17a paper 2 outline

17a paper 2 outline - The American Revolution as Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was based on the premise that

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The American Revolution, as Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, was based on the premise that “all men are created equal.” The prevailing American sentiments that led to the breakaway from Great Britain rose however from the colonist’s belief that their rights as British subjects were being violated. Internal taxation, furthermore taxation without representation, combined with such economic interference as the closing down of Boston Harbor and the quartering of British troops in the homes of colonists under the Intolerable Acts, created much tension between the Americans and British. However, after the war was over and the American states victorious, many of the ideals on which the Revolution was based on, such as equality under the law for all “men” and equal participation in the realm of politics, was not equally dispersed among the different segments of society. Wealthy male political and economic leaders of the era saw their status rise as they filled the void left by the British aristocratic nobility. These were the men who enjoyed the full rights of suffrage, rights to serve in elected office, and were respected as the intelligent upper class. As for the urban artisans and laborers, the Revolution provided an opportunity for social mobility that under the British system was all but impossible. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers such as Nathaniel Greene who was without prior fame or family wealth was now able to climb the social ladder and reach respectable status among elites, though not necessarily the same political opportunities. For enslaved blacks their fortunes either rose or fell depending solely on geographic location. States such as Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New York, citing the phrase “all men are created equal” from the Declaration of Independence, could not justify the bondage of an entire race of people and thus took steps to outlaw slavery. Southern states however, whose economies depended heavily on slave labor, did nothing to change this. While the cause for revolution was comprised of many factors, the bedrock of American discontent rested simply on the argument that their natural rights as British citizens were being 1
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abridged. One such right that other British subjects enjoyed, but the American colonists did not, was direct representation in Parliament. Prime Minister Grenville of Great Britain argued that even though the colonists were not able to vote directly for representatives, they still enjoyed “virtual representation”, because members of Parliament worked to improve the lives of all the British people, not just their respective constituencies. However, as the British sought to relieve its war debt by taxing the colonists, anger toward “taxation without representation” took hold. Speaking of virtual representation, Maryland lawyer Daniel Dulany wrote of it as “a mere cob-web, spread to catch the unwary, and entangle the weak”(Roark 155). Certainly, the American colonists believed
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This note was uploaded on 09/09/2011 for the course HISTORY 17A taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

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17a paper 2 outline - The American Revolution as Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was based on the premise that

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