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The Transformation of the American Colonies Essay

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From 1763 to 1789 the American Colonies underwent a radical transformation becoming an independent self-governing nation. The British debt accumulated from the French and Indian War brought colonists into conflict with the mother country over a variety of social, political and economic issues. This turmoil pushed the colonials to fight for their independence and develop a government that would counter these problems. With the introduction of the constitution, the American Revolution initiated a radical departure from the America prior to 1763 when it developed unto a revolutionary society.

At the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1789, the colonies were free from British rule and a new nation was born. The Articles of Confederation created a new American Republic which was a far more democratic government under the Constitution. Though minimally enforced, the English empire, under the Navigation Acts, had taxed the colonies before 1763 in order to regulate trade. A turning point came at the end of the French and Indian war in 1763. The British Empire had compiled a large debt fighting the French and looked to the colonies to pay off these debts. Parliament passed several laws or Acts to generate revenue, regulate trade and pay its local government. The Sugar Act insured that colonists bought sugar from English plantations. The Stamp Act taxed any printed material that passed hands in the colonies to generate revenue. The Townshend Act authorized writs of assistance to crack down on smugglers.

The colonists saw the British as a liberty loving empire but viewed these new taxes as unconstitutional and a threat to their liberty. The colonists had no voice when it came to new tax laws such as these and with the increased e...


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...ederation. The power to amend the constitution meant that the government could grow and evolve as the country changed. A three-branched government separated the powers of government. The system of checks and balances would be used, in which the President could veto an act of congress. Congress would override a presidential veto with two thirds vote in both houses. The judiciary is empowered to interpret the laws of congress and determine if they are consistent with the constitution. Term limits were created with 2 years for the house and 6 years for the senate. This is significant because it prevents a single branch of government to become too powerful and the ability to amend the Constitution gave it the ability to grow with the ever changing world. The groundwork laid by the constitution created a government that would become one of the world's first super powers.


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