American Revolution

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What were the ideological causes of the American Revolutionary War?

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There were several causes of the American Revolutionary War, and some of them were ideological. The colonists were upset that the British Parliament was violating their rights by passing tax laws without the consent of the colonists. In Great Britain, the people must have elected representatives that can discuss and can vote on proposed laws. The colonists didn’t have any elected representatives in Parliament. As a result, they were upset when the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act and Townshend Acts without their consent. The colonists believed these tax laws were illegal because they did not have representatives in Parliament that could discuss and vote on these laws.

The colonists also didn’t like being ruled by a king. They believed the King of England was abusing his powers by not responding to the concerns of the colonists. Eventually, the colonists wanted to be able to make their own laws and not have them made by people living in Great Britain. The colonists also wanted to develop their own policies instead of following policies dictated by the King of England or determined by the British Parliament. The colonists believed they should be governed by the philosophy of government by the consent of the governed.

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The causes of the American Revolution were ideological insofar as the rebellion was caused by a desire for democracy and government by the consent of the governed.  These were not the only causes of the rebellion, but they were the ideological ones.

One of the goals of the American colonists was to have their own legislative body that would have had the power to govern the American colonies.  They wanted all the laws that applied to them (particularly taxes) to be passed by people they had elected.  In other words, they wanted government to be only by the consent of the governed.  This idea, which comes in part from the political philosopher John Locke, is expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

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