Oliver "I-beheaded-the-king" Cromwell? However does that work?

 
Maybe Chukchi knows a lot of Irish people. They hate Oliver Cromwell; to them, he's analogous to Adolf Eichmann.

 
It was something I was told by someone that modern British people are so ignorant of British history and so familiar with American pop culture that when hearing of the Civil War they will think only of the American one, and not any of the English or British ones.  A similar thing is that when needing to phone the emergency services, a modern British person will first think 911 instead of 999.

#12 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:26 PM

That's more than what I was taught in history during secondary school. The first two years was the entirety of British history in brief from the Roman Invasion up to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, mostly on Henry VIII's split on the church and the Spanish Armada, and a bit on the Stewarts, mainly the Gunpowder Plot, and the English Civil War. I think the Magna Carta was mentioned once and I did nothing on Richard III. The next three years was spent on learning about Germany from the end of World War I to just before World War II.


Oh no, not Richard III. I just mentioned him as a topic that could have been taught. Your history lesson sounds a lot like mine except I obviously remember my lessons because I know that it was the Stuarts not the Stewarts. :P
 

Maybe Chukchi knows a lot of Irish people. They hate Oliver Cromwell; to them, he's analogous to Adolf Eichmann.

 
It was something I was told by someone that modern British people are so ignorant of British history and so familiar with American pop culture that when hearing of the Civil War they will think only of the American one, and not any of the English or British ones.  A similar thing is that when needing to phone the emergency services, a modern British person will first think 911 instead of 999.


I wouldn't put too much stock into that. It's probably Daily Mail exaggeration.

#13 Veteran

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:25 PM

Yep, no American history taught to me either other than Columbus.

I remember I had plenty of Yorkshire history. We're the Texas of England!

#14 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 04:14 PM

Yep, no American history taught to me either other than Columbus.

I remember I had plenty of Yorkshire history. We're the Texas of England!


I never knew you guys wanted to secede from the UK.

#15 Egann

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:32 PM

 

Yep, no American history taught to me either other than Columbus.

I remember I had plenty of Yorkshire history. We're the Texas of England!


I never knew you guys wanted to secede from the UK.

 

Do you guys have it written into the magna carta that at any moment you can carve yourselves into five states and triple your representation in the house of lords? [/knows it doesn't work that way]



#16 Veteran

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

We should all get a free goose on St. Swithun's Day.

 

The government owes me 29 geese.



#17 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

Yep, no American history taught to me either other than Columbus.

I remember I had plenty of Yorkshire history. We're the Texas of England!

I never knew you guys wanted to secede from the UK.

Do you guys have it written into the magna carta that at any moment you can carve yourselves into five states and triple your representation in the house of lords? [/knows it doesn't work that way]

From what I've read, most of the Magna Carta has been superseded by newer laws. It's just not a politically relevant document. So even if it does say that Vet should get a free goose every St Swithun's day, it's not legally binding. Sorry, Vet. You need to have a new law passed in order to get those geese.




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