The American Revolution: A Middle Class Movement
Revolutions are generally defined by certain causes and results stemming from discontent in the governed people. Among these outcomes are change in the political, social and economic order of society. In the American Revolution, however, not all of these areas of the nation were altered in a way conducive with a true Revolution. The government was overthrown and a democracy was formed. Nevertheless, no large variance was apparent in the economic trend of development, and the tiers of society remained all but untouched following the Revolution.
As is the case in many revolutions that have taken place in the world, wealth was a contributing factor. The poorer masses become disgruntled at the overwhelming wealth of a select few. The upper class, most times, is also the ruling class. This springs from the longstanding principle in a lot of cultures of primogeniture and hereditary titles, especially with a monarchical government, as was the case in England in pre-Revolutionary times. The ruling class would feel the full wrath of the people, and more often than not got stripped of their land, money, title, and sometimes even their lives. This is where the American Revolution differs from say their French or Russian counterparts. Commonly, the riches acquired as a result of revolt were then given to the people, or used in a manner beneficial to the people, and the formerly rich were done away with. Post-American Revolutionary "spoils" consisted of large quantities of land left behind by loyalists who fled the country, or were kicked out but not killed and land which had belonged to the Crown. The majority of these plots of land, numbering millions of acres over all, were sold piece by piece to speculators or men who already had a substantial amount of land under their belts. In this specific country, land was abundant, so it was not absolutely necessary for the poorer masses to automatically acquire the land, but...
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