King George III and the American Revolution

In the years before the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress sent requests to the King, Parliament, and the citizens of Great Britain to fix their grievances. King George III refused to respond in words to the colonies, whether he thought it would further their "rebellion" or legitimize their cause is not clear. Maybe he just wanted the colonies to continue to be "slave" labor. If that was the case, he mismanaged the situation. What is clear is that King George would not talk with the colonies. Whenever the Continental Congress or any other colonial organization sent a request to fix their grievances, King George would answer, not with words, dialogue, or a negotiation, but with another act that would cause more grievances. The failure to communicate and compromise caused the crack between the colonies and Great Britain to become a great divide that eventually led to war and caused the British empire to lose its control over the colonies. A situation that seemed easily remedied became a unnegotiable difference due to King George's failure to talk to the Americans in a civilized way. It appears that King George thought the Americans were not civilized enough to warrant discussion.

Here is an excerpt from Pauline Maier's American Scripture:

No one agreed more heartily [that American's eventual request for freedom from Parliament meant Independence from Britain] than George III, who never wavered in supporting the rights of Parliament. The King was stubborn, not especially imaginative, and temperamentally disinclined to think through the careful arguments colonists posed, which he quickly dismissed as the work of a few troublemakers; it was safer, he though, to take a hard line than to make concessions to such nonsense. He also turned a deaf ear to petitions from the colonists' sympathizers in England, particularly from the City of London, urging that the he intervene on behalf of his American subjects. The First Continental Congress's petition to the King met no better fate: as the Declaration on Taking Up Arms complained, it was 'huddled' into Parliament 'amongst a bundle of American papers, and there neglected.' By the time he received that petition, and months before the outbreak of war, the King had already made up his mind. 'The New England Governments,' he wrote Lord North on November 18, 1774, 'are in a state of rebellion,' and 'blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent' (23).

This was written in 1997, so Maier was not being directly political to the present times in trying to descibe King George as a mirror-image of our own President George. But the parallels are striking, especially in relation President George's actions toward Iran. Bush (or his hopeful predessecor McCain) will not talk with Iran because he feels that they have committed actions that make them unworthy of our commuication. Bush's feeling is that talking with the Iranians will not help resolve the issue. The problem is that no disagreement can be resolved without talking. The question is whether we talk before a lot of people are killed or after, but talking must happen.

Our leaders must not feel our position of negotiation is not too powerful or we would not depend on our weapons as a main taling point. We must "crush" the Iranians prior to negotiating with them, or we must have them behave like they are already "crushed". We should talk first. If talking fails, then those who pound the war drum will have even more ammunition, but let talking have a chance. As Maier pointed out later in her book, "Wars, it [the American Congress] understood, were not won by ships and sailors and arms alone. Words, too had power to serve the cause of victory" (46). If we are to fight wars, which I am personally against, we should insure that we have placed ourselves in a position to win any moral battle because in the end that will make all of the difference. Personally, I think doing the things that will make us have the moral victory in the end will prevent the war.

There should have been no way that the colonies could beat Great Britain because of Great Britain's superior forces, but they did. We are now a nation free from Parliament and the King.

Let us continue to ignore the past. Let's not talk with Iran. History shows that not talking always leads to bad things. Let us follow in those steps. We must go to war with Iran to punish them for disagreeing with us. It worked so well for King George and the British Empire. It will also work for our President George. There is no way that they can beat us. We have the much superior military forces.