Revolutionary America

Revolutionary America - James Francis Revolutionary America...

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James Francis Revolutionary America An Essay Concerning the Origins of the American Revolution The origins and causes of the American Revolution is a topic that can be argued from many different viewpoints. When studying the origins of the American Revolution, there are three separate schools of thought and each one has a different argument regarding the origins of the American Revolution, these schools of thought are the Neo-Progressives, Neo-Whigs, and the Neo-Imperialists. The three interpretations presented by each school is best represented in three books, theses three books are The Stamp Act Crisis by Edmund Morgan (Neo-Whig), Urban Crucible by Gary Nash (Neo-Progressive), and Crisis of Empire by I.R. Christie (Neo- Imperialist). Although the interpretations presented by Morgan, Nash and Christie are extremely different they all provide logically sound reasons as to why the American Revolution occurred when it did. The Neo-Whig argument as presented by Morgan in The Stamp Act Crisis focuses on the American’s reaction to the British passing the Stamp Act in 1765. Morgan’s argument stresses that, while the economic conditions in the colonies were not fantastic, the true motivation for the colonists to rebel against the Stamp Act, and ultimately Britain, has its roots in ideology and fundamental rights. This can be seen in the Prologue to The Stamp Act Crisis when Morgan talks about the political relationship between the Colonies and Britain during the first half of the 18 th century. Morgan states that lack of friction, or tension, between the Colonies and Britain made it so that “the rights of the colonists in relation to the mother country had never come up for close examination, and hence no one knew exactly what they were.” 1 The Stamp Act of 1765 was the first “direct tax” imposed upon the colonists by the British Parliament and the colonists, now taking a closer look at their rights, believed it to be unconstitutional. One can look at “The Official Colonial Protest: The Declaration of the Stamp Act Congress” as evidence of the 1 Edmund Morgan & Helen Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis, (University of North Carolina Press, 1962) pg. 5
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James Francis Revolutionary America colonies attempting to not only understand their rights but also to define their rights in relation to Great Britain. If one looks at the second declaration within the document “That his majesty’s liege subjects in these colonies are entitled to all the inherent rights and privileges of his natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain,” one can see that the colonists were not happy with this violation of their rights 2 This document and the aforementioned quote demonstrate how the colonists were upset by the Stamp Act, but by refusing to accept the Stamp Act they were
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Revolutionary America - James Francis Revolutionary America...

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