A revolution is the overthrow of a government and replacing it with a new system. It is characterized by war, ideologies and protests. The American Revolution began in 1765 when the thirteen colonies rejected the authority of the British Parliament. It continued up to 1776 when the colonies were declared free and independent states by Continental Congress and ended in 1783. Revolutionary describes immense change in political and social organization. My objective in this paper is to show how revolutionary the American Revolution was.
The Revolution created the United States of America. Prior to this, Britain exercised colonial authority over America. However, The Thirteen Colonies in 1776, through The Declaration of Independence, officially formed the country (Document B). As time went by, other states were formed and merged with the thirteen. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 ensured that any newly formed state was granted equal rights to the other thirteen states (Document P).
The Revolution revolutionized political structures that had been in existence such. A Federal System of Government was established with a bicameral parliament, national courts and the presidency. Democracy has since been upheld as people are allowed to participate in decision-making and governance through voting.
The Revolution gave birth to the principle of Republicanism. It replaced the monarchy and aristocracy of the British depicting total separation from the Colonialists. These ideologies were also an act of defiance. La Destruction de la Statute Royale by Francois X Haberman in 1776 shows the sons of liberty pulling down the statue of King George III, signifying an end to oppressive rule and a new dawn where republicanism, democracy and reconciliation are encouraged (Document A).
Thanks to the revolution, the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1791 and with it radical ideals such as the rule of law, equality, liberty and democracy have been embraced. These have steered a spirit of reform. Slavery has been eradicated as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance advocating for personal liberties (Document J, K and P) and the enactment of the 13th Amendment which legally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Previously, only men with status in society were allowed to vote. However, this was phased out by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution that came up with the universal white male suffrage (Document F).
The revolution was revolutionary as it greatly changed womens lives. During the Revolution the role of women changed. They were involved performing tasks previously done by only men. After the Revolution, the ideas of equality motivated the struggle for women rights. The likes of Abigail Adams were known for advocating for equal education rights for girls as there were for boys (Document M). Women have now been allowed to contest for political and leadership positions as well as pursue any profession. The right for women to vote has been exercised since, following the 19th Amendment of 1919 (Document N).
The American Revolution was not only revolutionary, but essential. Although, it had its negative sides and criticism from historians like Charles Beard, its positive impact has not only been felt in the United States but the world over. According to Richard Price, the American Revolution was the most important event in the history of the world since the birth of Christ.
"(Document A)La Destruction." (n.d.).
"Document A: La Destruction de la Statue Royale." (n.d.).
"Document B." (n.d.).
"Document B:Declaration of Independence." (n.d.).
"Document F: Universal White Male Suffrage ." (n.d.).
"Document J: Slave Trade." Slave Trade in United States (-).
"Document K: Abolition." Abolition of Slave Trade in United States (.).
"Document M: Abigail Adams." Biography of Abigail Adams (.).
"Document N: 19th Amendment." The United States Constitution (.).
"Document P: Northwest Ordinance." United States History (.).
"La Destruction de la Statute Royal." Document A (n.d.).
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