What goals did the colonists have in waging the Revolutionary War and how did these goals shape their emergent political system?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the Revolutionary War, the colonists wanted to be free from British control. They wanted to create a new government that would protect the people’s rights and not abuse its power. The colonists were very concerned about British actions leading up the Revolutionary War. They believed the British government had violated their rights by passing tax laws without their consent and abused its power by not listening to the concerns of the colonists.

After the Revolutionary War ended, the colonists created a new plan of government that was called the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles of Confederation, the government had limited power. For example, the government couldn’t levy taxes or force people to join the military. The people were so afraid of having one person with too much power they limited the power of the executive branch. All of these limits on power were a result of how the colonists perceived the British government abusing its power.

Eventually, the people realized they had limited the power of the government too much, and they decided to write a new plan of government. This new plan of government was called the Constitution. The new government had more power, but the writers still wanted to be sure the government wouldn’t have too much power. For example, the government could levy taxes and control interstate and foreign trade. However, no branch of government could do everything by itself since each branch had a different job to do as a result of the concept of separation of powers. Additionally, the branches were able to control each other through the system of checks and balances. This shows the concern people had about creating a government with too much power. This can be traced back to the days when we were colonies of Great Britain.