Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Star spangled revolutionary ferment

I am not big on holiday directed posts, I have tried them and found varying success.  But this one seems topical both toward current events, and to the holiday at hand.

The American Revolution
Gordon S. Wood, Random House, New York 2002
The atmosphere in the colonies could not have been less receptive to these initial efforts by the British government to reorganize the empire. In the early 1760s, with the curtailing wartime spending, the earlier commercial boom collapsed. Between 1769 and 1764, American markets were glutted with unsold goods.  At the same time, bumper tobacco crops (in part the result of new independent producers) drove tobacco prices down by 75%.  This economic slump threatened the entire Atlantic credit structure, from London and Scottish merchant houses to small farmers and shop keepers in the colonies.  As a result, business failures and bankruptcies multiplied everywhere. 

What the British were trying to do, raise taxes, cut spending, reorganize the Empire's political structure has something form almost everyone to love and hate.   Today's Democrats can not that austerity measures in the middle of a recession are likely to bring out the pitchforks, while Republicans can point out that raising taxes will do very much the same thing.  Not too surprisingly, the British did an excellent job, making everyone mad at them.

My point has generally been that once you drive a bus off a cliff, you can maybe take measures to soften the pain of the landing, but there is no real hope of avoiding the crash.  In this case, our bus is lying at the bottom, with at least two other buses (Europe, and China) possibly getting set to land on top of us.


PioneerPreppy said...

I certainly do not understand how the politicians have managed to keep the pitchforks from coming out yet to be honest. I know everyone is feeling the pinch but no real open and massive protests yet.

JaneofVirginia said...

Very well said with some great points made. Our bus is scrap metal which isn't even US, but made in China.

russell1200 said...

PP: Yes, and like the British, they have managed the supreme feat of antagonizing many groups that would not normally unite toghether. So far the different groups have not united together, and that may be the key.

S: I don't know, we can sure put up a good fight for a holiday special at Wal-mart. LOL

JV: Yes, but China has its own bubble issues going on right now. Interesting to see how that plays out. Their situation is a lot like ours in 1929-1933.

As an aside. The relatively slender book I used for the quote goes a long way toward explaining how we got from point A to B to C in the Revolutionary period. It does not villify the British, but it does not appologize for them either. It does not try and inject modern politics back to the 18th century which you see sometimes.