You are a British Soldier. Argue FOR or AGAINST a war between Britain and the colonies
You are a British Soldier... Answer the following questions playing that role
Argue FOR or AGAINST a war between Britain and the colonies, and give reasons for your answer, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Does Britain have the right to tax the colonies?
- How do you view the Coercive Acts and other acts passed by the British Parliament?
- How would a war between the colonies and Britain affect you personally (your job, your status, your family, etc.)
As a British Soldier, I am thinking that coming out of the French and Indian War, there is little opposition to me or my nation. At the time, the French were seen as a tremendous power and for England to defeat them confirmed that England was the strongest military player in town. I would certainly think that my naval forces could overwhelm anything that the Colonists had to offer. From a soldier's point of view, I might think that the Colonists were being a bit on the ungrateful because had it not been for my army, the French would be forming alliances with the Native Americans and taking a piece of the Colonists' set up. The acts and duties passed on the Colonists, accordingly, were to finance an operation that helped to eliminate the French and Indian threat.
As a British soldier, I'm tired of the colonies complaining about taxes to pay for a war that defended them from the French. We pay taxes eight times higher in the British Isles than in the 13 colonies, yet they complain like we were taking their firstborn. The Coercive Acts were passed specifically to respond to an act of piracy in port, and vandalism costing 20,000 pounds. What did they expect was going to happen?
As a soldier in his Majesty's service, I do not relish the thought of spending years away from hearth and home to fight against people who should be utterly grateful for all we have done for them, and for being members of the British Empire.
There are arguments against our participation too. It is thousands of miles by sea to the colonies, and we would have to send and supply a massive army for years, an expensive and cumbersome proposition. Our fighting in the colonies will open an opportunity for the hated French to exploit, and we will likely end up fighting them as well, again. What's more, the pesky traitors know every back road, nook and cranny from which to hide and fight, while we will be arriving largely blind with a draftee army more motivated by coming home safely than dying in a cause they can ill define.
As a British soldier, I might feel like I was pretty closely tied to the British government and I might feel protective of its powers. Because of that, I would think that the government clearly had the right to tax the colonies to pay for things like me and the army (after all, we protect them).
I would worry, however, about the impact of a war on me. I would think that the war was not really my business. I do not really care whether the colonies are rules by Parliament or by themselves. What I want is to not have to fight and risk my life unless it is clearly for a good reason.
The question is too hypothetical. It relates to things that happened hundreds of years back when the common views of nationhood, government and justice were very different from those at present. Also the the ground realities that would determine the impact of acts like waging war to colonise other countries, or imposing coercive taxes and policies, would be very different from what it was, when such acts were really committed.
However I will answer the question, assuming that these acts are being contemplated currently.
As a British Soldier I would consider it my duty to fight for my country in any war in which it is engaged. If at all for some reason I consider the action of the leaders of my country against the interest of the country, and I decide to protest against it. I would first give up my service as a soldier.
No, British have no right to tax its colonies. Any such right that they ever had was based on the principle of might is right. They are no longer in a position to impose their will on other countries.
Coercive acts of all types by all governments are unjustified.
War in today's situation is likely to bring misery to all parties involved.