The 18th century was the time of the founding and development of the North American English colonies, and it ended with the United States acquiring independence from England. During this period, the American land was torn between the landowners from Britain, Spain, and France, who only pursued their own interests. The 13 colonies that made up the United States were very different from each other: in the way of government, the composition of the settlers, the economic basis, and the ideological aspirations. However, they managed to find a common language, coordinate actions, and, ultimately, form a single state. This could not happen without the social and political impact made by the Patriots.
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Who Were the Patriots and How Did They Act
There was no unity among the participants in the liberation movement of Patriots. However, farmers, artisans, workers, and the urban bourgeoisie, who made up the democratic wing of the liberation movement, associated hopes of free access to land and political democratization with the struggle against colonial oppression. One of the Patriots’ main targets was the economic growth of the country, along with the attempts to resist the increase in taxes. Britain had a huge national debt, and the Patriots stated that their country should not be responsible for paying it off. Additionally, the Patriots sought to establish a legal representative for the local population in the government, which would in the future lead to independence. The main task was to battle the invaders and stand up for the people’s legal rights. Patriots used a wide assortment of leverage to promote and achieve their goals, such as boycotts, consumer revolutions, and reformation of administrative authorities. The American Revolution of 1765 was the culmination of their efforts.
Ethical Considerations of the Patriots
Two social-cultural movements – the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening – created by the Patriots served as ethical explanations for their claims. Both movements strived to unite people and make them understand why the laws of the British Empire did not work in American land. The Patriot’s tactics were proved to be effective by the growth of their followers after the Revolution, with the farmers’ struggling for their rights. Education, for once, was proclaimed as one of the most important aspects of the human ability to think critically. Another ethical issue that the Patriots addressed was the people’s need for equal rights, representation, and independence. The economy of the United States suffered greatly from the unfair power distribution, seeing as the main source of legal authority resided in England.
The First and Second Governments
The First Government failed, however, despite the valiant fight of the Patriots. Its failure is largely due to the fact that it had no power to impose taxes. The Articles of Confederation only gave that power to state authorities. Thus, the national government had to turn to them with requests for funding. Thus, when the Second Government proclaimed the independence of the United States, the Patriots addressed the British King George III with a list of the grievances they sought retribution for. The Constitution helped a lot in establishing the order of the new country; however, it was far from perfect, and the Second Government had to negotiate a lot with the British Empire about the grievances.
The Patriots’ struggle against the metropolis began as a defense against London’s attempts to increase its control and taxation of the colonies. Soon, it led to the formation of an ideology of popular representation and democratic sovereignty, culminating in the demand for independence. This gave way to the formation of the Patriots. The English colonists had an acute need to redress various grievances: unjust tax policies and power distribution, as well as lack of legal representation in the British parliament. Thus, the Patriots took the lead, unifying people under the idea of protecting their rights from colonialist injustice. They might not have succeeded, but the impact of their actions gave America the necessary push to fight for its independence.
Ambuske, James, Alexander Burns, Joshua Beatty, Christina Carrick, Christopher Consolino, Michael Hattem, Timothy C. Hemmis, Joseph Moore, Emily Romeo, and Christopher Sparshott. “The American Revolution,” in The American Yawp, edited by Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, chapter 5. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018. E-book.
Arendt, Emily, Ethan R. Bennett, John Blanton, Alexander Burns, Mary Draper, Jamie Goodall, Jane Fiegen Green, et al. “Colonial Society,” in The American Yawp, edited by Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, chapter 4. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018. E-book.
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Basile, Marco, Nathaniel C. Green, Brenden Kennedy, Spencer McBride, Andrea Nero, Cara Rogers, Tara Strauch, et al. “A New Nation,” in The American Yawp, edited by Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, chapter 6. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018. E-book.