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Argument on radical or conservative movement
The 13 American colonies revolted against their British rulers in
1775. The war began on April 19, when British soldiers fired on the
Minutemen of Lexington, Mass. The fighting ended with the surrender of the
British at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. In 1783 Great Britain signed a
formal treaty recognizing the independence of the colonies.
Through the hardships of life in a wild, new land, the American
settlers gained strength and a firm belief in the rights and liberties of
the individual man. They revolted because England interfered with their
trade and industry, demanded unjust taxes, and sent British troops to
compel obedience. At first they fought only for their rights. After a year
of war they fought for a radical change in American life.
Ever since the beginnings of settlement, England and America had
been growing apart. In 1774, England was still an aristocracy, ruled by
men born and bred to a high station in life. Their society was one of
culture and refinement. The common people, deprived of abundant
opportunity at home, accepted a position of dependence. They regarded hard
work, deference to superiors, and submission to rulers as their way of
life. But in America things had taken a different turn. The tone of
society was essentially democratic. There were no lords or hereditary
offices. The Americans did not like to look up to superiors, nor were
their leaders set apart by privileges of birth and inherited wealth. The
opportunities of the New World made men enterprising, energetic, and
aggressive. Restraints were few, custom counted for little, and rank for
less. Between these two societies there could not be much in common. With
such opposing viewpoints and extreme change in social and economic
structure, America began to yearn for independence and self-rule, and
break away from the rule of Imperial Britain.
The many taxe...
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