What does the American Revolution mean?

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posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 03:49 PM
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There were two prominent revolutions in the world at the end of the 18th century, one is taught excessively in college, one is never taught at all. The American, and the French Revolutions. Why is the American Revolution even considered a revolution at all? Wasn't it more of a secession? The Declaration of Independence didn't include a radical new doctrine, but rather reaffirmed the old English doctrine immortalized in the Magna Carte and expanded upon by ancient and contemporary scholars.

The seceded colonies didn't drastically alter anything in their Constitutions, but merely codified them anew and went about business as usual.

The US was not the first Republic in the world, nor the first to overthrow its King and numerous contemporary examples existed of either or both, Netherlands, Switzerland, Venice, Etc.

I feel I can tell you more about the French Revolution from general education, than about the American Revolution, and I find that very odd.

So let's discuss what exactly was Revolutionary about the Revolution?




posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


I'm willing to bet King George saw it as one heck of a lot like a revolt and also saw our ideas for a Constitutional Republic vs. a Monarchy as being pretty revolutionary overall.

We must have taken different history courses in school and college.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


The French Revolution was a revolt by the peasants to over throw the aristocrats to gain a fairer society.

The American Revolution was a revolt by the wealthy and educated classes to prevent them paying taxation to Great Britain, thus keeping the money for themselves.

That sums it up in simple terms.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 04:02 PM
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FreeMason
The seceded colonies didn't drastically alter anything in their Constitutions, but merely codified them anew and went about business as usual.

You are missing the most important distinction contained within our declaration of independence, constitution and bill of rights, that we as individuals are sovereigns and have pre-existing rights granted to us by God (for lack of a better word here).

As such we voluntarily gave birth to a new and limited federation of states (which each have their own constitutions, granted) whose responsibilities are specifically delegated. All powers not expressly itemized within the constitution are forbidden to the federal government. Furthermore, the bill of rights reserves a set of rights also forbidden to be usurped from individuals by the federal government. It is that set of rights which takes precedence over any state constitution which may attempt to deny them, not that the any law created by the federal government automatically trumps any individual or state rights.

No, no other country has a constitution based upon this simple yet sweeping coverage of individual liberty over collective order, practicality or convenience.
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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FreeMason
I feel I can tell you more about the French Revolution from general education, than about the American Revolution, and I find that very odd.

So let's discuss what exactly was Revolutionary about the Revolution?
Both movements were based off of enlightenment ideals. Most notably, from the American side of things, Thomas Jefferson was highly influenced by this progressive ideology.As for a general overview as to why one gets talked about and studied more than another, there are multiple reasons.First and foremost, the French version was bloody as hell. Historians, just like the media today, love the sensational. The reign of terror had led to (off the top of my head) political executions of almost 800 people a month in it's most extreme period, which leads me to my second point.When the French executed their king and queen it was certainly enough to grab headlines. It's an extreme move you just don't see very often. This also led to the rest of the European monarchies to view France as a clear and confirmed enemy. This led to a political paranoia that only exasperated the reign of terror. Whereas Washington had fought not to lose the American Revolution, the French went on the offensive, as the French were surrounded by monarchies looking to stomp out any progressive enlightenment ideals. The American version took place in a new land with no established old European order. This allowed Washington to fight the war in a "not to lose" fashion.The French version also preceded the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte'. An individual some historians consider to be one of the top three military generals in known western history, but that's another story for another time.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


So let's discuss what exactly was Revolutionary about the Revolution?


Throwing off the yoke of overburdening authority usually upsets that authority. Once Independence was declared the King in England didn't care much either, except that the money from taxes dried up suddenly and that really pissed him off. So he sent Armies which were eventually defeated after a protracted struggle with muskets and rowboats.

Whats so extraordinary about that? Its down right revolting.

How dare they, after all the King had done to them.

Didn't they understand they couldn't escape the long arm of the crown despite sailing in leaky boats across a stormy ocean to a far away mysterious land filled with hostile natives and wild animals?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:42 PM
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FreeMason
There were two prominent revolutions in the world at the end of the 18th century, one is taught excessively in college, one is never taught at all.


Yeah, see we know all about it.

US Revolution (as taught in American schools)



A bunch of older guys in America a long time ago got really mad at the King of England because he taxed their tea too much. So these angry colonialist threw all the tea away and the King got mad and sent his army after them.

The colonialist all ran through the woods and shot at the redcoats with their squirrel guns and caused a lot of trouble. Then the Indians got involved on both sides of the fight as scouts and we weren't doing too great but the French showed up and helped us and the redcoats finally gave up.

Then a dozen or so lawyers got together and invented the Constitution and the USA was born.

(and then we attacked the Indians and took all their land and stuff.)





posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:51 PM
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360 DEGREES AT SIX FLAGS ?



if there were two this is one.
And if you don't take this as a serious answer ?
Then you're not from California.
edit on 11-10-2013 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 02:50 AM
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Wrabbit2000
reply to post by FreeMason
 


I'm willing to bet King George saw it as one heck of a lot like a revolt and also saw our ideas for a Constitutional Republic vs. a Monarchy as being pretty revolutionary overall.

We must have taken different history courses in school and college.

No the British still call it the "American War for Independence". Always have.

It was obviously a secession movement, but was it a revolution? Well, the war preserved what already existed, from being changed by the monarchy (a federal government instead of what the British Empire was trending towards which was a Unitary Empire controlled by the center).

The Colonies were defending their constitutions as written....already written.

So again, where is the "Revolutionary idea" in that?

And plenty of Italian cities overthrew kings or lords and became republics. So the event was not new to the Americans because those cities still existed.

The French revolution was a revolution, there was no more king when the dust settled, there was no more aristocracy. Unlike the American Revolution where there very much still was a king and still was an aristocracy.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 02:55 AM
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greencmp

FreeMason
The seceded colonies didn't drastically alter anything in their Constitutions, but merely codified them anew and went about business as usual.

You are missing the most important distinction contained within our declaration of independence, constitution and bill of rights, that we as individuals are sovereigns and have pre-existing rights granted to us by God (for lack of a better word here).

As such we voluntarily gave birth to a new and limited federation of states (which each have their own constitutions, granted) whose responsibilities are specifically delegated. All powers not expressly itemized within the constitution are forbidden to the federal government. Furthermore, the bill of rights reserves a set of rights also forbidden to be usurped from individuals by the federal government. It is that set of rights which takes precedence over any state constitution which may attempt to deny them, not that the any law created by the federal government automatically trumps any individual or state rights.

No, no other country has a constitution based upon this simple yet sweeping coverage of individual liberty over collective order, practicality or convenience.
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)


What new and limited federation?

First, the inalienable rights were already declared by Englishmen in the English civil war 130 years earlier.

Second, the states already existed under the crown.

As far as "liberty" goes the US was hardly the most free, Britain was in fact free to the English who were at great liberty, granted that was in relation to more oppressed colonies and other nations in the British Isle.

I'd settle on the one revolutionary idea is that government originated from the people, this was theorized but not instituted in Britain where Parliament was and still is technically derived for the benefit of the King/Queen, and not from the people's authority.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 02:58 AM
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alldaylong
reply to post by FreeMason
 


The French Revolution was a revolt by the peasants to over throw the aristocrats to gain a fairer society.

The American Revolution was a revolt by the wealthy and educated classes to prevent them paying taxation to Great Britain, thus keeping the money for themselves.

That sums it up in simple terms.


The French revolution was a Bourgeois revolution, the Peasants were killed in the Guillotine as much as the nobility.

Apparently the French Revolution is not taught well in college either.

And such a Bourgeois revolution had already occurred in England through out the late 1600s.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 03:00 AM
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FreeMason

No the British still call it the "American War for Independence". Always have.

It was obviously a secession movement, but was it a revolution? Well, the war preserved what already existed, from being changed by the monarchy (a federal government instead of what the British Empire was trending towards which was a Unitary Empire controlled by the center).

The Colonies were defending their constitutions as written....already written.

So again, where is the "Revolutionary idea" in that?

And plenty of Italian cities overthrew kings or lords and became republics. So the event was not new to the Americans because those cities still existed.

The French revolution was a revolution, there was no more king when the dust settled, there was no more aristocracy. Unlike the American Revolution where there very much still was a king and still was an aristocracy.



So is this purely a semantical argument you're trying to make? All well and good if it is, just trying to get an idea of what your point is. Im sure we could dig up an endless supply of semantical disagreements between nations if that's the case.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 03:03 AM
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Kgdetroit

FreeMason

No the British still call it the "American War for Independence". Always have.

It was obviously a secession movement, but was it a revolution? Well, the war preserved what already existed, from being changed by the monarchy (a federal government instead of what the British Empire was trending towards which was a Unitary Empire controlled by the center).

The Colonies were defending their constitutions as written....already written.

So again, where is the "Revolutionary idea" in that?

And plenty of Italian cities overthrew kings or lords and became republics. So the event was not new to the Americans because those cities still existed.

The French revolution was a revolution, there was no more king when the dust settled, there was no more aristocracy. Unlike the American Revolution where there very much still was a king and still was an aristocracy.



So is this purely a semantical argument you're trying to make? All well and good if it is, just trying to get an idea of what your point is. Im sure we could dig up an endless supply of semantical disagreements between nations if that's the case.


I'm not making a point, I actually am asking a question. When someone gives me an answer I'll critique it which you may see as semantics but I think the founders must have had a deeper view of the events than what we've touched on so far.

So far we've scratched the surface.

I feel the Revolution, its meanings and ideals are largely lost on us moderns, we just don't learn enough about what happened to really see the Revolution for what it was.

For instance:

A lot of people do not realize what "no taxation without representation" meant. It wasn't a catchphrase it was part of the Fairfax resolves (If I remember correctly) which made the argument that England had no right to tax the colonies any more than the colonies had any right to send representatives to sit in the House of Parliament.

See, the argument wasn't one of democracy but of federalism.
edit on 12-10-2013 by FreeMason because: some corrections



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 05:55 AM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


It was obviously a secession movement, but was it a revolution? Well, the war preserved what already existed, from being changed by the monarchy (a federal government instead of what the British Empire was trending towards which was a Unitary Empire controlled by the center).

The Colonies were defending their constitutions as written....already written.


There seems to be a disconnect here between events that happened (at least as I have read and understood them) and the way you're talking about them here.

As I understand my own history from school and college both at this point, the Constitution didn't exist at the moment they declared independence from King George and told him they were making a nation out of his British colonies. I understand he wasn't amused or the least bit tolerant of his colonies going rogue and turning independent.

So we're all on the same page... this is a quick timeline by the history channel.


The Articles of Confederation, ratified several months before the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781, provided for a loose confederation of U.S. states, which were sovereign in most of their affairs.



On May 25, 1787, delegates representing every state except Rhode Island convened at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania State House for the Constitutional Convention.



On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.



On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.
Source

A little trivia there for anyone else curious as well. History Channel is a decent source for the basics like that. In terms of the war itself on dates? Another History Channel section has a summary of that.


The American Revolution (1775-83) is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence. The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain's 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown.
Source

I seem to see you suggesting we were Americans or something similar, and simply reaffirming our freedom and separation from England. Quite the contrary, what would hopefully become Americans (to their thinking) were 100% British subjects, under direct control of the Crown.

Sooo.. I'm not sure how this isn't seen as a revolution without semantic debate? If passports in modern form had existed in 1775, we'd all have been carrying British ones. By the end, we'd have been printing our very own, brand new American ones. Revolt fought...revolt won. At least to my thinking?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 06:54 AM
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FreeMason

greencmp

FreeMason
The seceded colonies didn't drastically alter anything in their Constitutions, but merely codified them anew and went about business as usual.

You are missing the most important distinction contained within our declaration of independence, constitution and bill of rights, that we as individuals are sovereigns and have pre-existing rights granted to us by God (for lack of a better word here).

As such we voluntarily gave birth to a new and limited federation of states (which each have their own constitutions, granted) whose responsibilities are specifically delegated. All powers not expressly itemized within the constitution are forbidden to the federal government. Furthermore, the bill of rights reserves a set of rights also forbidden to be usurped from individuals by the federal government. It is that set of rights which takes precedence over any state constitution which may attempt to deny them, not that the any law created by the federal government automatically trumps any individual or state rights.

No, no other country has a constitution based upon this simple yet sweeping coverage of individual liberty over collective order, practicality or convenience.
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)


What new and limited federation?

First, the inalienable rights were already declared by Englishmen in the English civil war 130 years earlier.

Second, the states already existed under the crown.

As far as "liberty" goes the US was hardly the most free, Britain was in fact free to the English who were at great liberty, granted that was in relation to more oppressed colonies and other nations in the British Isle.

I'd settle on the one revolutionary idea is that government originated from the people, this was theorized but not instituted in Britain where Parliament was and still is technically derived for the benefit of the King/Queen, and not from the people's authority.



Yes the political philosophies that came to be represented in the constitution and bill of rights were not out of whole cloth. Tom Jefferson for one was said to have a massive library that contained mostly European treatise on government.

So what emerged over here was an culmination and construction of many things and observations. The american political philosophers were well learned observers of the European political systems as demonstrated in the Federalist Papers. They used European examples good and bad to help shape the what and what not to do in forming a new republic.
edit on 12-10-2013 by Logarock because: n



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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FreeMason



Thanks for the clarification. I tend to agree with a lot of what you're saying, it is lost on the people of our age. Im running on little sleep with 2 little ones running around like maniacs so im not going to try and form a cogent thesis that adds to the discussion at the moment but I don't want to give the impression of a post and run. I'll be back at some point.

I love history's intricacies, thanks for bringing a thought provoking question to the table
edit on 12-10-2013 by Kgdetroit because: new here sorry, still figuring it out!



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the clarification. I tend to agree with a lot of what you're saying, it is lost on the people of our age. Im running on little sleep with 2 little ones running around like maniacs so im not going to try and form a cogent thesis that adds to the discussion at the moment but I don't want to give the impression of a post and run. I'll be back at some point.

I love history's intricacies, thanks for bringing a thought provoking question to the table
edit on 12-10-2013 by Kgdetroit because: new here sorry, still figuring it out!



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 12:42 AM
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My point of the constitutions is that the 13 colonies had constitutions and charters, and they existed before the war, and they were the platform of their constitutions (most of them unchanged) after the war. So that didn't change.

The Declaration of Independence didn't really assert anything revolutionary except as I suggested, that power originates with the people and not with the sovereign. So is that the revolutionary statement?

Remember a revolution is different than a civil war, or a war of secession.





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