While most of the illustrations for this post support the Bicentennial outpouring of pride in the history of the founding of the Republic the last one gives an inkling that all was not flag waving and the triumph of unadulterated freedom. The American War for Independence combined the fervor of American patriots who wanted very little more than home rule and the rights of self determination supported by Europeans who saw an opportunity to keep the British engaged on distant battlefields and too busy to interfere in their colonial enterprises. The failure of the Southern War for Independence is that the north had abandoned the principles of patriotism embraced by the Founders of the Republic in favor of nationalism AND that the Europeans no longer had sufficient interest in supporting the South against an enemy [the north] which was not interfering with whatever was left of their colonial interests but which had the power – upon the slightest provocation – to do so.
In defense of the public liberty : Britain, America, and the struggle for independence, from 1760 to the surrender at Yorktown in 1781 Samuel B. Griffith II Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1976 Hardcover. 1st ed. 725 p.,  leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. Bibliography: p. -709. Includes Index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
In 1760, George III came to the throne of the British Empire. It was a time of almost unparalleled prosperity, for both England and her devoted colonies overseas. No country dared stand against her armed might. In 1781, after a long war that was ruinous both to the economy and to domestic harmony, the Empire yielded independence to thirteen American colonies which had loosely confederated to oppose her and which were themselves on the brink of financial chaos.
Those twenty-one years of struggle would first force upon the loyal English citizens who lived in America the unwelcome notion of independence, and then instill in them the determination to achieve it and defend it to the death. Men who asked only a reason to be loyal to their king found instead a higher loyalty to the ideals of liberty.
This history of those draws extensively on contemporary correspondence, diaries, and newspaper accounts to create a vivid picture of events as they seemed to the participants themselves. The words of George Washington, John and Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, officers and common soldiers, George III, members of his Cabinet, Parliament, Louis XVI, Comte de Vergennes, and dozens of others combine to depict the full spectacle of the birth of a new nation.