Presentation on theme: "Lecture 1: Revolution Material causes of the American Revolution: French and Indian War (1756-1763) Massive debt Taxation: Stamp Act (1765) Tea Tax (1767)"— Presentation transcript:
Material causes of the American Revolution: French and Indian War (1756-1763) Massive debt Taxation: Stamp Act (1765) Tea Tax (1767)
Result of taxes and other policies: Resentment –“No taxation without representation” –boycotts and “tea parties” Boston Tea Party (1774)
Thomas Paine—Common Sense IN the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice... I have heard it asserted by some, that as America hath flourished under her former connexion with Great-Britain, that the same connexion is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her.—Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
Diamond’s theory of Revolution: 1Revolutionary ideas: John Locke’s Second Treatise—natural rights, including that of rebellion Thomas Paine’s Common Sense—against irrational tyranny 2People capable of leadership: Tradition of self-governance and civic activism 3Longstanding grievance and some “sparking events”: Concord and Lexington 1775
Second Continental Congress and Declaration of Independence (1776) When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The meaning of the 1776--A war of Independence or a Revolution? Hannah Arendt’s view: compared to France, Russia, China--no revolution: no class antagonism, no social transformation Gordon Wood’s view: let loose profound social transformation--p.8
Against the Textbook Version Perhaps 20-25% of Americans continued to be “loyalists”