Academic level – Graduate
Type of paper – Essay
Topic Title – Opinion Essay: The British Lose America
Instructions: Write an opinion essay on Chapter 4 (to include sections 1-5) from “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam.” The source material is attached here.
Please note: You are not required to read and comment on the entire text.)
No other sources are required. The point of the opinion essays is to discuss your personal reaction to the book – what you felt about it, what you liked and didn’t like, and why.
These essays are not intended to be an objective analysis of the book, but rather a purely personal reaction to it. The essay is a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750 words. The opinion essay is not a research paper – that is, there is no need for a bibliography or citations (unless you quote directly from the book).
The essay shall be typed, double-spaced, and in a 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins.
Great Britain played a crucial and adverse role in the history of American development. Being a dependent colony, America paved its way to liberty from British imperialism as it resisted the Crown’s policies and acts, as analyzed in Chapter 4 of Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam Paperback. In the opinion essay, I reflect on the controversial feelings I got after reading the identified Chapter regarding the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act, and provide positive feedback on Tuchman’s analysis of American freedom.
The first controversial feeling I got by reading Chapter 4 was the lack of details about the Stamp Act of 1765. Tuchman indicated that the identified act was prepared by Grenville, which adhered to the British ideology of doing the best for self-interest (1985). Following the further description of the events, the chapter lacked emphasis on why the presented act caused public protests at the colonies. The adoption of the Stamp Act mattered as the British Parliament aimed to sustain the troops of British soldiers who remained in America after the Seven Years War. Americans were obliged to pay tax represented on the stamp that was located on a legal paper or even a card without the ability to refuse. The identified treatment was negligent towards the American community, especially because their interests were not presented in the British Parliament. To my mind, the book lacked clarifications on the cause and consequences of the Stamp Act, which undermined the logical consistency of the described events.
The next controversial feeling I got after reading Chapter 4 was the lack of emphasis on the interdependence between the Sugar Act and the British expectations of it. According to Tuchman, the Sugar Act was created to undermine the colonies’ economy and then to enslave them (1985). The problem there was the lack of indication of what aspects of the identified act were threatening to America’s economy, which complicated my understanding of the point. The Sugar Act implied that if the colonist merchants went into the British ports, they would have to pay a tax for staying there. The idea failed as the merchants bribed the customs officers, which led Britain to reinvent its strategy and tax any British consumption items of high demand in America, like sugar. Finally, the Chapter lacked details on the interdependence between the Sugar Act and British expectations, which complicated my understanding of the material.
Finally, the point I liked was the indication of how British imperialism failed to compete with the American free spirit. King George expected obedience to each of the British acts or policies; however, each of them was disrupted by Americans’ outrage and protests (Tuchman, 1985). The Chapter managed to present the root cause of why the imperialist order failed on the American territory, which, to my mind, was a great indication. The negligence towards Americans’ needs in the derailed economy, the absence of the Parliament representation of Americans, their rights, and needs proved Tuchman’s statement on the British intention to enslave America, which failed based on America’s revolt. Therefore, the Chapter represented the failure of British imperialism in America efficiently.
To conclude, the general impression of Chapter 4 was controversial. The author successfully elucidated the root causes of the clash of British imperialism on American territory. Nevertheless, the Chapter lacked details on why the Stamp Act and Sugar Act were crucial in terms of the American economy and how they caused the Americans’ outrage, which undermined the personal perception of information.
Tuchman, B. (1985). The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam Paperback. Random House Trade Paperbacks.