The America’s Pursuit of Liberty essay
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This coursework elucidates the salient issues that were concealed behind the American Revolution and fears of individual liberties. It examines the compromises that drafters of America’s Constitution made with a view to uniting the different states, in what history describes as the pursuit of liberty.
According to the literature, American Revolution was quite a conservative movement without a clear paradigm shift from policies of the colonialist. Basically, it was only intended at restoring people’s basic rights and giving them a new sense of belonging. Leaders of the revolution felt that pursuing radical economic and political changes would cause class conflict that would erode all their social gains. Besides, the leaders were concerned about creation of a strong central government as they felt that it would be a continuation of the British rule. As such, provisions of the Articles of Federation were altered to create a weak national government that would have no powers to tax or even raise its own revenue (Bancroft 453).
The Northwest Ordinance and Land Ordinances of 1784 accelerated the expansion of the future United States towards the west. This Ordinance noticed the world about the intentions to incorporate the land north of Ohio into the United States. In addition, it provided for the maintenance of liberty, advancement of education and cessation of slavery. According to the provisions of the Ordinances, this land was to be divided into separate states to be incorporated into the United States (Bancroft 392).
The processes that led to the creation of the United States were marred with suspicion and fears of re-colonization. The individual states were quite hesitant to join the new union, a fact that caused the drafters of the Constitution to make major compromises in order to accommodate all the states. According to the literature, the greatest compromise was the Commerce Compromise that effectively harmonized the tariffs imposed on goods of trade between Northern and Southern states. In addition, the Compromise on representation effectively defined the future unity of the individual states as it properly catered for small and big states alike. Furthermore, the settlers believed that taking possession of western lands was part of the larger pursuit of American freedom. However, their “freedom” did not apply to the Native Americans who had long settled on these lands as they thought that the Indian social development was quite primitive and less developed than that of the European. This was why the Natives were alienated in the allocation of lands to individuals (Bancroft 622).
In conclusion, it took painful sacrifices to create a united country called the United States. For instance, there was a serious suspicion between the individual states as well as between foreign and native settlers that had to be harmonized in order to realize a functional nation. This is the credit that Americans prefer to accord Thomas Jefferson (Bancroft 1233).