American Revolution Dbq Essay

The American revolution happened 200+ years ago, and still reflects on modern day sentiments; to a certain extent. After breaking away from a Britain, America rethought how they wanted to govern themselves, at first choosing a “weak” central government with strong state governments, and then moved into a strong centralized government with lesser powerful state governments. Women, slaves, and those loyal to Great Britain (Loyalists) experienced a lovely amount of change in the society at that time, but still lacked many freedoms we have today.

After declaring independence away from Britain, Americans wanted their government to not be set up like Britain’s at all. Afraid of tyranny and oppressive rule, they made up their minds. They did this by implementing the Articles of Confederation. But problems emerged, the Articles of Confederation had virtually no power and could not raise tax as well as Congress could not discipline individuals, and Congress realized that a more centralized government was needed. The answer to this issue was the Constitution.

As the Constitution was process of being written/ratified by all the states many of them had issues addressing the Constitution, so the federalist Papers were written. In Federalist 51, by James Madison, he writes “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition” (Document I), which talks about the concept of checks and balances that could be used to keep the national government in line and not get out of control. The three different branches of government, keep each other in its rightful place, stopping one branch from dominating over the rest.

Targeted for the people to read, since the new constitution would be for the people, and to support the new type of government. The Constitution was finally ratified by 11 colonies( states) but was quite similar to Britain’s central government, just with more safety precautions. America did not experience a lot of change economically. In 1786 The Philadelphia society for the promotion of agriculture , gave out a medal, which said, “venerate the plough” (Document F). This allows you to infer that the rich were still the rich, and poor, well became even more poor.

Example in Shays’ Rebellion, farmers led by the Daniel Shays “[stopped] the courts of justice in several counties… crying out for a paper currency, [or] for an equal distribution of power” (Document G). Shay’s Rebellion represented the economic disability that the common people (farmers and poor merchants) went through and ultimately rebelled against the government. They were scared to lose their only income, while many of their government officials did not mind at all.

These medallions were a sort of irony, since venerate is to , uphold in a manner, so the engravings were to treat the plough with respect, but the farmers were not well off at all. After the Revolution, women and slaves experienced slight changes in society. Women, trained in the ideals of Republican Motherhood, instilled values of justice and liberty in their children, and had elevated roles during the revolution. In a carving of a patriot woman,she is depicted carrying a rifle and a gunpowder horn with a flag flown in the back. Document A), representing how women played strong roles in society by joining the fighting soldiers and in this case even as far as fighting alongside the soldiers in the revolution. By sewing, cooking, selling, taking over some men’s jobs, women truly help in the war. Most women were not content to go back to their household chores after the revolution.

Molly Wallace a strong, brave woman had this exact mentality, said “if [taught] to read, why not speak? (Document)), this was targeted to the public, asking for individuals to find a common voice of Patriotism( for freedom and liberty), illustrating how some women wanted to speak out about injustices they felt they received. Why read about others fight for freedom, when they could fight for their own. Unfortunately, women’s suffrage ( rights movements) did not occur for about another 140 years, so they remained shushed for that time. For slaves, depending on the region, there was different changes in society.

After the revolution many slaves were set free in the North states though it would take up until way after the civil war for all the slaves in the South states to obtain their freedom. the Northwest Ordinance laid down by the Articles of Confederation, in 1787, stated, “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in said territory” (Document H), showing how slavery’s role changed. These slaves were born free, but if a slave ran away from his owner to the Northwest Ordinance, they would not be free.

These slaves were then taken back to their owners. Lacking the true liberty that the Constitution said all men should have. Loyalists were individuals that did not share most Patriot’s point of view of Britain as a corrupt government. In document B, the Pennsylvania Packet, asks for their readers to ” banish every tory among you. Let america be sacred alone to freemen. ” This exact quote reaches out to the common people who wanted freedom to read and say,” wow i agree”. So people turn their backs on neighbors, family, and friends.

The patriots wanted to get rid of all “tories”( loyalists), which in fact they semi succeeded. Many loyalists fled the colonies to go back home to britain in fear of getting beaten, and the ones who stayed either got beaten or fought on the side of the british in the war. Those loyalists caught, were not just beaten, but tarred and feathered, prompting other loyalists to stay quiet. In thus, while many freedoms were raised and established from the ending of British rule in the Americas, many denominations of people were not granted true freedoms, such as women, slaves, and Loyalists.