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1975 Dbq

Essay by review  •  February 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  837 Words (4 Pages)  •  917 Views

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The end of the Revolutionary War brought about many changes in America. The abandonment of the colonizers by the British government left them with many new dilemmas. They had to basically start new societies from scratch. They had to figure out what type of governing system they would have, and what kind of society they would become. According to the information presented in historical documents about Wethersfield, Connecticut, as well as my own outside knowledge, American society became more democratic from the 1750's to 1780's in terms of property distribution, social structure, politics, and religion. Social distinctions between classes of people throughout America in general decreased, and in Wethersfield people had more equal rights.

Before the war, there were distinct social classes between people in American society. However, after America gained its independence and the Constitution was written declaring that all people were equal, the social distinctions started to decrease considerably. This could be seen in various different areas. For example, upper class people started wearing homespun clothing like average people, rather than expensive clothes. This made poor people feel better about themselves, and also made the Americans more independent in that they didn't need to depend so much on importing expensive British cloth for their clothing. Effects of democracy could also be seen in the army. The gentry would show respect to ordinary people, and some officers would even go out of their way and do some labor to show that they felt no superiority toward their troops.

In Wethersfield, Connecticut, many examples can be seen of how society was becoming more democratized. For example, regarding the case of property distribution. It can be determined from Document B that the property value of white men from 1756 to 1773 went down. From this we can infer that more land probably went to black people. This was definitely a step towards democracy, as before the notion of blacks owning land was unthinkable. Now, with the concept that everyone was equal, egalitarianism was being put into effect.

There was also more democracy in the social structures of Wethersfield. From 1756 to 1774, the number of free blacks increased, and the number of slaves decreased (Document A). This means that the slaveowners were beginning to view the blacks as actual people, and possibly even as equals rather than inferiors. The community in general seemed to be more united, and the authoritative figures began to actually take into consideration the views of the public. For example, nobody liked the stamp collector, Jared Ingersoll. The community had a meeting in which he was basically forced to resign, the reason being that no one in the community agreed with his cause or wanted him for the job (Document L). It also seems that people were more compromising and cooperative. In a meeting of the Company of Volunteers before the Battle

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