The American Revolution as a Social Revolution

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The American Revolution was a military conflict that significantly impacted society. The initial aims of the Revolution were to change the political system and fight against the rule of the British monarchy. However, the shift in the government became the engine for social change in terms of ideology, religion, culture, and freedom for the discriminated. The rapid transformations in American society support the idea that the American Revolution was a social revolution.

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A substantial social change brought by the American Revolution was the introduction of representative democracy and state-level governments in the new republic to protect the rights of Americans and limit governmental power. The new outlook put an end to a struggle between the elitist values of the British aristocracy and the common people’s need to achieve social equality. Representative democracy also ensured transparency that could not be achieved in a monarchy. It should be noted that representative democracy was different from the direct form, which originated in ancient Greece (Shi and Tindall 247). The former assigned decision-making power to the elected representatives, or legislators, while the latter allowed all citizens to vote on the majority of decisions.

As a result of the American Revolution, the relationship between church and government changed. Americans encouraged the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. Post-Revolutionary documents, such as the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom (1786), prohibited government-sanctioned churches and established religious liberty in the United States (Shi and Tindall 251). The pro-British Anglican Church lost its profound influence in the U.S. and was reorganized into the Episcopal Church, while Baptists and Methodists became the dominant religious groups in the country.

Another considerable sign of the social revolution was the emergence of American culture and nationalism. The approval of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 produced one of the most important public holidays in the United States (Shi and Tindall 258). The celebration of Independence Day, accompanied by parades and fireworks, became the symbol of the national identity and the triumph over British rule. Moreover, many people believed that the independence of the United States was a part of the divine mission assigned by God, followed by the American leadership in the world. Thus, the Revolution helped promote nationalism and the image of the New World, where patriots fight for equality and liberty.

The American Revolution initiated changes in the traditional social roles and impacted the lives of the discriminated groups: African Americans and women. Great Britain offered freedom to the enslaved African Americans for joining the Loyalists and liberated over 20,000 blacks, while plantation owners in the American South protected slavery (Shi and Tindall 252). The British recruitment and the contrasting attitudes of the Northern and Southern states resulted in polarizing opinions about slavery and future political disputes. The status of women was also affected by the ideals of liberty. The British law limited women’s rights for education and employment, but the Revolution allowed them to equally engage in public service and participate in combat. As a result of the increasing independence, Abigail Adams became the first advocate for female equality and inspired the movement for women’s rights and political participation.

To sum up, the American Revolution resulted in a series of rapid social changes. It established transparent representative democracy that provided freedom from aristocratic values. Moreover, the conflict diminished the influence of the Anglican church, strengthened the representation of Baptist and Methodist groups in the country, and the American culture and nationalism. Finally, the slavery-related disputes and the advocacy for female equality were the outcomes of the Revolution.

Work Cited

Shi, David Emory, and George Brown Tindall. America: A Narrative History. 10th ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.

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Premium Papers. (2022, October 21). The American Revolution as a Social Revolution. Retrieved from https://premium-papers.com/the-american-revolution-as-a-social-revolution/

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Premium Papers. (2022) 'The American Revolution as a Social Revolution'. 21 October.

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Premium Papers. 2022. "The American Revolution as a Social Revolution." October 21, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/the-american-revolution-as-a-social-revolution/.

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