Being American Is Being A Rebel.

1661 words - 7 pages

The American Revolution was the climax of the revolutionary efforts by the American colonists. One of the few things the rebellious Americans lacked prior to the start of the revolution was an American identity. From the time the first British colonists started to come to the new world the American identity began to form. This identity grew more and more concrete as the Americans continuously had to band together in the many years prior to the revolution to fight the taxes imposed by the British. The strongest thing that the first Americans had in common was their rebellious nature. Finally materializing at the brink of war, the proud Americans used this identity as one of their most powerful weapons in an effort to try to gain freedom from Britain. Very much like the America we know and love today, these traits were most vibrantly shown by the colonists during times of conflict, especially with Britain.Without the Americans' rebellious attitudes coupled with their strong democratic ideals there would have been no revolution. From the time the pilgrims first started coming to the new world, they believed in democratic governments. Every male saint in the Massachusetts Bay Company, for example, was given the power to elect the governor as well as the governor's council (Pg. 39, Visions). Though this does not seem like much power compared to the electoral powers nearly every American enjoys today, compared to Britain at the time, this was a giant step towards democracy. Over the years, these limited electoral powers of the first few pilgrims would steadily grow, allowing more and more people to vote. These powers, however, were all but made useless when Parliament started taxing the colonists. One such tax, brought about by the Stamp Act, left colonists feeling like they had no meaningful self-government. Though they respected Parliament, they did not agree with virtual representation because they felt that this did not truly represent them as colonists (Pg. 87 Visions). Although this discouraged the colonists, taking away so much of what they had already established, it did not stop them. These hard-headed Americans decided rather than sit back and pay the taxes, thus living under a government where they were not represented, they would stand up to the taxes. One of the few steps taken to stop this tax, as well as all the other taxes later on, was the Stamp Act Resolutions of 1765. The Stamp Act Congress declared in section V of the document, "That the only representatives of the people of these colonies are persons chosen therin by themselves, and that no taxes ever have been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them, but by their respective legislatures" (Pg. 102, Voices). This shows that though the colonists were rebellious, and did not agree with the British, they were not irrational. Rather than just fighting the British, they first committed to trying to solve their problems peacefully. Eventually it could be seen that peaceful tactics...

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