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Why did colonial rebellions of the 17th century not lead to demands for political...

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espivey22 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM via iOS

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Why did colonial rebellions of the 17th century not lead to demands for political independence on the part of the American colonists?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:55 AM (Answer #1)

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There are a number of reasons why these rebellions did not lead to a push for independence. 

First, some of the rebellions were not really aimed at the British government at all.  A good example of this is Bacon’s Rebellion in the 1670s.  This rebellion was not caused by colonists’ differences with the British government.  Instead, it was caused by tensions between colonists on the coast of Virginia (who dominated the colony) and those in the backcountry.  There is no real reason that a dispute between two groups of colonists would lead to a rebellion against Britain.

Second, some of the rebellions had their causes addressed by the British.  One example of this is the rebellion against the Dominion of New England.  The Glorious Revolution overthrew King James II, which led to the official dissolution of the Dominion.

However, there are broader reasons why the colonists did not rebel at this point.  The major reason is that the colonies were very young.  They were not yet as densely populated and as economically prosperous as they would be by 1775.  They did not have the built up sense of grievances that had accumulated over the longer time period.  For these reasons, they did not feel nearly as angry with the British or as ready to be independent as they later would.

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