OVERVIEW: In The Later 18th Century, British Colonists Living In The 13 American Colonies Carried Out A Revolution Against Their King And His Government. After They Successfully Won Their Independence From That Government, They Needed To Create A New Gove
3rs Oct, 2019
“The American Revolution is a period of political change after 1763 in the thirteen British colonies of North America that gave rise to the United States' war of independence against Britain (1775-1783). Founding episode of the American nation and the birth of the United States, the revolution were manifested by violence against the British authorities, a war against the metropolis and social unrest”.
America before other countries embarked on the path of capitalist development. She was the first country where a revolution occurred, ending with the execution of the king. True, in 1688 there was a restoration of the monarchy, but this could not significantly affect its capitalist development (Armitage, David, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, 2009). Therefore, it is not by chance that in America the ideas of enlightenment found fertile ground. These ideas were developed by T. Hobbes (1588 - 1679), then J. Locke and other thinkers. The founder of English education is rightfully considered T. Hobbes. Continuing the line of Bacon, he believed that the purpose of philosophy is a practical benefit. He systematized the materialism of his teacher and creates a new form of materialism - mechanical materialism. All nature was represented by Hobbes as a set of extended bodies, differing in size, figure, position and movement. In this case, the movement was understood as purely mechanical, as a movement.
Hobbes considered the absolute monarchy to be the most perfect form of state power. The power of the state extends not only to human behavior but also to his view: religious moral and even scientific. And yet, according to Hobbes, every citizen has the right to defend himself. When a subject ceases to enjoy the patronage of the previous government, he is free to submit to the new government. So the ardent monarchist Hobbes logically comes to the justification of the revolutionary movements that he witnessed. The teachings of Hobbes, especially his naturalistic concept of state and law, played a huge role in the development of the entire Enlightenment.
Its story begins on May 14, 1607, when three ships dock in the Chesapeake Bay, a veritable inland sea at the confluence of several estuaries. They bring a hundred settlers. They founded an establishment called Jamestown, in honor of King James 1st (James 1st ).
The Council of New England granted the territory to John Mason in 1629, which gave it its present name. Nestled between different colonies, New Hampshire became an autonomous colony in 1692, while maintaining until 1741 the same governor as Massachusetts.
The new colony, still inhabited by Dutchmen, takes the name of New Jersey, in honor of the Anglo-Norman island which had defended George Carteret during the civil war.
The last of the Thirteen Colonies is created by a philanthropic general, James Oglethorpe, between the Carolinas and Spanish Florida. He obtained a grant from King George III in 1729 and named the new colony in his honor.
Locke is a monument of European thought. The first philosopher of the Newtonian revolution, ancestor of secularism with his letter on tolerance, editor of the first American constitution, he is also - and, for some, especially - the founder of modern institutionalism thanks his "Second Treatise of Civil Government "1. Less known, but just as important, he is the thinker of the first English financial institutions, which he will defend in dramatic conditions, in 1695, showing his commitment to the militant "Glorious Revolution". It will be even through the lights the main inspiration of our "declaration of the rights of the man and the citizen" (Arcaya, Óscar Godoy, 2004).
Yet, surprisingly, Locke's legacy was challenged at the end of the war and then violently fought a few years later, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon world. We have thus passed in a few decades, from the almost empty were only a Strauss dared a particular and provocative interpretation of Locke, to an overflow where one does not count more the different interpretations, and often voluntarily shifted of his political works (Merriman, John, 2009).
As a result of a relatively short period in the process of rearrangements in the ruling elite of England, caused by dissatisfaction with the policies of Charles II, the nobility and the English bourgeoisie proposed in 1688 to the ruler of the Netherlands, William of Orange, to take the English throne. So, the year 1688 in England was marked by the aforementioned events, designated as the “Glorious Revolution”. It should be noted that it became possible as a result of the compromise reached between the bourgeoisie and the nobility. The coup marked the beginning of the process of establishing a constitutional monarchy in England. The formal side of these events was the adoption of:
The Bill of Rights of 1689
Thus, the Bill of Rights of 1689 established that the monarch does not have rights without the consent of parliament to suspend laws and to make an exemption from them. Taxation should also have occurred only with the approval of parliament. It was also required for the maintenance of permanent troops in peacetime within the kingdom. The bill secured some of the privileges of English subjects: the right to bear arms and submit petitions to the crown. Art. 3 declared free elections.
2) The Succession Act of 1701. Thus, the expression of the struggle between the Tories and the Whigs was the publication in 1701 of the Succession Act (it is also called the Disposition Act). The Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Succession Act of 1701 enshrined the principle of the supremacy of parliament over the crown and formulated the most important institutions of English bourgeois state law.
Declaration of Independence
“The Declaration of Independence is a political text by which the Thirteen British Colonies of North America self-separate from the United Kingdom, July 4, 1776. The declaration of independence is a major step in the history of Anglo-American relations: after a series of crises between the metropolis and the colonies, King George III and the British Parliament decided to impose new taxes on his colonies without consulting them, which provokes the discontent of the settlers” (Armitage, David, 2002).
The influence of John Locke
The main influence of this text comes from two texts of the English philosopher John Locke: Treaty on the civil government in which it affirms the legitimacy of the popular insurrection when a sovereign government does not hold its role adequately.
The natural rights of men
Equality is for those who are considered as full citizens of the body politic and especially of equality between the Americans and English.
The foundation of a new state
The Declaration then proclaims the necessity of the independence of the colonies to all humanity, which will thus be able to judge the legality of the revolution and the rectitude of the intentions of the representatives of the United State.
The Declaration of Independence had a great impact in North America. The text served as propaganda for American patriots during the War of Independence. It is part of the founding texts of the American nation, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. July 4 marks "the true birth certificate of the United States" and this declaration found the first decolonized nation of the world, although independence was officially recognized in 1783 with the Treaty of Versailles.
American colonial society since its inception was not homogeneous, egalitarian. For beyond Locke's person it is the very meaning of liberalism that is at stake in this quarrel of historians. a doctrine closely linking political freedom and the market economy. This denial is certainly the main feature of modern historiography. In any case, it produces a painful impression of fragmentation of our cultural universe, very likely to be desired by some, but particularly damaging to our understanding of the current issues of our societies.
Armitage, David, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, eds. The age of revolutions in global context, c. 1760-1840. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2009.
Vivekananda, Swami, and Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya. "Good Governance For Peoples’ Happiness–Leading to Overall Development."
Merriman, John. A history of modern Europe: from the Renaissance to the present. Vol. 1. WW Norton & Company, 2009.
Arcaya, Óscar Godoy. "Absolutismo, tiranía y resistencia civil en el pensamiento político de John Locke." Estudios Públicos 96 (2004): 147-148.
Armitage, David. "The Declaration of Independence and international law." The William and Mary Quarterly 59.1 (2002): 39-64.
If you have any queries please write to us
Join our mailing list