The Patriot

Notions

The origin and essence of the conflict between England and the colony

The origin of the conflict dates back to as early as 1651 when the English Government enacted the Navigation Acts. It meant that all trade routes made by the colonies were only going to England, barring foreign trade. The Molasses Act of 1733 imposed taxes on the molasses trade just so their British product could be cheaper than the French West Indies’. The Currency Act restrained the use of paper money, the Sugar Act added more taxes to the sugar trade, and the Stamp Act required that all almanacks, pamphlets and other official documents have stamps. Also during the time of peace 1500 British soldiers were stationed in the colonies which was politically looked down upon. What the Americans found a really big issue was that they didn’t have any representatives in Parliament thus their problems weren’t heard.

Boston Tea Party of 1773

The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was political and a mercantile protest. The protest was organized by an organization named Sons of Liberty. The target was the Tea Act of 1773 which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea bought from China without paying any taxes. So protesters disguised themselves as Native Americans and destroyed a shipment of tea brought in by the EIC by throwing it overboard in the Boston harbour (hence the name Boston Tea Party). And due to the British government’s harsh reaction, the American Revolution was born.

Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House. It states that the 13 states in war with England were no longer under British rule. Because of that event, Pennsylvania State House received the name “Independence Hall”.

The Declaration of Independence along with the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is displayed in the National Archives. The documents are behind bulletproof and moisture-controlled glass and always watched by two security guards.

Revolutionary War 1775-1783, reasons and outcome

The Revolutionary War was the 18th-century war between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies who had declared independence. Taxes imposed on the colonies were one of the main reasons for the war. The heavy taxes led to protests, they, in turn, led to armament which finally led to war. During the war, France was an ally of the Thirteen Colonies. The war ended with America’s victory and the British recognized American Independence. As an outcome, Spain got Florida and France also got small bits.

Articles of Confederation of 1781

It was the first constitution made by the 13 states. The Articles of Confederation were approved by the Second Continental Congress between July 1776 and November 1777. It came into effect in 1781 after being ratified by all 13 states. The main principle in the articles was to preserve independence and sovereignty.

Constitutional Convention of 1787

The representatives of the government had a meeting in Philadelphia on May 25 in 1787 to try and fix the problems with their government. But instead of fixing the existing government, they decided to form a whole new government led by George Washington. So on March 4 1789, the central government was replaced by the federal government.

US Constitution and the Bill of Rights

The Constitution is the supreme law of the US. It consists of 7 articles. It created a new system of government that would ensure a stronger central government. The constitution came into force in 1789.

The Bill of Rights was created in 1789 and is made up of 10 of the first amendments made by the Constitution. It was written as a response to the Anti-Federalists, by adding to the rights already written in the Constitution.

The role of George Washington

He was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution War. His army had several victories but also losses.
George Washington was also the first president of the USA and during his term, the National Bank was established, Thanksgiving became an official holiday and the term “Mr.President” became official. The capital city of the USA is named after George Washington.

A portrait of George Washington, the 1st president of America

The role of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 and died in 1826. He was a Founding Father and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. The declaration also allowed him to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777. It states that all forms of religion are allowed, eradicating the Anglican Church. During his time as president, he reduced the national debt by 30 million dollars in 2 years.

Visual

For my visual, I chose John Trumbull’s painting Declaration of Independence which depicts the five-man committee presenting their work to the Second Continental Congress. I chose this painting because the Declaration of Independence proclaimed the independence of the 13 colonies from British rule and initially led to the USA being independent from King George III. This was a huge milestone for America since it was the first time they were starting to get recognized as an independent country. This also set an example for other countries and they became a role model for those experiencing a similar situation. In fact, shortly after, France revolted against King Louis XVI to gain their independence. It also has a great impact on their lives today. It is because of the words in that document that women are now treated the same as men and that all races are treated equally. Without it, some of the civil rights that have been passed might never have come to light.

Critical response

To me, this movie seemed more of an action movie rather than a historical one which is totally okay and kind of a given considering it’s not a documentary. However, I would have liked it to be a bit more historically accurate. The movie seemed to be more about the family and Benjamin getting revenge than a movie about America’s independence. What I did like though was that they didn’t make the main story of the movie some sort of a cliché romance like they did with the movie about the Estonian war of independence “Nimed marmortahvlil”. Also, the film does have some historically correct details, as is the case with all the well-built colonial settings and the costumes, in particular, the military uniforms. In addition to that the way the soldiers fought, in quite a formal matter, is pretty accurate. But the scene where Benjamin and his sons fought the group of Red Coats seemed to me as quite superficial and I couldn’t help but wonder, how the hell those children shoot so well and have the courage to kill people. “I believe that many Englishmen did not accept the way this film portrayed their army.” said one critic who seemed to have a quite negative opinion of the movie and I totally see why he would think that since that scene especially showed the English as very incompetent and slow, quite insulting actually. The movie also emphasized the English using dirty tactics and brutal methods a lot, even though at the time the British still had a mentality for the gentlemen’s war.
“The Patriot” ends up repeating itself: They kill people. Mel kills people. They kill people. Mel kills people . . .” is what another unhappy viewer wrote. And again I have to agree, the movie seemed a bit empty since the whole movie is just The British making Benjamin angry, him getting revenge, them making him angry again, him killing some more. The movie doesn’t deal enough with the issues of the war but only touches its history.
With all that said, I thought the cinematography was great and the soundtrack also good.

1st Quote (by Filip Neto):https://www.metacritic.com/movie/the-patriot

2nd Quote:https://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/He-s-Just-Begun-to-Fight-Mel-Gibson-blasts-his-2715482.php

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