Jeremy Keeshin Document Based Question How the American Revolution Altered American Society The American Revolution

had an extensive impact on the American culture. It affected all facets of life and completely reshaped society. A large transfer of passionate ideas helped change the previous customs of the United States. In the political realm, a new constitution was formed which led to the establishment of a centralized democratic government. Socially, individuals and groups worked for more rights, especially women, slaves and religious factions. Economically, a mechanism for defeating the debt balanced with the strong agrarian base helped a slow, but steady economic improvement. The political, social, and economic components of the overall American public were affected drastically as to start a country so unlike any before it. The political effects of the Revolution were extremely far-reaching. Internal and external relations were constantly under guard. Washington was an advocate of remaining neutral in the disputes of other countries and groups, but the advice of his Farewell Address was not heeded. As the Speech at the Confederate Council of 1786 states, the Indians felt that they were cheated off friendly relations. Commerce between Britain, France, and the States was under continuous scrutiny after the Genet incident. Later the XYZ Affair only added to the list of foreign policy difficulties. The Revolution changed the government and sparked the creation of a Constitution and resulting political factions and squabbles. A government needed to be made to balance opposing forces as James Madison’s essay The Federalist number 51 detailed. These “counteracting ambitions” resulted in the vehement Federalist and Republican parties and their inherent contrasting perspectives. With this the battle between government and states rights was also started. After the freedom from the rule of England, the Americans had to decide what the new laws of the land would be. The Pennsylvania Packet from 1779 demonstrated the hatred of England the urgent need to preserve the recently obtained independence. The social culture of the United States was greatly affected as well. The woodcut of the patriot woman with the gun demonstrated how women had an increasingly larger role in society. It shows the transformation of women’s rights. Women such as Abigail Adams and Lucy Knox spoke their opinions for the advancement of women. The address by Molly Wallace is another prime example of how women were making an effort to change the implanted social boundaries. This was also the case with slavery. The 1787 Ordinance stated that slavery would be prohibited in the Northwest Territory. Finally these self-evident truths from the Declaration of Independence about the equality for all were starting to become that. Religious freedom was encouraged even more as the Statues at Large of Virginia stated. The American society was truly changing. Even the economy saw radical changes. The influence of Alexander Hamilton on the economy was massive. Being the Secretary of the Treasury he published reports to better the financial system His first Report on the Public Credit had the idea for the national government to assume the state debts. His second report on a national bank and third on the manufacturers all were part of his larger economic idea of a centralized, stable and self-sufficient industrial system. However, there was still the strong opposition coming from his nemesis Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson promoted the agrarian ideology. The Medal of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture is a

Jeremy Keeshin demonstration that the importance of the rural economy still existed amongst this pressure for a manufacturing based one. It is these ubiquitous complementary forces that are set into place to create and constantly alter the American society. The American Revolution set the wheel of the United States in motion, and its political, social, and economical spokes are still spinning.