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Many historians feel that American Revolution was fundamentally conservative in that the colonists were simply trying to perserv - Essay Example

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Name Name of Professor The Conservative American Revolution The American Revolution, according to some historians, is a conservative one in the sense that the America’s British colonists tried to reinstate and to ‘preserve’ their natural rights…
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Many historians feel that American Revolution was fundamentally conservative in that the colonists were simply trying to perserv
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Many historians feel that American Revolution was fundamentally conservative in that the colonists were simply trying to perserv

Download file to see previous pages... The discussion will include the major rights and powers that the Americans thought were denied to them and their evidence for believing so. The colonists, sooner or later, had been familiar with managing their own concerns and had been building provincial and local elected administrations. Traditions and institutions founded on the ideals of individual rights, free trade, and private property had progressed from the initial period of the colonies (Morison 1976). The most important question then is what are the justifications of the premise that the American Revolution is a conservative one? The English colonists who headed the revolution were remarkably knowledgeable of their natural rights and privileges as ‘free-born Englishmen’ (Wahlke 1962, 57). They would have abandoned their life in England to start anew or run away from religious discrimination and persecution, and per se were expected to think firmly about sustaining their virtual independence or sovereignty (Leach 1986). Furthermore, they were predisposed to relate themselves with the tradition of the ‘Commonwealth Whig’ which had been powerful and influential in 17th century England, when a large number of them run away, a doctrine which stressed individual liberty and a viewpoint against despotism (Morton 2003). Lockean Whiggism of the 1600s and natural rights discourse was prominent in the pre-revolutionary dialogue (Morison 1976). The manner the colonies were structured and ruled differed significantly, and could barely be characterized as absolutely independent (Morton 2003): the New Englanders benefited from the absolute democratic structure, with the electorate having rights to make a decision on all issues of significance and elect local authorities in annual assemblies. The voters were apparently restricted to white male elite, but due to the wealth and realizable property requirements, this select few was strangely huge. Since massive areas of land was obtainable, most of it belongs to free owners, who were destined to feel somewhat implicated in the political discussions impacting the colonies at the moment, with a threat in their prospects they tried to safeguard (Morton 2003). The colonists had benefited a lot from comparatively modest taxes from Britain, with almost all taxes defaulted due to prevalent corruption, fraud, and smuggling (Leach 1986). Apparently, most of the heads of the American Revolution were wealthy or propertied individuals, members of the select few that had ruled the colonies prior to the separation from Britain. They were affluent lawyers, traders, and property owners. They were by no means members of the aristocracy (Leach 1986). There was social mobility. Nonetheless, the individuals who ruled the fight for freedom and self-government viewed themselves as the natural rulers of a society that was essentially fair and reasonable. Several of these individuals feared the social implications of the revolution. They still felt the same although they espoused the rationale of their political insights and motivated a broader group of people to take part in government (Morison 1976). These individuals exploited the extended opportunities and acquired top positions in the military, the government, and the Congress (Swift 2002). John Jay articulated a similar apprehension when he stated that the revolution was “giving rank and Importance to men whom Wisdom would have left in obscurity” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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