In a democratic society, however, the responsibility for making governmental decisions is transferred to the citizenry and it is incumbent that the citizenry be provided with at least a rudimentary education so that they are in position to make such decisions. Although the original U.S. Constitution did not initially grant women the right to vote and otherwise participate in the government, women were afforded, on a limited basis, to participate in the increased emphasis on public education following the end of the Revolution. The theory behind allowing this greater participation by women in the educational process was that in order for the republic to succeed, women must be able to teach the democratic principles upon which the nation was founded to the children (Cohen, 2000). This idea of allowing women to become educated became known as "Republican Motherhood."
The American Revolution was also a major inspiration for future revolutions in other countries and the American governmental form also served as a model for the organization of other governments. The colonies' victory over what was then the world's greatest power, Great Britain, created a strong sense of patriotism throughout the new nation and demonstrated to the rest of the world that such insurrections could be successful. The world powers, Great Britain, Spain, and other nations with colonial interests began to take a different approach in regard to the management of their colonies by weakening their control. Arguably, it could be said that the American Revolution began to signal the end of colonialism. In any event, there can be no denying that the American Revolution played a direct role in the sentiment that evolved into the French Revolution (History Channel, 1996). Ironically, the very King who supported the American colonists in their efforts against Great Britain, Louis XIV of France, was himself the subject of Revolution. The soldiers and officers who fought on behalf of the American colonies gathered revolutionary thoughts while serving there and transferred these thoughts to others upon their return to France. Although the French Revolution did not materialize immediately after the American Revolution, the result was the same as the French people expelled the French monarch and established a National Assembly similar in structure to the U.S. Congress. More interestingly, the French Declaration of Rights of Man almost exactly mimics the American Declaration of Independence.
The spirit of Revolution spread to other nations as well (Langley, 1996). In the area that is now known as Latin America, Haiti was the site for the world's first republic populated primarily by Blacks when slaves there revolted in...
In South America, Simon Bolivar, using the skills he learned participating in the Haiti Revolution, led forces in Venezuela toward independence. Venezuela was the first of several South American republics that were formed subsequent to revolutions in the early 1800s and then Mexico's successful revolution in 1821. America, as a nation, did not participate by sending money or men to these other revolutions but the American Revolution and its accompanying ideology provided the impetus for these struggles for self-determination and freedom.
The spirit of the Revolution did not spread to all the colonists. A significant number of American colonists remained loyal to England and their loyalty meant that they were placed in danger both during the War and the years immediately subsequent to it (Bailyn, 1976). Most either fled to Canada or England but in doing so were forced to abandon their homes and personal property. Many of those who fled to Canada played instrumental roles in the formation of that country. Attempts at compensating these loyalists were made through Great Britain's treaty with the new country but there remained significant prejudice against said individuals and most received far less than what they left behind.
Similarly, the Anglican Church, which enjoyed widespread popularity in the American colonies, disappeared completely from the American scene once the War ended. Under Anglican theology, the official head of the Church of England is the British monarch and such loyalty, even for religious purposes, would not be tolerated in the new republic. Further, because of the doctrine recognizing the separation of Church and State, the new American citizenry was not prepared to allow the Anglican Church to enjoy tax free status. The Anglican Church re-established itself in the United States as the Episcopalian Church but all ties with the British monarchy were severed.
More significant than the demise of the Anglican Church was the abolishment of the English system of primogeniture (Alston, 1984). Under English law, primogeniture required that all land be passed from father to the eldest son. The result of this system was to keep land concentrated in the hands of a very few select individuals. In the United States the system of primogeniture was abolished in nearly all the individual states almost immediately and within all the states within 15 years after the end of the Revolutionary War. The end of primogeniture proved to be a windfall for the new nation as the land of the Loyalists was seized after the War and parceled out to the many landless that were eager to own property. The sale of this property was not only profitable for state governments but was also a great social equalizer as thousands who were previously land poor were suddenly lifted to the ranks of property owners.
The effects of the American Revolution were remarkable. Some of the effects were obvious such as the formation of a democratic government, the separation from the British monarchy, and the end of colonization in the American colonies; however, some of the other effects were far less obvious. The ideas that supported the American Revolution spread rapidly throughout the rest of the world and would influence many subsequent revolutions and would eventually lead to a greater demand for equality and human rights throughout the rest of the world. Arguably, the ideals of the American Revolution continue to influence political and sociological change even today as more and more nations adopt the principles that America's founding fathers espoused nearly two hundred and fifty years ago.
Alston, L.J. (1984). Inheritance Laws Across Colonies: Causes and Consequences. The Journal of Economic History, 277-287.
Bailyn, B. (1976). The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Cohen, P.C. (2000). Women in the Early Republic. OAH Magazine of History, 7-11.
History Channel. (1996). French Revolution. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/french-revolution
Holton, W. (1999). Forced…
revolutionary the American Revolution was in reality. This is one issue that has been debated on by many experts in the past and in the present too. The contents of this paper serve to justify this though-provoking issue. American Revolution-how revolutionary was it? When we try to comprehend why the American Revolution was fought, we come to know that the residents of the American colonies did so to retain their hard-earned
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution" by James McPherson There has traditionally been a significant amount of interest in Abraham Lincoln's life and presidency, for the simple fact that his presence as president coincided with some fairly dramatic events in United States history. Many of these events and Lincoln's influence on them are discussed in James McPherson's non-fictional narrative, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. The author makes
Prisons Before the American Revolution, the penal system in the colonies was brutal and harsh. Capital punishment was normative, and crimes were defined rather arbitrarily. As Edge (2009) points out, the colonial American mentality deemed "every crime a sin and every sin a crime," (p. 7). Not going to church on Sundays was sometimes viewed as a punishable offense (Edge 2009). After the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution
American Civil War transformed the country's policies and culture, and its wide-ranging ramifications are still being felt to this day, offering an ideal case study in the multi-faceted phenomenon of war. Although the ostensible reasons for the war are generally clear to anyone with a grade school education in American history, assigning the outbreak of the war to any one factor unnecessarily disguises the myriad political, economic, and social forces
Tobacco and Its Influence on the American Economy Tobacco trade has been an integral part of the American economy for centuries. From its early use by the Native American Indians to its adoption by the European settlers in the New World in the early 17th century, tobacco has played a significant role in early and modern America in both an economic and political sense. "By the advent of the Civil War,
Moreover this lends him inimitability, it lends him importance, and it gives him honor. Like each one among us ranging from the first note to the last note in the entire octave of music on the keyboard of God is important since every man is created in the image of God. (A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.) The Declaration of Independence'