Post by Whiskers Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Whiskers Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Whiskers Post by Joseph C. Fineman Post by email@example.com
As a patriotic American, I'm not so sure that foreigners learning
English should be let in on the information that our country is all
about war and bombs.
"*All* about" is an exaggeration, partly due to the desuetude of the
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
We were being invaded, after all.
Technically, you tried to invade the British empire (specifically,
Canada) and defeat Britain's Native American allies to the west of the
then USA, while Britain was heavily engaged fighting Napoleon, but your
President Madison misjudged both British power and American support for
his aggression, and the invasion of Canada was repulsed emphatically.
The western tribes of Native Americans faired badly though.
But national founding myths pay little attention to actual history.
True, but we’re often told that that war isn’t important to British
myths, so where did you get such a one–sided view? Maybe you’d like to
look at a Canadian book that says something about the grievances on both
sides and notes who was the first to invade.
That war isn't involved in any British myths as far as I know. We do
know that it happened though, and that 'we' didn't start it.
"You" didn't declare it, but abducting thousands of a country's citizens
(see thread on relinquishing citizenship) and supporting armed raids on
the country might be considered starting a war.
Post by Whiskers
example <http://www.history.com/topics/war-of-1812> for a fairly
Yes, that's much better.
'Abducting thousands' calls for some evidence. Are you thinking of the
'impressing' of American sailors captured while trading with the enemy
(ie the French) despite the warnings?
To the ones impressed everywhere, the majority of them in sight of the
U.S. ports. The impressments were about manpower and reclaiming
supposed deserters, not a punishment for blockaderunning.
One history quotes a statement by Lord Grenville that American claims of
impressment of native–born Americans were exaggerated and the apparently
genuine ones led to the release of the impressees (if I may). (Everyone
seems to agree that many of the naturalization certificates presented by
sailors to be released from impressment were false.) However, he
clearly considered sailors born in Britain and Ireland to be British
subjects, regardless of whether they had become naturalized American
citizens. Also, the impressed American sailors couldn't be released
till their cases were heard and then the ships they were serving on came
off active duty.
It then says
"Grenville's statement may be contrasted with that of Captain H. Mowat,
Senior Officer of His Majesty's Navy, who in 1796 succeeded Admiral
Murray in command of British warships on the American station. In reply
to Laston's representations in behalf of impressed American seamen,
Mowat, after complaining that the American people invariably befriended
and aided deserting British seamen, stated that until the American
government effectually prevented such actions of its people 'all the
orders and Instructions that can be given by the Government of Great
Britain, never can heal the evil, that you so much recommend to be
avoided : because it is my duty to keep my Ship manned, and I will do so
wherever I find men, that speak the same language with me, and not a
small part of them British Subjects, and that too producing Certificates
as being American Citizens: at the same time I tell you, Sir, that I
have not got an American Subject on board, but I will not say how long
it will be so.' Mowat to Liston, from H. M. S. /Assistance/, Hampton
Roads, March 27, 1797, Admiralty, I, 494."
Post by Whiskers
By 'armed raids on the country'
are you referring to the resistance by the Native American tribes to
'your' incursions into their territories and 'your' breaking of treaties
entered into with them?
Yes. I'm not defending the incursions or the treaty–breaking, a
shameful part of American history, and I hope you're not defending the
British support for raids in the U.S. and for the creation of a Native
state in U.S. territory (as the British had recognized by treaty) but
not in British territory. There's plenty of moral low ground to go around.