The Revolution was not a single struggle, but a series of four
separate Wars of Independence, waged in very different ways by the major
cultures of British America. The first American Revolution (1775-76)
was a massive popular insurrection in New England. An army of British
regulars was defeated by a Yankee militia which was much like the
Puritan train bands from which they were descended. These citizen
soldiers were urged into battle by New England’s ‘black regiment’ of
Calvinist clergy. The purpose of New England’s War for Independence, as
stated both by ministers and by laymen such as John and Samuel Adams,
was not to secure the rights of man in any universal sense. Most New
Englanders showed little interest in John Locke or Cato’s letters. They
sought mainly to defend their accustomed ways against what the town of
Malden called ‘the contagion of venality and dissipation’ which was
spreading from London to America.
Many years later, historian George Bancroft asked a New England
townsman why he and his friends took up arms in the Revolution. Had he
been inspired by the ideas of John Locke? The old soldier confessed
that he had never heard of Locke. Had he been moved by Thomas Paine’s
Common Sense? The honest Yankee admitted that he had never read Tom
Paine. Had the Declaration of Independence made a difference? The
veteran thought not. When asked to explain why he fought in his own
words, he answered simply that New Englanders had always managed their
own affairs, and Britain tried to stop them, and so the war began.
In 1775, these Yankee soldiers were angry and determined men, in no
mood for halfway measures. Their revolution was not merely a mind game.
Most able-bodied males served in the war, and the fighting was cruel
and bitter. So powerful was the resistance of this people-in-arms that
after 1776 a British army was never again able to remain in force on the
New England mainland.
The second American War for Independence (1776-81) was a more
protracted conflict in the middle states and the coastal south. This
was a gentlemen’s war. On one side was a professional army of regulars
and mercenaries commanded by English gentry. On the other side was an
increasingly professional American army led by a member of the Virginia
gentry. The principles of this second American Revolution were given
their Aristotelian statement in the Declaration of Independence by
another Virginia gentleman, Thomas Jefferson, who believed that he was
fighting for the ancient liberties of his ‘Saxon ancestors.’
The third American Revolution reached its climax in the years from
1779 to 1781. This was a rising of British borderers in the southern
backcountry against American loyalists and British regulars who invaded
the region. The result was a savage struggle which resembled many
earlier conflicts in North Britain, with much family feuding and
terrible atrocities committed on both sides. Prisoners were
slaughtered, homes were burned, women were raped and even small children
were put to the sword.
The fourth American Revolution continued in the years from 1781 to
1783. This was a non-violent economic and diplomatic struggle, in which
the elites of the Delaware Valley played a leading part. The economic
war was organized by Robert Morris of Philadelphia. The genius of
American diplomacy was Benjamin Franklin. The Delaware culture
contributed comparatively little to the fighting, but much to other
forms of struggle.
The loyalists who opposed the revolution tended to be
groups who were not part of the four leading cultures. They included
the new imperial elites who had begun to multiply rapidly in many
colonial capitals, and also various ethnic groups who lived on the
margins of the major cultures: notably the polyglot population of lower
New York, the Highland Scots of Carolina and African slaves who
inclined against their Whiggish masters.
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…During that thunderous time of war and strife that the historians so aptly name Stormcrown, there came to be a convocation at Sancre Tor as in the days of old. The Golden Hill, whose ancient, wearied stones had witnessed both the birth and death of a past Emperor, arose once more, and its people were the priests of the old Alessian church. They had fled from their grand chapels to escape the fighting within the cities, each guided by the Divines to find that hallowed, forgotten necropolis. Under the hot gaze of the sun they toiled like common men, constructing humble homes among the ruins, erecting new temples and shrines, praying to the gods in Aetherius for succor. And the Divines did smile upon them, for on that hill they prospered, and from among those priests eight godly men and women arose to form a new Council of the Eight and name themselves Primates.
In time, Sancre Tor’s reputation as a sanctuary to those devoted to the Eight Divines spread across the fractured land, and many worthy disciples found refuge there. But such holiness attracted unwanted attention as well; claimants to the Ruby Throne appeared before the hall of the Primates, seeking the backing of the Divines and their church in their claim for the throne. But as they were witch-warriors, warlords, and sorcerers all, the Primates did rightly refuse them.
On the eve of Frostfall, however, there was news of a new champion, one strong and just and holy, who was making his way through the lower Highlands. And so one day a watcher on the walls did proclaim, “The West! The West! Look to the West!” for, indeed, a rider drew near the Golden Hill. The Primates, who had foresaw such a coming, rose as one and gathered by the main gates, and the common people came behind them with wonder in their hearts. They gasped as they saw a dignified lord approach on a horse as white as snow, a sword gleaming gold at his knee, the setting sun to his back, and a crown of stars arrayed against his blonde hair. Lo, so came Titus Mede, the King in Colovia! He went alone, for though he had a great army at his command Titus knew and respected the sacrosanct nature of Sancre Tor. And as he drew near, the king dismounted to kneel at the feet of the Primates and lay his sword across his knee, as was right and respectful.
“O, holy children of the Eight,” Titus Mede then intoned, “I come to you with only goodness in my heart. May the Divines find me worthy of your blessing!”
The common people looked to the Council of Eight and wondered if they would send off this man like they had all the rest. But the Divines had spoken truth in their priestly ears and the Primates did no such thing.
Instead, the Primate of Zenithar did say, “Zenithar sees the honesty within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Stendarr did say, “Stendarr sees the justice within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Mara did say, “Mara sees the piety within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Kynareth did say, “Kynareth sees the spirit within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Julianos did say, “Julianos sees the wisdom within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Dibella did say, “Dibella sees the love within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Arkay did say, “Arkay sees the respect within you and finds you worthy.”
And the Primate of Akatosh did say, “Akatosh sees the sovereignty within you and finds you worthy.”
And so the Primates of Sancre Tor gave Titus Mede their blessing before Divines and men alike, and there was much rejoicing to be had.
The Affirmation of Titus Mede by Brother Venio An ecclesiastic portrayal of Emperor Titus Mede I
Updated in accordance with the White Gold Concordat