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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.
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