How the American Revolution fundamentally changed the American Society

Published: 2019-12-11 08:00:00
1307 words
5 pages
11 min to read
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The American Revolution signified a lot of changes for the American society. First of all, the Revolution meant that the American society was now free from British control. Immediately this meant that the political landscape of the country changed. It also meant that the social and economic lives of the people would change due to the adoption of new political policies. The first major political change was that the government society became decentralized, but it soon reverted back to the initial centralized government. Womens rights were also established after the American Revolution. With the revolution, the society began adopting effective democratic systems of government. Previously the American society heavily relied on the agrarian industry. This however slowly changed with the American Revolution. Trade was also increased through the development of strict protective tariffs. The protective tariffs were intended to ensure that it became more difficult for manufacturers from different countries such as France and Britain from flooding the market of the new society with imports from their countries. The fear was that such manufacturers would dominate the market limiting the potential for local manufactures to start and grow in the society.

One aspect that contributed to the change in the American society was the Declaration of Independence which stated that everyone is equal. This was the main foundation of the new egalitarian American society. Paper currency was also introduced. However, it is important to note that when the Declaration that all men are equal was being made, there were only select individuals, most notably rich, protestant (religion), land owning, Caucasian, male, who were considered as being more equal than others. Native Americans as well as other ethnic minorities experienced high levels of discrimination during the inception of the society. The Declaration of Independence brought about significant levels of change in the American Society after the American Revolution. It was the first step towards having a model democracy in the society. Its limitation was that its interpretation was only favorable to a select few individuals within the society. This perspective points out that though most of the new policies and changes that were witnessed in the American Society were intended to benefit the American society, most of them experienced challenges and it took sometime before their benefits could be enjoyed in the society. A good example of one such change is introduction of the paper currency. When the paper currency was introduced, most individuals thought that it was worthless. The explanation of the failure of the currency to have immediate impact on the American society was because the society did not understand the new currency. Furthermore, the paper money faced the challenge of money lacking value at the time. Economists have however argued that the paper currency was introduced in the new American society because it was to be a symbol that they were truly independent from British rule. They felt that by printing their own money would mean that they own it.

After freeing itself from the British rule, the new American society focused on establishing a political system that was totally different from the one adopted by the British. Following the American Revolution, the American society made significant changes to its Articles of the Confederation. The confederation aimed at ensuring that the members of the American society lived freely enjoying self-rule. However, its initial provisions were highly ineffective and they had adverse impacts on the society. For instance, under the ratified Articles of the Confederation, the authority of the federal and state government to collect tax from the citizens was revoked. Furthermore, the Articles of the Confederation did not provide provisions for an executive branch in the country. Without taxes, it would be impossible to cater for the vital service needs of the American society; whereas the lack of a clear and effective executive branch of government, the citizens of the American society lacked direction of how they would be governed. All these are factors that increased tension and citizen unrest in the newly formed society. It is again notable that with the lack of an executive branch, it would have been difficult for the government to effectively suppress rebellions. The flaw of the Articles of the Confederation was enhanced by the fact that it stipulated that amendments could only be made through unanimous decision. This would however simply compound the tension in the society and as a result it would increase the risk of the society experiencing civil strife.

The aspects of the flawed Articles of the Confederation that have been mentioned above are what led to further ratification which returned the society back to a centralized system of government to guarantee stability. The consideration of making changes to the Articles of the Confederation is what gave rise to the drafting of a new constitution to govern the new American society. There were increasing tensions and insecurity in the streets of the American society as many armed groups began roaming the streets. These are attributes that meant that the society hastily needed a new constitution. Delegates met and they authored what is now used in the United States as a constitution. It is however notable that the contemporary constitution contains some additional aspects, improved aspects and omitted provisions. The new constitution was introduced after the American Revolution to provide guidance and rule to the new American society. The constitution aimed to further promote equality and freedoms within the American societies. The constitution ensured that the society members from different parts of the society receive representation based on population in the house. They were also to receive equal representation in the senate, for the existing states. It is notable that the major broad categorization of the locations under the constitution was State. After drafting the constitution, the society focused its attention on ratifying the existing Federalist Papers.

In efforts of promoting stability and equality, the new American society promoted the Jeffersonian ideal of agrarian republicanism. The farmers were considered as being common-people, and a lot of priority was given to the planters. The agrarian industry was considered as being the backbone of the economy and as a result the government promoted that the land was fertile and rewarding. An example of how they did this was through the promotion of the medal which stated Venerate the Plough. Political opportunity was made available to everyone including the planters to ensure that they are able to recognize that the society had become a society of equity. However, economic troubles began because most people wanted to make something better out of their lives other than through farming. This is especially because the society had now become free.

Notable aspects of the social change include that women and slaves started experiencing aspects of freedom, almost immediately after the American Revolution. It is however notable that despite elements of equal rights had started being experienced after the revolution; it took time before they could be fully enjoyed. The main limitation of the social changes was that not the entire American society was welcoming of the freedoms of women and slaves. As a result, the change was so gradual and subtle. For instance, for the women, suffrage was won approximately 140 years after the revolution was concluded. For the slaves, notable aspects of freedom were experienced after the American civil war. With time, the society adopted naturalization policies that made it possible for immigrants to achieve citizen status in the country.


BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Butler, Jon. 2000. Becoming America : the revolution before 1776. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press.

Foner, Eric. 1998. The story of American freedom. New York ; London :: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Jillson, Cal. 2014. American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change. New York: Routledge.

Olson, Ron. 2007. Homework helpers. U.S. history (1492-1865) : from the discovery of America through the Civil War. Franklin Lakes, NJ : Career Press.

Parish, Peter J. 2013. Reader's Guide to American History. New York: Routledge.


Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal: