APUSH American Revolution Essay
Evaluate the political, social, and economic causes and consequences of the American Revolution.
During years 1763-1774, following the end of the French and Indian War, Britain, led by King George III, took disastrous steps to prevent Americans from rejecting British control. The cooperation between colonies led to widespread resistance, then rebellion, and lastly, to revolution. There were political, social, and economic causes and consequences of the American Revolution.
There were significant political causes of the American Revolution. Firstly, the Boston Massacre took place in 1770, in Boston, Massachusetts. Colonists constantly tormented the British troops that were sent from Britain by throwing rocks or snowballs at them or by insulting them. Finally, about 60 colonists and the British soldiers were together when a single shot was fired. The other British soldiers thought this to be a sign to shoot, and five American colonists were killed. The British soldiers were found guilty, but received a light punishment. Next, the Boston Tea Party (1773) is known to be the real trigger to the start of the American Revolution. Angered by Britain’s passing of the Tea Act, a group of about 50 colonists that belonged to the Sons of Liberty dressed as Indians and unloaded 90,000 pounds of tea into the water. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence (1776) written by Thomas Jefferson was a symbol of written proof that America was ready to become an independent nation.
The American Revolution had many political consequences. For example, the most important would be that a large scale Republic was formed, which hadn’t been seen since the Roman Empire. Also, aristocracy, which was the conservative form of government, disappeared as people dropped their titles in their names. Moreover, voting rights were changed. Originally, only white males who possessed a specific amount of land were able to vote, but following the Revolution, some states granted voting rights to all white males. In addition, most states began to have written records of their constitutions. This was important not only because of the new way of writing rules down, but also because this was the beginning of the separation of the church and state. The rules that were written in the Constitution became superior to the rules by the church.
There were a number of social causes of the American Revolution. Initially, Britain tightened its control over the colonies. The Proclamation of 1763 set up civilian governments in the East and West part of Florida. Then, a Proclamation Line was made to restrict white settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. The purpose of this line was to alleviate bad tensions between Indians and to keep colonists close and easier to control. On top of this, the British government passed the Quartering Acts, which made colonists provide for random soldiers who desired to stay in their houses. Also, nationalism increasingly and rapidly grew because of a book titled Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Basically, this book explained why and how the American government can and should receive independence from Britain. This sparked many new people to join the revolution. It inspired everyone that the way Britain and other monarchies ran their government was wrong. Finally, America experienced what was called salutary neglect. Due to handling issues back at home, Britain didn’t pay attention to America, forcing them to govern themselves. This gave colonists room to grow and make an identity for themselves, leading them to become increasingly different from the British.
There were plenty of social consequences of the American Revolution. Firstly, there was the wartime dichotomy of labor. After the Revolution, the women’s role becomes greater as each war goes on. In addition, traditionally women had the responsibility to teach values and morals to their children. However, after the revolution, they were responsible for the “Republican Motherhood”. This meant that the women had to teach the kids about the American Revolution, government, legal rights, and democracy. Furthermore, slaves experienced gradual emancipation. Gradualism was necessary because immediate emancipation would ruin some slave owners’ lives right away. Also, free blacks and women were granted the right to vote in some states as long as they met the appropriate property requirements. Even so, some things never changed. Women were still unable to vote on a national scale, American Indians were still not considered citizens, and there were still stable social classes.
There was a great deal of economical causes of the American Revolution. For example, the colonists were very unhappy with the system of mercantilism. This was when Britain used America for its raw materials. Britain thought that by raising exports, more money would be made. However this didn’t necessarily work out. Also, Britain passed several navigation acts. These monitored the trading ports between England and America. The Navigation Act of 1651 made imported goods from other countries outlawed, with the exception of the ship having an only British crew. The Navigation Act of 1660 made exports, along with imports, outlawed. The whole concept was to make more money by the system of mercantilism. Additionally, the Boston Port Act didn’t allow citizens to use the Boston Harbor unless all money was repaid for the loss of tea during the Boston Tea Party. Lastly, the Sugar Act taxed many imported items in large amounts (sugar, coffee, wines, etc.) while the Stamp Act of 1765 taxed any type of printed paper.
There were a few economic consequences of the American Revolution. There was a widespread economic depression. Major debts were required to be paid for with no money to pay for them. Congress needed to pay the veterans who fought the war, private individuals, etc. To make matters worse, the countries that did lend America money now wanted an immediate repayment. There was an increasing amount of inflation and taxes. Lastly, America had a mix of benefits and disadvantages in trading. Americans were able to trade with Europe, but experienced an even great economic loss. Thus, America’s greatest trading partner remained Great Britain.
In closing, there were many political, social, and economic causes and consequences of the American Revolution. The revolution didn’t necessarily change everything about the new independent America. Even so, the effects were more radical than conservative. Although the revolution itself may have started due to the increase in nationalism and people willing to fight for their freedom from Britain, the mother country may actually have helped the colonists decipher the identity of what an American is because of the vast differences between the two groups.
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