Ideological Origins Of The American Revolution

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Early historians Mercy Otis Warren and David Ramsay viewed the Revolution through a more sterile scope than will future historians. Their views were shaped by having lived through the Revolution, and their interpretations reflect that context. Both see the British as morally wrong in their convictions, and the colonists on the side of virtue and truth. Their historical works may be viewed as laden with bias for the cause of the Patriots. However, a sense of conviction and belief in the cause of the Revolution comes through in their writing allowing the reader to get a sense of the emotional currents that ran through the colonies during the tumultuous years that led to battle. Warren’s many works during this time period represent her desire …show more content…
Research on communication during the Revolution must include Bernard Bailyn’s work, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, (1967). Bailyn’s study looked to peel back the myths and legends about the origins of the Revolution, to get to the real heart of the matter by looking at what was on the minds of the colonists, the average merchant, the lawyers, and the radical leaders. Who had an agenda? Who had an idea about government and rights of man? He looked at what the people wrote. Bailyn did extensive research on the pamphlets generated during the war; with over four hundred produced in 1776 alone. This study will flesh out how many of those were written and printed in Boston, by whom, and why. Bailyn described the pamphlets as such; “They reveal not merely positions taken but the reason why positions were taken; they reveal motive and understanding: the assumptions, beliefs, and ideas – the articulated world view – that lay behind the manifest events of the …show more content…
Mason described a colony deeply entrenched with royal influence. Mason labeled New York’s system of government as a “considerable administrative machine” with the King’s reach extending through the governor, the council, the assembly, the courts, the mayors, down through county and town officials. The presence of Royal officials in New York would serve as a deterrent to political dissent against Royal policies and laws such as the Stamp Act. Although there were those that would work to rebel against this tax, the fear of committing treasonous acts, or speaking against the King and Parliament were perhaps more precarious in a Colony that served as the base for His Majesty’s Royal Army. In a letter from the South Carolina General Committee to the New York Committee of Sixty this sense of caution was confirmed. It said, “We are not ignorant of that crowd of placemen, of contractors, of officers, and needy dependents upon the crown, who are constantly employed to frustrate your measures. We know the dangerous tendency of being made the Headquarters of America for many years”. Mason’s book puts into context the political atmosphere in New York, and serves as a way to differentiate that colonial city from the political atmosphere in

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