American History / The American Revolution Was Effected Before The War Commenced

The American Revolution Was Effected Before The War Commenced

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Autor:  anton  17 December 2010
Tags:  American,  Revolution,  Effected,  Before,  Commenced
Words: 638   |   Pages: 3
Views: 426

John Adams, who was a significant part of United States history, once said, “The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.” Between 1642 and 1648 England gives the colonies a period of Salutary Neglect in which they are fighting a civil war. During this time, the colonies develop an even stronger sense of unity and rebellion against authority. The colonists’ location and demography, autonomous institutions, and unifying measures against British law helped them to already be an independent nation before the Revolution had begun.

The demography of the colonies was significant. There was a large non-English population that existed, approximately 50% outside of New England. This group was constituted of Germans, about 7%, Africans, about 19%, Scottish, about 7%, as well as smaller amounts of Irish, Dutch, and Scot-Irish. People in this group hated the crown, or they felt they had no connection with it. Therefore, later on when England passes acts and taxes, they were particularly opposed to paying or following them. The ever increasing population of the colonies was also a key contribution. By 1775, 2.5 million people populated the thirteen colonies. The colonists were doubling their numbers every twenty-five years, with an average age of only 16. As the population increased, the ratio between Englishmen and Americans significantly decreased from twenty to one in 1700, to three to one in 1775. This set the stage for a historic shift in the balance of power between the colonies and Britain.

Autonomous Institutions were predominant in the colonies, and they flourished during the period of neglect by Britain. These institutions helped with self government. The first of these was the House of Burgesses which was a regular assembly of elected representatives the developed in Virginia in the 1630’s. It was the first representative self-government located in the colonies. The formation of town meetings in New England were significant because all the voters, mostly property owning men, gathered and went over issues that most interested them, such as town officers and taxes for the following season. They promoted unity and democracy. The New England Confederation in 1643 was formed to ensure safety and peace between the colonies. Other autonomous institutions included the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639, the founding of Harvard and other universities, and the New York Grand Assembly. The Congregational Church was in some ways an autonomous institution because the Puritans ran their own churches and democracy in the church government led to democracy in political government. Also, franchise was tied to church membership. These institutions allowed the colonists to govern themselves better than England could overseas, and gave them a spirit of self-reliance due to decades of these colonial legislatures and being economically independent.

The colonists were also able to achieve inter-colonial unity through congresses and protests that were against British law. This included a belief in “no taxation without representation,” and boycotting British-made luxuries after the Sugar and Townshend Acts were passed. The meetings of congresses took place, including the Stamp Act Congress, the first Continental Congress of 1774, and the Second Continental Congress in 1775. During these meetings, colonies would send delegates to represent themselves. The congresses would often discuss plans or protests concerning British rule. These congresses and protests promoted and inter-colonial spirit that was crucial in the war.

As Adam’s stated, the revolution was effected before it began. Through their diverse demography, autonomous institutions, and ability to unite, the colonies had already created an independent spirit free from England. They were able to rule themselves more effectively than England, largely due to their locations and the difficulty England had staying up to date with news.

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