Heories of Revolution Revisited: American Revolution

Revolution can be defined as a change. Revolution can be a change in power or structures that take place for a short period. Revolutions have occurred as human beings develop and they vary in methods, period, ideals, and aims. Changes in culture, economy, and social-political institutions are a result of the revolution. Revolution is a process that involves the transformation of society at large and takes several generations to accomplish According to John; revolution can be defined in two ways.

A broad one where revolution is any instance in which a state or a political regime is overthrown and thereby transformed by a popular movement in an irregular, extra-constitutional, and/or violent fashion; and a narrow one, in which revolutions entail not only mass mobilization and regime change but also more or less rapid and fundamental social, economic and/or cultural change, during or soon after the struggle for state power (Foran 3).

Revolution can occur in culture, politics, and the economy. Political evolution is where the government is replaced or changes are made in its formation. It can either be a complete change in the constitution or minimum alterations of an existing one. It seeks to establish a new political system or transformation of the entire society. In a political environment there exist different competing interest groups which struggle for power. In case the groups cannot agree on a common decision-making process a conflict arise which results in revolution (Foran 4).

According to some scholars, revolution is a result of people thinking and understanding things. If People are not satisfied with the existing social-political institution may call for revolution. Society is at equilibrium if people have equal opportunities, resources, and the same demand. Divergence from this condition calls for revolution.

Social revolution transforms society, culture, philosophy, economy, and technology.

It can either be slow, violent and reorganizes the industrial and economy of a nation as well as the society’s structure. With time a situation different from the past evolves and this situation creates an opportunity for another revolution to occur. It can change society’s common values, myths, social structures, and leadership (Foran 9).

Culture refers to a way of life of an entire society or a pattern of human activates that interact and compete with one another and are passed from one generation to another. Culture includes code of dressing, language, manner, and religion. Revolution changes people’s ways of life. New codes of dressing, language, and religion evolve. Many people associate culture with civilization with some groups classified as being civilized and others cultured.

Technology is a concept that deals with people’s usage of objects such as machines, hardware, and utensils. It also encompasses the usage of techniques and organizational skills. Over the years tools and techniques changes as new technologies evolve. With the technological revolution, new and more efficient tools, new techniques come about. Technology has transformed economies although to some extend has led to the rise of unwanted events such as wars (Foran 10).

With revolution people’s modes of production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods have changed. Technological evolution, evolution in culture, and social evolution are the result of a given economy. In general, the revolution has changed people’s ways of life, organization of the society, economies of countries, and political institutions set up.

“The American Revolution refers to the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen Colonies of North America overthrew the governance of the British Empire and collectively became the nation of the United States of America” (Murray 31).

Britain was oppressive to American colonies living under her forcing them to pay more for the cost of keeping them in the emperor. The colonies had no elected representation in the British parliament and paid taxes. Americans thought those laws were oppressive and undermined their rights and sought a way of eliminating Britain from their country. With time some patriotic groups reorganized themselves to replace Britain in the parliament.

A fight broke which forced Britain out of America. The American Revolution involved intellectual and social shifts that occurred in early American society. The political minds behind the revolutions believed that people had the right to topple down their leader if they violated their rights. Americans embraced a republican form of government that governs a nation as a republic, emphasizing liberty, rule of law, sovereignty, and virtues practiced by a citizen.. There existed different Christian denominations ranging from Presbyterians, Catholics, and puritans. Churches educated people on democracy with bible readings influencing many political thinkers (Murray 34).

The British emperor operated a mercantile system of the economy where economic assets were represented inform of gold and silver. The government played a protective role by encouraging export and discouraging imports. British emperor oppressed the colonists by imposing high taxes which prompted many protests and boycotts. Many people were killed during these protests and others were wounded. At some point, the British emperor enacted laws that required people not to hold the meeting in towns and allowed governors to house British soldiers in the home of citizens without requiring permission from them.

There were two groups of people, one known as the loyalists and the other as patriots. The loyalists were for the British while the patriots fought for the independence of America with each group having rich and poor people. The patriots felt that independence was the only solution to free them from oppression from Britain. The loyalists controlled the economy because they were the only people who owned businesses.

The American Revolution is not more of a revolution but a change in government. America was under British rule for a long time until it reached a point where the Americans couldn’t tolerate more British oppression. America wanted to have self-government that recognized the rights and freedom of its citizens. The British emperor did not allow American colonists to appoint their representative in her parliament, although they were required to pay tax. Therefore, America fought in order to have a self-governing authority where people could elect their representatives to parliament (Murray 37).

Americans fought until they forced Britain out of their country and pronounced themselves independent. After attaining her self-governance, America constituted a new constitution that recognized all the rights of her people.

In the society, we live, there are freedom and rights which govern our stay. I think our society provides some opportunities to every individual to pursue life liberty and happiness. In each country, some laws protect live people s. Judicial systems are established to ensure fairness and justice in case one violet the right to life of others. Although, these systems are there, to some extend fairness is never done to some individuals especially in the developing world where the poor are usually oppressed by the rich.

Works cited

John Foran, “Theories of Revolution Revisited: Toward a Fourth Generation”, Sociological Theory 11, 1993:1-20.

Murray, Stuart: Smithsonian Q & A: The American Revolution, New York: HarperCollins Publishers by Hydra Publishing (in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution), (2006) p. 31-45.

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