Gary Nash Essay

Topics: John Locke, United States Declaration of Independence, Property Pages: 2 (461 words) Published: October 6, 2010
“The Forgotten Experience”

In the essay by Gary Nash, “ The Forgotten Experience” he argues that the reason for the American Revolution was not caused by the defense of constitutional rights and liberties, but that of living conditions of America were not very favorable and that social and economic factors should be considered as the driving force that pushed many colonists to revolt. The popular ideology which can be defined as “resonating most strongly within the middle and lower class of society and went far beyond constitutional rights to a discussion of the proper distribution of wealth and power in the social system” had a dynamic role in the decisions of many people to revolt. The masses ideas were not of constitutional rights, but the equal distribution of wealth in the colonies that many felt that the wealth was concentrated in a small percentage of the population in the colonies. The Whig ideology that was long established in English society had a main appeal towards the upper class citizens and "had little to say about changing social and economic conditions in America or the need for change in the future." The popular ideologies consisted of new ways of changing the distribution of wealth. Nash in his essay provides good evidence to prove his point that the American Revolution was not caused by the defense of constitutional rights and liberties, but by improper distribution of wealth. A major ethnical problem was the introduction of slavery and the rights slaves were entitled too. Nash uses a witness, Thomas Peter, in describing the conditions of slave life during the breakout of the revolution. Most of the slaves were taken as property of the British army and manipulated by receiving absolute freedom to their duties preformed. During the revolutionary time, black Americans took advantage of wartime disruption to obtain their freedom in any ways possible. Blacks constantly fought to receive their rights just as equal to a white man’s. Hence,...
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