Reflection On American Colonies Resentment of Britain

Topics: American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, Liberalism Pages: 1 (353 words) Published: March 8, 2014
Although there were many reasons that American Colonies began to resent Britain, the new ideas presented by the Enlightenment and the Acts that the British government continued to implement played their own parts individually and combined. When British Philosopher, John Locke, stated that all men have the right to “life, liberty and property”, he proposed that there was such a thing as an illegitimate government. Because an illegitimate government claims entitlement to take, not provide protection for and violate the civil rights of its subjects without an impartial representative protecting the overall good of the general population, it is in direct conflict with his new philosophies of freedom. Free thinkers in the Colonies began to recognize that their rights were slowly being taken away and the biased nature of the Acts being enforced. Nonetheless, there were still many Colonists that sustained loyalty to England and were not influenced by the mere presentation of new libertarian views. However, when Acts began to not only impact the lives of the impoverished but began to spread to the loyalist elites, this seemed to achieve what free thinking could not. As each new Act was developed and implemented the spectrum of social classes affected began to change. For example; the Proclamation Act limited the distance of what land could be settled in relation to the location of the original Colonies which upset western farmers, whereas the Stamp Act requiring stamps to be bought and placed on most written materials from legal documents to playing cards directly affected all groups of people. With the Enlightenment having already provided the basic arguments on undermining british rule, the British government inadvertently supplied further justification with each Act showing a new kind of prejudice or evidence of Englands apparent greed that it inspired Colonists to not just ask for independence, but to demand it. According to Locke, if a government violated any of...
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