Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
David J. Siemers
The American Revolution occurred when 13 mainland North American colonies split off from Great Britain. In 1776, delegations from the 13 colonies each endorsed the Declaration of Independence, a document written primarily by Virginia's Thomas Jefferson, after a series of political disputes had produced military skirmishes between British armed forces and colonial militias. These political disputes had their roots in misunderstandings about the status of colonial charters and legislatures. Those wishing to become independent aggressively argued the plausibility of their positions, relying on a number of political theorists, such as John Locke and baron de Montesquieu. Their opponents did not concede intellectual ground, but after a bitter war, the British government recognized the independence of the United States. The Revolution produced new understandings of politics and political results, which sparked debates that lasted through the 1780s, ultimately informing the ratification process. This entry examines some of the political theories that ...