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The American Revolution commenced after the educated population of the country gained revolutionary ideologies to rid North America of British laws. As a Britain's Colony, America found itself the recipient of drafted laws that controlled all spheres of society, particularly the economy where taxes and other forms of revenue benefited the Britons. Consequently, the American Revolution model encompassed the peoples' realization of the demerits of colonialism, their decision to revolt all forms of colonial power, and the attainment self-governance. Hence, the Revolutionary War did not displace the elite or change the roles of women and those of blacks and Indians in American Societies but ended British rule (Crash Course American Revolution, 6min). Similarly, in Latin America, the “elites and middle classes were frustrated by the political and economic power of colonial officials”, and launched an attack against their rule (Bulliet, 646). Evidently, the American Revolution catalyzed the enlightenment of the Latin Americans because news of the war in North America is one of the causes for former’s War of Independence (Bulliet, 646).
The nation-building model after the Revolutionary War in America maintained social hierarchies where the people kept their original community practices after relieving the country of the British dictation. In other words, white supremacy directed all matters of the nation at the expense other races in the same. In addition, the newly independent country was weak and only sought to prevent tyrannical leadership and violence by the drafting of the Articles of Confederation (Crash Course the Constitution, 2mins). As a result, the founding fathers overlooked matters pertaining to equal rights for all people because the possibility of slave emancipation and that of Indians retaining their lands vanished. Therefore, the Constitution of 1787 failed to cater for the needs of the minority group encompassing “slaves, indentured servants, women and men without property" (Zinn, par 73). The situation in Latin America took the same turn as the people portrayed their confusion over autonomy. However, unlike the American elites who sought to ensure the revival of the state as a whole, Latin Americans faced tougher times laced with Civil Wars. Apparently, without an outside enemy, the independent people failed as nationalists (Crash Course Latin America, 7min). Hence, the nation-building model reinforced by the United States was impossible to implement in Latin America.
The goals and the outcomes of the American Revolution determined the acceptability of the same as a model for the Latin Americans to utilize. Hence, because North America was against colonialism, the war for independence suited South America. However, the United States covered a smaller area of thirteen colonies bordering each other. On the other hand, Latin America was vast, and its people scattered wildly making unity impossible (Crash Course Latin America, 4min). Consequently, the same methods used to unite the states could not work for the other continent.
The Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution model is unacceptable because rather than fight invading persons, the low-class people revolted against those of higher ranking in the efforts to change social patterns. Consequently, instead of a war for independence, the Haitian Revolution was a slave uprising refuting the supremacy of the free and privileged racial groups in the region. Haiti held many slaves, mistreated by their masters who handled them as one would their property. The worst conditions, in which the slaves lived, encompassed hard and cruel labor on the sugar plantations that reduced them to pitiful states. In addition, none of the slaves had the chance to have families because most of them died after disembarking from the slave trade ships (Crash Course Haiti, 2mins). Nonetheless, Ninety percent of the total population in Haiti encompassed black slaves while the remaining ten percent covered absent plantation owners, and discontent persons denied proper rights in the governance. Expectedly, being a France colony, the beginning of the French Revolution that saw low-class citizens fight the monarch, and the aristocrats, inspired the slave upheaval significantly. Foremost, when the French Revolution commenced, the command over Haiti slackened and in the process, allowed the slaves to organize themselves and fight their masters (Crash Course Haiti, 4mins). Next, one can view the French Revolution as a model and the slaves’ uprising as an adoption of the same. After all, France’s “impetus for the terror came from below from people who had suffered under the old regime”, particularly the slaves and the impoverished people (Harman 294). With that in mind, the Haitian Revolution model is unacceptable to Latin Americans because the slaves living in the latter country were incapable of fighting the stronger races.
The nation-building model will outrightly be unacceptable to Latin Americans because of the mere fact that it depended on paid labor and unity. In other words, the civil wars in Latin America prevented any form of harmony for the coexistence of the people, and the idea of paying inferior blacks for labor was absurd. In fact, because of their high affinity to civil wars, it is possible that talks of slave emancipation would have further divided the regions.
However, the primary cause behind the unacceptability of the Haitian Revolution emerges from the peoples’ observations of a “rigid hierarchy” that supported the slavery institution (Crash Course Haiti, 8mins). Thus, the race of an individual warranted them a place in a particular category, restricting them from climbing the social ladder to a higher position. Consequently, the idea of ex-slaves occupying government positions or earning money for their labor was illogical, a fact that renders the Haiti government absurd to Latin America.
The Mexican Independence Struggle
The Mexican Independence Struggle saw the natives take up arms against the colonizing Spanish Crown to end their rule within their borders. However, the Mexican Independence Struggle sought to expel outside ruling but did not necessarily aim at interfering with the social order within the country. A good illustration is apparent in the fact that the leaders of the struggle were priests of the Catholic Church with whom the people dealt with the utmost respect (Bulliet, 651). Evidently, the Mexican community approved the existing social standards including the leadership and only sought to remove the Spaniards from their midst and practice self-governance. Latin Americans could not utilize the Mexican Independence Struggle as a model in their revolution because Mexico based its ideologies on the church, an institution that united its entire people efficiently. Contrary to the Mexicans’ chain of command, Latin Americans did not have unanimity and fell prey to the whims of their colonial masters. In his letter, Bolivar states, “at present the contrary attitude persists” to show that the ideologies of his people on their independence differ, and the Spaniards are to blame (par 1). Hence, Mexico’s methods for statehood would be impossible to use on Latin Americans.
After independence, Mexico struggled to achieve national cohesion under their autonomy. However, the years following independence outrightly showed that the revolution instigators lacked coordination and a plan for the people. When one considers the Americans and the Haitians, it is apparent that each nation knew the goals of their uprisings and was quick to implement them upon independence. On the contrary, the Mexicans found themselves facing constant changes as their leaders formed two major groups that supported contradicting political ideologies. On that note, Mexico’s politicians were either conservatives or liberals and with each group, there was a different proposal for the proper governance of the people (Mex. Ind, 4mins). For instance, while conservatives repelled changes in the society and encouraged the preservation of the methods implemented by the Spaniards, Liberals sought to bring about the system used by Americans. In other words, there was a division in Independent Mexico and instead of joining forces to rebuild their nation; the people waged more wars against each other. The situation in Mexico and that in Latin America are identical making the model acceptable to the latter.
Evidently, with the factors that encouraged the fight for Mexico’s independence and the situation that followed the success of their revolts against Spanish forces, the model will be both acceptable and unacceptable to Latin Americans. From the fact that the people failed to govern themselves after gaining sovereignty to the emergence of civil wars that undermined the competence of the Mexicans, nation building was a failure. Latin Americans continued the wars after their independence and Mexico duplicated their actions.
Bicentenario México. Mexican Independence. Bicentenario México 2010. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 2 Sep. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
Bolívar, Simón. A Letter by Simon Bolivar. Trans. Lewis Bertrand. New York: The Colonial Press Inc., 1951. Print.
Crash Course. Haitian Revolutions: Crash Course World History #30. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
---. The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
---. War and Nation Building in Latin America: Crash Course World History 225. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
---. Who Won the American Revolution?: Crash Course US History #7. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
Harman, Chris. A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium. New York: Verso Books, 2008. Print.
Richard Bulliet, Pamela Crossley, Daniel Headrick, Steven Hirsch, Lyman Johnson. The Earth and Its People: A Global History. 3rd. Vol. I. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2006. Print.
Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper Perennial, 2005. Printer.
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