Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. The seizure of the sloop Liberty in on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, and Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Parliament then repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act inattempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy.
The Proceedings of Parliament, against the Colonies, —6. The American people would never be truly autonomous otherwise.
Such nationalism manifested itself in a variety of ways in literature and the arts, science, and education. In its superficial manifestations, it testified to an American inferiority complex, consisting mainly of defensive protests against the notion, common in eighteenth-century Europe, that the New World was a physically and morally debased version of the Old, and of mushy effusions of patriotic sentiment over any The history of the american revolution of American literature, art, or science.
On a more sophisticated level, some cultural nationalists—Ramsay among them—developed greater insight into the idea of American Edition: These nationalists recognized that, along with the richly deserved celebration and self-congratulation, the new nation needed a strong unifying culture.
Without a culture that articulated the fundamental tenets of liberty, constitutionalism, virtue, and simplicity, the principles of the American Revolution would soon become corrupted.
This realization prompted the nationalists anxiously to develop a notion of American identity that rested on two major premises: Like all the historians of the Revolutionary era, Ramsay saw historical writing as a vehicle for fostering nationhood, an instrument for promoting the kind of unity, even homogeneity, that the cultural nationalists desired.
Thus, for example, he wrote in political terms about his fellow South Carolinians who put local interests ahead of national unity and opposed ratification of the Constitution.
Even ratification of the Constitution was less a culmination than a beginning, less a sign of unity than a foundation for it. We do not know half enough of each other. This is not to say that Ramsay was a dissembler or deceiver who created a past out of whole cloth. It is, rather, to emphasize that for Ramsay, as for all the historians of the Revolution, historical writing was not so much an end in itself as it was a means to cultivate the political Edition: Sensitive to divisions within America—political, ethnic, racial, religious, economic—Ramsay genuinely feared chaos, and his experience in both state and confederation politics led him to believe that only by generating a constellation of commonly held values and principles could the nation resist the forces that tended to pull it apart.
But he focused upon them and molded them into the story of the new nation, so that his version of the past appeared to be inevitable. Thus, when Ramsay spoke of using history as an instrument of national unity, he meant to incite future generations to commit themselves to the principles of revolutionary republicanism.
Yet he purposefully created an image of the colonial past that diminished the importance of conflicts and portrayed the colonists as revolutionaries—an image of consensus, unity, and an unfaltering commitment to republican principles. In short, he attempted to create a national future by inventing a consensual past—to provide an instant tradition for a revolutionary people.
It was this constellation of fundamental principles that constituted the American national character as Ramsay depicted it; and it was to this constellation that he pointed when he exhorted members of his own and future generations to develop cultural unity as a bulwark against division.
The people knew that government rested upon contracts freely entered; that taxation and representation were indissolubly joined; that they held and alienated their property only by consent; that the end of government was the happiness of the people; that the people were free to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; and that, all proximate means failing, the people had the natural right to rebel against tyrannical rule.
The colonists were not only republicans in politics, they were also dedicated to personal and social practices that conduced to individual happiness and to the public good.
Kings, Nobles, and Bishops, were unknown to them. Resistance and revolution were the inevitable and justifiable responses of a people long habituated to such values. The answer contains three parts. He feared that disunity would rend the fabric of the new nation—indeed, that without shared assumptions, principles, and values, as well as a federal Constitution, America might even separate into thirteen autonomous states or into two or three regional governments.
In either case, it would become prey to the great European powers, even if it did not destroy itself from within. Throughout the war years and into the s, Ramsay expressed his doubts whether the people had sufficient moral courage to make a republican experiment work.The early stages of war, in , can be best described as British military victories and American moral triumphs.
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View the American Revolution through a global lens in The American Revolution: A World War, which examines the victory at Yorktown and the Franco-American partnership that made it possible. The exhibition features the paintings The Siege of Yorktown and The Surrender of Yorktown, created by.
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Advanced Search. David Ramsay, The History of the The History of the American Revolution (2 vols.; Philadelphia, ). History of the American Revolution Rebecca Beatrice Brooks November 15, September 6, No Comments on History of the American Revolution The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that began in Massachusetts in the 18th century.
The History of France Spain Holland, England and the Neutral Powers, as well as America are at least comprized in it." -John Adams, The American Revolution was far more than an uprising of discontented colonists against the British king.