Causes Of The American Revolution By Gary Nash Essay Example
Causes Of The American Revolution By Gary Nash Essay Example

Causes Of The American Revolution By Gary Nash Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (734 words)
  • Published: January 29, 2019
  • Type: Analysis
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Gary Nash contends in his essay that the American Revolution did not stem from a need to safeguard constitutional rights and liberties. Rather, he asserts that the rebellion was primarily driven by the unfavorable material circumstances of existence in America, along with social and economic factors. Nash underscores the significance of a broadly embraced ideology among the lower and middle classes, which extended beyond worries about constitutional rights to tackle matters related to equitable allocation of wealth and power within society.

The focus of the masses in the colonies was not on constitutional rights, but rather on achieving wealth distribution. Many believed that only a small percentage of the population held most of the wealth in the colonies. The dominant Whig ideology in English society appealed mainly to upper-class citizens and did not address the need for social and economic change in America. Consequen


tly, new ideologies emerged with the aim of altering wealth distribution.

In his essay, Nash provided compelling evidence to support his argument that unfair wealth distribution, rather than a defense of constitutional rights and liberties, drove the American Revolution. Prior to this revolution, Boston's top five percent taxpayers controlled almost half of its taxable assets, compared to just 30 percent in 1687. This statistic clearly illustrates how wealthy individuals were accumulating more assets and controlling a larger share of taxable wealth within their community.

Furthermore, throughout colonial America in the eighteenth century, there was an increasing gap between rich and poor. This disparity became evident through a growing class of impoverished city dwellers.During the third quarter of this century, evidence gathered shows that urban populations experienced severe economic and social turmoil. This is evident fro

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individuals being admitted into poor houses due to their extreme poverty. In the colonial period, a significant number of city residents faced poverty because they lacked property, opportunities, and resources to obtain basic necessities. This depiction of poverty in the colonies supports Nash's argument that there was a notable disparity in wealth distribution during this era. Additionally, instead of emphasizing constitutional rights and freedoms, most people were concentrated on the economic decline that occurred during this period.

The protest arose due to the significant poverty in the colonies. The middle and lower classes, frustrated with their living conditions, expressed their discontent violently in urban areas. Amidst this economic frustration, even the lieutenant-governor in Massachusetts was shot, demonstrating that social status offered no protection. As a result of their dissatisfaction and desire for equitable distribution of wealth, the wealthy were targeted with extreme force, resulting in the destruction of many of their homes. The rejection of a land bank proposal by wealthy merchants in Boston further exacerbated the anger of the locals. The proposed bank aimed to alleviate economic distress by issuing more paper money, a policy that the merchants opposed as it primarily benefited the poor. Furthermore, religious fervor spread throughout the colonies, intensifying the animosity between the rich and poor. During this time, preachers conveyed a message to the masses about establishing authority.

The text discusses how city dwellers were encouraged to participate in mass revivals, where the physical distance between clergyman and parishioner and among worshippers themselves was eliminated. The messages by preachers spread throughout the region and instilled in the masses the belief that they had authority and a vision of establishing a government

that derived its power from the people. These revivals aimed to create a society free from significant disparities of wealth, which were common in the old world. However, despite feeling like they had a voice in government policies, lower-class individuals still found themselves under the influence of wealthy individuals who held significant power. As a result, resentment towards the wealthy grew as they were criticized for not sharing wealth equally. This period was characterized by economic circumstances that fueled people's desire for social and economic change within society. Contrary to claims made by previous historians, there was no evident defense of constitutional rights or liberties during this time. Gary Nash's essay effectively supports his argument regarding the lack of apparent defense for constitutional rights or liberties.

The lower classes in the colonies were deeply worried about their finances as wealth was controlled by a small percentage of the population. This concentration of wealth caused widespread distress and rebellion among the people, who demanded a voice in economic matters and the redistribution of money in the colonies.

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