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British Invasions(The British are coming)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by We Never Know, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    We're done with all that now though...

     
  2. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    The 1812 War is hilarious.

    America thought "Hmm the limeys are having trouble with Napoleon, we can steal us some Canada here while they are distracted and all of their best military forces are dealing with a bigger threat. We'll pretend it's about impressment and declare war. "

    They then invaded Canada where they got mollywopped by the local militia and surrendered. Next, to use an American sporting analogy, the "junior varsity" component of the British forces literally ate the President's lunch and burned down his house while showing could pretty easily destroy the US economy.

    As the Napoleonic Wars were drawing to a close, it was dawning on the yanks that they'd ****ed up rather badly without the threat of Boney to hide behind. If the backups cripple the economy, what would happen if they sent a few of their big hitters over with a bit more intent?

    Luckily, Britain had never had any real interest in the war as they only saw it as a minor irritant, and they preferred to make money trading with the US than spending money to cripple it's economy, so it was easy for America to get a peace deal when they backed down from their demands and accepted the pre-war status quo.

    The Yanks then shamelessly spun an embarrassing shambles of a defeat where they damaged their economy and won no territory or concession into a heroic victory simply because they had avoided being conquered by the junior varsity team of a country who had no real interest in fighting them in the first place.

    Even more cringeworthy is that America then made their national anthem about it, even though the war was so unimportant to Britain that it is now completely unknown among the general public :D



    [​IMG]


    Victory???? :eek:o_O:confused::oops::D

    On a more serious note, the Royal Navy gave the Monroe Doctrine teeth as it was basically a British policy and was entirely dependent on their support.

    Britain let America pretend they had primacy as it helped them with regard to France and Spain, but as the 1812 War showed, Britain was ultimately the country with the power as they could shut down international trade. America couldn't even protect itself from economic devastation, let alone make credible threats of its own.

    Replace Germans with Americans and Mr Burns nails it :D

     
  3. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I guess it depends on what counts as an "invasion." Technically, the US, UK, and Canada "invaded" France in 1944, though many refer to it as "liberation" (which it was). So, we could say that we tried to "liberate" Canada from British oppression in 1812.

    It should be noted that the British got off to a bit of a late start in terms of world exploration and colonization, with the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Dutch (who were my forebears) setting up around the world before them.
     
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  4. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    I could be wrong (and probably am) but is it not true that Britain never fully repelled invaders - that we're essentially a country of goddam foreigners?
     
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  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Wars aren't always "declared wars" by the aggressor.
    British troops were already here committing acts of war.

    Putin hasn't declared war on Ukraine, but most (except
    for a few Italian apologists) agree that it's a war.
     
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  6. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    That wasn't a pretense. It is true that Northern expansionists wanted to use it as an excuse to make a play for Canada, and the Southern expansionists supported it in return for Northern support of their territorial aspirations (namely Florida and Texas at the time).

    But there really was impressment and what could be rightly called "bullying" on the high seas, which Americans didn't take lightly. We sent an expedition all the way across the sea, to the famed "shores of Tripoli" to settle scores with the Barbary Pirates who were harassing our ships. There was also a quasi-war with the French over the same issue. Freedom of the Seas has always been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy from the very beginning. For much the same reason, Wilson was justified in declaring war on Germany over the Kaiser's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare.

    How did they destroy the US economy? The British burned a few buildings in Washington, and then got their butts kicked at Baltimore a short time after that. Their excursion into America was almost over at that point, with the final battle at New Orleans (after the peace treaty was already signed).

    Militarily, the war can be called a stalemate. Both sides had victories and defeats. Of course, the British were much stronger and bigger back then, so they could have used all their resources and manpower to take back the United States if they wanted to...but not "easily," as you suggest. But the British had other priorities at the time, and so did the Americans. There was no need to fight each other, and over time, our relationship became more cooperative and friendly.

    This is an incredibly one-sided viewpoint, but it's what I've to come to expect. The Americans were not powerless or completely ineffective as you're making this out to be. Otherwise, they wouldn't have won any battles at all - "junior varsity" or not. The British were not invincible, and in fact, their true strength was in their ability to play the larger continental powers off against each other. Being an island nation also helped.

    I will admit that it was an ill-conceived endeavor on the part of US politicians at the time, although you have to understand that the only thing that kept the States together at that point was their shared fear that the British or some other European power might try to force their way in. The French also sent in agitators to try to get the Americans to join with the French against the British, but most Americans would have none of that. We didn't want to join either side or get involved in European affairs at all. All we wanted was to be left alone, and since the War of 1812, Britain left us alone (although there were a few tense moments in the ensuing decades, but even those were settled reasonably).


    Well, whether you like it or not, the Battle of New Orleans was an American victory, and so was the Battle of Baltimore. That's how the war ended, with two decisive American victories over the British. The outcome of the war itself can be called a "tie," and as I noted above, militarily, it was largely a stalemate.

    I don't know about it being "basically a British policy," but it's true that Britain had its own reasons for supporting the Monroe Doctrine.

    I think you're grossly underestimating America's situation and position at the time, while concurrently exaggerating British supremacy. The fact is, Britain still had plenty of their own worries closer to home, and if they could make a deal with America so they can concentrate their manpower and resources (which were hardly unlimited) on matters of greater importance (such as the emergence of Russia and Prussia as great powers), that would have better suited their interests than some dick-waving contest with America (which is what this discussion is turning out to be, with 200-year-old dicks). No doubt that was on their minds, as well as their desires to expand further into India, East Asia, and Africa.

    America could have also made deals with other European powers if we wanted to. It was not in our interests to do so, but if the British had tried to push us to the wall, the idea might have gained traction. It would not have been all that difficult for America to find allies in Europe against the British if we were so motivated. I think even the British were smart enough to realize this, so they made the smart move to pull out and leave America alone. Engendering America's goodwill proved to be fruitful in the 20th century.

    I'm still somewhat curious about your claim about "economic devastation." America's economy was in its infancy - not much in terms of industry yet, so much of our economy was rooted in growing, mining, trapping - raw materials and resources tied to the land. Although there were differences in opinion among politicians at the time. Many in the North favored building industries and factories in America, so that our economy could become diversified and relatively self-sufficient. Many in the South favored a non-industrial plantation economy based on slavery and cotton and tobacco for export in exchange for manufactured goods from Europe. In essence, two competing economic systems were in play, which would eventually culminate in the Civil War.

    At least we could still feed and clothe ourselves without relying on foreign imports of food and cotton, which is more than can be said about Britain at the time. In that sense, Britain's economy was probably more vulnerable, since it all depended upon the power of their Navy - but it was a good navy, and that's how Americans also became skilled seamen. We Americans learned quite a lot from our Mother Country. Sometimes I think we learned many of the wrong lessons, but that may be another topic.

    Americans have always had a certain sentimental fondness for Britain, since our country was founded by transplanted Englishmen, who were products of the same culture and values as their cousins in the Mother Country. But it wasn't just Englishmen, as there were Germans, Dutch, French, Spanish, Swedes, Irish, Africans, Cree, Iroquois, and many others.

    As for Mr. Burns, if you're referring to the American attitude towards the British in the War of 1812, there were still lingering fears that Britain or some other European power could try to move in and take over. They were real fears, not pretend sarcastic fears like Mr. Burns in the video. In retrospect, perhaps Americans have always been a bit paranoid in that regard, but it's been one of the major driving points in our national security perceptions.
     
  7. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I've read some opinions that the old practice of "declaring war" is a thing of the past, gone the way of the horse and buggy. So, by not declaring war, it can be effectively argued that a country is at peace, even if their military is fighting in battles. War is peace.
     
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  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    "Effectively argued"?
    No.
    Disingenuously argued.
     
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  9. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Politics - can't live with it, can't live without it.
     
  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    You're back to joking now, I think. I doubt you actually think the intent of the invasion was to liberate the Canadians. And the unintended consequence of American victory in the War of Independence was to send large contingents of Loyalists scurrying north, bolstering Canadian support for the Crown.
     
  11. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Yep, it was a somewhat unformed territory at the time, that is true. But what acts of war are you referring to?
    Naval actions? Indian agents? Or something else?
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Saying freedom of the seas is a cornerstone of our policy requires you to actually be able to enforce it though.

    It's a bit like if the British Navy today made demands of the US Navy. It would be nothing more than empty posturing as they have no means to back it up. Ultimately, America can do what it likes and Britain has to live with it.

    I wasn't saying that they did, just they showed they could.

    There was a naval blockade of ports in New England which caused significant financial problems. This was carried out while the vast majority of the fleet was needed in Europe fighting Napoleon.

    If they had wanted to, after the defeat of Napoleon, they could have caused devastating harm to international and domestic sea trade.

    Militarily it was a stalemate, but if you look at the context it is somewhat underwhelming.

    Starting a war against a very limited force who didn't want to fight in the first place and had offered terms to avoid war then achieving none of your stated objectives, having the President's lunch eaten and capital burned down, reducing the chances of ever getting Canada, and suffering significant economic harm while showing Britain can basically do what it wants to your trade before backing down on your demands and taking what you could have had without the war is not exactly a good result.

    Framing it as "the 2nd war of independence" when Britain had no intention to try to take back the US and celebrating it as a tremendous victory because even though they achieved nothing they managed to avoid losing any major cities in the pointless war they started is comically bush league. :D

    That's true, but they achieved nothing other than avoiding putting America in an even weaker position to negotiate from.

    While it was a military draw, at the end of the war, Britain got what it wanted and America didn't.

    Both sides really lost, as in they would have been better off if they hadn't fought at all, but America lost more. As well as military losses, US trade was damaged significantly, and US privateers caused a smaller, but non-trivial, amount of damage to British interests.

    But the war is now completely unknown in Britain as it was so unimportant, while America created a national myth about it.

    All of this relies on sea based trade, and sea based trade relies on not having your ports blockaded and merchant navy captured.

    Britain didn't want to do this as they benefitted from trade with the US and had wanted better relations before the war after a change in government (the offer arrived a bit too late), but it didn't leave the US with a lot of bargaining power.

    Just like today, Britain and the US often have common interests, but doesn't have a great deal of leverage to get America to do anything they don't already want to do.

    In your opinion, how do you think America could enforce it?

    AFAIK, they had no real army or navy. They cold defend the homeland pretty well and project a bit of power in contiguous territories, but beyond that?

    It would be like Europe today demanding America doesn't meddle in the Old World. If America ever chose not to meddle, it would be because they didn't want to, nothing to do with being intimidated by Europe's power.

    Not at all. I just find it a funny example of the shameless spinning of history.

    It's like Britain losing the Battle of Isandlwana to the Zulus and then spinning the minor victory at Rourke's Drift into a heroic triumph. They only made a movie about that though rather than making it the national anthem :D
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Brits saw us colonials as an extension of them.
    They waged war on Indians. But as we chafed
    under their oppression, things escalated, &
    they waged war on us...the revolutionaries.
    And we sent their swishy powdered wig wear'n
    goons back across the Atlantic...repeatedly.
     
  14. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    It was a different situation by 1812, though. British alliances with major Native American confederacies, mostly as a way to protect trade and limit colonial expansionism, was one of the reasons for the war.
     
  15. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    It was all about Tea,throwing it into the harbour dressed as Indians like the Boston tea party 1773 will not work,there’s been some improvement but only a little



    Joking aside,I have relatives in Boston,they invaded many years ago,I’m glad they took the art of tea making with them so the American can suffer as much as I did when I was a kid drinking it.
     
  16. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Well, no, it wasn't to liberate the Canadians, although there was a lingering fear that the British might try to come back and take over America. And at the time, anti-monarchism was at an intensity comparable to anti-communism during the McCarthy era.
     
  17. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    In the US, yup. I think it was more varied in Canada, with some groups doing their best to stand aside and see who won, as much as anything else.
     
  18. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    We tried, and in fact, it really worked, since Britain didn't bother our ships anymore.

    They had some means to back it up. America was underpopulated and of limited means to engage in war, but we weren't completely powerless.

    Well, there's a lot of speculative "if they wanted to," but to what purpose? The US was in a position that they either had to submit or declare war, and they didn't want the world to think they were some kind of doormat whom anyone could just mess with at will. If we could hold our own against Britain, the predominant power of the era, then other countries would think twice before acting aggressive towards America.

    For all its puff and bluster, Britain was, at that time, a geopolitical bully, flexing its muscle and enforcing its will on every continent on the planet.

    Though as I said previously, America learned a lot from her Mother Country. It seems that Prussia was also watching and taking careful notes, as they seemed to learn a lot from the British as well. Britain got Napoleon, and Prussia got Napoleon III.

    I wonder what might have happened if the British did cause the economic devastation you're speaking of. It would not have just affected America. Other powers in Europe might have gotten involved. I doubt they would have given much countenance to such naked aggression on the high seas.

    Not at all. Obviously the British stopped harassing our ships, and it also cowed the Spanish into ceding Florida to the US. What it really amounted to was that, as long as we left Canada and other British possessions alone, the US had a free hand on the continent. And with freedom of the seas restored, we could trade with whomever we wanted, including the British, who eventually realized that it was better to invest in America than to try to conquer it.

    That's really what the War of Independence was mostly about. It wasn't like we had any kind of antipathy towards the British. The Founding Fathers were British. But they were somewhat selfish, greedy, and they wanted to do things their own way without any interference from Britain. They didn't want to share anything or pay taxes either. Many were slaveowners, although there were quite a few Abolitionists - that would fester as an underlying dispute which would be resolved later. Another contributing factor was the Proclamation of 1763, which pretty much gave all of what the French had in North America (east of the Mississippi) to the Native American tribes, which the American colonists had their eyes on. They were forbidden to settle west of the Appalachians, and that was unacceptable to a lot of people. The colonists wanted as much land as they could get, and they were even ready to fight each other over it. It was some kind of sickness or something. Greed, I guess. But, that's capitalism for you. It's what America was built on, and the British, being good capitalists themselves, saw eye to eye with many Americans on many issues.

    So, if your point here is that the British "let us win" and "let us pretend that we had primacy" over the continent, then I have to say that I'm forced to partially agree with that, but only to a certain point. It was a practical decision which worked for their interests, not out of any sense of generosity or charity towards America.

    We didn't get Canada, but looking back now, it probably didn't really matter that much. We gained in other ways.

    There was some opposition to the war within America.

    Well, you seem to know a lot about it. In fact, whenever the topic of the War of 1812 comes up (as I've noticed in various forums over the years, not necessarily RF), I find that there are more Brits and Canadians interested in discussing it and seem more knowledgeable than most Americans I know.

    I've visited the Battlefield Monument commemorating the Battle of New Orleans. True story: When I got there, I pulled up to the Welcome marker and got out, and another car was pulling in at the same time. This couple got out, and it turned out they were from Britain, and they were visiting the battlefield as well. They were quite friendly, and I got a kick out of what he said "Well, it looks like we Brits should have stayed home that day!" So, they also knew about the War of 1812.

    The National Anthem is what it is, and "The Battle of New Orleans" is just a quirky little novelty record by Johnny Horton. It's catchy, silly, and funny, but I doubt very many people below a certain age have heard of it or care to listen to it. It was even a bit before my time, but I remember singing it with my Cub Scout troop. But I don't think too many Americans really know that much about it. My own view is that it wasn't so much a matter of what America gained or lost, but the direction the country took as a result. It may not have been what some politicians might have wanted, but we gained in other ways.

    It might have given America an impetus to speed up and accelerate industrial production. We had plenty of raw materials and resources, but we were still behind in industrial development. We had plenty of farmland and could adequately feed our people. A blockade could not starve America. Besides, we're talking about 1500 miles of coastline, give or take. How many ships could Britain have committed to this endeavor, and for how long?

    Well, I guess we're just a gutsy and courageous people, full of gumption and brass, fighting against all odds to cleanse the galaxy of the Evil Empire. :D

    We did have an army and navy, even if small in number, it was still a trained fighting force which won battles both on land and sea. At that point, Britain was probably the only country in the world that could have seriously harmed America. No other country in Europe even tried after that point.

    By the time of the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederate armies were large, professional fighting forces which were on a par with any country of the world at that time. Our navy still had a ways to go, but we were getting there.

    Well, as I said, it is what it is. I guess they could have picked something else to be the National Anthem. I've heard some people say that they prefer "America the Beautiful" to be our Anthem, which I kind of prefer as well. It seems that in the period after the Civil War and leading into the 20th century, there was a great surge in American patriotism, and that may be where much of this spinning of history occurred.

    In any case, the war did happen, and it did have an effect on US affairs in the ensuing decades. What I said about Florida and the effect of emboldening US settlement in the southwest was also accurate, as one of the indirect results of the War of 1812. That we tried and failed to take Canada is not really a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, even if it might have disappointed many of the politicians of the time. They somehow managed to carry on with life, which is more than can be said for the soldiers they sent to die. But that's politics, and that's war. Nothing we can do about it now except write songs about it and talk about it on message boards.

    If you want some really funny spin on the War of 1812, I seem to remember one of my old schoolteachers saying something to the effect that the British "hated America for our freedom," which is what Bush Jr. said about Al Qaeda. "The British hated us for our freedom, but then they learned to like us after we saved them from the Germans (twice), and then we taught them how to be a free country. So, now they're free, thanks to us." :D
     
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  19. rational experiences

    rational experiences Veteran Member

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    Our native American Indian father said he taught the English invaders to not support human slavery.

    The father patriot DNA of the natural America nation.

    You listened.

    You wanted to be independent as he had been. Of king lord rules of evil past.

    His father's heavens affected your English thoughts.

    Proven real. His holy father heavens his Indian nation father. America.

    You are just the human alien Invader's science technology historians yourselves. Yet you too once as he was became enslaved.

    Why you listened.

    He told you when white skin man comes he'll kill us all in our land by nuclear technology. Saw it in visions as you lived AI recorded in his lands. Visions form themselves.

    He warned you the blue kachina said so.

    Historic men at war once painted their faces blue. Using metal as weapons against flesh.

    Historic men used heavens blue gas in technology theories as natural light and changed it humans warning.

    Heavens mass only owns light ...father above says so.

    Patriotic father was never any stone mason.

    Once he said his people's abode was in natural mountain homes caves. They lived in gods home...mountain caves.

    You forced them to flee to the desert regions for safety. Once they sought refuge in the bayou. You even forced them to leave the alligator land.

    You and your biting weapons.

    You hunted men like the animals you slaughtered. With no spiritual wisdom for self survival.

    So for many years he's sung his ancestral songs trying to beseech you to change your evil ways.

    You won't listen to spiritual man anymore machine man.

    Why the indian wants to return to his land.

    He believes if he returns he will change your mind for the greater good. So he's motivated to risk his life for the world's family saving.

    From Mexico.

    In the company of companionship mutuality is the true families teaching.

    Do you lizard government honour our teaching?

    No you don't.

    You use terrorism the way of the star fall yourself. You believe sex in the heavens is how life is rewarded by God too. After you destroy it by blasting weaponry.

    Why they study human sex as if it's a NASA machines theory. Heavens recording status how I can own gain contacts for machines.

    Yet humans biology isn't the state to record.
     
  20. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Britain explicitly stated they would continue to impress merchant sailors, including American citizens of British origin (who were still deemed British), if and when they needed to. What happened was the Napoleonic Wars ended and so there was less need to.

    They also continued to assert the right to interdict neutral ships trading with those Britain deemed hostile.

    For Britain the war was really just a minor theatre of the Napoleonic Wars, and everything needs to be viewed in that context. America was seen as being pro-France.

    During the Napoleonic Wars Britain wanted to limit French trade with America, when the war ended this was less of an issue.

    At this time, free trade benefitted Britain due to manufacturing being more lucrative than raw material export, so were happy to resume trading after the 1812 war given that this is what they wanted in the first place.

    America got absolutely no concessions whatsoever at the end of the war and any changes were due to changing conditions in Europe.


    The Royal Navy was blockading Napoleon in Europe at the same time as they had done many times. Naval blockades were par for the course, and after the Napoleonic Wars it's unlikely anyone would have wanted to start a European War to defend American trade. There would be little to gain and much to lose.

    What would have happened is the American economy would have collapsed. The limited blockade had forced significant government borrowing with very poor terms on top as well as significant wartime taxation, created inflation as internal transport costs increased, reduced global trade all of which damaged the creditworthiness of the government. A continuation would have led to bankruptcy.

    It wasn't meant to starve America, just damage their economy.

    You don't need to blockade the whole coast, just the main ports that handle significant amounts of international and domestic trade.


    America could defend its territory pretty well. Militias could be good for defending and fighting locally in their homeland and no one could reasonably have conquered and subjugated the country in the long term.

    As was shown with the invasion of Canada (the capture of which was a goal for Jefferson, Madison, etc. as a means of getting Britain out of the continent and denying them important resources), militias were pretty useless for projecting power and fighting to win someone else some land.

    The navy also could not project power and was largely a coastal defence force.

    At various times, Britain, France and Spain all violated the Monroe Doctrine with impunity, and any deterrent was provided by the Royal Navy when it suited British national interest.

    It's a bit like when the Pope divided the New World between Spain and Portugal, and everyone continued to do what they liked anyway because there was no means of enforcement.

    The first bit isn't really true, and I don't really have a great knowledge of the 2nd.

    How much did Spain even want this land though? Spain was a major theatre of the Napoleonic Wars and they had just fought an independence war from France. I would assume spending money to protect underdeveloped colonial territories probably wasn't all that high on their list of priorities.

    I know, at some point, they had pretty much abandoned some territories in what is now the Southern US as they were taking an arse-whooping from Native American tribes like the Comanches. Not great with timelines for this though or the bigger political picture.

    To me it seems like a lot of the things America 'won' are really just organic consequences of the end of the Napoleonic Wars and changing European priorities.


    If anyone knows about it in Britain though, it's generally because they are interested in history and have spent their own time reading about it. As a pure guess <5% of the population might be aware of it.

    It's not really surprising given that it was really just a minor theatre of the Napoleonic Wars and there were many exponentially more important events happening in Europe at this time

    I hadn't heard of it until I was in my mid 20s, and even then it was random. I think it was from Wikipedia when reading about the US anthem.

    In America it is part of the national foundation myth though (as it is in Canada), and via the national anthem has some pop-culture resonance. DO they teach it in schools?

    It's like most Brits can tell you William the Conquerer invaded in 1066, Henry VIII and his 6 wives and that we single handedly won WW2 by standing alone against Hitler, inventing radar and a bouncing bomb, winning the Battle of Britain then invading Europe on D-Day :D but most people couldn't tell you much beyond that.

    Popular understanding of significant events in a nation's history tends not to be overly concerned with the accurate rendition of facts after all.

    Sheesh, doesn't she know that it was in fact the mother country that invented freedom as they were free born Englishmen protected by the ancient Anglo-Saxon constitution and who loved their liberty and refused to live under tyranny like those feeble perfidious continental Europeans with their absolutist monarchies? :rolleyes:

    (Joking aside, 17th C English post-Glorious Revolution conceits about liberty are basically identical to the American tropes which is quite funny given American how America now views it)
     
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