The Path to Independence
Independence is always difficult to strive for. Usually, it requires fundamental changes in society that, unfortunately, are accompanied by multiple casualties and losses. American independence was not the exception from the common rules of the history games. Before giving the world the Declaration of Independence, the population of the state lived through its first civil war. Thomas B. Allen in his article With Little Less that Savage Fury covers different sides of that fight for independence pointing out that there is always the minority of society that does not take any side of the struggle being the enemy to both of them.
The actual declaring of American independence was normally preceded by the Revolutionary War that checked the strength of society’s principles and convictions. The rebellion ideas arose in the people’s mind gradually (Bailyn 94). Consequently, they collided, and even the members of one family confronted each other as the upcoming revolution had divided people into patriots and loyalists. The former demanded that Americans get beyond the British control while the latter struggled for autonomy under the legislation of Great Britain. Such collision gave birth to several movements the followers of which defended their own interests. Somehow, the North America was established as a state by colonizers. The Britons were among them. No wonder that their descendants headed to preserve the monarchic values.
Apart from that, there were the loyalists who called themselves Tories. Thomas B. Allen chose one of their representatives, Stephen Maples Jarvis, as an embodiment of the sacrifice of the society’s contradictions of that time (Allen 1). He was the perfect aim for such a decision because Jarvis’s father was devoted to Great Britain while his wife’s relatives belonged to rebels. Thomas Allen himself is a civilian employee from Bethesda, Maryland. He is the author of Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War. Besides, he served in the United States Navy before taking the post of Associate Chief of the National Geographic Society’s Book Service. The writer made numerous researches on the history of American Revolution to finally analyze it from the side he did it in this article.
According to Allen, Jarvis initially took the side of rebels but soon changed his mind and became a loyalist (1). This fact gives an understanding of how perplexed the situation was. Nevertheless, the author of the article raises Jarvis’ personality above the other participants of the battles emphasizing his nobility (Allen 1). As an example, he mentions the case when the abovementioned soldier forbade to take off the scalp of his rival. Stephen Jarvis belonged to a true minority of the restless society who seriously considered that America would develop better under the protection of the British Crown. Moreover, he suffered from his desire to live on his native land despite the new government of past rebels that established there after the conflicts. His house was constantly attacked by the opponents of the Tories (Allen 3).
For one who did not read this article, the American Revolutionary War arises as a bipolar armed conflict without undertones. After filling the historical gap, this path to independence appears to be perplexed and questionable. The author helps the readers to understand that in any revolt there are numerous adepts and opponents who vote either in favor of it or radically against it. The persons who reasonably evaluate the situation are unwelcomed under such circumstances. Usually, they are forced to choose a separate side without permission to stay in the middle. Stephen Maples Jarvis showed the example of the most honest social position but not the most suitable for the society in the state of war.
Allen, Thomas B. “With Little Less than Savage Fury”, American Heritage Magazine. 2010, vol. 60, issue 3.
Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2012.