American Revolution Dbq Essay

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The American Revolution, a late 18th century colonial revolt, was the center of European interest that spurred opposition and affected the supremacy and relations between dominant nations of the time. In 1763, the close of the Seven Years War was at hand with defeat of the world power, France, by the prevailing British forces. Although British territorial accomplishment was evident, financial blunders were inevitable after obtaining great war debt and the struggle to maintain a newly amassed empire. Extreme budgetary conditions soon led to the institution of taxes that ignited American animosity. Americans soon adopted European ideals of the Enlightenment that inspired them to rebel and refuse to be controlled. France supported Americans wanting …show more content…

Notable figures involved with the Revolution harbored the concepts of the philosophes and instilled thoughts of liberation into the colonies. John Locke, an English philosopher, reflected on these ideals in Two Treatises on Government writing, “…whenever government tries to take away and destroy the property of the people or reduce the people to slavery, it puts itself in a state of war with the people,” (Document 1). Locke promoted individual thinking in the government that would later set the foundation of modern democracy in America. He did not favor the way government prevented popular sovereignty and believed that doing so would only lead to unrest with the general public, which was the case with Britain’s relationship with the colonists. Another figure originally from England, Thomas Paine, strived to convince Americans to separate from British oppression in The American Crisis. Comparing unjust British taxation to a form of captivity, Paine reasoned that being confined to lesser freedoms was ungodly and tyrannical further urging the sentiment of revolt in the colonies (Document 6). Founding father, Thomas Jefferson, also implemented much of Locke’s philosophy in the Declaration of Independence when mentioning unalienable rights including liberty, life, and property. Such values were reflected in Jefferson’s account when he spoke of taking action against Britain by remarking on the progressiveness of the alliance with France, which was ultimately prompted by Enlightenment ideals that originated in Europe (Document 5). The influence of the Enlightenment was blatant in the colonies in every respect, which originated due to the motivating factor of British

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