The Age of Atlantic Revolution Essay

1755 WordsNov 4, 20128 Pages
The Age of Atlantic Revolutions The American and French revolutions prompted political and social theorists to crystallize the modern ideologies of conservatism and liberalism. An ideology which is coherent vision of human nature, human society, and the larger world that proposes some particular form of political and social organization as ideal. Some ideologies seek to justify the current state of affairs, whereas others sharply criticize the status quo in arguing for movement toward an improved society. A combination of economic, intellectual, and social changes started a wave of revolutions in the late 1700s that continued into the first half of the 19th century. They started in North America and France, and spread into other parts of Europe and to Latin America. The first revolution inspired by the new political thought that originated in England began in the North American colonies and was directed at England. It began when American colonists resisted Britain's attempt to impose new taxes and trade controls on the colonies after the French and Indian War ended in 1763. Many also resented Britain's attempts to control the movement west. "Taxation without representation" turned British political theory on its ear, but it became a major theme as the rebellion spread from Massachusetts throughout the rest of the colonies. Colonial leaders set up a new government and issued the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The British sent forces to put the rebellion down, but the fighting continued for several years until the newly created United States eventually won. The United States Constitution that followed was based on enlightenment principles, with three branches of government that check and balance one another. Although initially only a few had the right to vote and slavery was not abolished, the government became a model for revolutions to come. A very

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