After The Colonists Won Independence From Britain, What Was Their Main Concern?

After the colonists won independence from Britain what was their main concern?

Expert Answers
davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After all revolutions, the main concern is consolidation. The Americans had scored a spectacular and wholly unexpected victory over the world's foremost military power. What mattered now was to make sure that this new nation was strong enough to withstand possible future incursions from a country that wouldn't take its defeat lying down. The question was how to do this.

Some believed that the best way to protect the Revolution and its gains was through strengthening the United States Federal government. The United States was no longer a colonial outpost; it was a nation in its own right and, as such, should act like one. This meant having a government that could speak with one voice, a government that could pay back the huge debts that America had accrued during the Revolutionary war, and a government that possessed a centralized military force capable of withstanding any foreign threats.

In contrast, many believed that it was America's tradition of radical republicanism that had won the war. Despite America being little more than a loose collection of quasi-independent states, it had still been possible to galvanize large numbers of men to come together and to imbue them with a common purpose——the fight for liberty. The tradition of republican liberty had won the war and would now win the peace. That meant preserving the ultimate sovereignty of the states within the governmental system and preventing the Federal government from accruing too much power of its own.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have seen this question asked as a multiple choice question.  When it is asked in that way, the four options given as possible answers are:

  • creating a government that could protect them from Britain
  • having a government that was too strong and powerful
  • developing a new system of government too quickly
  • relying on a government system for liberty

If this is the question that you are asking, I would argue that the correct answer is the second option.  In other words, the colonists were concerned about the idea that their government might become too strong and powerful.  They were concerned with preventing this from happening.

One of the colonists’ major issues with the British government before the Revolution was that the British government was too strong.  They felt that it could abuse their rights and that they could do nothing to stop it.  They wanted their new, independent country to have a government that would not have enough power to abuse their rights.

Because the newly-independent Americans were worried about this, they ratified the Articles of Confederation.  This constitution created a government that was rather weak.  This assuaged their worries about excessive government power.  However, in only a few short years, the weaknesses of the Articles caused the colonists to create a new system of government.

emtheawesome | Student

The main concern of the colonists after the war with Great Britain was to build a nation that would not limit their rights like Great Britain did. The colonists also wanted someone to lead them, and they later chose George Washington, who chose the name of president instead of king. The colonists were afraid that their liberties would be taken away, so they created a weak federal government right after the Revolution. When that failed, the colonists were still afraid of a strong federal government. The colonists wanted the states to have more power, but the states were just too different. The representatives of the states would only care about what their state needed, not about what the entire nation needs. Finally, the colonists were satisfied when the Constitution was created. Well, not all of the colonists were satisfied. The Anti-Federalists were afraid that this would give the federal government too much power, so they demaned that a Bill of Rights would be included. So, in order to get everyone to agree on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights were included in the Constitution. Now the colonists had a brand new government!