Gary Nash

Topics: Distribution of wealth, Wealth, Sociology Pages: 3 (885 words) Published: April 9, 2002
In the essay written by Gary Nash, he argues that the reason for the American Revolution was not caused by the defense of constitutional rights and liberties, but that of "material conditions of life in America" were not very favorable and that social and economic factors should be considered as the driving factor that pushed many colonists to revolt. The popular ideology which can be defined as resonating "most strongly within the middle and lower strata of society and went far beyond constitutional rights to a discussion of the proper distribution of wealth and power in the social system" had a dynamic role in the decisions of many people to revolt. The masses ideas were not of constitutional rights, but the equal distribution of wealth in the colonies that many felt that the wealth was concentrated in a small percentage of the population in the colonies. The Whig ideology that was long established in English society had a main appeal towards the upper class citizens and "had little to say about changing social and economic conditions in America or the need for change in the future." The popular ideologies consisted of new ways of changing the distribution of wealth. Nash in his essay continued to give good evidence to prove his point that the American Revolution was not caused by the defense of constitutional rights and liberties, but by improper distribution of wealth. During the pre-American Revolutionary times, the "top five percent of Boston's taxpayers controlled 49 percent of the taxable assets of the community, whereas they had held only held only 30 percent in 1687." As evident by this statistic, it is clear that the wealthy were getting wealthier and controlling more of the taxable assets of the community. As the wealthy increased their assets in the cities, at the same time, a large class was "impoverished city dwellers." A huge contrast between the wealthy and the poor were forming and becoming more apparent from the beginning of the eighteenth...
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