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Argument on radical or conservative movementThe 13 American colonies revolted against their British rulers in1775 The war began on April 19 when British soldiers fired on theMinutemen of Lexington Mass The fighting ended with the surrender of theBritish at Yorktown on Oct 19 1781 In 1783 Great Britain signed aformal treaty recognizing the independence of the coloniesThrough the hardships of life in a wild new land the Americansettlers gained strength and a firm belief in the rights and liberties ofthe individual man They revolted because England interfered with theirtrade and industry demanded unjust taxes and sent British troops tocompel obedience At first they fought only for their rights After a yearof war they fought for a radical change in American lifeEver since the beginnings of settlement England and America hadbeen growing apart In 1774 England was still an aristocracy ruled bymen born and bred to a high station in life Their society was one ofculture and refinement The common people deprived of abundantopportunity at home accepted a position of dependence They regarded hardwork deference to superiors and submission to rulers as their way oflife But in America things had taken a different turn The tone ofsociety was essentially democratic There were no lords or hereditaryoffices The Americans did not like to look up to superiors nor weretheir leaders set apart by privileges of birth and inherited wealth Theopportunities of the New World made men enterprising energetic andaggressive Restraints were few custom counted for little and rank forless Between these two societies there could not be much in common Withsuch opposing viewpoints and extreme change in social and economicstructure America began to yearn for independence and self-rule andbreak away from the rule of Imperial BritainThe many taxes imposed on the colonies by English leaders alsocreated great conflict between the two sides American colonist felt thatthey were not represented in Parliament and therefore could not tax itspeople But Parliament felt that they looked out for the best
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