The 13 colonies were still under British rule before the American Revolution, but they won independence after the revolution. There were almost 4 million slaves in the United States during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and slavery was abolished after the war, all of which had profound political and social consequences. In the American Revolution, colonists rejected British rule over taxes and trade limitations and fought for their independence from the British Empire. After the enforcement of the Sugar Act of 1764 that resulted in higher taxes, the Townshend Act of 1767 further increased taxes on everyday goods and intensified tension between Great Britain and the American colonies, the Coercive Acts of 1774 were the final straw for colonists. The four acts sparked an open rebellion for independence over political and societal injustice and became the commencement of the American Revolution. At the end of the American Revolution, the Treaty of Paris ensured the colonies’ independence and with that permanently changed the future of the United States. As for the Civil War, there were two simultaneous battles for freedom, one with slaves for abolition and emancipation, and the South for independence from the Union in retaliation to conflicting beliefs on slavery. Both revolutions were fought in the name of unity in an effort for freedom and change in politics and society.
In the post-war period, Reconstruction, the ideology of Americans drastically changed. The American Revolution popularized several radical concepts of the Enlightenment about the government, liberty, and equality of people in the newly independent nation. The Revolution’s ideals of equality and freedom may not have included all segments of society at the nation’s inception; however, these Enlightenment principles planted a seed of reform that would continue to grow over the course of America’s history. This pattern resurfaced in the Civil War and Reconstruction period with the abolition movement, women’s suffrage movements, and the Civil Rights movements that instituted a monumental change in society for the United States. The enactment of the 14th and 15th Amendments declared all citizens, including African American slaves, naturalized and able to vote regardless of race, thus creating an overwhelming sense of new unity and nationalism newly in freedmen and their white supporters. After suffering from a major tragedy to gain monumental changes for the United States, citizens were urged to change their ideals and beliefs with the changing times.
Once the terms of freedoms and ideologies change, it is necessary for the politics that structure the nation to change as well. Prior to the American Revolution, the 13 colonies were governed under a Congress with no president or judiciary. Once independent, political leaders knew the structure of politics had to change with the growing nation, so at the Constitutional Conference of 1787, they decided to replace the Articles of Confederation with the U.S. Constitution. This paved the way for more monumental choices in government to be taken in the years leading up to the Civil War, such as the election of the first President of the U.S., George Washington. After the conflicts of