PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
6.6 Significance of the American Revolution
The American Revolution helped to strengthen the idea of the ‘right of revolution’, the right of a people to overthrow an oppressive government. Thus it expressed more fully, the principles of the English revolutions of the 17th century. The whole world was deeply influenced by the establishment of a republic in America as well as by the gradual growth of democracy.
The American revolutionaries served as a source of great inspiration
to the French and others who were being oppressed by autocrats or
imperialists. The countries of the east, which were under the control
of the imperialists, regarded the Revolution as a good lesson for
them. The down trodden masses of France were inspired to revolt
against autocracy and aristocracy, barely six years after the Treaty
of Paris was signed. Thus the spirit of nationalism began to spread
with the birth of the United States of America.
The principles of freedom and democracy were upheld through slogans such as ‘No taxation without representation’ and ’Give me liberty or give me death’, which highly influenced the minds of people all over the world. The rulers of all the countries also learnt that they would not be permitted to rule, unless they changed their attitude and served the needs of the people. Thus kings attempted to improve their administration.
The framers of the American constitution gave a practical lesson to the people of the world. The people in other countries could also emulate the system of checks and balances introduced in the American constitution. The Americans abolished kingship. Instead, they elected a President, to be in office for a four-year term. The world also received the example of a written constitution. Further, another praiseworthy achievement was the separation of the church and the state.
America gave rise to great leaders such as Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton. The hero of the War of Independence, namely George Washington, was honored by being made the first President born in a farmer’s family.