A Revolutionary Debate: Causes of the American Revolution Essay

A Revolutionary Debate: Causes of the American Revolution Essay

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Let us travel back before the Revolutionary War, to the start of the French and Indian War. This is the only way to understand the future of the American Colonies, and ultimately the causes of the American Revolution. After the war, Britain had emerged as the world’s leading power, however, Britain’s national debt tripled. In order to relieve the heavy burden, the British decided to tax the American Colonies. This taxation caused massive rebellion by the Americans, and ultimately warfare. Professor Breen, a historian well familiar with the revolution, claims that the American colonists were motived by a new form of protest called boycotting. Breen explains that the revolution was a consumer revolution driven not just by elite landowners, but by all American colonists. Degler on the other hand states that the revolution was not a consumer revolution, and was mostly controlled by the elite aristocracy. In my own opinion, the American Revolution was a war that represented a country seeking freedom and liberty. Despite the use of boycotting, the colonies were also using other methods besides economics to break away from Britain. Taking Breen and Degler into consideration, the American Revolution was both an economic and political revolution.
“Professor Breen believes that the American Revolution was a consumer revolution that was based on the British importing of goods. American colonists used the boycotting system to break away from Britain, and establish their own economic currency” (128). Breen feels strong about his argument and gives excellent supporting evidence of an economic break. However; Breen seems to have missed the most important aspect of American culture of why we fight for “Liberty and Freedom.” Despite the tremend...


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...e of the freedom that is our birth-right, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it” These men had been satisfied with their existence, they were not disgruntled agitators or frustrated politicians; they were a strange new breed contented revolutionaries (143).” The revolution was a nationwide occurrence for all classes of people. The boycotting of British’s goods, started a revolt that would become the foundations to the greatest country on Earth. I take Breen and Degler’s statements into one final evaluation. The American Revolution was not a one sided “consumer” revolt driven by boycotting, or a political aristocracy wanting control. However, the revolution was an economic conflict driven by the new political protest of boycotting, which resulted in national support for a push to independence lead by our country elites.





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