American Revolution and History Essay
- Why is the American Revolution Considered one of the most significant turning points in history?
The American Revolution also known as United States War of Independence occurred from 1775 to 1783 (Burgan, 2015). This war acted as an agent for change within Great Britain and North American colonies. The war drove political change by granting independence to states that formed the present United States of America. History records that this war was as a result of estrangement between the British and the large influential segment of North America colonies after the British attempted to assert great control over North American’s colonial affairs leading to a civil war between these states . Later on, the France and Spain joined the war and fought against the Britain. From the inception stage of the war, sea power played a vital role in determining the course of the war. In 1783, the America ultimately managed to bring the British into surrender at Yorktown by the help of the French ending the war. The American Revolution brought four significant changes in history as discussed below.
How American Revolution Brought Significant Turning Points in History
Abolition of Slavery
Libertarian policy changes came about as a result of revolution. Independence of the Great Britain and North American colonies came with massive anti-libertarian consequences. The American aggression against Indians and abolition of slavery are major changes brought about by American Revolution (Cogliano, 2016). This revolution spelt out benefits of independence, respectful treatment of the indigenous population, human rights interventions, and end of slavery. New developments that argued against forced came into existence leading to abolition of slave trade. Revolution’s liberating spirit enhanced outright abolition of slavery in northern states by 1804, and the Confederation Congress which prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory. Slavery was considered less economical in northern colonies resulting to radicle changes in labor system. More than 10,000 slaves in Virginia were freed following a judicial decree. This led to the first communities of the blacks in America. By 1810, most parts of the African-Americans enjoyed their freedom through this process.
Separation of Church and State
Willis (2016) argues that separation of the church from the state was more radicle in the South than in the North. The British acknowledged the separation of the church from the state prior to revolution and only four of its thirteen colonies had no established tax supported churches. These included, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Revolution allowed five more states and New York to establish Anglican Church. Adoption of the constitution and the first amendment in the US separated the church from the state at a national level. Massachusetts was the last in abolishing tax support for the church in 1833.
Revolution brought about independence. The colonized states adopted written constitutions setting up republican governments with a limitation on state power embodied in bill of rights. Only a few states like Rhode Island operated under their colonial charter with a few modifications. Further developments included reforms on the penal codes making states less severe and eliminating brutal punishments. With effect to this, the number of capital crimes reduced from 27 to 2 in Virginia; murder and treason (Willis, 2016).
Extinguishing the Remnants of Feudalism and Aristocracy
This was the most diffuse effect of revolution. Feudal land tax paid to colonial proprietors were terminated (Willis, 2016). New states abolished primogeniture. This eliminated economically inefficient feudal encumbrances on land titles. This was a blow to patriarchal families that enjoyed hereditary privileges which undermined traditions of inheritance to daughters and widows. States also liberalized divorce laws. Egregious treatment of loyalists during revolution became a thing of the past. A balance was created among patriots, loyalists, neutral populations.
American Revolution spread liberal ideas, inspired democracy, abolition of slavery trade, separation of church and state, emergence of republican governments, and extinguished the remnants of feudalism and aristocracy. Its success is evident not only in United States but also in France, Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Geneva, Ireland, and other states.
Burgan, M. (2015). The Untold Story of the Battle of Saratoga: A Turning Point in the Revolutionary War. Mankato, MN: Capstone.
Cogliano, F. D. (2016). Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History. Oxfordshire, England: Taylor & Francis.
Willis, S. (2016). The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.