YAWP Chapter 5 - Causes of the American Revolution The Origins of the American Revolution \u25cf Between the Glorious Revolution and the middle of the 18th

YAWP Chapter 5 - Causes of the American Revolution The...

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Causes of the American Revolution The Origins of the American Revolution: Between the Glorious Revolution and the middle of the 18th century, Britain failed to define the colonies’ relationship to the empire and institute a program of imperial reform. Two things led to these failure: Britain was at war from the War of the Spanish Succession at the start of the century through the Seven Years’ War. Also, competing visions of empire divided British officials. Old Whigs and their Tory supporters wanted an authoritarian empire based on conquering territory and extracting resources. They wanted to eliminate Britain’s debt by raising taxes and cutting spending on the colonies. John Adams: Separate body. James Ordin: The radical/patriot Whigs based their imperial vision of trade and manufacturing. They argued economic growth solves national debt, not raising taxes. They believed the colonies should have the same status with the mother country. 18th Century brought economic and demographic growth in the colonies. They believed this resulted from Britain’s hands-off approach to the colonies. After each colony’s settlement, they created a colonial assembly. They had many of the same duties as the Commons exercised in Britain, including taxing, managing spending of colonies’ revenue, granting salaries to royal officials. In early 1700s, colonial leaders unsuccessfully lobbied the British gov. To define their assemblies’ legal prerogatives, but British was busy with European wars. Land: key to political participation in Britain and the colonies. Since land was easily obtained in the colonies, a higher proportion of male colonists participated in politics. Colonial political culture came from rural part of Britain - republicanism - stressed the corrupt nature of power and the need for those involved in self-governing to be virtuous (public good over self interest). The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening began to combine in the colonies and challenge ideas about authority. John Locke argued that the mind was a tabula rasa (blank slate) and that people were formed by their environment. Education is more important than tradition. Locke’s ideas about knowledge and education spread in North America. Colonies experienced wave of evangelical Protestant revivalism. Whitefold was an itinerant preacher, traveled the colonies preaching Calvinist sermons to huge crowds. He told his listeners that salvation could only be found by taking personal responsibility (“conversion”). Argued that current Church hierarchies populated by “unconverted” ministers stood as a barrier between the person and God Colonists with disposable income and access to British markets attempted to mimic British culture during the 18th century.
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