Every strategy taken by Britain is failing to suppress the revolution. We Patriots still have hope. The British are looking to The southern strategy in hope of regaining control of the colonies. With its valuable natural resources and overwhelmingly large slave and loyalist populace, South Carolina happens to be the heart of King Charles III Southern Strategy. With the support of the south’s large loyalist population, South Carolina is among the 3 states that is being used as a base for the British in attempt to recapture the southern Colonies one by one. With the majority of even my fellow South Carolinian citizens supporting the British, a number of outnumbered but avid patriots exist. In this diminishing number I stand, fighting for common sense & democratic and economic benefit. I realize that declaring independence for the united colonies was inevitable, so there is no point in standing against it. The revolution itself is nothing less than question of freedom or slavery for me and my fellow patriots, and being the owner of a rice plantation, if the revolution is successful in absolving America from the British taxation and restrictions, it will be beneficial to my economical wellbeing.
If the British continue to inflict their tyranny upon us, we may soon become as helpless slaves succumbing completely to their control. Thomas Paine clarifies the excess amount of power that Britain claims to have, stating, “Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has the right (not only to tax) but to bind us in all cases whatsoever, and if being bound in that matter is not slavery then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth” (Paine). Taxation of the colonies without consent violates our South Carolinian rights because we are not represented. But taxation is only the start. We deserve and are entitled by the two royal charters granted by King James I to “all privileges of faithful, liege, and natural born subjects, to all intents and purposes, as if they (we) had been abiding and born within the realm of England…"(Henry). Taxes such as the stamp act, sugar act, tea act, and taxes on most other imports and exports are unjust and were instituted to exercise tyranny over the colonies including South Carolina. In May 1780, Britain laid siege to South Carolina for five weeks and finally took 3,300 militiamen soldiers into British captivity. Regardless of the petitions that the United Colonies sent out to the British Parliament to remove troops from colonial land, general Charles Cornwallis stationed 4,000 troops in South Carolina to quell the rebel forces that continuously purged my fellow patriots and harassed non-loyalist citizens. Hundreds of South Carolinians were bribed into swearing loyalty oaths to the crown and taking up arms for the British by the exports seized from Georgia (Roark et al, 241). I find it difficult to understand such brutal actions.
The revolution of the united colonies of America was inevitable, and I see no purpose in fighting for a lost cause. The fullest measures taken by the United Colonies to petition and side with Britain were treated by King Charles III with ignorance and rejection. Revolutionary writer Patrick Henry insists in frustration, “We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament…our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrance’s have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt from the foot of the throne”… (Henry, 2). A simple example of this blatant ignorance is exemplified in the fact that King Charles III ignored and didn’t even glance at the Olive Branch Petition directed to him by the Continental Congress. (Hancock et al). One thing that we all as colonists have been a witness to is that “The revolution was in the minds of the people…before a drop of blood was shed at the Lexington…and the war was just a consequence of it.”… (Adams). Even if we are outnumbered by the Tories in South Carolina and the British have larger forces with more experienced troops, we as patriots have little to lose, and as the war progresses, it is becoming more and more evident that the British have little power to change the minds and hearts of the people.
With around 4000 British troops inhabiting South Carolina, along with revolutionist Patrick Henry, I question the purpose of the troops stationed in the colonies, “Ask yourselves how gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land…are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation...these are the implements of war and subjugation" (Henry). It is uncommon to see troops harass, injure and harm innocent citizens. British citizens describe the United Colonies of Americans as ungrateful children of England, and even insist that we owe much to Britain for the protections she has provided. But only fools speak such blasphemy, ignorant of the fact that Britain’s motive for our protection was based solely on “interest not attachment…she did not protect us from our enemies on our account, but from her enemies on her own account( Paine). Britain claims to have so such extraordinary power, but I stand as a patriot and insist that the power to rule over another nation belongs only to God.
Being the owner of a rice plantation, if the revolution is successful in absolving America from the British taxation and restrictions, it will be beneficial to my economic standing. The British forces have promised to free all slaves who support their cause. Being the owner of several slaves, it is not in my interest to lose the majority of my labor force (Roark et al, 229). Losing my labor force would affect my ability to make a living in agricultural farming, and in worst case scenario even provide for myself and my family. Besides the pesky taxes on imports, the state of South Carolina is affected directly by export taxes due to its large abundance in natural resources; I myself am included in this category. Exports such as game/furs, tar, turpentine, lumber, ship timber, cattle, rice, indigo, cotton, corn and other small grains are all taxed, and some exports are even limited and restricted in export quantities (Schaper, 245). Most resources that come from South Carolina are exclusively traded with Britain and are not allowed to be traded with any other nation. I am motivated to be a patriot in the revolution by the fact that if we absolve ourselves from the taxation and restrictions of the British Parliament, the state of South Carolina will be free to disperse trade with a number of nations and potentially enrich its commerce and economy, and I myself would be able to enhance my profit in trading rice. Although my cowardly neighbors and even some of my distant relatives claim that the United Colonies have flourished under its connections with Britain, according to fellow patriot Thomas Paine, “Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument”. Paine explains that if no European power had anything to do with the United Colonies of America, it would have thrived and prospered much more effectively (Paine). This is yet another reason why I support the revolution in the colony of South Carolina.
Standing up for what is righteous is not always painless. Though surrounded by wretched loyalists and Tories around my own home, I would rather die a freeman than have my children live in a world of tyrannical slavery. United under the promise and hope of liberty, my few fellow patriots and comrades fear not the muskets of our oppositions. In the cause that we fight for as patriots of the revolution, we hold moral advantage over the British. Standing behind Thomas Paine’s words, “God almighty will not give up a people to military destruction… I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us" ( Paine). What has been done cannot be changed, we must stand up and challenge the status quo. The rewards of our efforts do make a difference in the eyes of people, and in the eyes of our creator.
1.) Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, March 23, 1775
2.) John Hancock et al, “our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.” Declaration of Independence July 4th 1776
3.) John Adams, 1818, (The American Promise- James. L Roark et al.)
4.) Thomas Paine, The Crisis December 23rd 1776. “God almighty will not give up
a people to military destruction… I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us”
5.) Patrick Henry, May 30th 1765, Virginia Resolves on the Stamp Act
6.) Thomas Paine, The Crisis December 23rd 1776
7.) Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Common Sense 1776. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs.
8.) James Roark et al, The American Promise pg 241 (The Southern Strategy and the End of The War)
9.) Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Common Sense 1776. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs.
10.) James Roark et al, The American Promise pg. 229
Parenthetic citations and work cited yet to be finished…
11.) William A. Shcaper, American Historical Association, Sectionalism & Representation in South Carolina, (Chapter 2 Pg. 245.)