You are on page 1of 2

(EQ1) What was the Revolutionary movement at its core really all about?

Like an unruly adolescent rebelling against its parents, the American colonies staged a revolution not to gain some specific goal, but to allow itself the encompassing freedoms it felt it deserved. It had no exceptional disputes with Britain, it simply wanted to be left to alone to make its own mistakes and gain its own glory. Though economic tensions played most dominantly in the tensions between the bickering parent-child relationship, political ineptness of the British combined with harsh punitive measurements helped the Colonists along in their decision to try and create a new state and find the elusive fairness that is a nave dream only created from mutually interested parties. The capitalistic nature of the colonies certainly provided a base for their contempt to the British. Many colonists felt that they were being unfairly exploited, with little in return. The mercantilism system that was enacted, along with the Navigation Laws, allowed the colonies to only legally trade with Britain, while Britain was open to the rest of the world. The colonies were then burdened with the shortage of coinage to pay for the goods they wanted, as they wished to buy more than they had supplies to pay with. Without the ability to create their own currency, much of the money came from illicit deals and smuggling, both of which fostered trade with enemies of Britain. Both political and economic were the taxation increases that were the main source of strife for the colonists. Although colonists were by no means poor and had sufficient funds to pay for the taxes, they felt that it was being unfairly levied against them, as they were a conglomeration of town-hall-centric states; they felt they had some right to choose what they would pay and where it would go. One of the most heinous taxes

to the colonists was the Stamp Act which was visible in everyday life, giving it spotlight dominance for every level of society. The colonial inhabitants were not as outraged at the cost, though they would rather have not paid it, but more at the idea that it was forced upon them with no prior consultation. The political nature of the outbreak was mostly limited to recreating the British system, but with the favor equally divided among the colonies rather than tipped toward Britain. It was a case of disputed equality in which the British felt they deserved some upper hand, as they were the elder, while the colonies felt they deserved equal ground, since they were subjects who were (in their minds) equal to any British subject. Perhaps the least important of the factors contributing to the Revolution was the punitive measures enacted against the colonies. Though they inflamed the stressed tensions, they ran shallow. The colonists were not looking for revenge; they were looking for the freedom from shackles that were 3000 miles away and becoming rusty. Had the British given the colonies even a rudimentary form of self governing rule, it is doubtful that the colonies would have scorned their biggest ally, who was a military powerhouse and economic behemoth.