However, the American Revolution was not an example of this. In fact it was quite the opposite. The American Revolution was not a group underprivileged, misunderstood, misrepresented, or oppressed people. These were a group of privileged, successful, and powerful people who lived in one of the most promising places of the world. The thing about them is that they wanted more power faster than it was being given to them. And because of this they orchestrated one of the most successful uses of propaganda in world history. The biggest issues for the colonists was taxation.
Many of the taxes that colonists were complaining about were relatively small. And some weren’t meant to cost the colonists anything. They were simply meant to encourage the colonists to purchase British goods. Which isn’t to hard to understand considering they are a British colony. It seems as though many of the leaders of the revolution didn’t realize that they where there to expand and strengthen the British empire. The taxes of the time were small considering the fact that Britain had invested in the exploration and forming of the colonies.
Today we pay federal income tax, state income tax, property tax, sales tax, capital gains tax, social security tax, medicare tax, worker’s compensation tax, federal unemployment tax, state unemployment tax, gasoline tax, and even a tax on cell phones. Now today, everyone pays these taxes and I don’t hear any calls for a revolt against the government. At one point in time the only notable tax on British goods was a tea tax. The leaders of the revolution were able to persuade the colonists that this was unacceptable.
They persuaded them to the point were they believed that they should engage in a criminal act to protest it. The colonies called it the Boston Tea Party. The colonists disguised themselves as Indians and went on British ships and proceeded to throw all their tea overboard. The colonists promoted this crime as a peaceful protest. But in reality it was anything but that. The fact is that it was a crime and a crime that cost Britain a lot of money. The British government had every right to impose sanctions on the colonies and the city of Boston.
Especially since no individuals took responsibility for this “protest”. This was one of the great uses of propaganda leading up to the Revolutionary war. The leaders of the revolution, who we also call are forefathers, were able to turn a blatant and illogical crime into a peaceful protest. They were able to make these criminals sound like heroes. They were also able to make the British government’s reaction to this so called protest sound oppressive and overbearing. Another fascinating and admirable example of propaganda was the Boston Massacre.
And I use the term massacre in name only. This event was hardly a massacre, in fact only five colonists died. This event was portrayed as the killing of innocent colonists by the British. Many even portrayed it as an act of tyranny by the King. As if the King was really involved. In reality, a group of British troops who were being assaulted opened fire on a group unruly protesters. And yes, being hit with a rock is assault. There were a few people in the colonies that would call these the first casualties of the American Revolution.
This was done in an effort to excite the colonists into the thinking that the revolution was underway, even though that was hardly the case. These are two very famous events of the revolution which are great examples of the propaganda and the manipulation used by the leaders of the revolution towards their fellow colonists. The American Revolution was not a story of a tyrannical King or an oppressive government. It is a story of a small number of intelligent, highly educated people who recognized an opportunity to increase their power and their fame as well as be the leaders of their own country.
They used their intelligence to incite a war against their own country which put their lives and the lives of their colleagues in danger. As well as causing the deaths of thousands more during the war. Not to mention committing treason against the most powerful nation in the world. The acts of these men were inconceivable and irresponsible. This war was easily avoidable and both sides should have taken greater responsibility in preventing it.