Social Causes of The American Revolution
In this post, we will discuss two major social causes of the American Revolution.
So, the two major causes are:
1. First Cause: America’s socio-cultural uniqueness from the European societies. American society was highly diversified because of migration from various European countries; such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc.
2. Second Cause: The influence of the Renaissance or Enlightenment period. The philosophies of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau influenced the American people’s thought process to revolt against Great Britain.
Now, let’s discuss these two causes in-depth, one by one.
2 Major Social Causes of The American Revolution
1. Social And Cultural Uniqueness From The European Societies
From the beginning of European colonization, American society was quite different from European societies.
The reason was that America was a land of migrated people, people from various European countries such as Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia, and France went there to live a better life.
Those people went to the new world with their own unique languages, religions (mostly Christians), rituals, and other socio-cultural elements.
The majority of those people left Europe getting unsatisfied with its Feudalist and autocratic conventional system. Also, they were getting tired of the wars in Europe.
On top of that, there was no equality in Europe; the public had to agree with what the king and the Catholic church wanted.
Those migrated people hoped that they would get a better-liberalized society in the new colonies, where all religions, languages, and cultures would get equal rights.
They hoped there would be no rule of a king and church in the new world.
But in the 17th century, when the Britishers also captured the new colonies and started destructing their peace with the same systems of Europe, this thing did not make them happy.
Therefore now, they wanted freedom from those European imperialists at any cost, which led them to bear arms against the Empire of Great Britain.
Finally, this is how it became the very first primary social cause of the American Revolution.
|Read More Articles|
2. Influence of Enlightenment or Renaissance Among American People
In the 16th to 18th centuries, the period of enlightenment began in Europe and America.
In this era, some such great learned people were born who rocked the traditional arrangements of Europe.
Some great names were John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Benjamin Franklin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, and more.
Mostly, through their writings, these philosophers first introduced to the people of America and Europe some values like democracy, unity, freedom, justice, brotherhood, etc.
Through their writings, people were now able to understand that the king of a nation is not the representative of God, a country’s people are the basis of its immovable capacity; if they want, they can remove the king or the government from the power, at any time.
They made them understand the value of freedom.
By the end of the 18th century, all these philosophical thoughts had deeply entered the minds of the American people. Especially among its founding fathers.
The Declaration of Independence was one of its main outputs.
Just read its preamble section you will automatically understand how enlightenment influenced them.
All these ideologies of the Renaissance also inspired the 13 colonies to start a revolution against Great Britain and get freedom through arms struggle.
How Did Religion Push European Immigrants To Come To The New Continent?
In Europe, religious beliefs dominated countries’ governance systems in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Here mainly Christian Catholic church was the most dominating power. Even, Church’s power was so intense that many times Kings were afraid to challenge it.
The people had to agree with what the pope said. Because of this deep influence of the church, the lives of those who were from the rest of the religion started becoming very difficult.
The people from other religions were mostly Christian Protestants, Jews, and Muslims.
Apart from the rigor of the Church, feudal customs and monarchy also made their lives more difficult.
All in all, these people lived here quite a humiliating life. Hence, they were always thirsty to get rid of those issues.
In the year 1492, when Christopher Columbus discovered the new continent, they found a great opportunity.
Even in the hope of a good life, these people were so distraught that they put their lives in maneuver and passed the giant Atlantic ocean insecurely (Via small boats).
[Interesting fact: Catholic Church believed that the Sun moves around the earth, but Galileo said that it is not the sun that moves around the earth, but it is the earth, that moves around the sun. Only because of saying this Christian Catholic Church punished him to spend the rest of his life in Jail]