Historical Background of the American Revolution (1775 -1783)
In spring 1775, thirteen British colonies rebelled against the domination of the British Empire. They rejected the power of the British Empire, the monarchy, starting the republic . The Boston Tea Party is considered to be the major symbol of the American Revolution. Protesting against strict British taxation, “John Hancock, the wealthiest patriot merchant in Boston, at his side on a tea ship in 1773 threw the tea overboard ”. Those events were very dramatic and complicated. The middle class acted as a driving force in this transformation striving for liberty and property. “Urban ‘mobs’, agrarian rebellions, slave resistance, the awakening of religious enthusiasts – all the stuff of the radicalism of the Revolutionary era ”. In fact, political disconnection from the British Empire was not the major aim in this struggle. Nevertheless, it led to the creation of a new nation, promoting the Republican model of a state instead of monarchy.
Rejecting old-fashioned British principles, Americans adopted key historical documents. In May 1775, the Second Continental Congress took place electing George Washington to be the head of American forces. In July 1776, Congress signed the Declaration of Independence from Britain. The Articles of Confederation appeared to be the first legislation confirming the union of citizens of the thirteen colonies. They had numerous weak points. To improve the legislative base, in 1787, the Federal Constitution was written, becoming the main law of the USA .
The Major Contradictions between the Loyalists and the Patriots
During the American Revolution, the American colonists were divided into two groups, the Patriots and the Loyalists, supporting opposing ideas. The Patriots were adherents of the War for Independence. On the contrary, the Loyalists remained loyal towards the British Empire and the King George III . The Patriots and the Loyalists had diametrically opposed views. To illustrate, Patriots demanded a range of rights and liberties, such as the right to property, guaranteed by the state. They stressed the fact that England was situated in the significant distance from America. Moreover, American colonists did not have a voice in the British Parliament. Therefore, England had not any right to impose taxation on the American colonies. They highlighted the violence and cruel behavior of the British army during Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party. On the other hand, Loyalists supported the united British Empire. They claimed that American colonists are British citizens. Therefore, the British legislation spread over the revolting colonies. Rejecting the charges in the lack of American representation in the British Parliament, the Loyalists stated that it would be unpractical to have their representatives there. Moreover, they appealed to conscience of Americans, arguing that England had helped American colonies during the period of French and Indian War. The Loyalists focused the public attention on the close trade relations between American colonies and England . Therefore, this political group regarded the further development of the colonies in a completely different way from the Patriots.
The state of American economy was extremely problematic. The thirteen colonies were against the British legal right to tax them. There were severe debates over tax and debt relief that was considered to be the sole significant reason for the adoption of the Constitution.
Both policy-makers and common American citizens critisized the authorities of the thirteen states. “In their first flush of revolutionary enthusiasm, the Patriots had created governments that were far too sensitive to public pressure” (Holton, 2008, p.96). Nevertheless, the opponents had different views on the situation in the country. For example, Founding Fathers considered that the legislatures had worsened the development, providing profound relief to debtors and taxpayers. On the other hand, the major part of Americans rejected the Founders’ explanations of the disastrous economic state, refusing the suggested measures for the recovery. American citizens were adherents of alleviating taxation (Holton, 2008, p.100). In fact, American economics experienced the lack of gold and silver. Experts warned about the possibility of flowing the capital from America to Europe (Holton, 2008, p.96). The researchers focused on several reasons of currency shortage, such as “debtor relief legislation and … public officials’ excessive indulgence toward delinquent taxpayers” (Holton, 2008, p.96). For example, in Virginia, tax and debt relief led to emptying the Treasury, because people bought European goods on the money kept from tax collectors (Holton, 2008, p.96). Debtor relief decreased the economic growth. Potential investors did not involve their money, because there was no legislation enforcing the payment at the due time (Holton, 2008, p.96). Those loans could revive the American agriculture. For instance, heavy taxation led to Americans’ loss of their means of production, such as tools and livestock” (Holton, 2008, p.101). Strict taxation worsened the state’s economy, arguing that labor is the major part of the successful economy, reducing the role of land, capital, and managerial expertise (Holton, 2008, p.101).
There were brisk disputes over stockjobbing. Stockjobbing or bond speculation attracted numerous Americans. They argued that extremely high taxation of the 1780s would fail in making the war bonds benefitial to the economics. William Manning, a farmer from Massachussets, claimed that “inflating the market price of government securities to equivalence with theit face value would meet the monetary needs of only the wealthiest Americans” (Holton, 2008, p.101). Experts warned about the economic fault. For example, John Adams adviced to ignore the securities speculation and make investment in the cultivation of the land considering it more benefitial to the economy (Holton, 2008, p.106).
To sum up, during the American Revolution, the citizens of the thirteen revolting colonies created a new freedom-loving nation rejecting old-fashioned goals of the British Empire. The American Revolution (1775 -1783) can be regarded in three areas taking into account its historical background, struggle between two political groups of the Loyalists and the Patriots, and economic peculiarities of the young republic.
In spring 1775, thirteen British colonies rebelled against the domination of the British Empire and started the republic. The major symbol of the American Revolution is the Boston Tea Party of 1773 when American patriots threw tea overboard protesting against the strict British taxation. The struggle led to the creation of a new nation. The republican model of a state replaced the monarchy.
During the American Revolution, the American colonists were divided into two groups, the Patriots and the Loyalists, supporting diametrically opposed ideas. The Patriots were adherents of the War for Independence. On the contrary, the Loyalists remained loyal towards the British Empire and the King George III.
The state of American economy was extremely problematic. The thirteen colonies rejected the British legal right to tax them. There were severe debates over tax and debt relief that was considered to be the sole significant reason for the adoption of the Constitution.
Founding Fathers considered that the legislatures had worsened the development, providing profound relief to debtors and taxpayers. On the other hand, the major part of Americans rejected the Founders’ explanations for the disastrous economic state, refusing the suggested measures for the recovery. American citizens were adherents of alleviating taxation
Having overviewed the above-mentioned areas and radical and conservative tendencies in the development of the American state, numerous contradictions between old-fashioned British principles and new democratic ideas can be observed. Nevertheless, the American nation made the right choice, choosing the way of wise compromises that led to the core values – Freedom and Independence.
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