Were George Washington and Robert E Lee Equivalent?

Here is an exchange on something called Quora. The question below was (IMHO) quite stupid, but the answer was excellent. I’m quoting the whole thing becuase I don’t know how to just put in a link.

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Ross Cohen
Ross Cohen, B.A. in History & Political Science
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well, there is the point that George Washington betrayed his country and his sovereign but a key point was that he won.

    Treason doth neuer prosper? What’s the Reason?
    for if it prosper none dare call it treason
    John Harington

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    • The Founding Fathers were quite aware that if they lost, they would be hanged (or worse). The Declaration of Independence was their attempt to explain to the world why their revolt was justified.

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      • So? It’s nice to know why you are betraying your country?

        My impression is the US Declaration of Independence is a rationalization for their behaviour, possibly justified to some extent, but still a rationalization.

        From a British Empire point of view the revolutionaries in the American colonies were “traitors”—actually I would not classify the revolutionaries or the Confederates as “real” traitors since neither group were betraying their country to a foreign power.

        My point was just that the term “traitor” is in the eye of the beholder.

        The American revolution was just a family dispute or as one person has put it, the was a coup d’état. It was not a revolution like the French or Russian revolutions.

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  2. […] Thanks to G.F. Brandenburg for bringing this post to my attention. […]

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