Reasons to Join the Revolutionary War as Portrayed in The Patriot

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Colonialists were in search of a better life in the newly discovered land of the Americas. Ties with their mother-country of Britannia, over three thousand miles away, resulted in miscommunication and arguments. Eventually these arguments and miscommunications lead to the Revolutionary War, provoking many American Colonists to join the Continental Army. Each soldier from the militia to the regular recruits had reasons to fight; many of these reasons were influenced by the first Age of Enlightenment and other reasons were formed by personal experiences with the conflicts of Britannia and the American Colonies. The movie, The Patriot, presented many reasons that are supported by major historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, and that also are backed by personal testimonies of the American Colonists who joined the Continental Army. The first Age of Enlightenment, which started in Europe around the 18th century, spread to the American Colonies where it caused colonists to believe “that all men are created equal [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” (Decl. of Ind. 1). The influence of the first Age of Enlightenment is simply shown in this quote because it refers to John Locke’s, an influential Enlightenment philosopher, work, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, which states that laboring men have a natural or God-given right to “life, liberty, health, and indulgency of body; and the possession of outward things,” (A Letter Concerning Toleration). The phrase “pursuit of happiness” comes from Richard Cumberland’s philosophy from his writings in De legibusnaturae; Richard believed that the pursuit... ... middle of paper ... ...nited States. Declaration of Independence. By Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia, 1776. Print. 2) Bostwick, Elisha. Military Memoir (Dec. 1776). Print. 3) Locke, John. A Letter Concerning Toleration . Trans. William Popple. N.p., 1686. Print. 4) Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Civil Government. Trans. William Popple. N.p., 1684. Print. 5) Thatcher, John. MILITARY JOURNAL (1823). Print. Secondary: 6) Centropolis Entertainment, Mutual Friend Company, and Columbia Pictures, dirs. The Patriot. Roland Emmerich. Global Entertainment Productions GmbH and Co., 2000. Film. 7) Chadwick, Bruce. The First American Army: The Untold Story of George Washington and the Men behind America's First Fight for Freedom. N.p.: Sourcebooks, Inc., October 2006. Print. 8) Foner, Philip Sheldon. History of Black Americans. N.p.: Greenwood Press, 1975. Print.

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