Rush was one of the British North American colonists who helped to win a world war.
The American Revolution would have seemed impossible had it been seen from 1763.
The language and ideas that define Americans' image of themselves were codified by the Revolution.
The Revolution was not predictable.
Slavery was allowed to persist because of a revolution.
Under new governments, resistance to centralized authority tied disparate colonies together.
The revolution created politicians who were eager to foster republican selflessness and protect the public good, but also encouraged individual self-interest and personal gain.
The Revolution was shaped by popular forces that were not welcomed by elite leaders.
The popular forces continued to shape the new nation and the rest of American history after they were unleashed.
The American Revolution had both long-term and short-term causes.
In this section, we will look at some of the long-term political, intellectual, cultural, and economic developments that took place in the 18th century.
Between the middle of the eigh teenth century and the end of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Britain failed to define the colonies' relationship to the empire and institute a coherent program of imperial reform.
There were two factors that contributed to the failures.
The War of the Spanish Succession began at the start of the century and continued through the Seven Years' War.
Constant war was expensive and consuming.
British officials had differing visions of empire.
The Old Whigs and their supporters thought of an authoritarian empire based on conquering territory and taking resources.
They wanted to eliminate Britain's growing national debt by raising taxes and cutting spending.
The Whigs based their imperial vision on trade and manufacturing.
They said economic growth would solve the national debt.
"patriot Whigs" argued that the colonies should have the same status as the mother country.
Colonists understood how they fit into the empire.
The colonies experienced significant economic and demographic growth during the 18th century.
They believed that Britain's hands-off approach to the colonies resulted in this success.
Britain's hands-off policy was justified by the fact that colonists believed they held a special place in the empire.
The colonies developed their own political institutions.
Immediately after each colony's settlement, they created a colonial assembly.
The assembly assumed many of the same duties as the Commons in Britain, including taxing residents, managing the spending of the colonies' revenue, and granting salaries to royal officials.
In the early 1700s, colonial leaders tried to get the British government to define their legal prerogatives, but they were too busy with European wars.
The power of the assembly grew in the first half of the 18th century despite attempts by royal governors to limit it.
The jurisdiction of the assembly in the colonies was the same as that of Parliament in England.
They thought British inaction was justifying their tradition of local governance.
The political culture of the colonies was different from that of the mother country.
In both Britain and the colonies, land was the key to political participation, but because land was more easily obtained in the colonies, a higher proportion of male colonists participated in politics.
The country party in Britain inspired the colonial political culture.
The ideology of republicanism stressed the corrupting nature of power and the need for those involved in self-governing to be good citizens.
The rise of conspiracies, centralized control, and tyranny would require vigilance by the patriots.
The Great Awakening and the En lightenment combined in the colonies in the 1740s to challenge older ideas about authority.
John Locke had an impact on colonial thinking.
The aristocracy were wealthy or successful because they had more access to wealth, education, and patronage and not because they were innately superior.
Rational human beings would be produced by education if they were capable of thinking for themselves and questioning authority.
The colonies and the new nation were affected by these ideas.
The colonies experienced an unprecedented wave of evangelical Protestant revivalism at the same time that Locke's ideas about knowledge and education spread in North America.
George Whitefield preached Calvinist sermons to huge crowds.
His sermons were designed to appeal to his audience's emotions.
In order to find salvation, one needs to take personal responsibility for their relationship with God, a process that came to be known as a "conversion" experience.
He argued that the current Church hierarchy was a barrier between the individual and God.
New traveling preachers picked up his message after he died.
Locke and Whitefield gave individuals the power to question authority and take their own lives.
Anglicization is a process that eighteenth-century colonists were becoming more similar to Britons.
The market for British manufacturing exports became important as colonial economies grew.
Colonists with disposable income tried to mimic British culture.
By the middle of the 18th century, the colonists were able to afford items previously thought of as luxuries.
The desire to purchase British goods meshed with the desire to enjoy British liberties.
The American Revolution was caused by attempts to reform the British Empire after the Seven Years' War.
Europe's imperial powers fought a war called the Seven Years' War.
It was a world war, fought on multiple continents.
The British Empire had never been larger.
British rule over the east of the Mississippi River includes French Canada.
It consolidated its control over India.
The responsibilities of the postwar empire were daunting.
It was costly to win war on such a scale.
Britain's national debt doubled to 13 times its revenue.
The western frontiers of the North American colonies are where Britain faced significant new costs to secure and defend.
In the 1760s, Britain tried to consolidate control over its North American colonies, which led to resistance.
After three decades of Whig rule, King George III brought the Conservatives into his government in 1760. colonies would be subordinate in an authoritarian vision of empire.
Britain's first major postwar imperial action was targeting North America.
The king wanted to limit wars with Native Americans.
Colonists demanded access to the territory they fought in with the British.