The American Revolution As A Conservative Movement.

815 words - 3 pages

The American Revolution , while it may have been the first war that was started toactually put into practice some ideas that previously had only been talked about,did not have any ideas that were new. Nothing really changed as far as theaverage man was concerned, after the revolution. Slaves were still enslaved, Indianswere still considered savages, women were not given equal rights and the governmentswere still basically the same, except now there were no royal govenors.Most of the main ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence wereborrowed from John Locke, a famous english philosopher. He believed thatif the "ruling body if it offends against natural law must be deposed." Locke saw it as aright and sometimes an obligation of subjects to overthrow their government, ifit became oppressive. The Americans fully embraced this idea. They did not make uptheir own ideas.The most radical idea of the revolution was the idea that the COMMON peopleshould have the right to govern themselves. In a world where monarchieswere the status quo, and people believed that monarchs ruled by divine right, the idea THATthe average joe even had the ability to rule himself was mind-boggling.While the Americans preached this idea and made it the backbone of their excuse forbreaking away from Britian, in truth they didn't really practice it. All of those atthe Continental Congress were upper class white men who owned land and heldimportant places in their respective states. After the revolution was over, the upperclass still ruled. There was not some earth-shattering, sudden and over-whelming clamorfor national equality. Things mostly remained the same and the upper classmade most of the laws.One problem with naming the revolution as ANY kind of movement is that it dependson whose side you were on and what year you are talking about.Those things determine what the definition of conservative and radical is at the time. TheArticles of Confederation were very conservative because, at this time,anything that proposed anything other than a weak central goverenment was consideredradical, such as the constitution which we presently live under. In our currenttime, even the constitution is seen as pretty conservative though, mostly because itdidn't call for the freeing of slaves or deal with any other big issues. Basically those issueswere ignored. The thing that really needs to be stressed in all this is that the revolutiondidn't really change ANYTHING. It was mostly just a cosmetic change as...

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