When first he opens his eyes, an infant ought to see the fatherland, and up to the day of his death he ought never to see anything else. Every true republican has drunk in love of country, that is to say love of law and liberty, along with his mother’s milk. This love is his whole existence; he sees nothing but the fatherland, he lives for it alone; when he is solitary, he is nothing; when he has ceased to have a fatherland, he no longer exists; and if he is not dead, he is worse than dead.
If you’re going to love whatever country you’re born in, it’s hard to see the point of fighting to make a new one.
Any number of world histories could follow from the American colonies not gaining independence in the early 1780s. But is it not plausible that slavery would have ended much sooner and less violently and Pax Britannica been more pervasive and lasted longer, perhaps even to this day?
The British Empire was not something to aspire to, but pragmatically, suppression, avoidance, or delay of the 20th century’s bloodletting would be nothing to sneeze at. Probably even worth celebrating with firecrackers. (No, the current U.S. jurisdiction cannot hope to replicate this imagined peace through empire, with or without partners, as explained by Nick Szabo — make sure you follow the link to his Book Consciousness post too.)
Rousseau quote is via Why, when, and how to abolish the United States, which does not propose fighting but is rather funny.