July 3, 2012

What if America hadn't won its independence?

From my Taki's Magazine column:
Every Fourth of July, a heretical question nags: Would it have been so bad if America hadn’t won its independence from Britain?

Read the whole thing there.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your smarts your spelling? Not so much. Check out that post title: it should read "its," not "it's."

Anonymous said...

Americans would probably be kicking the crap out of the English in soccer, rugby and cricket in that alternate universe. England should be thankful.

Anonymous said...

Suppose Canada won independence but America hadn't. How would things have worked out. Due to the climate, America would still have attracted more people and developed a larger economy. And the British probably would have pushed for immigration from its empire--India, Africa, Southeast Asia, etc--in order to rapidly develop the American continent. There was no such investment in Canada since much of it was cold and economically limited--like much of Russia.
But America had great potential. So, even if America had not sought and gained independence, it might have been the premier economy and power in the New World. And maybe the British crown would have located to America--for at least half of every year.

Anonymous said...

"Every Fourth of July, a heretical question nags: Would it have been so bad if America hadn’t won its independence from Britain?"

It's not a heretical question at all. It's been asked many times. In the late 19th century, there was even a school of historians who said it would have been a good thing. Today's historians think historians back then were reacting to the massive immigration onslaught. Anglos felt they were being flooded by non-Anglos from Eastern and Southern Europe, and so some Anglo historians wished they could turn back the time and maintained the Anglo-and-American unity. But they were probably misguided in their thinking. Even if America had remained part of the British empire, the rapidly expanding industries and economy would have demanded new sources of labor to work the fields and fill the factories, and that probably would have meant massive immigration from all over the British Empire. Since the British Empire mostly ruled over non-white territories, many more immigrants might have been non-white: Indian, Malaysian, African, etc.

It was because America had gained independence from Britain that it could choose to allow immigration from Eastern/Southern Europe(not parts of the British Empire)rather than from parts of the British empire.

nazgulnarsil said...

Colinialism seems to have been good on the whole. Claims to the contrary suffer from scope insensitivity as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's a rather stale question with somewhat obvious answer: "nothing much". The hypothetical of what if the Civil War had not happened is a lot more interesting and less certain. (But then, the biggest bloodshed in human history is not a big deal as long as it is linked to the most noble cause ever, right?)

Anonymous said...

The American example made everyone act better for a while. The reverse is like what happened when the soviet union fell, there was no longer any reason for the the US to act morally superior to communism. Now we just have to treat our women better than the Muslims and we have the moral high ground to do as "we" will.

Simon in London said...

Remember that the British conquest of India was a reaction to losing the American colonies. If we had kept America, our energies would have been directed there. For development I think there would have been more emigration of Scots, Scots-Irish and Irish, indentured English servants - Australia might have been largely ignored and undeveloped.

Britain would have been less aggressive than an independent USA; Mexico would likely have retained Texas and California. Cotton slavery might have delayed the abolition of slavery (though not the slave trade) in the British Empire (historically 1834), but probably it would still have taken place well before the 1860s; possibly this could have led to a rebellion in the southern American colonies despite compensation payments, but likely not as they would have been smaller, less developed, and with potentially hostile Mexico likely a close neighbour.

If America had not gained independence, would there still have been a French revolution? Likely not, in which case world history would have been very different from 1800 on.

The New Napoleon said...

Without a successful American revolution, the French would rule the planet. They would control the American midwest, the world's largest contiguous granery and the cheap river transport to get it to market through New Orleans. The French would be the breadbasket for a growing planet. The British would be hugging the coastline east of the Appalachians. Washington wouldn't exist, New York and Boston would be much smaller cities. Pittsburgh would be the largest British city in North America with its navigable Ohio River port actively trading with French Louisiana during peacetime. Quebec and parts of Ontario, New Brunswick and PEI would have revolted against Britain to join French Louisiana as New France. Railroads would have been developed North/South to New Orleans. It would be a French world with much better food and less rat race.

Anonymous said...

One difference is that this blog would be illegal in the UK and Canada.

Alan Stewart said...

"Over the last half-century, though, Canada’s bilingual elites have succeeded in imprinting upon the more gullible Anglophones the notion that the higher purpose of Canada’s existence is, in the name of multiculturalism, to bribe Quebec not to leave"

The fixation on preventing Quebec independence lasted about 30-35 years from 1970 (when the Parti Quebecois first won seats in the Legislative Assembly -- excuse me, "National Assembly") -- to the 2000-2005 period. Now there is widespread indifference to the idea of Quebec's leaving -- although it is still considered rude to say openly that you hope they would go. A newspaper last week ran a story remembering then "My Canada Includes Quebec" rallies during previous secession referenda when tens of thousands of non-Quebecers bused into Montreal to rally to show Quebec they were wanted. The people quoted agreed that you couldn't do that any more; no one would show. You might get people to rally right where they live under the slogan "Make Up your Mind: In or Out?"

Multiculturalism itself, more often called Diversity, has now been redefined to be the higher purpose of Canada's existence.

granted, multiculturalism/diversity has been a subtheme since the '60s or before. My high school history textbook was called "Unity in Diversity" and the (good) "Canadian mosaic" was compared with the sinister American melting pot. But at that time multiculturalism meant sprinkling the country with groups of Italians, Ukrainians, Poles plus enuf Chinese to have a Chinese retaurant in every small town and a Chinatown in every big city

Anonymous said...

Simon in London:"Britain would have been less aggressive than an independent USA; Mexico would likely have retained Texas and California"

Very unlikely. Mexico's* hold on its northern territories was tenuous at best. California, in particular, was a ripe plum that, in our timeline, was covetously regarded by a host of powers: Britain, France, America, Russia.Britain would have stepped in as a defensive measure in order to balk the other great powers.


*Of course, the big "What if" in this scenario is the French Revolution. If America had stayed part of the British Empire, would there have been a French Revolution at all? And, without a French Revolution, when would Mexico have attained independence?

Hapalong Cassidy said...

I like to think about what might have happened if the push for independence had been delayed by several decades. The Americans of the Northeast and the Canadians would have eventually become indistinguishable, and the French Québécois would have pushed for independence on their own (the British having not learned to be accommodating towards them). I think you would have had three independent nations - a French-speaking Quebec; a country including the rest of Canada and the U.S north of the Mason-Dixon line, Ohio River and 40th parallel to the West; and a country contiguous with the Confederacy and border states. The 1st and 3rd countries above would today be basket cases, while the 2nd country would be greater and more prosperous than the U.S. is today (and certainly less, uh, ethnically diverse).

Anonymous said...

I think the main causes of the USA of today are slavery and its belligerent offspring, the Civil War. By the time of the Revolution, slavery was already well entrenched. Whitehall might have ended slavery sooner and/or more gradually, and might have averted a civil war or ended it more quickly, but that wouldn't have removed the problem of what to do with the former slaves. Thus, much of the basis for today's nanny state would still have existed even without American independence.

- A Solid Citizen

Anonymous said...

Mexico isn't doing much to promote anti-americanism if it remains so obese, the fat-apologi...err the fat-disprivileged will find common ground transcending small problems of skin color, language, culture...

And what's the deal with the Progressive Conservative Party? Sounds kinda great.

Baloo said...

Assuming no important butterfly effects, today's world would be a relatively glum, unfree place, because the failure of our revolution would have put the idea of freedom and self-reliance into disrepute and it would have probably stayed there. I discuss this and what some other authors have said about a world without a US here:
http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2012/07/what-if-no-american-revolution.html

DaveinHackensack said...

You have to ask whether the British would have treated Canada and Australia differently had the US not rebelled. It's likely that the de facto independence Australia and Canada enjoyed for much of their histories was partly due to British concerns about preventing another rebellion.

RS said...

> It was because America had gained independence from Britain that it could choose to allow immigration from Eastern/Southern Europe(not parts of the British Empire)rather than from parts of the British empire.

I don't really agree. There was plenty of cheap labor in Europe, and it was of greater economic value than non-White British Empire labor. Blacks -- taken largely from specific regions of NW black Africa -- may have been brought to the South in large part because of their high-level malaria resistance, a trait not offered by E-Indians or Egyptians. Planting a farm of 100 M Egyptians is no very optimal way to get rich, compared to 100 M Europeans.

On the other hand it's possible the Brits would have tried to restrict the power of White America by giving part of the continent to others. --A political rather than an economic affair. Obviously the coming of Brits to America to form a new superpower was not an unmixed blessing for Brits who stayed in Britain, though it was probably a nice thing for them on balance, cementing their security vis-a-vis other powers like Germany. (Unless one is a Napoleonist type who thinks that incorporation into a napoleonic or similar empire is/was the needful thing for all Europeans.)

kaganovitch said...

It is an idea that has been explored by alternative history novelists several times-Turtledove's "the two georges", Avram Davidson in one of his short stories i think it's "oh brave old world" and others that don't spring to mind now.

John A. MacDonald said...

The PC Party is now defunct.

Maybe in name, but not in substance. The "merger" of the rump PC party and the schismatic Reform party has basically re-established the old party under a startlingly new name (the Conservative Party, which at least has the virtue of getting rid of the oxymoronic designation "Progressive Conservative").

As for the Liberals, I wouldn't count them out. And thank God for that, since the split of the leftist vote (between the Liberals and the NDP) is then only thing keeping Canada from getting a lot worse.

Truth said...

Happy Patriot's Day, Steveites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1QmeEdFOSc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMhq1L0cJf0

Jokah Macpherson said...

We would probably be a lot worse at American football.

Black Death said...

If, about 1770, the British had offered dominion status similar to what Canada (and Australia and New Zealand) got, the Americans probably would have taken it. The Americans would have been able to run their own show with almost no interference from London. The monarch would have remained as a figurhead with almost no real power, as the Queen is technically the head of Canada's government now. There would have been no Revolutionary War or War of 1812. Whether the American Civil War could have been avoided is a more difficult question. The Americans would still have had to deal with the slavery question themselves, as the Canadians must deal with the Quebec issue with no help from the British (and I'm sure the British are all broken up about that). Such an arrangement, however, would have created a trans-Atlantic colossus that would have dominated every aspect of Western politics and civilization. Would Napoleon have fought Britain under those circumstances? What about the Kaiser? Or Hitler?

a very knowing American said...

A first guess about Americans under continued British rule is that white Americans would have done worse than in our world -- more taxed, less free, more drawn into British wars -- while Indians and blacks would have done better. This seems to be how empires work, playing different colonized ethnies against one another, rather than letting one just run the show. Canada, more paternalistic, less libertarian than the US, also has less violence against Indians in its history (although the Indians were also less threatening up North). Of course the huge question is how the abolition of slavery would have played out.

Horace said...

Glad to see you Yanks are finally seeing the light. Accept the authority of Queen Elizabeth, change the Spanish on your signs to French and you can become the 11th province.

Frank Winston said...

My guess is that it wouldn't make much difference today, but that it would have made a huge difference in the 19th century. The religious evangelism of the time which was closely allied with the notion of American exceptionalism played a large role in making Americans the most literate people on earth in the early 1800's, way more literate than the English at the time. Many of the economic gains made in that century were a direct result of the literacy of the populace.

But does that history put us in a better position than we'd otherwise be in 2012? Likely not.

Ed said...

I disagree with the comments on the VDARE site that Steve's essay on Canada was "shallow". He limited his comments to their (mostly excellent) political system, but his comments on Canada were perceptive and favorable.

One elephant in the room in terms of counterfactuals of the U.S. as staying a part of the British empire is slavery. The British abolished slavery, peacefully, decades earlier than the U.S., and in fact that the Crown and Parliament were adopting dangerously liberal attitudes on Indians, Catholics, and to some extent slaves was a major motivator on the American side for the break.

Also, the "founding fathers" (a Warren Harding coinage) did want to incorporate Canada into the new nation, invaded Canada twice (the 1775 invasion of Quebec made the history books but not the 1778 invasion of Nova Scotia), and rejected peace offers from the British government, even ones conceding independence, since they were holding out for Canada.

On the other hand, if the British had had more success in their last minute shoestring effort in the Carolinas and Virginia they might have been able to create a sort of anti-Canada based on the southern colonies.

To maintain the founding myth, history books, teachers, and mass media consistently garble the American War of Independence more than maybe any other even in American history, playing up British "tyranny", exaggerating the revolutionary aspects, playing down the involvement of the French -who if nothing else largely financed and and supplied the American war effort- as well as the Spanish, Indians, and everyone but the Americans and English. One of the problems with the later British military efforts was the conquest of their bases on the Gulf coast by a Spanish, really a Mexican, army.

For example, the war and the Hanoverian dynasty was so unpopular in England the recruiting for the British Army was a dud. The Crown relied on recruiting in Scotland and Ireland, plus the infamous Hessians -who are portrayed as the AWI equivalent of the WW2 Italians but were actually something closer to crack troops- to man their armies. But many English officers and soldiers did volunteer for service in the Continental Army. Omission of this sort of detail is one reason why Americans view history as boring.

Incidentally, the Patriot Party in the US had a decent legal case. They argued basically that the US had already achieved Canadian style independence of the UK, with a link between the colonial legislatures and the Crown, but without the involvement of a Parliament made up of representatives of English and Scottish shires and boroughs and English and Scottish peers. And this really was largely the case in 1760. Most of the officials of the crown working in the thirteen colonies were Americans, paid for with salaries voted by the colonial legislatures. The move by the British government to replace them with British officials paid by Parliament was one of the reasons for the break. The countervailing argument, relying on the original chartering of most of the legislatures by Parliament, was weaker.

I agree that if you want a starting point for the United States as it is commonly conceived the American Civil War (which also is better termed a War of Independence) is a much better place to start.

Frank Winston said...

"Britain would have been less aggressive than an independent USA; Mexico would likely have retained Texas and California."

How would Mexico have retained Texas considering that the USA had little to do with Texas revolting from Mexico (a war in which the Hispanics in Texas fought on the Texas side)? Mexico would have likely retained the land between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, but that's likely it.

JI said...

So culture matters. Go figure.

Frank Winston said...

"Britain would have been less aggressive than an independent USA; Mexico would likely have retained Texas and California."

And there is good reason to believe that California would have eventually revolted from Mexico much like Texas did, simply due to the number of Anglos pouring in over time, the distance from Mexico City and the weakness of the Mexican army.

Anonymous said...

we'd be like Canadians (not a good thing)

Anonymous said...

OT: Derb comes out in full force in favor of single payer socialized medicine and also defends Roberts' vote. Check out the most recent radio Derb transcript on his website.

He was a late holdout in the high profile HBD sphere in moving left economically. Kaus was always left, but now we have him, half sigma attacking the 1% regularly as value transferers, Steve Hsu voting Obama, David Frum tacking left and getting fired from his GOP establishment sinecures.

Anonymous said...

IDK, some myths are best left unquestioned.

Anyway the best counter factual result would just have been independence 20 years late when the uk was distracted by the napoleonic wars.

Anonymous said...

"OT: Derb comes out in full force in favor of single payer socialized medicine and also defends Roberts' vote."

The current system is already socialized.

Beefy Levinson said...

The most comprehensive treatment of this question I know of is Robert Sobel's "For Want of a Nail." The point of departure is Sobel positing a British victory at Saratoga. The Revolution is eventually crushed, Washington and many of the other Founding Fathers are hanged for treason, and British rule is consolidated. It's written as a dry monograph and goes all the way to the late 1970's. I reccomend it for all history buffs. It's still available on Amazon I think.

Perspective said...

Had the US not won its independence it is possible that all British colonies, including those in Canada, would have become one country under British rule diminishing over time. Or perhaps certain colonies with closer cultural ties would band together and form their own countries.

I often speculate what would have happened if the south had won the American civil war and formed a Confederate Republic. In that scenario, it is likely that many cities in the north and west would not have seen the great black migration north, and the south would have developed a system of apartheid.

Saran said...

"I love your smarts your spelling? Not so much."

- Glass houses... All that I'm going to say...

Perspective said...

" There was no such investment in Canada since much of it was cold and economically limited--like much of Russia."

This is true, climate has always been Canada's biggest impasse for population and economic growth. I think this has actually been more true in eastern Canada than western Canada. Halifax, for example, has just 380,000 people. The largest city in Atlantic Canada. New York City, just 3 degrees further south, has over 8 million in the city proper. The warmer climate and stronger and more diversified economy has lured people a way from the region for centuries now.

Wesley said...

"OT: Derb comes out in full force in favor of single payer socialized medicine and also defends Roberts' vote. Check out the most recent radio Derb transcript on his website. "

- Say it ain't so! Derb goes over to the dark side?

Ed said...

On the French Revolution, that event happened when it did mainly because the French government went bankrupt. They were unable to find buyers in 1788-89 for even their short debt. That meant there was no money for famine relief when the crops failed in 1788-9, and no money for the soldiers to back a royal counter-coup against the National Assembly, even if the court of Louis XVI had been up to organizing that.

French participation in the American War of Independence has often been blamed for pushing the French monarchy over the financial edge, but in fact they had been in political and financial trouble since the 1760s, and in addition they had six years after the Treaty of Paris to get their act together. Even if the AWI didn't do it probably something else would have. The Hanoverian monarchy was not really in much better shape and its an interesting counterfactual to have the revolution hit London first.

Incidentally, the Washington administration maintained that the treaty of alliance with France was with the French monarchy, not the French Republic, an ungrateful diplomatic stance but probably a realistic one.

Anonymous said...

To try to answer the question seriously. First, if we'd lost, the British would've punished us and tried to make sure any "rebellion" didn't happen again. Second, the rapid expansionism of the Anglo-Saxons (Manifest Destiny) would've taken a backseat to "What's good for the British ruling class?" Who knows how THAT would've ended up, but I can't see how it would've been better for the Americans.


Finally, if you look at Anglo-Saxon liberalism and greed that's gotten us where we are to day - it all started in the Britain. If the Canada or Australasia is better than the the USA its purely accidental. The same suicidal "we love people of color, invade the world/invite the world, Jews are the chosen people and our masters" thought all comes from England and is even stronger in Canada.

Anonymous said...

In the same show he indicates philosophical preference for subscription hospitals--presumably turning away sick poor people, negligent proles, criminals suffering fight/gun injuries--but plainly admits that state of affairs won't ever, in 100 years, return (maybe 200 though)

So, not really quite joining up with the dirigiste leftist paleo right; it seems only recently he learned what NAFTA was.

As for why Frum bashes the 1% maybe because that's such a marketing bonanza, today and throughout human history.

Anonymous said...

A longer exposition of the northlands' whole "lacking a national theme" thing was done by Matt Labash who's sort of a wannabe Hunter S. for the CPAC set.

corvinus said...

I often speculate what would have happened if the south had won the American civil war and formed a Confederate Republic. In that scenario, it is likely that many cities in the north and west would not have seen the great black migration north, and the south would have developed a system of apartheid.

Or maybe the South would have let them flood North illegally just like Mexico has done to us. The Great Migration is the only reason the South today is a conservative Republican stronghold.

Harry Turtledove in his "South won Civil War" timeline has the South's history basically match Germany's in WW1 and WW2 in his alternate history, with the blacks as the target of their Holocaust. But he also (correctly, in my view) portrays the USA without the South as more liberal, with an even more prominent Jewish minority and a powerful Socialist Party. If so, the USA would likely take a benignly neglectful stance toward black illegal immigration, even if Jake Featherston (the South's Hitler analog) never appears.

Incidentally, the Washington administration maintained that the treaty of alliance with France was with the French monarchy, not the French Republic, an ungrateful diplomatic stance but probably a realistic one.

Not really. I'd say it's grateful, in fact. It's exactly the same as saying that a treaty with the Russian Czar does not apply to the Bolsheviks.

Anonyia said...

"Without a successful American revolution, the French would rule the planet. They would control the American midwest, the world's largest contiguous granery and the cheap river transport to get it to market through New Orleans. The French would be the breadbasket for a growing planet. The British would be hugging the coastline east of the Appalachians. Washington wouldn't exist, New York and Boston would be much smaller cities."

As a white southerner, I'd be okay with this outcome. I imagine my ancestors wouldn't be cast as the perpetual bad guys/scapegoats for all of "American" history's ills.

Horace said...

For the other Canadians on this thread.

What do you make of the Globe and Mail recently:

-a week of editorials on how we should increase our population to 100 million by increasing immigration (so finally we will not be boring and foreigners will take us seriously).

-now talk of ditching bilingualism as "new Canadians" find it irrelevant.

irishman said...

It would have been bad, really bad.

But let's divide the question up in two.

First; what would have happened had the revolutionary war(RW) failed and America had then gained it's independence at a later date.

Two; what it America had remained under British rule to this day. (Which is the question you strictly put).

A proviso, I assume that the RW happens so France becomes bankrupt anyway and Britain gains Louisiana the Napoleonic war happens so Mexico becomes independent but that the Napoleonic war does not affect the 13 colonies, I think this is fair because the slave economy doesn't really take off until after Napoleon is beaten..


Firstly; if America had regained it's independence at a later date it probably would have come in from a revolt from the South. Had America lost failed in the RW the anti-industry policies of the British would have remained preventing any mass industrialisation in the north but the massive prosperity that came to the South would have come with the invention of the cotton gin. The South would have the wealth in America and a massive incentive to secede if the British remained opposed to white settlement beyond the Appalachians but I don't believe the British would be this stupid so let's assume settlement was allowed beyond the Appalachians. Sooner or later the Southern dominated America would have tired of British taxes and British rule generally and would likely have rebelled. Had the succeeded we would have an America ruled by a slavocracy where slavery was legal throughout America. I'll postulate that such a break would have come in 1833 when Britain tried to outlaw slavery. Because America would have been much stronger by 1833 it is likely that British rule wouldn't have been hard to shake off and that independent America would also include Canada as the two would likely be considered one by 1833 as well as the British slave islands in the Caribbean. This America would likely have developed a cotton based economy, would be belligerent and expansionary. Taking Texas and california(perfect for cotton) would be a given but I believe America would also probably incorporate Cuba before long and restart the Atlantic slave trade. It may also have become a leading coloniser of Africa itself.

By the present age what we call democracy might only exist in Europe. America such as it is would have a Brazilian type economy based on comodities export to the world's sole industrial engine in Europe. It would have a black majority in North America and a larger one when one adds in the like Caribbean aquisitions because of the resumption of the slave trade. Slavery may well remain legal for reasons of social control but if not something along the lines of a very rigid caste system would exist.

Secondly; had America remained part of Britain it would probably have become a Southern dominated economy though with a smaller number of blacks. It is unlikely that America would have acquired Texas of California although Texas may have become Anglicised anyway. Also There probably would be much less immigration from outside the home nation so America might be simultaneously more Scots-Irish and less Scots-Irish at the same time! But America would be a sparsely populated backwater in global terms.

Mr. Wadsworth said...

"What if America hadn't won its independence?"

- Canadians,Mexicans, and the rest of the world would have no one to blame for their woes (not to mention no one to thank for how much better their lives have become because of it).

Anonymous said...

"My high school history textbook was called "Unity in Diversity" and the (good) "Canadian mosaic" was compared with the sinister American melting pot. But at that time multiculturalism meant sprinkling the country with groups of Italians, Ukrainians, Poles plus enuf Chinese to have a Chinese retaurant in every small town and a Chinatown in every big city"

Here in Australia, the "white ethnics", i.e. non-British European migrant minorities, were used as pawns by left-wing activists to push the multicultural agenda, even though most Greek, Italian, Polish, German etc. migrants were more or less willing to assimilate into the Anglo-Australian mainstream.

Thomas T said...

"OT: Derb comes out in full force in favor of single payer socialized medicine and also defends Roberts' vote. Check out the most recent radio Derb transcript on his website."

Gotta disagree with the Derb on this one. A significant part of his argument seems to be- we're already partly socialized anyway, why not go all the way? That's a bit like saying- well, we're partly hanging over the edge of a cliff, so let's just go over the side.

We benefit from not having socialized medicine. Read T Sowell's articles about this. Basically, we have superior medical treatment compared to much of Europe, Canada, and the rest of the world, because its not socialized. Socialized medicine means you wait 6 months to see a doctor when you have cancer, and they decide if you get treatment. Socialized medicine drives away the best and brightest doctors because they can make more money elsewhere. Not having a socialized system is why we have had many of the best and brightest from the rest of the world coming here.

Svigor said...

Here in Australia, the "white ethnics", i.e. non-British European migrant minorities, were used as pawns by left-wing activists to push the multicultural agenda, even though most Greek, Italian, Polish, German etc. migrants were more or less willing to assimilate into the Anglo-Australian mainstream.

That's one way of spinning it. Another way is that even relatively closely-related groups will pursue their ethnic interests and erode those of their hosts. Occam's razor suggests non-White multiculturalism and White multiculturalism are separated more by degree than kind. White multiculti paved the way for non-White multiculti.

Anonymous said...

I believe two major things would have happened. One, slavery would have ended in the south in the 1830's as it was ended everywhere else in the British empire at that time. No civil war. This would have been a very good thing. I hardly think, though, this would have meant that blacks in the south would suddenly have been granted full and equal rights as citizens, but the subsequent history and development of what we today call "Dixie" would have been much better. Two, in what is now Canada, the French language would have been snuffed out and Quebec would be a kind of "Louisiana North", a slightly quaint part of the American melting pot. Not having lost the American colonies, Britain would have paid little attention to either Australia, its dumping ground for undesirables, or India, its outlet for mercantile energies. The sub-continent today would have a much different history and Australia might not even be a part of the Anglosphere. Probably the southwest boundary would be a lot different today. Mexico MIGHT have held on to much more of what is today the U.S. southwest. On the other hand, the northern border would be the north pole and not the 49th parallel.

Canadian Observer said...

One of the reasons that English Canada is not willing to give up Quebec so easily is because of the 500,000 or so anglophones who live in west Montreal, the 200,000-300,000 ethnic allophones who identify primarily as Canadians rather than as Quebecois people, business connections with Montreal, transportation links to the Maritimes, etc. Quebeckers know these facts and thus play political games with us, threatening to separate in exchange for concessions, perks, etc.

NOTA said...

Thomas T:

If we have better medical care than European countries, why doesn't that show up in mortality statistics? It looks to me like we spend about twice as much for somewhat lousier outcomes, which is not much of a commercial for the existing system. People I know who live in countries with some kind of national healtcare system (some mandatory private insurance, some single payer) seem to have occasional complaints about their system, but not horror stories. I know a lot more Americans, obviously, but horror stories about the billing side are commonplace.

There's this odd parallel I keep noticing:

a. Liberals talking about how evil vouchers would be for public school systems that are visibly horrible (say in DC or Detroit).

b. Conservatives talking about how evil socialized medicine would be for the US healthcare system, which also is visibly not working very well.

It's like their starting premises and political alliances just make them ignore the places where the thing they're protecting is unfixably broken.

Simon in London said...

@NOTA - I have plenty of horror stories about the British NHS, especially the maternity care - appalling, sometimes lethal, but free! >:)

Overall my impression is that Britain and the USA have about the two worst healthcare systems in the developed world. The US can be very good if you have good health insurance, the NHS won't bankrupt you; but most other countries seem to do it better.

Thomas T. said...

"If we have better medical care than European countries, why doesn't that show up in mortality statistics? It looks to me like we spend about twice as much for somewhat lousier outcomes, which is not much of a commercial for the existing system."

-NOTA, this was why I said to read up on some of Sowell's archives about this very issue. We have different ethnicity mixes than Europe, and also how we tend to die are quite different.

More people in the US tend to die from things like homicide, obesity, drug overdoses, etc- things that occur in the absence of a doctor's advice. For things like cancer, our current system is far better, as you are more likely to be seen in a timely manner, and by a higher caliber doctor, more likely to be able to get second opinions, more thorough testing will tend to be done, etc.

In other words, when comparisons are done for 'mortality rates amenable to health care' and not just raw mortality rates, we rank among the top of the list.

Socialized medicine is a step in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

Svigor: "That's one way of spinning it. Another way is that even relatively closely-related groups will pursue their ethnic interests and erode those of their hosts. Occam's razor suggests non-White multiculturalism and White multiculturalism are separated more by degree than kind. White multiculti paved the way for non-White multiculti."

Multiculturalism was ostensibly introduced for the benefit of "white ethnics", even though I would argue that the vast majority of them were ambivalent towards the policy.

The irony was that, as you point out, "white multiculti" paved the way for "non-white multiculti" (the more diversity the better, right?), a development which ended Australia's long-standing preferences for European migrants, known as the "White Australia" policy. The "white ethnics" suddenly found it a lot harder to reinforce their communities as the migration flow from Europe was essentially choked off in favour of a "non-discriminatory" immigration policy.

irishman said...

Socialised medicine basically functions at an acceptable level in Europe. It is highly flawed and inefficient but its flaws and inefficiencies are inevitable for a service as personal and political as healthcare. I don't have any direct experience of the American system but from what I gather I think I prefer our inefficiencies to yours.

I may be wrong though. I suspect Obamacare won't be repealed even if Romney wins. American healthcare costs are too high and his lack of elocution on the subject makes me smell a flip flop. But the way Obamacare will slow the growth in healthcare cost is by essentially slowing medical innovation. No-one would ever say this out loud for the same reason that no-one would say openly that the way America will deal with its debt is through inflation. It's basically the only way. We in Europe piggyback off American innovation and that's why our healthcare costs are affordable.

Frankly I think it is worth it. Why should America bankrupt itself so some fossil can die at 89 instead of 87?

Anonymous said...

"Frankly I think it is worth it. Why should America bankrupt itself so some fossil can die at 89 instead of 87?"


This makes me wonder, has the upper age limit of life changed much? Average life expectancy is a muddled term, if you consider that it includes infant mortality and things like deaths from high blood pressure and deaths from infection, prior to modern medicine. Is the difference in age between the oldest person alive in 1612 very different from the oldest living today? If not, this might be a very valid view, despite it's callous delivery.

Jeff Braam said...

I did like this article, and it is a question I find so few Americans are willing to seriously raise at the present time.

The only other American I can recall asking is the novelist John Crowley, who does so explicitly in his four-volume "Aegypt" series. In the novels, his Anglophile American protagonist Pierce outright states his love of England, but his awe of the "terrible wisdom" of the Founding Fathers.

The same question is implicitly raised in "Little Big" which raises the same contrasts of cultures but *MASSIVE SPOILERS* reconciles the two traditions basically by the moral works of Samuel Johnson.

I would heartily recommend both.

Anonymous said...

britain would still have an empire today and there would be no world wars but britain wouldnt have anyone to play cricket or rugby against. Because of this britain would decide to give its colonies independence so they could play cricket and rugby against someone. But the other colonies beat britain so they start a world war. britain wins its empire back and bans all sports until we invent the british version of the wii, xbox or ps. Then we have a CPU to play against. All british soldiers will be so occupied with their consoles that all colonies get declare themselves independent. Then the world just carries on as it is now except all british people are fat instead of the americans