What if the US never became independent?

27 June 2013

A University of Canterbury expert is asking what if the United States, which celebrates its 237th anniversary next week, had never become independent.

A University of Canterbury expert is asking what if the United States, which celebrates its 237th anniversary next week, had never become independent.

UC history expert Peter Field, who was a university classmate of US president Barack Obama, says the question would be almost unimaginable in the USA.

"But here in New Zealand we can ask ourselves such questions, especially in so far as our Kiwi history features no revolution against Britain and the Crown,’’ he says.

Associate Professor Field will talk about the American independence issue at a public lecture on campus next week (July 3). See here for details: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/wiw/

"If there had been no American independence, then the world might be far better off. Without independence and a separate nation, it is entirely plausible to envisage a world without the American superpower, without an empire so closely aligned with capitalism and commerce and globalisation.

"Of course, with the bad comes the good. Without the American nation and its might, it’s entirely probable that the Allies could have lost World War I and perhaps as likely that Hitler and the Axis Powers could have won World War II.

"But the American Revolution of 1775-1783 was a mistake. History has shown that in terms of traditions, basic values and political ideals, the English and the Americans were fraternal cousins. We are allies now and should always have been. What fools were George Washington and King George III.

"There never was such a thing as the American Revolution. Nothing really changed, except for the fact that American currency features no kings or queens, no royalty to speak of at all. American independence only confirmed that the colonists had grown up, that in fact they had become more like England. They were equals who merely declared themselves another nation among many.’’

Professor Field says if the United States had not won its revolutionary war against Britain, the world would not have had its first anti-colonial movement, nor a declaration of “all men created equal.”

"The world’s oldest ongoing written constitution would not have eventuated. There would have been no Cold War in the 1960s with Russia; perhaps no liberal capitalist democracy at all if independence had never existed.’’

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168


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