Revolutionary War Dbq

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Men across the thirteen colonies fought against the British Army with many different reasons which allowed for a new country to develop. Mark Lender, Charles Royster, Gregory Knouff, and Gordon Wood each show reasons for why men chose to enlist in the Revolutionary War. Of the four historians, Gregory Knouff’s interpretation is the most convincing of why the people decided to join the revolution. Knouff’s argument explained why economic and patriotic reasoning was not the strongest motive. He also looks deeper into the internal conflicts occurring in communities and how their social conflicts and political desires for change in their community triggered enlistment. Gregory Knouff stated that the men’s main motive to fight was based off …show more content…

According to Charles Royster (claimed that the men who enlisted fought out of patriotism and self-sacrifice for a free country), the majority of men that joined the army were in their late teens early twenties. Since the majority were young they did not have as high of economic need as others: “most soldiers were under the age of twenty-three years old and owned little or no property” (83-84), which means that economics was not their main motive for joining. Gregory Knouff agreed that there was a motive for economics. He, however, asserted that economics and bounty money was only a reason for enlistment for a small sum of people. Even though there were men who joined only for financial gain many enlistments were not for these reasons. Those who enlisted for economics were commonly poor rural men, and many went for other reasons that were not based on self-interest: “poor men who served in the place of others…often received bounty money. Many… went in place of their fathers and brothers” (91), because they went as substitutes, they went the desire to allow their fathers and brothers to stay behind and keep businesses open to help their families continue to gain …show more content…

According to Charles Royster, patriotism, and the willingness to sacrifice yourself for the new country was the key motive to men entering the continental army in the war. Mark Lender, however, proved that specific motive while existent was not the main reason. Mark Lender started his essay by outlining that the near beginning of the war men did patriotically enlist. He does this by informing his readers of a Captain’s response to his new company: “for they had enlisted, he assured himself, not out of hopes of personal gain, but ‘from motives purely to serve their country” (75). Patriotism as the main purpose lasted only a few months as men became discouraged: “defeats…had demonstrated the harsher aspects of soldiering, the cause alone would no longer keep men in the field” (76). Men needed more than the building of a new country to be at war for as hard as conditions were. Along with Lender, Knouff also shows that there are flaws in Royster’s argument. Royster’s points are passive as well, making it hard to convince someone that self-sacrifice is the reason men enlisted. Knouff noted that his information is more opinionated thought than actual evidence: “he assumes comparable motives” (88). Royster made many assumptions, whether that was his intention. Even though Knouff believes nationalism was a compelling cause for enlistment, Royster’s way of formulating his ideas led to being unsuccessful in his

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