How do you think ideas of "democracy" affected the social hierarchy in the United States during and after the Revolutionary War?

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Democracy was in the air during and after the Revolutionary War, yet the democracy of the time was far from absolute, as certain groups of people were denied participation in the new democracy.

The cry of "No taxation without representation!" stood at the heart of the Revolutionary era. Britain imposed plenty of taxes on its colonies, but colonial representatives were not allowed seats in Parliament. They therefore had no say about how much they would be taxed, and this went against all principles of democracy.

Therefore, the colonists set out to earn their self-rule, to create a place for democracy, or at least a democratic republic, that they might determine their laws and taxes for themselves. The most educated men of the day gathered together to write the Declaration of Independence and, later, the Constitution based on the principle that all men are created equal. Americans of all social classes gathered to fight for their freedom from Britain, joining together to claim their rights as free peoples, and they did claim those rights. They developed a system of government on democratic principles of representation and checks and balances among the three branches.

Yet democracy was certainly not absolute in the new United States. Not all people had the right to vote, for instance. Members of the lower social classes, especially people who did not own land, were denied the franchise. Women, too, did not vote, nor did slaves. Strict laws determined who could participate in the democratic process, and that usually meant white men of the upper and middle classes. Democracy remained only an ideal for many other people in the new country.

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