Imagine a world ruled by Kings and Emperors, with a rigid class system that left most people in the gutter. In Europe, where monarchs held absolute sway from Madrid to Moscow, to the China of the Qing Dynasty where a single Emperor held absolute power over millions, the world was surely lacking in
liberty. Books and newspapers that criticized the established government were usually shut down, the occupants often thrown in prison. What is more, the majority did not even have a say in their own government; that privilege was usually reserved for the upper-class nobility. Persecution over one’s
religious beliefs were also keenly felt; in Ireland for example, the mostly Catholic Irish found themselves shut out from the very Parliament said to represent them. Only Protestants allowed.
In this world of stringent order, where most people were bereft of a voice, a group of well to do men came together in Philadelphia to protest actions by government three thousand miles across an ocean. When that government responded with armed force the natural response was war, but a war for
independence. When that independence came after a long struggle it remained to craft a new nation.
Understanding the ways of the wider world, these same men came together to build something new. Taking as their inspiration such things as the Democracies of ancient Greece and the contemporary self-government exemplified by the likes of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy; the Founding Fathers created the US Constitution, establishing a Bill of Rights that ensured people’s rights to say what they thought, write what they wanted, practice their own religion freely; a truly monumental step forward.
The American Revolution caused chain reaction that swept over Europe, and elsewhere. Oppressed peoples, longing to rise from the shackles of the old-world order, arose. In France, begun by women shouting for bread, the Bourbon monarchy was destroyed, and a Republic established, but within a decade France was once more ruled by a single man; the Emperor Napoleon. Poland followed with a constitution of their own but were crushed when powerful neighbors invaded and conquered them. In Ireland and on the island of Haiti the oppressed rose up to gain freedom, which the Haitians
achieved, establishing a republic amidst the slave holding islands of the Caribbean.
The American Revolution was a great turning point in human history; the first step towards the wider freedoms of the modern world. It gave power to the people, and hope to the oppressed. That the American revolution succeeded where so many others failed clearly shows the strength and determination of our Founding generations. The United States has fought but one Civil War since 1788; France in the same time has never known such stability. Before the American revolution the people of the world lacked a voice, kept quiet by the restraints of their time and positions in life. They were ruled by a King, or Emperor, who lived in luxury, while the common people struggled to survive. The United States allowed the common people the right to criticize the people that ruled them. In fact, they could vote for their own representatives; could even become one. Birth was no longer something to hold a person back. In the early United States, as in today, if you make wise decisions and work smart, there isn’t much holding you back from doing great things.
Learn more about this great time of world history with the new American Revolution curriculum, to be released September 10, 2018, and begin to see the stories of all those that made this great nation what it is today and give strength to people all around the world.