In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson explained how governments should not be overthrown for petty reasons, but he believed the King of Great Britain had taken the situation too far. The New England economy was growing, and the colonist gradually began to think and act independently from England. Therefore, England initiated Parliament
It was once stated, “The American Revolution should really be called the ‘British Revolution’ because marked changes in British colonial policy were more responsible for the final political decision than American actions.” This theory could be reasoned correct because the British legislations did create the colonial uproar, not the colonies themselves. Some key legislations are the Stamp Act, Navigation Laws, and Townshend Acts. It could also be said that it should be called the American Revolution. This is because it was colonial actions that caused the war. Some of those reactions were the Boston Tea Party and the Nonimportation Acts.
They thought that colonists were British subjects who should obey British law and the taxes were due to the French and Indian War which was fought to protect the colonies. They also felt colonies profited from trade with England, and that the colonies were too far away from England to have representation in Parliament. Patriots believed that they deserved rights that were not to be taken away by the government, and taxation violated those rights. They claimed to have done their part during the French and Indian war fighting, and that they could not be taxed without representation in Parliament. Patriots also believed the British were causing violence, riots, and death (Boston Massacre & Boston Tea Party).
The Articles established the new governmental system that was going to be instilled. After the troubles that the states went through under the British flag the colonial government tried establishing a government with limited power over the American people. Rather than uniting the people of the United States the government established by the Articles of Confederation did the opposite. Instead it gave the individual states more power to govern themselves rather than giving the power to the federal government. It established a weak central government with strong individual state governments.
This idea, though pragmatic in my opinion, wasn’t as sensible to some people that wanted to stay a part of Great Britain and wanted to be loyal to the country, hence being called “Loyalists.” The people that were for the separation were known as Patriots, for they stood up for themselves and wanted to have a better democratic country, which is where they would truly represent the country rather than the Parliament dictating everything without consent. This dictation was known as “taxation without representation” because they literally didn’t have any
Questioning authority can have a major effect on society, and can change it for the better. Although it is sometimes easier to just follow convention, the questioning of authority can have powerful repercussions, evident in the Declaration of independence, the Magna Carta and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The Declaration of Independence shows that our founding fathers were frustrated with the English Monarchy, as the monarchy was unfairly taxing them and housing English troops against their will. The founding fathers could have just waited for the taxes to blow over, but they believed that if they questioned the authority of King George III, it would make the American society stronger and better. The Declaration of Independence showed that
The general consensus was that smaller states demanded a more active role in the government, despite their smaller populations, but the larger states claimed bias and claimed that, in essence, “majority rules”. Some major delegates also used this opportunity to forever shut the ghosts of Shay, in which the government was granted significant power to suppress like wise rebellions. The government would be in essence based on that of England, but with a conglomeration of majority and state rule. Prominent figures such as James Madison proposed compromises, which led eventually to the decline of states rights and the abolishment of the Articles of Confederation. This, however, was also balanced so to ratify the Constitution.
The main arguments for federation were a united defence force, easier transportation and communication services and abolishing tariffs between colonies. However, independence was the main reason for federating. Many people believed that we needed to become independent from Great Britain as we already had the means to manage a country by ourselves. Separating from Great Britain also meant that we had to create our government and laws. An independent and federal government was thought to be stronger than separate colonial governments.
The American Revolution was clearly more of a movement to implement enlightenment ideals. What can be perceived as conservative about the revolution is only its beginning, when the Colonists realized they needed to take action against the unfair taxation and the other things that separated them from the British. But that was merely what made them feel they needed to overthrow their government. The Declaration would’ve eventually come along anyway, still heavily based on Enlightenment ideals. Without those Enlightenment ideals it would’ve been believed that it was fine for the British to continue what they were doing.
The Spanish Empire sought to colonize the Americas to create a world super power. The French and British colonies were not so keen on creating and sustaining an empire like Spain; but rather they sought to increase their economic power. Instead of setting up their own government in the new colonies, Spain had a more relaxed control over their territories, and did not stay in constant contact, whereas it was quite the opposite for the French and the British. The French and British used much more strict type of government. In addition, the Spanish colonists tended to settle where the native population was abundant.