Sarah Vowell's Argument Analysis: America At War

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Tys M. Sweeney America at War Mr. Evans / Mrs. Brandwood Fall 2016 In her most recent book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, Sarah Vowell asserts that the United States were not, in fact, united until Britain forced them to unite over issues of taxation. Her assertion is based on the largely divided culture of the then-colonies, and how even neighbors like New York and Connecticut would get into arguments over territory. Were the colonies united before 1776, or were they as divided as Sarah Vowell argues. A case can be made for either argument. True, there were divides between the colonial governments, but when the time came, every colony pitched in to assist Massachusetts, and each sent delegates to the Continental Congress. Vowell’s argument is that it was …show more content…

One is Congress’s rather argumentative nature when settling terms for independence, and the other is their handling of the distribution of supplies. In terms of the first, it is important to note that there was a well defined argument over whether or not to even declare independence. This, obviously, is a division that proved material at the time, and, as it happens, led to the compromise adopted in 1775 by the Congress known as the Olive Branch Petition (42). The Olive Branch Petition declared that the colonists, while annoyed by tax regulations and fearful of the “parliamentary troops”, were still loyal to their King and took issue only with Parliament. This compromise came about because of the difference in opinion between many of the delegates as to whether or not independence was in the best interest of the colonies. Soon, however, reconciliation with Britain was off the table, and a motion for independence was the only remaining option. The evidence presented here does provide footing for Vowell’s argument, especially considering the even further discord when it came to the distribution of

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