Class struggle during the War of Independence.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It would be easier to answer this question if you asked it in more detail...

The War of Independence was not a struggle of class against class.  All classes of people from Colonial American society were represented on both sides of the conflict.

Pretty much all you can say about class here is that the Revolution was mainly started and led by the elites of society.  They were the ones who were typically most concerned with their right to rule themselves.  After all, if the colonies had self-government, they would be the ones who held the power.

As the move towards independence went along, it picked up support among the lower classes and became more radical.  The major catalyst for this was the publication of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense."

But the Revolution was not a case of an oppressed lower class throwing off a dominant elite as the French Revolution was.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Indeed, the previous post is accurate in presenting that class struggles were not extremely prevalent in the Revolutionary War.  I think that there were some elements of class present in the struggle.  For example, many of the Loyalists who were signers of the Olive Branch Petition were wealthy Colonists who owed much of their livelihoods to England.  At the same time, wealthy colonists were not entirely driven to the cause of freedom.  However, there were elements of class to the Patriotic struggle, as the fight for economic rights were a major part of the Colonial struggle.  The excess taxes and duties imposed by the British were a violation of political rights, but the Colonists' ability to make and keep their own money served to also be a motivating factor in the conflict.