As a result, they were upset when the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act and Townshend Acts without their consent. The colonists believed these tax laws were illegal because they did not have representatives in Parliament that could discuss and vote on these laws.
They believed the King of England was abusing his powers by not responding to the concerns of the colonists. Eventually, the colonists wanted to be able to make their own laws and not have them made by people living in Great Britain. The colonists also wanted to develop their own policies instead of following policies dictated by the King of England or determined by the British Parliament. The colonists believed they should be governed by the philosophy of government by the consent of the governed.
The causes of the American Revolution were ideological insofar as the rebellion was caused by a desire for democracy and government by the consent of the governed. These were not the only causes of the rebellion, but they were the ideological ones.
One of the goals of the American colonists was to have their own legislative body that would have had the power to govern the American colonies.
They wanted all the laws that applied to them particularly taxes to be passed by people they had elected. In other words, they wanted government to be only by the consent of the governed. This idea, which comes in part from the political philosopher John Locke, is expressed in the Declaration of Independence. One unique way of the looking at the ideological origins of the American Revolution is to look, not at the writers of the Enlightenment, as most are prone to do, but, instead, look at the English Civil War.
For this persepctive, I am really just drawing from Bernard Bailyns work on the subject. I really find his explanantion, at least for the moment, the most satisfying.
He posited that the typical American reaction against the British used Ancient and Enlightenment poltical ideologies in a superficial way--if even they referenced thema t all. Lenape — Native to the Delaware and Hudson rivers.
Forced toward the Ohio River by European settlement and Iroquois expansion. Allied with the French but attempted diplomacy with the British. Allied with the Colonists during the Revolutionary War. Micmac — Native to northeastern New England and the Maritime provinces. Fought British settlers before the French and Indian War. Allied with the Abenaki tribe but stayed out of the wars. Later settled in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Ojibwa — Native to the Great Lakes area.
Enemies of the Iroquois nation. Iroquois — Native to New York State. A confederacy of six nations: Disagreed about how to approach the French and Indian War, with most staying out. Split regarding the Revolutionary War. Catawba — Native to the Carolinas. Cherokee - Native to the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. When colonists failed to respect the Proclamation of , young Cherokee warriors, in defiance of their elders, attacked colonial settlements.
Many tribes saw the Proclamation of as a move of peace by the British government. While the crown wished hostilities in North America to cease, colonists saw territory they won in battle given back to their opponents. Most tribes chose to stay neutral or side with the British against colonists devoted to taking over their land.
Both the British and the colonists publicly urged the Natives to remain out of their battle. The Second Continental Congress of prepared the following statement: This is a family quarrel between us and Old England. You Indians are not concerned in it. We desire you to remain at home, and not join either side, but keep the hatchet buried deep. However, in a fierce war both sides were willing to take every advantage, including alliances with particular tribes and employment of Native scouts.
The British and the Natives who fought beside them were unable to defeat the colonists. Again, the revolutionaries felt they had fought for and won the lands to the west. The Natives, as a whole, were a combatant that had fought against them and lost. They were treated as a conquered people, unilaterally. The Peace of Paris in involved the signing of treaties between Great Britain and the victorious colonists. The victors were granted the Thirteen Colonies and all lands west to the Mississippi.
The British ignored the rights of their former Native allies and gave away what was not theirs. This began the period of westward expansion the colonists had been so hungry for.
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