The American Revolutionary War was about profit, not freedom
A Smithsonian exhibit lays bare the fact that America gained independence from Britain as a global business decision, rather than an ideological conflict.
…the American Revolution was largely a war of commercial and economic influence, not of ideology. France and Spain, like Britain, were even less democratic monarchies. The Dutch Republic was primarily interested in free trade. The leaders of the three countries wanted to increase their country’s commercial and economic authority, and to achieve this they were prepared to go to war with their biggest competitor, Great Britain.
For the French, Spanish and Dutch governments, this was not a war for freedom: it was a question of power and profit. If the American colonists gained their independence, it would harm British interests and open up new trading opportunities in North America and elsewhere for those who allied themselves with the colonists.
This helps explain why men like George Washington were wedded to the idea of preserving and expanding slavery as a means of personal enrichment, when it directly contradicted any ideological goal of freedom from tyranny.
Parkinson reveals how participants in the system have constructed a compelling drama featuring virtuous men who suddenly find themselves threatened by ruthless Indians and defiant slaves acting on behalf of the king. Parkinson argues that patriot leaders used racial prejudice to persuade Americans to declare independence. Between the start of the Revolutionary War in Lexington and the declaration, they broadcast whatever news they could find about Native Americans, enslaved blacks, and Hessian mercenaries working with their British enemies. American independence therefore owes less to the love of freedom than to the exploitation of colonial racial fears.
Did you catch this? White men “threatened by ruthless Indians and rebellious slaves acting in the king’s name” evoke an inversion of freedom, ruthless economic conflict for the profit of the exploitation of land and people.
It is interesting to think of Washington trying to rally his troops arguing that freedom was a tyranny, based on fear that the British king would free black Americans from men like Washington. Remember, the Colony of Georgia had outlawed slavery in 1735 and America would have seen abolition in the early 1800s had it remained under British control.
Washington worked so hard throughout his life to ensure that none of his slaves were freed, even while holding them illegally with the help of powerful lawyers… more Americans should understandably be looking into whether Washington intended to generate wealth by means other than slavery. Carter made this distinction very clearly and criticized Washington as such in the 1790s.
He counted Washington’s half-brother Lawrence, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson as friends; he dined regularly with the latter and lent him money. Washington himself was a neighbor… “Carter’s plans are more like a mass emancipation pilot project,” Andrew Levy, a professor at Butler University, told CNN.
Not only was Washington aligned differently than most Americans learn, but its role may have been overstated.
The Americans are barely noticeable on the sidelines, while the winners seem to be the French. […] The last battle of this global conflict known in the United States as the American Revolution was not fought on the fields of Virginia in 1781: it was fought two years later in Cuddalore, India.