What were the American revolutionaries, a fraction of the colonial white population, fighting for: exemption from taxes to uphold the military needs of the British Empire in the face of French and Spanish rivalry; dislike of the evolved British system of government which was that of a constitutional monarchy and a legislature elected largely by and for the landed and commercial elite. They pretended that George III was an absolute monarch with tyrannical goals when actually he was totally loyal to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and its constitutional developments. They were perhaps not directly represented in Parliament, but neither were most Britons. They were not treated as colonials but as loyal subjects of the king-in-Parliament. The government they devised was a very noble one, but the politicians who ran this government from 1789 up to the present cannot claim any more virtue or ability or high-mindedness than those who ran Britain during the same period. We had slavery; Britain had colonial dependents and treated them and the Irish perhaps worse than Americans treated Negro slaves. Our way of dealing with the Native Americans was about the same as the British way of treating rebellious Africans and Asians and perfectly peaceful Irishmen and women. So, have you ever heard this expressed in a classroom below the university level? I dare say not.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.