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The American Revolution Origins And Motives

1471 words - 6 pages

Christian F. Wolpert Gaztambide September 8, 2014Ms. Marta Almeida APUSHEssay: The American Revolution - Origins and MotivesThe American Revolution was the successful colonial uprising in British North America, which marked the end of Great Britain's domain over the thirteen colonies. The leaders of this revolution created the foundations on which a new government, "of the people, by the people, and for the people," was to be founded upon. But, the sentiments expressed in the documents they wrote, as well as the nature and background of the leaders, have led people to question the true extent of the revolution. By analyzing the origins of the uprising, the distinct motives of the people who fought in the Revolution, as well as the developments that took place afterwards, we can see that the American Revolution was more of a political change of power benefiting the landed elite of the colonies, not a radical social revolution for the general populace.The origins of the American Revolution are key in understanding the true revolutionary aspect of the uprising. The revolution originated and was fueled by the Empire's attempt at a tighter control over the colonies after the Seven Year's War, and social class conflicts. Thanks to the French-Indian War, the British government had generated a substantial debt, which it had to find a way to pay off. Looking at the colonists as the responsible party of the war, the British authorities decided that "salutary neglect" could not continue to be the practice in the American colonies, and thus began to tighten their grip on these holdings, as well as levying taxes to repay their debt. The colonists, outraged at what they considered a violation of their rights, began to organize a popular opposition to the taxes and acts passed by Parliament. In Boston, for example, the Stamp Act of 1765 marked the beginning of more explosive mob activities when Ebenezer Macintosh led a mob in destroying Andrew Oliver's house, and later on Thomas Hutchinsons's. Later on, in 1773, in response to the Tea Act, the Boston Committee of Correspondence lead the Boston Tea Party, which, as Howard Zinn states, "led to the Coercive Acts, virtually establishing martial law in Massachusetts, dissolving the colonial government, and closing the port in Boston." But, the leaders of the Independence movement, members of the upper and middle class, were appalled by the violence of the mobs and asked for less violence and destruction of public property, recognizing that the rabbles could easily turn on their fortunes and estates. Social conflict between upper and lower classes was also one of the origins of the Revolution. In Boston, for example, the lower classes ventilated their grievances at town meetings, including their total discontent with the conservative upper classes. In 1763 the Boston Gazette exposed this class anger stating that "a few persons in power" had been promoting political ventures "for keeping the people poor in order to...

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