Most citizens have not done the math:
1776 minus 1492 = 284 years
2013 minus 1776 = 237
The upper period was 47 years longer (exact dates don’t matter), from the initial European Explorer arrival (focus on point) on the North American Continent, until the Revolutionary War; versus the elapsed time from that War to today. Many people (including me) imagined, for some unknown reason, the landing date to War period to be shorter.
The population of the “Colonies” was Two-and-a-Half Million (2,500,000) in 1776; not counting the “original people of the land” (Indians) and new-comer slaves. British troops during the War (1/3 German mercenary) were Sixty Thousand. The Colony Army, led by General (later US President) George Washington, had never more than Ninety Thousand troops including; Regulars and State Militia from Canada to Florida.
Why the Revolutionary War took eight (I have been in a combat zone and can not imagine the conditions) years intrigued me. The British troops did not have superior weaponry. Surely, if HALF the adult male population, after the math equal to Three-Hundred Thousand (300,000), had cooperated and simultaneously attacked the King’s Men (tenuous coastal supply lines) the fight would last a few months at most.
The answer I arrived at is; the War took eight years instead of a few months because the population (no Rasmussen pole available) was fractured into three basic groups:
One third (40% debatable) of the population was for independence and liberty.
One third (25% debatable) of the population preferred the King.
Final third (35% question) could not comprehend or commit to either side.
Today, the SAME three sentiments dominate. My conclusion is; the predilection of the individual is more psychological than formal ideological thought. The divide in policy opinion is simply that; a faction is personally comfortable with a strong centralized authority; that believes as they do. Not realizing, over time, once the totalitarian mechanism is established, history informs us they will no longer agree.
Much traitorous (assuming you favored General Washington) activity, by Tories (King supporters) and the undecided equaling approximately half of the colonial population, obstructed the patriots. Under those odds, Divine intervention over an eight year span was needed to win; and they did!