American Revolution and its Aftermath

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The American Revolution marked the divorce of the British Empire and its one of the most valued colonies. Behind the independence that America had fought so hard for, there emerged a diverging society that was eager to embrace new doctrines. The ideals in the revolution that motivated the people to fight for freedom continued to influence American society well beyond the colonial period. For example, the ideas borrowed from John Locke about the natural rights of man was extended in an unsuccessful effort to include women and slaves. The creation of state governments and the search for a national government were the first steps that Americans took to experiment with their own system. Expansion, postwar depression as well as the new distribution of land were all evidence that pointed to the gradual maturing of the economic system. Although America was fast on its way to becoming a strong and powerful nation, the underlying issues brought about by the Revolution remained an important part in the social, political and economical developments that in some instances contradicted revolutionary principles in the period from 1775-1800. The American Revolution stirred political unity and motivated the need for change in the nation. Because many Americans fought for a more balanced government in the Revolutionary War, they initially created a weak national government that hampered the country's growth and expansion. In the Letter from Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson, Mrs. Adams complained about the inadequacy of power that the American government had to regulate domestic affairs. The Articles of Confederation was created to be weak because many had feared a similar governing experience that they had just eliminated with Britain. The alliance of states united the 13 local governments but lacked power to deal with important issues or to regulate diplomatic affairs. Congress did not have the power to tax, regulate trade, or draft people for war. This put the American citizens at stake because States had the power to refuse requests for taxes and troops (Document G). The weakened national government could not do anything about uprisings or small-scale protests because it did not have the power to put together an army. The deficiencies of the confederation government inspired the drafting of the American Constitution. The document itself embodied the principle of a national government prepared to deal with the nation's problems. In James Madison's Federalist Paper, he persuades the American public to adopt the Constitution so that the government can protect humans from their nature and keep them out of conflicts.

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