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Examine how the significance of the Colonists' experiences prior to and during the...

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ashleyrivera1234 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2013 at 12:56 AM via web

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Examine how the significance of the Colonists' experiences prior to and during the Revolutionary War influenced features of State constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:11 PM (Answer #1)

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One specific aspect of life that was present during and before the American Revolution that makes its presence known in the writing of early American political documents is the emphasis on individual privacy.  The fear and resentment of King George and the British intrusion on the rights of the Colonists found its way into State Constitutions with the emphasis on personal rights such as freedom of religion and expression.  The Articles of Confederation perceived central government as such an encroaching entity that it devised national government in the weakest of ways so that it would not impinge on the rights of the states.  This can be seen in how the federal government could not levy taxes against the states without their consent.  Even though the Articles were revised through the Constitution, the inclusion of the first ten amendments were based on individual rights and prevention from external encroachment.

The right to be left alone and to have privacy was seen as essential by the Americans.  It was the reason they fought against the British.  Once victory was declared it was not going to be taken away.  The founding political documents of the nation ensured this.  These documents and their tendencies to protect individual rights at all costs and construct individual entitlements as sacred and inalienable rights that no government can take away were elements that reinforce feelings before the American Revolutions and sentiments during it.

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