The American Revolution Was Effected Before the War Commenced

Topics: Thirteen Colonies, American Revolution, American Revolutionary War Pages: 2 (626 words) Published: December 12, 2006
John Adams, who was a significant part of United States history, once said, "The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people." Between 1642 and 1648 England gives the colonies a period of Salutary Neglect in which they are fighting a civil war. During this time, the colonies develop an even stronger sense of unity and rebellion against authority. The colonists' location and demography, autonomous institutions, and unifying measures against British law helped them to already be an independent nation before the Revolution had begun.

The demography of the colonies was significant. There was a large non-English population that existed, approximately 50% outside of New England. This group was constituted of Germans, about 7%, Africans, about 19%, Scottish, about 7%, as well as smaller amounts of Irish, Dutch, and Scot-Irish. People in this group hated the crown, or they felt they had no connection with it. Therefore, later on when England passes acts and taxes, they were particularly opposed to paying or following them. The ever increasing population of the colonies was also a key contribution. By 1775, 2.5 million people populated the thirteen colonies. The colonists were doubling their numbers every twenty-five years, with an average age of only 16. As the population increased, the ratio between Englishmen and Americans significantly decreased from twenty to one in 1700, to three to one in 1775. This set the stage for a historic shift in the balance of power between the colonies and Britain.

Autonomous Institutions were predominant in the colonies, and they flourished during the period of neglect by Britain. These institutions helped with self government. The first of these was the House of Burgesses which was a regular assembly of elected representatives the developed in Virginia in the 1630's. It was the first representative self-government located in the colonies. The formation of...
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