American Revolution brought radical events and changes about egalitarianism in the American society. The American Revolution initiated the process of creating a written constitution as the first document that espoused the concepts of egalitarianism. This was an enduring form of democracy in the whole world. The Revolution led to a creation of America as an independent nation whereby all the British colonists converted to American citizens. The war brought the ideas of voting rights for people as well as heightened debate that considered the role of slaves and American women in practicing democracy.
The American Revolution resulted in the separation of North American colonies from Great Britain. This is because it was a political Revolution and ended up in the formation of the United States of America. After the American Revolutionary that took place in 1775-1783, the Americans focused on the enlightenment of personal liberty and freedom as a principle to free themselves from the tyranny ideals. The Revolution was not a social Revolution since a true social Revolution completely changes the institutional foundations of the old regime of power and result in power transfer from the elite to new social groups. There was no replacement of the old powers of authority with the new social group that emerged after the war. It was a conservative Revolution since it maintained social, economic and political continuity. This is evident as the same men who initiated the Revolution retained their political authority by entrenching their positions of power with economic rewards. However, it resulted in momentous consequences whereby there was a full transformation of monarchical to a republic society. As a Republic, there was recognition of all people as citizens of the state and participated in political processes freely. The Revolution also gave rise to a distinction between people according to social classes. The middle-class element of the society included the artisans, farmers and the traders. The elite society disparaged the middle-class society (Decker, 5-13)
Contrary to the popular belief, the American Revolution was a conservative Revolution; class distinction and wealth distributions remained the same before and after the Revolution took place. It did not bring any change as the rights, class structure and government authority remained the status quo all the colonies. Women and slaves were denied constitutional rights. The rights of the colonists underwent a transformation. This is because the Revolutionary war was a declaration in the defense of the natural rights such as life and liberty of the Americans. Unfortunately, these rights were not protected. However, there is a need to recognize the little change the Revolution brought in the social setting. It profoundly altered the social expectations since there was a demand for the extension of the vote to the larger population. After the Revolution, the middle society such as farmers and artisans increasingly participated in the state legislative elections. People who took office were less wealthy, and there was no connection by marriages and kinship for leadership as it used to be the custom before the Revolution (Bolaño, 55-58).
Politically, the Revolution endowed the middle society of the Americans with a new political agency. Unfortunately, a particular portion of the population exclusive of women, enslaved Africans and the freed African-Americans, exercised this political freedom. There was an increase in popular participation in politics. Voter turnout and positions of contested elections increased drastically since the ordinary people became more involved in the political process.
While the American Revolution allowed women unprecedented legal opportunities for active participation in the protest movement and management of family business and farms, it did not provide a concrete political change by excluding them their constitutional right to vote and run state offices. However, there were dramatic changes in women’s lives. It is after the Revolution that the first feminist writer, Judith Sergeant Murray, raised a demand for equal rights for American women. Moreover, women’s live were profoundly affected by the war. Some joined their husbands while others assumed family responsibilities both at farms and at businesses. There was a rise in an improvised women’s population who could protest against the discrimination of their civil and political rights.
Native American tribes were uncertain of which side they would take during the Revolutionary war. Patriots considered the Indians as a major threat during the war. The patriots used the term savages to describe the Native Americans. This was a negative attitude indication that the patriots had toward most tribes in the America during and after the Revolution. For a few African-Americans, the Revolution brought freedom. This is because the final episodes of the war took place in the southern part of America and forced slaves to escape to British lines. As a tactic to weaken the war, the British evacuated their ex-slaves. The Africans-Americans got their freedom by fully participating in the war. However, most African-Americans considered the liberties of the war as a promise rather than a reality. The greater part of the Revolutionary War emerged to be a civil war since a certain percentage of the population had their loyalty to the crown retained. Therefore, loyalists opposed patriots by spying and spreading propaganda against them. This created a dissension among them. However, the patriots countered the loyalists’ threats by silencing them, arresting and confiscating their property.
Additionally, the American Revolution affected the Native American indirectly by losing vast territories to the colonists. The 1963 proclamation suggested for the location of the colonists to the east of Appalachian Mountains. Later, they confiscated the area around California and Florida. As a result, the Natives were forcefully evicted from their own area of residence and ended up living in reservations in their own state.
Although American Revolution brought radical ideas and changes in the American society, the Revolution wrought little political, social and economic change in the state. This is because citizens had the expectations of taking full responsibility for their life and well-being. It arguably that the accomplishments of the Revolution fell short of what was expected to be achieved by the Americans. In spite of the fact that the Revolution paved a way for important political changes in the state, it did not offer lasting, social, economic and political infrastructures for the middle society Americans.
A personal dispute between Jefferson and Hamilton evolved over time and led to the formation of the primitive political parties. American’s founding fathers had a belief that political parties were evil and it was a threat to the nation. During the writing of the constitution in 1787, founding founders such as Hamilton and Jefferson considered political parties as factions and they acted for own self-interest rather than the interest of the public. The founders had a belief the factions could result to assassinations and civil war by failing to give their way. Moreover, the writers of the constitution considered political parties as having no formal role in the state government. However, the founding fathers later began to invent new roles for political parties in the American democracy. Fear of functionalism in conjunction with political parties was rooted in the Anglo-American culture of politics. Highly influential leaders such as George Washington and Jefferson took into consideration that unity would be a motivating factor for their government. However, the Americans refuted these sentiments by an argument that the competition of interest between the leaders in power and those not in powers would not form an important criterion for checking the abuse of power in their representatives. On contrast, Hamilton argued differently by saying that promptitude of legislative decision has more shortcomings than the benefits.
French Revolution initiated contention point between the Democratic-Republican Party (pro-French) and the Federalist Party (British-favoring).Jefferson supported the French revolution ideals. However, Alexander Hamilton was critical of the French Revolutions since he wanted to create commercial links with the British. The Federalist feared political radicalism that would be brought by French Revolution whereas Jefferson had a strong devotion to winning the political moderates. The second element of Hamilton was the establishment of a national bank. He believed that the institution would serve the Americans and promote growth in the manufacturing sector. However, the Democratic-Republicans opposed this plan. They had a strong belief that the bank would serve the rich people and those in power and it would result in scrambling of the power belonging to the individual states.
The third element of Hamilton involved the assumption of the Confederation debts since it would give the American citizens a sense of respect and unity. Jefferson followed the constitution strictly and strongly believed in the decentralization of the government as a way to protect the right of the citizens. He felt that the state held more authority than the federal government since it was the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Moreover, he believed that the proposal raised by Hamilton about the national bank exceeded the expected federal authority. Both Jefferson and Hamilton had diverse political views that represented public opinion. Conversely, what started as a personal dispute between them led to the formation of the primitive political parties.
Furthermore, the Democratic-republicans detested the policies of the Federalists. This is because the Republican took the Federalists as aristocrats who were supporting the formation of a monarchical government whereas they (Republicans) supported independence, equal citizen rights and advocated for a democratic government with free elective processes. There was no opportunity for a compromise between the two parties (GILES, 113).
The Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties reinstated two visions for America. The visions were merely based Hamilton and Jefferson’s thinking. Hamilton and the Federalist viewed people as turbulent and changing and they could determine what was right. They viewed the government as a strong federal government and the national interest was presided over by the president. Property ownership was a limitation criterion to those who could vote and hold offices. The wealthy and educated elite controlled the ruling political party. The party supported the industrial and commercial economy for developments and growth of the state. Lastly, the party’s security and foreign policy were friendly towards Britain and hostile to France. However, it had to remain neutral for European powers.
The vision for Jefferson and the Republicans is a consideration of the majority human rights. For the government, there was to be a strict interpretation of the constitution and the individual rights were the top priory of the government. Common citizens controlled the party in power. Republicans supported agricultural economy. The common citizens were exempted from taxation. Security and foreign policy supported permanent military for defense. The policies were friendly to revolutionary France but hostile toward the Britain.
The early clash between them when Jefferson took the office of the secretary of the state, resulted in a new interpretation of the constitution. The division between the two founders was inevitable since each founder had their own contradicting ideologies that they were fighting to uphold. Every person had a different idea, vision, and strategies on how they could turn their vision into reality. The divisions sprout further during the ratification of the constitution (Bowers, 58-61).
Each founder’s viewpoint aimed to create a government that would be strong. There was a need to embrace the two political parties to protect the people from internal and external strife. Therefore, the path the two founders took resulted in factions that led to the formation of the two political parties.
Bolaño, César, Guillermo Mastrini, and Francisco Sierra. “A Latin American perspective for the political economy of communications.” Javnost-The Public 11.3 (2004): 47-58.
Bowers, Claude G. Jefferson And Hamilton The Struggle For Democracy In America. Kessinger Publishing, 2004. 45-68.
Decker, James R. “How revolutionary was the American Revolutionary War?: An examination and analysis of two schools of thought and the causes and political Impetus behind the American Revolution.” (1987).3-45.
GILES, WILLIAM BRANCH. “Democratic-Republican societies, reports of Western intrigue, sedition, and rebellion, as well as the growing American sectional identification and defensiveness—as tumultuous as all these were—were all eclipsed in 1794 and 1795 by a foreign policy crisis between the United States and Great Britain that threatened to plunge the two.” American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis (1993): 113.