American Revolution Accelerated evolution vs Cataclysmic revolution Essay
American Revolution Accelerated evolution vs Cataclysmic revolution
The American Revolution was an accelerated evolution rather than a cataclysmic revolution to a certain point. An accelerated evolution is a rapid process of growth and change, while a cataclysmic revolution is a sudden and violent event that brings great changes. The extent to which the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution was during events that completely disregarded the government. When considered politically, economically and socially the extent to which the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution, instead of a cataclysmic revolution is shown.Politically, the American Revolution was more of an accelerated evolution, despite some drastic choices that indicate a cataclysmic revolution. The political causes for the American Revolution began with many new acts being passed by the British parliament to put taxes on certain items in the colonies. The French and Indian War had cost Britain a lot of money and King George ll wanted help in paying the expenses. New taxes passed by the government gradually began to anger the colonists more and more, once they realize the unfairness of another country thousands of miles away telling them what to do. Acts like the Stamp Act gave Britain power over the colonies and the colonists eventually began to resist them.
For example, the Stamp Act of 1765 was passed to cover the cost of keeping British troops in America. It put a tax on all printed items sold in America, which many colonists thought was unfair. In response, nine assemblies in the colonies sent delegates to New York City in October, 1765 to protest the loss of American rights and liberties. They challenged the Stamp Act by declaring only colonist’s elected representatives could tax them. The colonists believed in “no taxation without representation”. They petitioned for a repeal of the Stamp Act, but the British government did not listen. The Stamp Act and Stamp Act Congress show that the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution because the Stamp Act Congress peacefully asked British parliament for a repeal of the Stamp Act. This resistance was not violent and did not directly go against the British government. The colonists call for self-rule increased with each new act passed. Instead of listening to the American colonists, Britain kept passing new acts. An example that shows the extent to which politically the American Revolution can be called an accelerated evolution rather than a cataclysmic revolution are the battles of Lexington and Concord.
The increased want for independence led the colonists to create a continental army and begin their fight for change. In 1775, Massachusetts was proclaimed to be in an open rebellion and British General Thomas Gage was ordered to put a stop to it. On April 18, 1775 General Gage dispatched 700 soldiers to capture colonial leaders and supplies at Concord. Fortunately, Paul Revere and other riders were able to warn the patriots of the attack and at dawn militiamen confronted the British troops first at Lexington and then Concord. After these battles 73 British soldiers were dead, 174 wounded and 26 were missing. Americans suffered too with 49 Massachusetts militiamen killed and 39 wounded. The battles at Lexington and Concord show a more radical way that the colonists chose to achieve independence from Britain. Due to violence and a want for rapid change, the battles of Lexington and Concord show politically how the American Revolution can almost be a cataclysmic revolution.
The American Revolution did not happen suddenly, but built up more as each new act was passed and the frustration of the colonists grew. When considered politically, the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution because it was not a sudden plan of change, but a wanted change formed by the increased anger many colonists felt towards the British government. The degree to which the American Revolution is, politically an accelerated evolution and not a cataclysmic revolution is limited to the battles of Lexington and Concord fought to gain American self-rule. Economically, to a certain degree the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution, instead of a cataclysmic revolution.
Although, political disputes between America and Britain were the original cause of tension, the economic influence was much greater on the colonist’s anger. The Stamp Act imposed so many taxes on such a variety of items, it was nearly impossible to make a living and to pay for things such as newspapers, pamphlets, bonds, leases, deeds, college diplomas, dice, and playing cards. Even when the government repealed the Stamp Act in 1766, they immediately placed into action the Declaratory Act, which stated that the government could impose any tax they saw fit to. Another act that led to money troubles for the colonists was he Townshend Act of 1767. It placed taxes on tea, glass, paper and paint. After this act was passed many colonists were so frustrated and angry that they began to boycott British goods, in hopes that the taxes would be taken away. This was another peaceful method that the colonists used to resist the British government.
It also shows how the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution. Tired of being ignored and punished by the British government the colonies formed a club called the Sons of Liberty. The formation of this club shows the extent to which economically the American Revolution can be called an accelerated evolution because of the many violent and drastic things the Sons of Liberty did. The members broke into homes of tax collectors, beat them up and burned tax documents. Lastly, the Tea Act of 1773 was passed, granting the British East India Company the monopoly of tea trading in America. The tea company started delivering tea to America, without having to pay the British tax. This upset the Americans because all other tea traders had to pay the tax to Britain. Radical patriots accused the British ministry of bribing Americans with cheaper East India Company tea, so that they would give up their opposition to the tea tax.
The Sons of Liberty had been preventing East India Company ships from delivering cargoes to New York, Philadelphia, Charleston and Massachusetts. Royal Governor Hutchinson was determined to land the tea ships in the harbor, so that he could collect the tea tax. To foil the governor’s plan about 50 colonists from the Sons of Liberty dressed as Indians and boarded three ships on December 16, 1773. They broke open 342 chests of tea and dumped them into the Boston harbor, costing the British government a large sum of money. This act of defiance shows how the American Revolution could be a cataclysmic revolution. This group of colonists planned an act of resistance to force change. The Boston Tea Party was one of the most important events that led to the start of the American Revolution because it showed what the Americans were willing to do. The extent that the American Revolution was economically considered an accelerated evolution, instead of a cataclysmic revolution was the Boston Tea Party and efforts of the Sons of Liberty.
Socially, the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution, rather than a cataclysmic revolution. In colonial society, the classes were broken into three groups; upper, middle and lower. The taxes imposed by the British mainly affected the people of the middle class, who would eventually rise up and protest. Acts, such as the Stamp Act, and Townshend Act mainly affect the middle class. They were the people who could afford the items that now had taxes on them. The rich were also affected, but less outraged than the middle class. The lowest class had a hard enough time making a living and now they could definitely not afford to buy items that were not a necessity. The middle class and other colonists acted in response with boycotts, protests and other nonviolent methods. This is an example of how socially; the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution because of the peaceful process that the colonists were trying to get change.
Many people who lived in England and ran the British government believed that they were superior to the colonists and deserved to rule over them. This threat to the colonist’s rights upset many people. A more dramatic way to gain independence than protesting was to create the Committees of Correspondence. The first Committee of Correspondence was set up in Massachusetts, in 1772. It allowed patriots to communicate with leaders in other colonies when new threats to their liberty occurred. The threat of inequality was a large part of why many colonists wanted change. The people of England thought that they were better than the colonists and by 1774, when the colonies declared independence only Pennsylvania was without a Committee of Correspondence. The social problems of the colonies, like the burden of taxes on the middle class and the superior attitude of the British people pushed the colonists forward in their goal for independence.
The limited degree to which socially, the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution and not a cataclysmic revolution was due to a more direct approach. This approach was to try and fix the inequality between Americans and the British, during the Committees of Correspondence. When considered politically, economically and socially the extent to which the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution, instead of a cataclysmic is because of the more violent and drastic events that took place to force change in government.
The American Revolution was an accelerated evolution because it gradually took the colonist’s time to realize they wanted a republic, but when they did realize it, they made it happen. The colonists wanted representation, fair taxes and equality for all. The extent to which the American Revolution was an accelerated evolution rather than a cataclysmic revolution when considered politically, economically and socially was during the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Boston Tea Party and the Committees of Correspondence.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 22 April 2016
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