The American Revolution of 1789

Essay by ApolloLlyrCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 1995

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One definition of a revolution is 'a sudden political overthrow from within a given system'. While this definition does not specify through what means a revolution may be brought about, whether they be peaceful or not, it conjures fancies of violent coups and terrible battles. Another definition of a revolution is 'a single complete cycle of motion about a point in a closed path.' Although it was not a military revolution, the American government did something bordering upon this between the years of 1776 and 1889. During this period, the American government did almost a complete three hundred and sixty degree turn on its axis of governmental philosophy. America went from a period of tyranny by a strong central government under the king and Parliment of Great Britain to government by a loosly connected confederation to a system of strong federal government somewhat similar to that of the tyrant of which they fought so hard to be free.

Great Britain, during is colonial period and especially after the French and Indian war around 1763, was one of the chief practitioners of Adam Smith's mercantilist philosophy of economic policy. The basic idea of mercantilism is for the mother country to found as many colonies as possible for the soul purpose of enriching the mother country. In 1763, Britain began the strict enforcement of many of the mercantilist laws regarding trade that had been ignored during the period of salutary neglect of the earlier colonial period. Along with the increased enforcement of laws that allowed the Americans to trade only with Great Britain, new taxes were imposed on the colonists. If found in violation of these laws, colonists were denied a trial by a jury of their sympathetic colonial peers and instead were tried in British admiralty courts. In 1765, the Quartering...