AP American History
2012 Summer Assignment
The American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Wood
Many people mistake the American Revolution for the American War of Independence, but Gordon S. Wood saw it as something more: it was a complete change in the political structure of America. The American Revolution: A History provides a great swift account of the conflicts and motivations of the period from 1760 to 1790. According to Wood his main points, are: “How the Revolution came about, what its character was, and what its consequences were” as “the questions this brief history seeks to answer”(Wood, xxv). He tries to focus more on the important details ...view middle of the document...
This was a wake up call to Britain letting them know that their policy and increasing British population was seen as an invasion of the colonists' rights. America didn't oppose to taxes until Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which Wood describes as the key event in the rise of American resistance.
The spark of the revolution was that America resisted Britain's authorities. The colonists began protesting British taxes. Though tensions rose over the differing views on representation and nature of the British Empire. The differing views caused the crisis to become "more than a simple breakdown in the imperial relationship" (Wood 47). He describes the events leading up to Independence as a "spiraling momentum" (Wood 51) growing increasingly radical. He explains how America developed its own unique view on liberty, best represented in the Declaration of Independence, and how it's main motivation was a "desire to root out tyranny once and for all" (Wood 67). What came out of it was the radical state constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, and later the Constitution.
Wood also explains how the people who made up the new nation did not respect the rights of the Native Americans and consider them equals. Everybody thought that independent individual owned and cultivated land, and since the Indians were hunters, they could not be potential citizens. They were only treated as outsiders. As he states, "The Revolution had a powerful effect in eventually bring an end to slavery in America. It suddenly and effectively ended the social and intellectual environment that had allowed slavery to exist everywhere for thousands of years without substantial questioning." (Wood 126). He points out that the founders did not carry through with the nation's saying that all men are created equal....