American Essay Research Paper The American RevolutionArgument

American Essay, Research Paper

The American Revolution

Argument on radical or conservative movement

The 13 American colonies revolted against their British rulers in

1775. The war began on April 19, when British soldiers fired on the

Minutemen of Lexington, Mass. The fighting ended with the surrender of the

British at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. In 1783 Great Britain signed a

formal treaty recognizing the independence of the colonies.

Through the hardships of life in a wild, new land, the American

settlers gained strength and a firm belief in the rights and liberties of

the individual man. They revolted because England interfered with their

trade and industry, demanded unjust taxes, and sent British troops to

compel obedience. At first they fought only for their rights. After a year

of war they fought for a radical change in American life.

Ever since the beginnings of settlement, England and America had

been growing apart. In 1774, England was still an aristocracy, ruled by

men born and bred to a high station in life. Their society was one of

culture and refinement. The common people, deprived of abundant

opportunity at home, accepted a position of dependence. They regarded hard

work, deference to superiors, and submission to rulers as their way of

life. But in America things had taken a different turn. The tone of

society was essentially democratic. There were no lords or hereditary

offices. The Americans did not like to look up to superiors, nor were

their leaders set apart by privileges of birth and inherited wealth. The

opportunities of the New World made men enterprising, energetic, and

aggressive. Restraints were few, custom counted for little, and rank for

less. Between these two societies there could not be much in common. With

such opposing viewpoints and extreme change in social and economic

structure, America began to yearn for independence and self-rule, and

break away from the rule of Imperial Britain.

The many taxes imposed on the colonies by English leaders also

created great conflict between the two sides. American colonist felt that

they were not represented in Parliament and therefore could not tax its

people. But Parliament felt that they looked out for the best interest of

the entire empire, therefore had the right to enact legislation. This

caused political unrest and uprisings within the colonies. Protest took

the form of newspapers, sermons, and pamphlets. Riots and events such as

the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party began to show the colonist

distrust of British rulers. With tensions rising between the factions, the

Americans were opting for a drastic change in the system.

When America finally decides to declare its independence and go to

war, it is a sign of radical action. Britains’ army was four times as big

and consisted of well trained and experienced soldiers. Americans, on the

other hand, had soldiers who were poorly trained and equipped. There was

no central system of housing, paying, or feeding of the troops, and

supplies of gunpowder and clothing were inadequate. Add to that, the

jealousy and strife within the colonies itself. It seemed highly unlikely

that America would win its independence. But the Americans had something

the British did not. It was the desire to advance their political beliefs.

Such beliefs rarely mattered to the Europeans. Americans took a courageous

stand and were willing to go through war and bloodshed in order to change

the rule of the nation.

When America voted for independence in 1776, a stupendous task

faced the patriots. They had to improvise an army and a new government at

the same time, to meet unusual situations arising daily, to find trusted

leaders, and to get 13 proud states to work for the common cause. And all

this had to be done with little preparation, at a time when the menace of

defeat and reprisals for rebellion and treason cast dark shadows over the

land. It was the brave risk taking and decision making of the colonist

that shaped the radical movement known as the American Revolution.


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