It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


American Revolutionaries, not very good people?

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 12:38 PM
American Loyalists

These people made up about 20% of the Colonies population. When the Revolution broke out they were forced out of the country or chose to leave upon their own free will. Mostly relocating to eastern Canada or Great Britain. Many people don't remember these people during the Revolution because they were not considered very important.

If we are to truly deny ignorance we must first see the American Revolution from both sides before making a final decision upon the subject.

Before I present you with information I will announce that IMO I think the American Revolution was not that great of an idea. The basic concepts of Liberty, freedom and representation are definitly great ideas. But we fail to recognize many of the inhumane things these Revolutionaries did to their opposition. This does not necessarily include our founding fathers as they truly believed in no torture. I think we would have eventually had a revolution, but it was not the right time.

Tarring and Feathering was a punishment that went back to the Middle Ages with Richard the Lionhearted and the Crusades. The first record is in 1189. Richard ordered that any robber voyaging with the crusaders “shall be first shaved, then boiling pitch shall be poured upon his head, and a cushion of feathers shook over it.” It was not used extensively until the American colonists revived the punishment in the 1760s. Patriots used it against British officials and loyalists in the American colonies.

Tar could easily be found in the shipyards and everyone had feathers in their pillows. With the materials at hand, tarring and feathering was a common threat and punishment. Though the tarring was not usually fatal, it was extremely unpleasant. Applying the burning hot tar to bare skin usually caused painful blistering and efforts to remove it often made the condition worse. The adding of feathers which stuck to the tar added to the humiliation and made the victim a comical figure. Sometimes tar was applied to the clothing, and was only a minor warning. (click picture for enlargement and more info)

In the spring of 1766 Captain William Smith came under suspicion as an informer of American smuggling activities. He experienced first hand the tar and feather. In retribution, John Gilchrist, a Norfolk merchant and shipbuilder and several accomplices captured Smith and, as he reported, "dawbed my body and face all over with tar and afterwards threw feathers on me." Smith's assailants, which included the mayor of Norfolk, then carted him "through every street in town," and threw him into the sea. Fortunately, Smith was rescued by a passing boat just as he was "sinking, being able to swim no longer." This may have been the first tarring and feathering in America.

After the enactment of the Stamp Act, it was common to threaten or attack British government employees in the colonies. No stamp commissioner or tax collector was actually tarred and feathered but by November 1, 1765, the day the Stamp Act tax went into effect, there were no stamp commissioners left in the colonies to collect it.

Tarring and feathering was successfully used as a weapon against the Townshend Duties (including the tea tax which led to the Boston Tea Party). In Parliament they hotly debated how best to punish the Bostonians. one member argued that "Americans were a strange set of people, and that it was in vain to expect any degree of reasoning from them; that instead of making their claim by argument, they always chose to decide the matter by tarring and feathering." Fearing that the practice was getting out of control and was harming their image, Boston leaders called a halt to the practice. Elsewhere in the colonies, it persisted as a way to intimidate and punish loyalists.

The practice was occasionally very violent and resulted in death, but most of the time the purpose was humiliation. John Robert Shaw, in his autobiography from this period, tells a story of a light feathering from New Bedford, Massachusetts:

In this excursion, among other plunder, we took a store of molasses, the hogshead being rolled out and their heads knocked in, a soldier’s wife was stooping to fill her kettle, a soldier slipped behind her and threw her into the hogshead ; when she was hauled out, a bystander then threw a parcel of feathers on her, which adhering to the molasses made her appear frightful enough;–This little circumstance afforded us a good deal of amusement.

Must view this site!

Tarring and Feathering is an act of terror and intimidation, basically it's torture to anyone it's used on. The Revolutionaries knew that and they used it against not only British servants but their own fellow Americans just because their views differed. They did not like the Loyalists(Tories), they tried to intimidade them. When they would put tar on you and feathers people would not be willing to listen to what you have to say because you will be a laughing stock.

Our founding fathers were enlightened individuals who sought peace and liberty, but the ones who fought the British were brutes and were far less humane than our future leaders. I for one don't condone violent revolution, we could have pushed out the British or made peace without bloody revolution and humiliating our fellow countrymen.

I know if you're a Constitutionalist you will probably want to spit on me right about now and think that I am anti-American or whatever but I'm not and I'm trying to make that clear. I just thing we did too many things wrong and we didn't think about what we were doing. We could have made peace with the British, whether we remained a loyal to the Crown or not is a seperate story, but it didn't have to be violent.

William Franklin

Was the son of Benjamin Franklin. He sided with the Loyalists and was forced out of the country and was sent into exile in London in 1782, he died there 31 years later. I don't think he ever saw his father or his son ever again.(His son sided with Benjamin and was a Patriot).

[edit on 6/5/10 by Misoir]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 12:47 PM
It wasn't that they were bad exactly, but that they felt violence and sometimes brutality was necessary to gain what they wanted. They were, in many senses, terrorists of sorts. Good topic.

I'd like to disagree though and state that it did indeed have to be violent, much of it. That is the reason things changed. Now I don't condone acts of violence normally, but violent revolution gets things accomplished much faster and far more direct than bureaucracy, which is often useless, especially back then.

Revolutionaries were violent, cunning, often falling back to tactics that seem extreme, but it was necessary considering the circumstances.

What we are accustomed to now, especially surrounding what we call politically correct ideals and actions, was non existent ant for these revolutionaries. This was hundreds of years ago. We have shaped humanity a completely different way in the modern world. If the threat of brutish taring and feathering was effective, it's what they used. If firebombing and raiding establishments was effective, they did it.

[edit on 5-6-2010 by FrostForests]

[edit on 5-6-2010 by FrostForests]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 12:48 PM
I will make one simple reply to the OP which is watch this video to help you understand the"why" aspect.

[edit on 5-6-2010 by manta78]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:00 PM
How do you suppose they make peace? They tried every peaceful method known to man first. Every attempt at peaceful resolution was met with higher penalties, taxes, loss of freedoms.
The attitude of the king was "I want to make you miserable and I expect you to love and worship me for it. He even declared that they were to be treated a children and dealt with as children. And if you know anything about parenting practices in that day you know that for a child to voice any sort of displeasure was an abomination. You did not reason with a child or discuss things with them, you punished.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:01 PM
Here is the why........

Boston Massacre

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:04 PM

Originally posted by zzombie
Here is the why........

Boston Massacre

This is not a legitimate argument since it was a mutual fight. Only the British had guns.

A heavy British military presence in Boston led to a tense situation that boiled over into incitement of brawls between soldiers and civilians and eventually led to troops discharging their muskets after being attacked by a rioting crowd.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:09 PM

Originally posted by zzombie
Here is the why........

Boston Massacre

Did you read the entire article? Even John Adams one of our founding fathers and patriots defended the British in that one. That was not why at all.
I fully believe the colonists were forced into violent acts, but not due to that.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:15 PM
2 great threads in a row. You're on a roll Misoir! As much as I consider myself a student of history this particular aspect is one I have more or less forgotten. I don't consider you anti-american at all. The tories went through a very hard time in the colonies before and during the revolution, many lost their homes and businesses and even lives.
The worst part of the war itself occured in North and South Carolina where Tory sentiment ran strongest. It was neighbor against neighbor with a great deal of spying and raids against each other. Many homes and farms were laid waste and frankly I don;t know how they survived the chaos and deprivation that they faced on either side. It was also in the Carolinas that the "Swamp Fox" came to prominence as well as his nemesis, Col. Banastre Tarleton. There were horrible tragedies such as the Waxhaw massacre where revolutionaries tried to surrender but were cut down with sword and bayonet. Though many consider Marion (the swamp fox) to be a great patriot, he kept his men supplied by raiding the homes of British Loyalists. And so it went back and forth, the dirtiest and most uncivilised fighting of the American revolution happened in the south. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, does it not? Even history as you so sagely pointed out.
You've got some wisdom beyond your years Misoir. Thank you for your contributions here on ATS. I, for one, certainly appreciate your efforts.

Star and flag (which flag would you like, British or American?

PS - Even the English had to fight for their freedom. Look up the battle of Hastings.
The act of tarring and feathering was a farcical play on peacocks, which the british royals liked to have strutting around the grounds of their estates.

[edit on 5-6-2010 by Asktheanimals]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

Which flag? Doesn't really matter to me. I'm an American whether what we did was right or wrong.

Sure I would have been a Loyalist at the time, I would have still supported Liberty and Freedom though. But I support internal revolution, or internal reform if you will.

You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:24 PM
If they fought a PC revolution, then we might not be here right now... In fact I would have to think most of us would not even exist. So I guess it was good they we're brutal...
I like me... who knows what I would be like if I was born in Germany, cause my parent would have never meet. being My Moms, Dads is Indian. i don't think America would have the influx of immigrants under different management.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 01:24 PM
Hmmmmmm, revisonist history does have its pitfalls.

Atrocities were committed on both sides no doubt. The mention by the posted above of Col. Banastre Tarleton is one such example.

Also not mentioned is the fact that esp. in the south there were actually 2 wars going on. The one against the british and the one that pitted Colonists against each other (not based on thier loyalty to the crown or the revolution, but rather old rivalries, fueds etc.

That being said, you do have to evaluate what went on in the context of the times. Trying to apply modern thoughts about warfare, morality, etc. and the like guarrantes that we will always judge prior acts and generations wanting and flawed.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 03:48 PM
I love this modern revisionist idea that the founding fathers were somehow terrorists. This is what is currently being taught to law enforcement officers from local agencies all the way up to the FBI and is just another attempt to rewrite history and make it politically correct.

My first question for you is how long have you been working as a disinformation agent?

If soldiers came to your town and murdered your sons and raped your women because the town was suspected of harboring 'terrorists' you are trying to tell me that you would attempt to resolve the situation peacefully? What would you do after your peacefully requests for redress had fallen on deaf ears? Would you still be loyal to a government that had ignored your requests for peaceful negotiations?

The bottom line is one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist. It just depends on which side of the line you are on. I for one, will stand with my fellow citizens against tyranny from the government.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 04:14 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 04:24 PM
reply to post by Misoir

"If we are to truly deny ignorance we must first see the American Revolution from both sides before making a final decision upon the subject. "


"Tarring and Feathering is an act of terror and intimidation, "

Hey, guess what?

If I come to your house with a gun and force you to give me your money, that's an act of terror and intimidation.

Taxes require violence.

People have a natural right to defend themselves against violence, even if that violence is directed at them from government.

You wanna know what lit off the revolution? It was something called the Stamp Act. The King said all paper must have the King's stamp on it.

To this end, the King authorized the tax collectors to invade homes, destroy property, confiscate property, in order to ensure that all paper had this stamp.

So the tax collectors would come to your home with guns, break in, then ransack your house looking for paper that might not have a stamp on it.

This is what caused the people to tar and feather tax collectors.

Learn history.

And stop reading liberal "re-inventions" of history.

[edit on 5-6-2010 by mnemeth1]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 04:25 PM
The reality is, that most of the founding fathers were loyal to the british government, however, there came a point where they had to decide, to endure the abuse and lack of rights on the part of the Crown and Parliment, or to seperate from said government.
Take Ben Franklin, he was a very devote loyalist, backed the king of England, until he was there infront of Parliment and was dressed down, and insulted infront of the Parliment and then abused verbally. That was when he changed his mind.
George Washington, he was an officer in the British Colonial Army, holding the rank of Colnel, but because they refused to promote him, to give him any respect for the rank he had earned or the service he gave to them, he did not feel appriciated and felt that the British had turned their back on him and pretty much insulted him.
Most of the Founding fathers, had similar stories, and there came a point when they could no longer in good faith follow a government that was abusive, all because they were born in the Colonies, and not in England.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 04:32 PM
I almost wish the government will pull some nonsense like the Stamp Act today, it would light a fire under peoples butts.

Today we have succumb to slow tyranny.

The government doesn't need to invade our homes to steal our money when they have the Federal Reserve to print all the money they like.

They can simply debase our savings to fund their wars of aggression, crony bailouts, government contracts, and criminal racist welfare programs.

[edit on 5-6-2010 by mnemeth1]

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 04:35 PM

Originally posted by FredT

Also not mentioned is the fact that esp. in the south there were actually 2 wars going on. The one against the british and the one that pitted Colonists against each other (not based on thier loyalty to the crown or the revolution, but rather old rivalries, fueds etc.

We could even say 3 wars. The British had managed to stir up the Cherokee and the Creeks and settler on the frontier were subjected to raids from them as well.
Add in the wars of 1812, the Seminole and the Mexican war and you can see why South Carolinians had such a great sense of independence when 1861 came around. They had to fight for everything they had, or at least they felt that way.

posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 07:58 PM
Dr. Tom Woods gives us the real history of the American Revolution that the publicly funded colonial loyalists don't want you to hear.

Give it at least 5 minutes, Tom is a funny guy and an excellent speaker.

He'll have you laughing.

Thomas Woods: Thomas Jefferson and the Principles of '98

Google Video Link

[edit on 5-6-2010 by mnemeth1]

new topics

top topics


log in