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The American Revolution: Not Really Revolutionary

1586 words - 6 pages

During the late eighteenth century the colonies were in a fight for independence; a fight for a revolution from a government that had oppressed them, taxed them, and basically enslaved them. So why did the new government they were struggling to construct so closely resemble the government they detested to be under? Thirteen colonies all fighting against one common foe, however governing themselves would cause many obstacles within. The new government was being pieced together from the only political system they have even been a part of, a monarchy. As a result there was a severance between the people on how the government was to be run. Some felt it was too democratic while others opposed claiming it was not enough. Colonists really didn't have a choice in the matter. It was going to be a trial and error situation until they could agree how to govern the new world. Even with the Articles of Confederation established, many things were still unethical and people felt that the new government was no better then the government they condemned. In time the fight for independence would change many things however the "Revolution" of the new government was a slow process. Some aspects of Parliament remained leaving speculation to whether or not this was a revolution at all.

Shortly after the Treaty of Paris, many colonists began to express their reactions to Britain and the fight for independence. Some agreed with earlier English Whig journalists who stated .".. corrupt and power-hungry men slowly extinguished the lamp of liberty in England" (Nash, 143). The colonist saw an attack on their liberties taking place so they resorted to following English practices and starting voicing their opinions. The colonists were starting to feel the pressure of England in every facet of life and they didn't know what to do about it. With frustration they took the past and ran with it, speaking out as the Whigs had done in England, voicing their right for liberty. The colonist thought this to be the best form of action because they still .".. thought of themselves as Englishmen, not as "Americans" (Heilbroner, 59). They took the advice of past Englishmen staging that, even in a fight to be liberated from a country they hated, they were still somewhat loyal to their mother country. Not all the people in the colonies promoted change. Most farmers and wealthy slave holders thrived from England, having little, if any, gripes with Britain. The closure of the port of Boston was their only major concern because it depleted trade efforts. However, even when the men spoke out against their government, looking for a higher standing in the colonies, they were easily silenced by higher ranking officials. The urban population was physically smaller but they displayed a persistent voice. Such people as artisans, for example, began to want reformed laws and wanted the representatives from Parliament to be held more accountable. When this was made public in Philadelphia, many...

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