What is American revolution?
It is a political upheaval during which colonists in the Thirteen North American Colonies of Great Britain rejected the British monarchy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. However, it resulted into social, political and intellectual transformation of USA.
Period before 1763
In 16th century, France, Netherland, Spain and England began establishing colonies in North America. Later in 18th century, England held the dominant position, it acquired French territories in North America, took New Netherland to create New York, and acquired Canada.
- America was settled by dissenters and radicals and their next generations had inherited the spirit of liberty.
- Poor, unemployed and convicts came to settle in US. They were detached from the their homeland.
- In terms of religion, that were far more tolerate than the European nations.
- New sections of society grew which included landless peasants, liberal groups, atheist, traders and profiteers.
- American society was divided into Loyalist, Patriots, and Neutrals.
- Role of women: they participated in the boycott of British goods, provided routine services to the colonies’ forces.
- Infant industries of wool, flax and leather grew up.
- Fishing and shipbuilding were major activities.
- Large plantations like feudal manors had grown with slave labour brought from Africa.
- Industrial revolution was absent
- Technology was very medieval in nature.
- Trade and commerce was under the control of British Parliament.
- First instance of self-government was the control over expenditure in Virginia, New York, New Jersey et. al between 1703-50.
- Informal committees consisting of legislative leaders began coming up in colonies of New York, and Massachusetts.
- Each colony had a local assembly elected by qualified voters. They enacted laws concerning local matters and levied taxes.
- Some colonies had elected assemblies which constituted the lower house of the legislature, a council appointed by the British Crown (mixed monarchy) and an appointed governor with executive powers representing the King. In some colonies Governors were appointed by the proprietors. While in Charter colonies both legislature and Governor were elected by the
- However, all political developments were controlled by the British Parliament. All the laws were to be approved by the British government.