The American Revolution

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After the Revolutionary America, the Americans faced a lot of social, economic and political problems. The problems further led to the 1787’s Constitutional Convention. The calling of the Convention was accelerated by the content of the Article of Confederation among other issues. The article denied the congress powers related to regulation of domestic or local affairs, taxation and commerce. The congress depended on the state’s financial contributions. There were no finances for the congress to compensate the soldiers of the war and to refund foreign creditors who remitted funds to America to finance the war. The United States became bankrupt which led to economic discriminations by other economies. For instance, the Rhode Island the debtor class dominated the legislature who passed legislations aimed at footing every debt as an approach that would re-distribute properties in every thirteen years (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts). The problems led to the calling of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitutional Convention granted the federal government with powers to conduct regulations related to currency, economy, as well as national defense.  

The Great Debate that was responsible for drafting the Constitutional Convention attracted two debate sides. The first side was “The Federalists” and the second side was the “Anti-Federalists.” The constitution was to be ratified by the Federalists while the Anti-federalists opposed the constitution. The Federalists were championed by Hamilton Alexander impacted the United States by pronouncing a concession that led to the various amendments that led to the present Bill of Rights. If the compromise was struck out, the America’s constitutional ratification may never have happened in the United States. The Anti-Federalists on the other has carried the day by opposing the constitution. They presented their claim that the intended system carried threats that could have affected the American liberty thus failing to protect rights of individuals among other claims (ConstitutionalFacts.com). The efforts of Anti-Federalists led to Bill of Rights’ drafting and further implementation.

The American Revolution contained both the short-term and long-term causes. The long-term causes included intellectual, political, economic and cultural developments during the 18th century that led to the 1760s and the 1770s’ crisis. The Britain Empire was unable to identify the relationship between colonies as well as instituting imperial reforms’ coherent programs. Two major factors resulted into the failures. Britain concentrated in costly series of wars starting from the early 18th century’s Spanish Succession that lasted for about seven years of war up to 1763. The series of wars were economically and politically costly. The Empires competitive visions brought about divisions among British leaders. Old Whigs together with the Tory group of supporters visualized the authoritarian empire acquired by conquering territories and invading resources. They attempted to raise taxes as well as reducing expenses on each colony with the objective of curbing national debt. The Whigs who called themselves radicals targeted manufacturing and trade to accomplish their vision and not affecting resources and land. The radicals posed their argument that the public debt problems were to be solved by attacking economic growth and not increasing taxes. Every colony would possess equal status as those of mother state. This debate led to evolvement of two extreme sides in the 18th

century was the consensus never materialized thus preventing coherent reforms. The colonies discovered that they were subjects of the British government. During the first half of the 18th century, these colonies experienced a significant demographic and economic growth where in the second half, every colony had high number of population. For instance, in the year 1771, New York had 163,348 people where whites were 88% of the total population. In Massachusetts, in the year 1776, it had a population of about 290,900 where the blacks were 1.6% of the population. In 1775, Boston city had a population of 16,000 (Shmoop Premium). The approach of hands-off that was applied to the colonies by the British was believed to have led the British success. The success was vital to mother country’s economy and the entire empire.

The medium-term conflicts that triggered the revolution were many. For instance, there were inequalities between the colonies and the Great Britain in terms of the Acts that were enacted. The Acts included Sugar Act, Declaratory Act and the taxation and the Proclamation Act. The Sugar Act was enacted between 1764 and 1766 to stop sugar smuggling and dropping of taxes on molasses. The smugglers were punished without any kind of justice in established courts whenever they were caught. These courts were moved to Nova Scotia thus making it difficult for demonstrations to be carried out against smugglers in the colonies. So real justice to defend themselves was absent among citizens.      

The Great Britain interfered with the colonies both economically and politically. Great Britain restricted expansion of boundary by colonies as it was stated in the Proclamation of 1763 stated. Americans in these colonies were not allowed to purchase land beyond their colonies. This interference was beyond bars since the American were denied their right to sell land the “Proclamation of 1763” did not contain the date when it would be lifted. It went on until the time the Treaty of Paris was actually signed.

The colonies became dishonest to the Great Britain especially when the colonies held the Boston Tea Party and did way with over 350 tea chests in the year 1773 which led to the enactment of many acts. The Boston Port Act which called for a close down of Boston port that was used in doing business. The port could only be open if the East Indian Corporation would pay Great Britain until the king got satisfied. Other acts were the Quartering Act which commanded the Americans to acquire housing facilities without any compensation. The Massachusetts Government Act which commanded the government of Massachusetts to close down and be under the Great Britain’s control. These long-term causes led to the revolution.  

 The revolution’s short-term causes included the occasional protests that lasted for a short period the reminded the Great Britain about equality and freedom. For example, the Boston Massacre which was witnessed in 5th March 1770 where the colonists attacked British officers where five civilians died. The attack led to the arrest of Preston Thomas and charged for manslaughter and later freed. The Britons felt threatened and withdrew the troops. Britain retaliated by punishing Boston thus raising a lot of tension. King George III increased his army in the colonies that were rebellious and this action led to the rebellion in the colonies thus the chances for reconciliation were minimal that was to happen in 1776, January. This led the colonies to hold an assembly aimed at voting for their independence. Independence was later declared in the year 1776 January which stated that the colonies were to break from Great Britain thus accelerating the revolution.

The Chesapeake’s has the agrarian economy that depended on cultivation of plantation agriculture basically rice tobacco and indigo plantations. Chesapeake never practiced industrial activities. There were no professionals in the region which led to Virginia Corporation to import skilled labor from Non-Anglo Europe. New England diversified its economy but never relied on only farming. Trade was practiced in the region by the Yankee merchants who traded shipwrights, tanners and blacksmiths. The society in New England was knit tightly and was linked to each other through religion and geographical closeness. Middle colonies involved the Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and New Jersey. All the regions practiced farming and were dominated by local people. Their governments were kind of self-governing. The regions linked to one another through trade of agricultural products. In conclusion, the colonies were more similar than different to one another especially in economical activities. New England colonies like new port and Boston’s 20% of the population was covered by slaves.

Slavery commenced in British West Indies. Virginia was the first colony to receive slaves in the year 1619 from Africa. By the year 1776, about 20% of the population in the colonies was the African American. There was a misconception indicating that American slavery was mainly practiced in Southern colonies British West Indies and Chesapeake 2% to 3% of the population in New England accounted for the African slaves but this was before the emergency of American Revolution.  The indentured servitude was the initial system of labor that was employed by settlers where servants used to work for settlers such that they could be provided with passage mainly to America. The indentured servitudes worked for only a short period and sometimes were to acquire land after the end of their tenure. Owners of plantations used African slaves as the main labor source. The African slaves cultivated tobacco where they multiplied and accounted for 50% of Southern colonies and Chesapeake population. The enslaved African American resisted to the kind of slavery in overt and covert means such breaking tools and working in a slow pace. Stono Rebellion of 1739 is famous where 40 whites died and over 40 slaves died.  

The colony of Boston was the most important in shaping and directing the course of American history over the long-term, because of the Boston Tea Party where the British soldiers were attacked and killed soothing that triggered the whole of America that led to the calling of reconciliation by King George III which never happened. Finally most colonies became independent. The American Revolution is archived by the Americans as the major even that has ever happened on the other hand enslavement of the Africans by the whites in their colonies led to the sharing of identity and bond. During the American revolutionary era, slavery was a theory and a practice that was accepted by the Europeans and was practiced long time before the main revolution. Each colony practiced slavery ranging from Northern America in Boston to South Carolina. Slavery was regarded as a system and not an even and was accepted by all.  

References

Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. The Constitutional Convention of 1787. N. d.

ConstitutionalFacts.com. The Great Debate. Oak Hill Publishing Company.   

Shmoop Premium. Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

November 24, 2023
Category:

History

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6

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1647

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