The American Revolution: A Middle Class Movement

The American Revolution: A Middle Class Movement

Length: 907 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Revolutions are generally defined by certain causes and results stemming from discontent in the governed people. Among these outcomes are change in the political, social and economic order of society. In the American Revolution, however, not all of these areas of the nation were altered in a way conducive with a true Revolution. The government was overthrown and a democracy was formed. Nevertheless, no large variance was apparent in the economic trend of development, and the tiers of society remained all but untouched following the Revolution.
As is the case in many revolutions that have taken place in the world, wealth was a contributing factor. The poorer masses become disgruntled at the overwhelming wealth of a select few. The upper class, most times, is also the ruling class. This springs from the longstanding principle in a lot of cultures of primogeniture and hereditary titles, especially with a monarchical government, as was the case in England in pre-Revolutionary times. The ruling class would feel the full wrath of the people, and more often than not got stripped of their land, money, title, and sometimes even their lives. This is where the American Revolution differs from say their French or Russian counterparts. Commonly, the riches acquired as a result of revolt were then given to the people, or used in a manner beneficial to the people, and the formerly rich were done away with. Post-American Revolutionary "spoils" consisted of large quantities of land left behind by loyalists who fled the country, or were kicked out but not killed and land which had belonged to the Crown. The majority of these plots of land, numbering millions of acres over all, were sold piece by piece to speculators or men who already had a substantial amount of land under their belts. In this specific country, land was abundant, so it was not absolutely necessary for the poorer masses to automatically acquire the land, but this, and the detail that the reformers did not dispatch their previous leaders, shows how much less radical the American movement was than those in Russia or France. Because the less fortunate did not see any of the physical aspects of the bounty of the Revolution, the land stayed within the middle class, and lower upper class, of the people. This also further defined the social classes in the newly founded United States.
In the initial settlement of America, social classes existed solely based on being settled by the English.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The American Revolution: A Middle Class Movement." 23 Apr 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Market Revolution On American Society

- The market revolution was a time of change, liberation, growth, and of course American ingenuity. This new kind of revolution brought about many changes in the lives of Americans everywhere. New technology from the steamboat to the telegraph connected the country in a new way. The emergence of factories (and the factory system) brought the growth of commerce, specialization of products, and many jobs to a rapidly growing nation. The market revolution benefited our country by impacting the social groups of the slaves and the middle class, generating a change in laws of the economy and warranting the redefining of freedom....   [tags: market revolution, middle class, slaves]

Research Papers
885 words (2.5 pages)

Women During The American Revolution Essay

- Throughout most of recorded history, women generally have endured significantly fewer career opportunities and choices, and even less legal rights, than that of men. The “weaker sex,” women were long considered naturally, both physically and mentally, inferior to men. Delicate and feeble minded, women were unable to perform any task that required muscular or intellectual development. This idea of women being inherently weaker, coupled with their natural biological role of the child bearer, resulted in the stereotype that “a woman’s place is in the home.” Therefore, wife and mother were the major social roles and significant professions assigned to women, and were the ways in which women iden...   [tags: Social class, Middle class, Working class]

Research Papers
2329 words (6.7 pages)

The Middle Class Is Defined As A Social Class Essay

- The American middle class is defined as a social class in the United States. It is the class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. There are people in the United States middle class as well as other countries and this class of people has specific issues and interests that they are concerned with. Issues such as the health care reform, the financial reform, making college affordable, and housing. By dealing with these specific issues, the middle class has to vote, making them the middle class voters....   [tags: United States, Social class, Middle class]

Research Papers
1049 words (3 pages)

Essay on The French Revolution And The American Revolution

- There was the American Revolution, which in fact feed a colony from absolutism and became a free nation, an American nation. The French revolution, which is also inspired many people around the world, proves to be a fight for freedom, liberty, equality and fraternity. To also fight off the right of a non- absolutism government and for the rights of the people in every form of class. In this text, we shall follow the progression of the French revolution from its social, economical and political factors until the rein of Terror....   [tags: French Revolution, Louis XVI of France]

Research Papers
1331 words (3.8 pages)

The French Revolution And The American Revolution Essay example

- The French Revolution refers to a series of political and social changes that caused the French monarchy to be destroyed, and it was the beginning of a republican form of government in France. Its legacy lasted from 1789 to 1815. From its ashes, a republican government formed in the late 18th century. Many causes led to the French Revolution and caused a change in France’s government, but it also changed the way other nations governed their countries. There are many reasons the French Revolution evolved, but it started out with a weak, vacillating king named Louis the 16th....   [tags: French Revolution, Louis XVI of France]

Research Papers
1105 words (3.2 pages)

The Social Environment During The Revolution Essay

- The social environment during the revolution was complex, and only became more so as the colonies declared their independence. The colonies themselves could be divided along several lines including Northern, Mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies. They could also be considered by their populations as small or large colonies. These geographic and population based lines were likely as important as class lines during the American Revolution. The classes fell into three main categories. The gentry, the middle class and the lower class or poor....   [tags: Social class, Bourgeoisie, Middle class]

Research Papers
706 words (2 pages)

The American Revolution Was a Real Revolution Essay

- The American Revolution was definitely revolutionary. The people broke free from Britain and gained independence. Only one third of the colonist enthusiastically supported the revolution. The colonist were unhappy and being treated terribly by their motherland and trouble started to brew. The thirteen colonies that became the United States of America were originally colonies of Great Britain. By the time the American Revolution took place, the citizens of these colonies were beginning to get tired of the British rule....   [tags: Essays on American Revolution]

Research Papers
823 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about The Decline Of The Industrial Revolution

- The Industrial Revolution “transformed the daily lives of Americans as much as—and arguably more than—any single event in U.S. history”. It was marked by significant advances in technology and industry that had broad and enduring impacts. Even though the start of the industrial revolution is said to have begun in the first half of the 19th century, the real industrialization of America did not begin until after the Civil War. The American economy accelerated its growth after the Civil War as it entered “The Second Industrial Revolution,” generally recognized as the period between 1870 and 1914....   [tags: Industrial Revolution, City, Superpower]

Research Papers
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Comparing the American and French Revolutions Essay

- The American and the French revolutions had many similarities and differences. One similarity being is that they both wanted to escape the rule of their King. Second, they both started by an uprising of people against unfair taxation by the monarchy. The French peasants were not represented by the Parliament. It was mainly composed of middle and upper class people. Now, the American colonists were not represented in England because of their lack of presence. Both wanted to set up a Republic, which provided liberty and justice to all classes of citizens....   [tags: American French Revolution Comparison]

Research Papers
1844 words (5.3 pages)

The Many Causes of the American Revolution Essay

- Pointing the finger of blame at any one country when speaking of war is a difficult task. Each country must take responsibility in the beginning of the conflict. Although there is never one country responsible for starting warfare there is an opinion that one side is more at fault for it's beginnings. From an early age, children in America are taught that the British were responsible for pushing the colonies to rebel and declare independence from their mother country. When looking at both sides of the argument I still believe the British were to blame for igniting the flames of revolution....   [tags: Essays on American Revolution]

Free Essays
1636 words (4.7 pages)

Social distinctions were so bred into English culture that they thought to not have a difference of the classes was preposterous and barbaric. When the first few slews of boats cam to the New World, they had high hopes because, dissimilar to England, they were given a chance to rise, to a certain extent, in class through wealth. It is true that the lower classed people who came to America began as indentured servants, but they had faith that once free of their servitude they would make a great deal of money off their own land. As Crane Brinton writes, one of the conditions present as causes of major revolutions is that people are initially hopeful about the future, but they are forced to accept less than they had hoped for. This is what the lower classes in America experienced, but their burdens were not fully alleviated following the Revolution.

The key leaders of the Revolution, from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Revere, were all of the middle class. Taking into account Robert Morris and Joseph Hewes, who at least worked hard for the money they had as opposed to inheriting it, these principal activists still had money to give to the cause. These leaders were not only leaders of the revolt; they were also leaders in their respective states. The majority, by far, of the signers of the Declaration of Independence held governing offices, or high positions in the military, in the areas where they lived. For example, Patrick Henry was a member of the Virginia Assembly, and George Washington was in the Virginia Militia. After the Revolution the question, as Carl Becker put it, was about "who was to rule at home". A large portion of these same chief revolutionaries retained their offices and titles. There was no dissipation of class divisions, nor did many of the lower classes gain access to these offices or titles. Granted, these men could have had a fear of mobocracy, the masses of uneducated people ruling the nation and making poor decisions. However, the fact remains that there was no great shift in the American social hierarchy.
One must also take into account the difference in the governing body prior to the American Revolution, in contrast to those in Russia or France, and the way it affected the adherence to a strict definition of a true Revolution. The monarch who governed the American people, King George III, was an ocean away. He placed ruling boards in the New World to keep order, and his word, throughout the land. However, when the uprising occurred, the loyalists that had been appointed by him were sent to Canada or back to England. Because the king himself was not bodily evident, and it took weeks to bring troops to the New World to fight, taking over the government was not as difficult as in France, where the bourgeois was no less than 25 miles away throughout the rebellion.
Return to