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the colonists were upset by the Stamp Act, but by refusing to accept the Stamp Act they were simply trying to understand and define their rights as Englishmen. These quotes and the document do not prove but rather support Morgan’s claim that the American Revolution and its origins can be found in the at-odds over the colonist’s fundamental rights.However compelling Edmund Morgan’s argument is, it is by no means the only argument about the origins of the American Revolution. Gary Nash in The Urban Crucible presents an argument that places an emphasis not on ideology as Morgan did, but rather on the economy and social conditions in the northern seaport towns of Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Nash believes that a unique social atmosphere in these northern seaports led to the American Revolution. In The Urban Crucible Nash talks of the war time boom and postwar bust of two wars that had a huge impact on the economies and social life of the northern seaports. The first war was King George’s war and the second war was the Seven Years war. Both of these wars had a huge impact on the economies and Nash believes it was these wars that paved the way to revolution, this can be seen when he writes “In economic, social, and political terms the Seven Years’ War marked a watershed, bringing together all the tendencies of the previous seven decades and setting the maritime centers on a course that led eventually to the revolution.”3Nash argues, like Morgan does, that the colonists had little or no confrontation with the British in the 2Jack P. Green, Colonies to Nation 1763-1789, (1967), page 643Gary B. Nash, The Urban Crucible, (Harvard University Press, 1979), pg. 147
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James FrancisRevolutionary America first half of the 18thcentury. This lack of tension led the colonists to become increasingly independent from the British and more autonomous However, unlike Morgan, Nash believes that this made the colonists, especially merchants and the upper classes, resentful of the British because the new acts of parliament and the previous wars had made them increasingly more dependent on the British. This can be seen in the quote from Nash’s book “The war convinced the American colonies of their growing strength and maturity, yet left them depleted of manpower and debt-ridden. It brought an unprecedented amount of English capital, yet rendered them unusually sensitive to the disadvantages of the British mercantile connection.”4The changing economic and social system coupled with the postwar depressions made the northern seaports especially vulnerable to radicalization and eventually to be the hotbed of revolutionary resistance according to Nash’s The Urban Crucible.
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