Could the American Revolution have been avoided if the British had pursued different policies toward the colonies?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Maybe in the short run, yes.  But in the long run, there was no way that this was going to be avoided, in my opinion.

In the short run, the Revolution would surely have been avoided if the British government would not have imposed the various taxes that it did impose on the colonies.  It could perhaps have avoided it even longer if it had given the colonies some actual representation in Parliament.

However, in the long term, there was no way the American colonies were going to remain as colonies.  They were too big, with too many people and too much in the way of riches to want to remain subordinate to such a distant government for much longer.

The best that could have happened would have been for the British to give the American colonies the sort of pretty much independent status that the later willingly (without war) gave to Canada.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

American Revolution or the war of independence was in the nature of last resort, rather than first choice, left to the colonists to secure relief from the oppressive and unjust policies and practices adopted by the by the British towards its colonies in general, and towards its American colonies in particular. The primary objective of the the American revolution was to secure welfare of the people in the colonies. If British had followed a policy that assured the colonies a just system that assured a good future for the colonies as well as the British, there was no reason why the colonist would have revolted against them.

The revolution occurred because of the clash of interests of the British and the colonists. Converting this clash of interest to a situation of common interest would have definitely avoided the revolution. Whether or not this commonality of interest could have been achieved, how it could have been achieved, or how long it would have lasted, are an entirely different set of questions.