Last Updated 27 Jan 2021

Birth of the Republic

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The birth of the United States is one of the turning points of history of humans. It enabled the New World to come full circle and make the perilous transition from the Old World to the New. The American Revolution also defined the role that Great Britain was to play in the world. With the breaking away of the American colonies, a new nation was born that would supersede the power and influence of the United Kingdom. Edmund S. Morgan provides a summary of the American Revolution and recounts how the Republic was born and struggled to create its own mark in history.

Morgan managed to trace the historical developments in the original thirteen colonies in America and the issues that led them to push and fight for independence. At first, the major issue was taxation by the British government. However, as they went on with the struggle, the Americans started defining themselves as a nation and affirmed their freedom as a people independent from Great Britain. These ideas did not arise because of amazing political theory that the Americans in the colonies formulated. Rather, they arose out of the experiences and the needs of the people in the colonies. The American Push for Independence

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According to Morgan, the people who went to the colonies understood themselves to be free “Englishmen” who were entitled to the usual rights and privileges ascribed to Englishmen, particularly their right to liberty and freedom. As such, it came as a surprise to those in the colonies when Sugar and Stamp Acts of 1764-1765 demanded that extra tax be taken away from the colonies. As a response, the colony settlers demanded that they be directly represented to the British government. This was but the first of a series of demands that led the colonial settlers to redefine and rethink the nature of their relationship with Britain.

It is important to note that the colonial settlers did not truly wage the Revolution because of nationalistic impulses or because of too lofty ideals. What they wanted was to have equal rights of liberty and representation enjoyed by Englishmen whether they are in England or not. Because the colonial settlers could not accept the idea of being represented virtually, they rejected the taxation system being imposed upon them. More than that, the settlers also began to question the jurisdiction of the British Parliament over them.

The process of establishing a central government among the colonies was full of difficulties and challenges, which were confounded by the war against Britain. Even if the colonies managed to defeat the British, the colonies recognized the need to band together and form a government that can look after the colonies. Four years after signing the Peace Treaty, the colonies called for a Constitutional Convention in 1787. The process was far from smooth. What happened was that the process tended to be more controversial than the act of declaring freedom from Great Britain.

Several issues that arose included the size of the states and the differences among them. Surprisingly, however, the equality of states in representation to the Senate was prioritized over the equality of men. The reality of slavery also became a contentious issue among the States. Ironically, a slave was considered as three-fifths the worth of a free man when it came to representation. This was a compromise so that slaves could not longer be imported after 1808. Private property was also protected. The idealism of the Declaration of Independence did not resound very loudly in the Constitution.

Such was the case of compromises and political situation during the Birth of the United States. Morgan managed to highlight the different motives of the leaders of the Revolution throughout the process—from the first time that the issue of taxation arose, down to the actual revolution, and the writing of the articles and the Constitution. This whole process occurred within twenty-five years. Morgan also looked into the leaders of the Revolution and conceded that they were not always acting based on good motives and an appeal to idealism. They also worked for economic gain and they managed to include provisions that protected their properties.

During that period, the ownership of land was the foremost indicator of wealth. However, these acts do not mean that they are no less committed to the ideals of liberty. The compromises made by the colonies among themselves, particularly the issue of slavery, was but part of the issues that were not smoothed out because the Constitution had to be put in place if the young nation were to stand on its own against the might of the stronger nations during that period. Conclusion Although the war during the American Revolution is interesting, Morgan did not devote a lot of pages in discussing it.

Rather, he explained the broader issues and forces at work in the birth of the United States of America. More than just the dynamics of the war, the author traced the ideals, the ideas, and the issues that bonded together the colonies and their efforts in consolidating themselves into one nation. Furthermore, the author included the texts of important documents that have shaped the American nation since its inception. It is an amazing piece of work documenting the nation’s history. Reference Morgan, E. S. (1993). The Birth of the Republic: 1763-89. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

Birth of the Republic essay

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Birth of the Republic. (2016, Aug 10). Retrieved from

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