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Economic Reasons For American Independence Essay

1320 words - 6 pages

Economic Reasons for American Independence

The thirteen colonies that became the USA were originally colonies of Great Britain. By the time the American Revolution took place, the citizens of these colonies were beginning to get tired of the British rule. Rebellion and discontent were rampant. For those people who see the change in the American government and society a real Revolution, the Revolution is essentially an economic one.

The main reason the colonies started rebelling against 'mother England' was the taxation issue. The colonies debated England's legal power to tax them and, furthermore, did not wish to be taxed without representation. This was one of the main causes of the ...view middle of the document...

The American was a special brand of Englishman: he was more American than the English.

In the beginning, the economic conditions were a cause in the advance of liberty, the wages in the colonies were generally higher and the working conditions were better than in England. The reason for this altogether joyous condition was a shortage of labor caused by the mass amount of land being settled. The people of the seaboard lost many of their community in the migration to the west.

The immigrants brought with them ways of life that supported the colonies. The Scotch-Irish were typical frontiersmen, the Germans were the typical farmer, and the English were well educated. The diversity the immigrant¹s possed helped to democratize the political institutions that had been brought over from England.

Nearly all of the immigrants to the colonies came from the middle and lower classes.
Even the aristocratic families of New York and Virginia had humble origins. Europe had sent over thousands of substantial, intelligent, propertied men and women. Yet most could not even pay for their own voyage, and gentlemen immigrants only numbered a few.

Eventually, for the colonies the happiness wore away and the desolate frontier became not only an area but a state of mind. Colonies were poorly planned and settled on malaria infested swamps. Almost half of the colonists¹ died of disease, starvation, exhaustion, and death by rival, hostel Indians. The hardships of the wilderness frustrated many attempts at a fruitful life for the colonies, but the frontier also produced some of the raw materials of American democracy - self reliance, social fluidity, simplicity, equality, dislike of privilege, optimism, and devotion to liberty.

Meanwhile, the English government was conducting colonial affairs upon the assumptions that: the colonies were dependents of England, since their interests were subordinate to those of England, the welfare of the latter was to be the concern of an agency charged with governing them. The colonists were to serve their mother country as a source of wealth. The English government had acted upon this premise throughout the colonial period, which consisted of confusion in the beginning, domestic troubles in the middle, and salutary neglect in the end.

The colonists realized that three thousand miles of ocean lay in between England and the American colonies, thus leading naturally into an attitude of provincialism that was well suited for the conditions of their life in America, but was corrosive to the empire of England. This fact of geography and the remoteness of the colonies, squared the difference between imperial purpose and colonial aspiration. For example, the English were lax in the enforcing of the Navigation Acts and the colonials disobeyed them (Olsen, K). This was one instance of the extent to which three thousand miles of ocean could water down a policy of strict control.

Soon the...

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