Origins Of The American Revolution

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Although the American Revolution took place in the late 18th century, historians trace its deep origins back to the mid-17th century. One must examine the differences in philosophies, such as those concerning slave-ownership, religion, and descendency of Americans, as well as the social and economic tensions between Britain and the colonies, such as those caused by the heavy taxation of Americans in the Navigation Acts and the unfair nature of mercantilism. Americans had a different mindset than the British because of religion in some cases and slave-ownership in others. Additionally, many Americans thought of themselves as Englishmen, but the British did not. The British felt that they were superior to the Americans due to the inherent inequality …show more content…
However, slave-ownership in the southern colonies played a vital role in the mindset of many colonial Americans on the subject of British rule. Many planters, or plantation owners, lived in the southern colonies such as Virginia and South Carolina. These men had great standing in American society because of their economic wealth and thus their political power in colonial assemblies. All of their power could be attributed to one commodity, not tobacco, not spices, but slaves. Planters observed this relationship between their ownership of slaves and power, and they began to associate freedom with rank in society. In the southern colonies, free men ruled over slaves, therefore planters took immense pride in their freedom. These men saw the dejected state of those in servitude, and they knew they could use their great influence in the south to keep themselves from similar bondage. Alternatively, slavery was not common in the north, yet revolutionary fervor still …show more content…
Mercantilism is an economic system which is designed to support the nation that established it. Colonies and commerce are wealth in a mercantilist system, which led to many tensions between America and Britain. First, a country needs to constantly be exporting goods in order to keep a favorable trade balance and maintain wealth. In practice, this meant that Britain had to use American land as a producer of wealth while giving the colonies minimal reimbursement. Second, a country can only have finite wealth in a mercantilist system in the form of land, which leads to competition. Britain fought many colonial wars in the 17th and 18th century, and to fund these wars cost the empire much money. The government acquired this money through taxation of its colonies. Mercantilism is inherently unequal, as it is for the benefit of the government. Finally, it requires a system of regulation so that the commercial relationship between a mother country and its colonies is always in the favor of the mother country. In the British Empire, the Navigation Acts served as these

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