Whose Revolution Was It Anyway?
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Fri Aug 4 14:38:44 PDT 2006
I look forward to the answer to Bobby's question. But I would also point out one of the "secrets" of the Revolution (that contributes to our national neurosis vis-à-vis the French) is that we never would have come close to winning had France, largely for reasons having to do with European politics, but also because of the remarkable efforts of Benjamin Franklin (detailed in a marvelous book by Stacy Shiff), done a lot of the supplying and even some of the fighting for us. Federalists, for obvious reasons, did not want to recognize our alliance with the French, following 1788 (and, even more, 1789). If France is sometimes accused of being insufficiently grateful for our intervention World Wars I and II, it started, let me suggest, with American ingratitude following 1783, when most American leaders (though not, of course, Jefferson), couldn't wait to climb back into bed, albeit as a newly independent country, with the British.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu [mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of RJLipkin at aol.com
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2006 4:08 PM
To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Whose Revolution Was It Anyway?
I simply do not understand why the Continental Army was so poorly supplied (men, clothing, shoes, ammunition, and food) or how the Continental Congress and the States got away with such niggardly--if that good--responses. I understand the fear of centralized (removed) government. But the War went on for 5-6 years. Did the Continental Congress and the States want Washington's army to win? If so, how did they expect him to do so? It's an elementary maxim that ends--winning the war for independence--require adopting the appropriate means--supplies so that the soldiers would not be obliged to eat their own shoes or their horses. I realize that economic times were tough and no one likes to be taxed. Nevertheless, ends require means. I must be overlooking some aspect of the Revolutionary War that provides an obvious explanation. Help!
Robert Justin Lipkin
Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
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