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Word Count: 514
The Ideological origins of the American Revolution What exactly was the American Revolution It was not simply a war It was a revolution of ideas a change in the attitude of the people over time that preceded and eventually led to a war This change was effected by a generally high level of education a want of self-government and the unity of the colonies In most other cases revolutions were a result of an oppressed people but in the case of the thirteen colonies no oppression can be found In addition taxes in England were twenty-six times greater than in the colonies Captain Preston claimed that the reason for the revolt was the want of self-government John Adams wrote in his diary Every man has to fight to speak to write and to do things for himself He also stated that people should be able to judge for themselves that liberty was always in danger and it would be better to revolt than to live in slavery Jefferson said Revolutions are necessary to refresh the Tree of Liberty They remind the ruler of his duty to care for his people rather than take advantage of them In the colonies the literacy rate exceeded ninety percent and although the average man could not afford books there were private libraries scattered throughout the colonies one of which being owned by Thomas Jefferson who said books were his windows to the world Since most could read newspapers and pamphlets provided an effective way to communicate ideas widely The Enlightenment also helped in the movement of ideas because ministers would deliver a sermon in one town and move one to another within several days In each town he would pick up the local news and pass it on to the next town In this way people in Virginia would know what was happening in Massachusetts When settlers from Europe first arrived the Indians outnumbered the Europeans immensely The reason
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