Vox: 'The American Revolution was a Mistake'

Patrick Hauf | July 5, 2018
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Vox, in typical Vox fashion, promoted an article titled, “3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake” on Independence Day.

The article, written by Dylan Matthews, was originally published in 2015, but was updated and recycled Wednesday to spite patriotic Americans celebrating the nation's birthday.

Matthews’ core argument is that the world would be better off if the U.S. waited for Britain to grant it independence, as it did with Canada a century later. This, of course, is ridiculous, considering there is no real proof Britain that would do such a thing, nor that they would even grant Canada independence if they had control of the colonies into the 19th century. Britain, at the time, fancied over the idea of colonization, and even continued to do so into the 20th century with India.  

But no, Matthews, in his first two points, argues that Britain was far more progressive than the colonies.

“The main benefit of the revolution to colonists was that it gave more political power to America's white male minority,” he writes.

He attempts to back this claim by citing the fact that more slaves fought for Britain in the revolution (they were granted freedom if they did so) and that in the post-revolution world, Britain abolished slavery before the U.S. None of this proves that Britain would treat African-Americans better than the U.S. did, and never does Matthews acknowledge that the Declaration of Independence was later used as an argument in favor of abolishing slavery in the U.S.

Still, Matthews continues, then arguing that Britain would have treated the Native Americans better, again citing that more of them sided with the British than the Americans.

“Absent the revolution, Britain probably would've moved into Indian lands,” he rightfully acknowledged. “But fewer people would have died,” he claimed, with no actual proof.

Because Britain was all about respecting natives, right? It’s not like Britain obsessed over imperialism for hundreds of years!

Matthews' final point regards the structure of the American government, which he inaccurately calls a “presidential democracy,” rather than what it is, a republic with a strict system of checks and balances.

Apparently, Britain's monarchy is the "more democratic option” compared to the U.S.'s government. 

Matthews comes to this conclusion through his overemphasis on the “DO SOMETHING NOW” aspect of government, rather than the long-term balance of powers the Founders focused on, which has resulted in the freest and most economically powerful country in the world.

But regardless of all the U.S. has accomplished, bashing America will always get clicks.

(Cover: GoodFreePhotos)