American Revolution

Analyze the extent to which the American Revolution represented a radical alteration in American
political ideas and institutions. Confine your answer to the period of 1775 to 1800.

Due to the increasing amounts of legislation and authoritative control exerted by the English
Parliament in mid-1700s, colonists developed a sense of autonomy that united a number of patriots. The American Revolution represented a radical alteration in American political ideas and
institutions in the mid-eighteenth century

The colonies’ leading government figures attended the Philadelphia Congress in 1774 to discuss the rights and privileges held by colonists. Due to the large amounts of acts enforced by Parliament, the colonists felt deprived of their rights. The political leaders sought to define American grievances; develop a plan for resistance; and articulate their relationship with Great Britain. Conservative members like Joseph Galloway proposed a formal plan that called for joint meeting between colonists and British Parliament when creating laws. Radicals wanted total separation from Parliament’s grasp of power. The compromise created at the congress was called the Congress’s Declaration of Rights and
Grievances. Here, Americans denounced Parliament’s control of commerce and society in the colonies and stated that they would continue to fight against taxes.

The first physical combat between colonists and the British militia that rang out in the colonists’ cry for independence occurred in Lexington and Concord. General Thomas Gage of Boston ordered the arrest of revolutionaries like merchant John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Messenger Paul Revere of Boston and companion Samuel Prescott organized a small militia of townsmen to confront the British soldiers coming for Hancock and Adams. Hancock and Adams had already escaped and by that time, Gage ordered the British troops to find stored arms in Concord. Revolutionaries responded by firing at the British from behind...