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American Revolution

4 Both the American Revolution of the 1770's and the American 'revolution' of 1787 were reactions against economic conditions What were the economic conditions each revolution attempted to rectify and?


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September 12, 2011 7:48AM

The American Revolution occurring from 1774 - 1783 was not necessarily a reaction against economic conditions, although economic conditions were the symptom of the problem that had arisen. The real problem was that the English government was trying to govern the colonies without representation or consent. It happened that this situation presented itself through economic circumstances such as taxation. It also presented itself in many other ways including basic civil rights (habeas corpus, illegal search and seizure, etc.).

In what the question refers to as the "Revolution of 1787" the circumstances again were presented in an economic format but were truly that the pendulum swinging between popular sovereignty and a strong central government had tipped too strongly toward the popular side. In other words, the central government did not have enough authority to be able to protect the hard won rights of the Revolutionary War. This exhibited itself most obviously on economic troubles such as taxation and government control in Shays Rebellion and the inability of the American Government to obtain credit, caused by its inability to compel the states to be responsible borrowers.

The solution that has proven itself over and over again was the US Constitution that came out of the Constitutional convention in 1787. It was not a perfect document. It was immediately amended with what we have called the Bill of Rights, which are in actuality the first ten amendments). It has stood the test of time and of several awful Supreme Court decisions like "Dred Scott" that have been overturned. On the other hand it has also provided for many great corrective measures like the 13th Amendment outlawing Slavery, and the 19th amendment allowing Women the right to vote