Week 5: Roots of Revolution

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Consider the role of revolution in governmental structure and culture. Provide an example from the reading for the week or your experience visiting the National Archives to explain the relationship between philosophy and political action.

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From student: JS

The American Revolution resulted in the independence of America from Great Britain. This independence was achieved when the American Declaration of Independence which was signed on July 4, 1776. When looking at this historic document, one can see that it supports Enlightenment thinking due to its assertion of freedom (Sayre, 2013, p. 378). In chapter 12 Sayre mentions the French and American revolution. “The American Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen on August 26, 1789. The two documents are monuments of Enlightenment thinking, both looking to the writings of John Locke for inspiration, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was influenced as well by the American Declaration of Independence” (Sayre 2013). Both revolutions were the result of philosophers who embarked on the principle freedom of assembly and speech. The revolution played a role in both culture and governmental structure. As a result of the revolution, the governmental structure changed because Americans no longer had to abide by the British Crown, and were able to form and independent government. Culture was impacted by the revolution as well, which was seen in the violence that still continued to exist after the revolution. In the South, there was a lot of bloodshed after the war (NPR, 2015). Gangs of revolutionaries and loyalists would attack one another and invade each other’s plantations (NPR, 2015). This shift in culture was due to the loyalists being fearful of what protection they would receive since Great Britain was no longer in control. Philosophy and political action were both tied in to the aftermath as well, as seen in the Declaration of Independence. The philosophy was that the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle the people to have the rights of life, liberty, and happiness (Sayre, 2013, p. 379).


NPR. (2018). What happened to British loyalists after the revolutionary war? Retrieved November 28, 2018, from NPR website: what-happened-to-british-loyalists-after-the-revolutionary-war

Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the Humanities (2nd ed.). Pearson

Price, W. S. (2017, October 16). Reasons behind the Revolutionary War. Retrieved May 27, 2018, from


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