The positive externality of the American Revolution

I used to line up an article every month for EconLib from 2008 to 2019. An article written by Jeff Hamel in 2018 was my favorite. It is titled “The Benefits of the American Revolution: Exploring Positive Outreach.”

Here are the first two paragraphs:

It is done Strictly, Even among liberals and classical liberals, to deny the advantages of the American Revolution. Thus, libertarian Brian Kaplan wrote: “Can anyone tell me why it was worth fighting for American independence?” [W]Ask about you Specific It is difficult to find a decent answer to the liberal policy that has changed because of the revolution. Indeed, with the 20/20 perspective, independence had two huge anti-independence consequences: it removed the last real check of American aggression against Indians and allowed American slavery to avoid pre- and post-peaceful-extinction. ” One can also find challenges.

Indeed, the American Revolution, in spite of all its apparent costs and excesses, has brought enormous net benefits, not only for the citizens of the newly independent United States, but in the long run, for people all over the world. The presumption that, in the absence of the American Revolution, the treatment of the Native people would have been more justified or that slavery would have been abolished would have been an extreme historical stupidity. Indeed, a more powerful case can be made that without the American Revolution, the situation of Native Americans would not have been better, the release of slaves in the British West Indies would have been significantly delayed, and the situation of European colonialists throughout Britain. The empire, not only did it become the United States, it would have been worse than otherwise.

Another quote:

[Historian Gordon] Wood concludes that “Americans have become overnight, the most liberal, the most democratic, the most commercially thoughtful, and the most modern people in the world …. It has been understood for millennia that the revolution brought respect and even dominance to the long-neglected common people and gave them a fair share of dignity in a way that is unprecedented in history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Which means it’s about to be the most delusional time of the year, as well.

Here is a comment Jeff made in response to some commenters in 2018:

Even after the start of the military conflict in April 1775, the majority of the Continental Congress was not in favor of independence until February 1776, and it had a slim majority. The first colony that actually instructed its representatives to vote for independence was North Carolina the following April. Thus we have a tough fight of almost a year in which most patriots supported and hoped to achieve reunification. In British Empire. It belonged to Thomas Payne Common sensePublished in January 1776, which ultimately indicates the scales in favor of secession.

Also the difference between the French and American revolutions can be overdone. The American Revolution acknowledged that there was no reign of terror, but dealing with the loyalists could be quite horrific, with disturbing examples of barbarism and murder. Given that many loyalists fought for the British, some historians have begun to refer to the revolution as a civil war, a term that none of you [the two people he’s responding to] Consideration. At the end of the War of Independence, an estimated 50,000 loyalists left the United States, out of a total population of 2.5 million. The French Revolution caused 130,000 homelessness and deportations out of a total population of 25 million. Thus the American Revolution produced refugees at almost four times the rate of the French Revolution. And while many immigrants eventually returned to France, very few loyalists returned to the United States

I still maintain that the American Revolution brought significant benefits, but let us not overlook its costs and excesses.

The picture above is of me with my Betsy Ross flag in front of our house. I will carry it to the parade on July 4 in Monterey later today.

Happy, Happy 4th July.

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