American Revolution - Thematic Essay

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Thematic Essay
The American Revolution was characterized by a series of social and political shifts that occurred in American society as new republican ideals took hold in the gentry of the colonies. This time period was distinguished by sharp political debates between radicals (mudwumps) and moderates over the role that democracy should play in a government. This broad new American shift to republicanism and a new found support of democracy was a cataclysm to the traditional social hierarchy which characterized old mixed government in the Americas. This new republican ethic forced in a new age of American political values.

By 1775 republicanism had become a widespread ideology in the colonies. It incorporated federalist ideals which were influenced greatly by the Radical Whig party of Britain. The Whig party stressed the fear of corruption in a government monarchy. From this idea federalism was born. This political philosophy is a system of government in which power is divided between a central government and semi-sovereign political states. The radical leaders who were important in stressing these ideologies and new ideas were Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.

The American Revolutionary period occurred in 1763 when Britain defeated France in the French and Indian War. Because of this war, England had almost doubled its own national debt. The colonists of the Mother Country (Britain), the peoples of America, expected to have their "rights of the Englishmen" given to them by their benefactor as a natural set of rights. Britain however began a new imperial reform in the colonies after almost two years of complete ignorance. Acts were passed which would tax colonists and help Britain pay for war debts that it did not have the money for. The acts were also instituted because of the need to enforce mercantilist policies in the...
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