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The Impact of the American Revolution, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

The American Revolution is a political turmoil that occurred during the last half of the 18th century leading thirteen colonies of the North America to join together in order to break free from the burden of the British Empire and become the United States of America. As the beginning colonies have rejected the authority of the Great Britain Parliament that was governing them from overseas without any representation as well as forced out all the royal officials.

By year 1774 each of the colonies had developed a Provincial Congress to create separate self-governing states. In 1775 with the help of their representatives sent to the Second Continental Congress, colonies have joined together for the first time to protect their self-governance and handle a conflict against the British. This event in the history is called the American Revolution or the American War for Independence.

States have decided that the British monarchy with its brutal acts of tyranny should not legitimately maintain its allegiance. They severed ties in July 1776 when the Congress has issued the Declaration of Independence of the USA. In October 1781 the war resulted into a great victory of Americans and was followed by the British abandonment of any claim for the USA with the Treaty of Paris.

The American Revolution by many is considered to be one of the greatest movements in the history of humanity. The expenditure of treasure and life is often exceeded but the effect on the world political life is not easy to parallel. The main result of the war was the creation of the successful federal government that later expanded to the western coast and grew into a wealthy nation with power and great possibilities. It is still believed by many people that the bond of union of American colonies and the mother country would have stayed untouched for an unlimited period of time.

However, unwise policies brought resistance of the colonies and the event in question would have happened anyway sooner or later. There was no particular conspiracy in America looking for independence but there were forces that after many years eventually resulted into the bond break between the two.

America is thought to be considered a child of Great Britain of 1640 but not of 1760. Starting in 1649 Puritan immigration was ceased, followed by the cease of the Cavalier immigration. English institutions that were planted in America in early 17th century had developed American lines and were shaped up with accordance to the political, economic and social conditions of America.

The two parties, America and Great Britain, were rapidly growing apart. Therefore, when Great Britain, being a so-called parent, tried to “fix” America, the latter did not agree. Concurrently colonies reached the point when they were able to govern themselves much better than if the assistance came from overseas. Such things like Stamp Act and taxes on tea were among the reason and a true occasion of why the revolution took place. All these aspects just fastened the war but the true roots of the cause of separation lie in far past.

Conquest of Canada was a reason the relations between the colonies and Great Britain changed. Since they had an enemy in the North, both parties needed some protection. England even considered getting into the coalition with France in order to resolve the existing situation. “Whenever France and England were at war, their colonies also fought.”[1] Once the climate changed, both America and Great Britain were left to establish their real relationship. England has, unfortunately, failed to recognize the divergence and it failed in its attempt to deal with America. British were treating America more as its realm rather than a part of the empire.

America questioned why the prisoners from Britain were forced on colonists and why the attempt of colonies to preserve society through checks on African slave trade was crushed by England, in order to just enrich British trader. In England itself “criminals were hanged publicly; an execution often became an occasion for a celebration.” [2]

Such behavior was not how a mother state should treat its child. The arrogance of royal governors was distasteful and cruel. During the war with the French, British officers were very much ready to show their disrespect to the provincial troops, whereas, colonial officers were frequently replaced by the British ones.

However, people stove to achieve “American liberties prior to the war itself…. Independence and the war to win it. Finally, there was the question of establishing an American nation afterwards…”[3] All these reasons and steps were unpleasant for American Englishmen to deal with and they were among the roots that resulted into an Independence war.

When considering the results of the American Revolution, the opinions vary. It happens because even though the event was called “revolution”, in reality it did not fundamentally renovate the existing colonial society but more replaced a distant government body with the new local one. But the event that took place has brought about unique and deep changes.

Moreover, it had a strong impact on the world affairs because it was base on the rising belief in the Enlightenment principles as replicated in how liberalism and republicanism were interpreted during the time period. These were shown by the government and the leadership that supported the system of laws selected by people as well as their natural rights.

About five percent of the inhabitants of the USA have left the republic after the defeat by self-exile. Some went to the North America and some created new colonies in Canada for the British benefit. After Revolution took place, there appeared a possibility to have decent democratic politics. The rights of citizens were integrated into the state constitutions. There appeared affirmation of liberty, equality, hostility towards corruption and individual rights. The biggest challenge for the old regime Europe appeared to be the challenge to accept that the political power and democratic ideas rest on the permission of the governed.

Morocco was among first states to recognize the independence of the new country. In 1787 the two signed Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship. Next was Friesland, one of the provinces of the Dutch Republic, followed by Staten-Generaal. Since Dutch were in war with the United Kingdom, Sweden was considered to be the first neutral power to recognize independence of the USA.

“The Revolution not only had legally created the United States, but also had produced all the great hopes and values of the American people.  Our noblest ideals and aspirations – our commitments to freedom, constitutionalism, the well-being or ordinary people, and equality – came out of the Revolutionary era.”[4] War for American Independence became the first wave of all Atlantic Revolutions that took place in France, Haiti and other Latin American wars. Aftershocks even reached Ireland in its revolution, the Netherlands and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

American Revolution had a strong influence and impact on England, France, Ireland and Netherlands. Many representatives of Irish and English governments spoke in favor of the American situation and its cause. Along with the English Civil War and the Dutch Revolt, the Revolution was one of the primary lessons in overthrowing the old regime for various Europeans states. American Declaration of Independence even had impact on the French one in 1789. War abolished slavery in some of the Northern states some 51 years before it was actually banned in the British colonies.

American Revolution gave grounds for series of political, social and intellectual changes in early society of America and its government. Citizens declined plutocracy that was common in Europe and championed the creation of republicanism found through Enlightenment understating of liberalism. Significant result of the war was the development of the representative body that was accountable for the will and hope of the people.

With the ratification of the Constitution of the USA, many fundamental aspects of national governance were settling.  The constitution established a new strong federated government. The United States Bill of Rights that followed shortly guaranteed natural rights and tried to balance the national government with relative personal liberties. The shift to liberal republicanism in America and a rising democratic values brought about the upheaval of social hierarchy as well as gave origin to the ethic that lies in the core of the US political values. And “may we never be guilty of causing, whether by our apathy, indifference, laziness or comfort, this nation to lose the freedoms that our founders attempted to secure with infinite pains and labors.”[5]

The light that comes from the unique democracy of the U.S. that the whole world is looking up to, will always be strong and will lead people in the right direction. USA, being a recognized world power, is setting a strong example for the leaders and countries worldwide.

Bibliography

Baldwin, Timothy. “The American Revolution Revisited.” News With Views (24 July 2009) http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin524.htm

Marina, William. “Only 1/3rd of Americans Supported the American Revolution?” Center for History and New Media (28 June 2004) http://hnn.us/articles/5641. html

Middlekauff , Robert. “The Glorious Cause. The American Revolution 1763-1789.” (Oxford University Press, 1982): 12

Smith, C. Carter. “American Revolution.” (DK Publishing Inc., 2002): 8 Wood, Gordon S. “The American Revolution. A History.” (Modern Library Edition, 2002): 34

[1] C. Carter Smith, “American Revolution.” (DK Publishing Inc., 2002), 8

[2] Robert Middlekauff, “The Glorious Cause. The American Revolution 1763-1789.” (Oxford University Press, 1982), 12

[3] William Marina, “Only 1/3rd of Americans Supported the American Revolution?” Center for History and New Media (28 June 2004)

[4] Gordon S. Wood, “The American Revolution. A History.” (Modern Library Edition, 2002), 34

[5] Timothy Baldwin, “The American Revolution Revisited.” News With Views (24 July 2009) http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin524.htm

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