Interpreting Researched Information –
Several years ago I had been reading about the British march the morning after Paul Revere’s midnight ride. While British soldiers were in retreat, American militia continued shooting. This caught the British by surprise and offended their view of “war conduct”, specifically not to fire on soldiers in retreat. In reflecting with my father, he said, “Americans didn’t much care for British ‘conduct’ in war.” I never thought much about it, nor have I had a reason to. But a thought hit me randomly just recently: It wasn’t that Americans had a different set of values about firing on an army in retreat; they didn’t see the British as being in “retreat”, but “relocating”. Ultimately, we didn’t chase the British back to England, only from our own shores. The Americans had the same values. The difference was their “view” or “vision”.
This seemed an interesting idea as it occurred to me, but I was far more interested in a later realization as I continued to ponder: The British were thinking in terms of that isolated campaign, the Americans wanted them out of the country because they knew the British wanted to launch such campaigns in the future.