A Political War: The American Revolutionary War

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A Political War Lasting from 1775 to 1783, the American Revolutionary War, or the U.S. War of Independence, was waged between Great Britain and her thirteen colonies as a result of mounting political and economic tension. Colonies wished to split from their mother country in order to gain total independence and preserve liberties they believed to be inalienable. Following years of fighting, the war drew to a close with an unlikely American victory and the formation of an independent country at the the battle of Yorktown, Virginia in 1779 (American Revolution). Controversy exists, however, over whether the War of Independence was one fought on a more economic or political basis. Some argue that heavy British taxation was a major cause,…show more content…
Prior to the conflicts of the 18th century, the British form of government served as a model for those seeking a successful political system, and was admired for its equal distribution of power. However, during the years leading up to Revolution, political dissatisfaction initiated by Enlightenment ideas grew considerably. The Enlightenment was a period of philosophical free thinking and self betterment that inspired many revolutionists in colonial America. For instance, Enlightenment thinker John Locke’s argued that “political authority did not derive from the divine right of kings or the inherited authority of aristocracies but from the consent of the governed,” (Brinkley Alan pg 142). Jean Jacques Rousseau concluded that all people were entitled to participate in their government, as well as possessing liberties to political and legal equality (Brinkley Alan pg 142). These ideas only fed colonist’s growing discontent with their mother country, and proved the unjustness of no taxation without representation. With the aid of Enlightenment thinkers, colonists recognized the lack of stability of the British Parliament as well as the excessive power of the king. Although revolutionary issued propaganda, the pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine summarized the lack of just British leadership, and alerted colonists to the country’s abuse of power. The British crown was no…show more content…
Colonies were pushed further and further toward revolution by growing anger and violence, exemplified by the exaggerated events of the Boston Massacre, a riot of Bostonians turned ugly viewed as a massacre of innocent colonists (Brinkley Alan pg 113). At a glance, the Revolutionary War may seem incredibly economic. But proving such a point is difficult, as most of the imposed taxes were either repealed or inexpensive. In actuality, colonists taxed themselves heavier as an independent country than they had been as a colony of the British crown (Baack, Ben). The American Revolution was the evolution of an independent nature, as colonists fought for the preservation of rights they believed essential to human nature. As stated in the historic Declaration of Independence, revolutionists acted on the basis of freeing themselves from a corrupt nation that no longer understood their needs as a people, and overlooked their rights to representation in the government. The colonies no longer belonged to the British, but were rather the United States of
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