Template talk:Campaignbox American Revolutionary War: Boston

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Problems with listing the Powder Alarm first[edit]

1) The Powder Alarm from the British perspective was just a movement of British supplies from one location to another, not really a military event.

2) The Powder Alarm was in 1774. This would require the Boston campaign box to indicate that the military events of the Revolution began in 1774. This would mislead many people, either about the date of the Powder Alarm, or the date the revolution began.

3) If non-violent acts are included in this campaignbox then it could just as easily begin in 1773 with the property destruction of the Boston Tea Party or with the first placement of troops in Boston beginning in 1768.

4) It's not dogma to begin to list a campaign when the two sides actually began fighting or when territory began to exchange hands. Sometimes in a well-meaning effort to educate people about things they may not know, like the Powder Alarm, it's possible to overstate their significance. Wikipedia shouldn't disagree with every history book just to teach people something and avoid dogma. Flying Jazz 04:50, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Response:
  1. Sending 260 regular troops outside the city in order to seize gunpowder and weapons while the rural government was increasingly in the hands of a radical insurgency is a military event, especially when thousands of armed insurgents take to the streets in response.
  2. The Boston campaign did begin in 1774 (as a result of the 1774 Intolerable Acts; see below). The actual shooting of course did not erupt until 1775, as the articles make clear: no one will be mislead about when the war began.
  3. Unlike the Powder Alarm, the Boston Tea party was not a military event. Unlike the Powder Alarm, the occupation of Boston in '68 did not involve two armed groups. Non-shooting events such as the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga are in campaign boxes, because they involve two armed sides in the opening moves of larger military operations, just like the Powder Alarm. It's a judgment call, but I think the Powder Alarm fits this criteria without stretching the purpose of the campaign boxes too much.
  4. If you read the second book in the reference list of the Powder Alarm, you'll see that Revolutionary events in Massachusetts before Lexington and Concord have, if anything, been understated. (more info). The pieces were already on the board and in motion before Lexington and Concord; having the Powder Alarm in the campaign box helps to educate people about this.
--Kevin Myers | (complaint dept.) 15:18, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I've changed the campaign box to begin in 1774 to reflect this POV and maintain internal consistency of dates. I don't hold the view that a single book, no matter how well researched and logical in its premise, should change the view of history so dramatically. Non-fiction books sell better when their premise is provocative, and it's a matter of semantics. I think a high-quality encyclopedia would reflect common semantics as they are taught rather than changing something to reflect a view in order to "educate people," but I'm willing to go with the flow for now and see if there are comments from others. Part of me is glad that the Powder Alarm is receiving this attention, so I'm not going to argue very hard in opposition. Flying Jazz 19:35, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
You and I are probably the only ones paying any attention to this thing anyway! ;-) --Kevin Myers | (complaint dept.) 08:02, 17 March 2006 (UTC)