An Empire’s Waterloo

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British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to French and American forces at Yorktown 231 years ago today. That engagement was the Revolutionary War’s last major one; other skirmishes over the next few years would wound and kill participants, but Yorktown finally convinced the British Empire that it could not control people who refused to acknowledge its claims on them.

The bureaucrats in London directing the war made a great many mistakes, both strategic and otherwise — just as bureaucrats at the Pentagon did with Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Chief among their errors was equating the conquering of territory with victory, though the people in those regions hate you for your murders, rapes, pillaging, cronyism, injustice, bullying, and other depredations.

In the end, that hatred taught earlier Americans a determination to live free or die. Let us pray modern ones will recognize that their current rulers are leagues more brutal, corrupt and evil than King George III ever dreamed of being. And let us swear that we, too, will live free or die. (Learn more about the American Revolution from my novel, Halestorm, available in paperback or for Kindle.)

9:14 am on October 19, 2012