- July 31, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Sample essay papers
The American Revolution took place due to various political and social reasons in the second part of the eighteenth century; this was not a surface historical change, the idea of the revolution was already in our minds and our hearts.
This political movement involved the Thirteen Colonies of North America and the main aim of it was to stop the governance of the British Empire and to become independent nation of the United States of America.
The development of changes in America was not unexpected. Colonies wanted to get more freedom, whereas the statesmen of England were trying to make their control over the colonies even tighter. The first conflict situation was related to expansion of the territories to the Mississippi River as was the claim of colonies, which needed new lands.
The physical growth of the colonies was much greater than it was expected. In the 18th century there was a wave of immigrants from Europe, and due to the fact, that some part of the lands near the seacoast was already occupied, they had to move further. Farmers with their families were moving to valleys, beyond the fall line of the rivers (Billias, 26).
The British government didn’t want to do it in such a rapid space, being afraid of possibility of Indian wars. “In 1763, a royal proclamation reserved all the western territory between the Alleghenies, the Florida, the Mississippi, and Quebec for the use of the Indians. Thus the Crown attempted to sweep away every western land claim of the thirteen colonies and to stop westward expansion”¯ (Miller, 23). The spirits of revolution could be felt in 1763 already, exactly when there was no more threat to British North American colonies from the French military. Britain took a decision to develop a number of taxes, to be paid by the colonies, in order to cover the costs of keeping them in Empire. The new system implementation started from the Sugar Act of 1764, it was actually the substitution of the Molasses Act of 1733, according to which a prohibitive duty for importing of rum and molasses was foreseen. The Sugar Act added restrictions for wines, coffee, silks and so on.
We, as colonists certainly were aware of the fact, that due to lack of our representatives in the British Parliament, it was not correct to accept theses taxes as legal ones. These were not the duties themselves as the only push to confrontation, but “it was rather the fact that steps were being taken to enforce them effectively, an entirely new development. For over a generation, New Englanders had been accustomed to importing the larger part of the molasses for their rum distilleries from the French and Dutch West Indies without paying a duty”¯ (Billias, 113). Thus even the smallest duty seemed to be a serious obstacle.Ā Starting from the year 1772 we, as members of Patriot groups, were creating the special committees in order to finally create Provincial Congress. This campaign was a success and two years later, most of the British ruling organs were replaced and the First Continental Congress was created. One of the brightest events of the tax confrontation was the so-called Tea Party. Within three years radicals were trying to prove, that as long as tea tax remained, the menace of devastation of colonial liberties was sufficient.
The leader of the patriots ”“ Samuel Adams of Massachusetts insisted only on one possible end – independence (Thomas, 11). In all ports agents of the company had to leave their posts and the shipments of tea were either sent back to England or kept at stocks. Only in Boston the agents refused to leave and were making their usual preparations for cargoes acceptation, in spite of the confrontation with opposition. In this situation Samuel Adams took a decision to dump the cargo in the Boston Harbor.
The strongest motivation for the revolution was development of the political ideology – “republicanism”¯, which became dominant in most of the colonies by 1775. “The “country party”¯ in Britain, whose critique of British government emphasized that corruption was to be feared, influenced American politicians”¯ (Billias, 125). Corruption we considered to be the worst evil and civic duties were put on the first place for all members of society, including women. Women were aware of the so-called “republican motherhood”¯, which dictated the major duties of republican women like to ingrain republican values in their children, based on the examples of Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren (Miller, 38). The strongest supporters of the republican ideas were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams.
Our fight for independence ended only in 1776, when on the 4th of July the Declaration of Independence was adopted. This was not simply a document, confirming creation of a new nation, it was the result of the tense struggle for equity and inculcation of the philosophy of human freedom. This was a struggle for creating a union of states and at the same time for individual liberty.