This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, and the frontier were tremendously strong forces in influencing the American Revolution. Acting in concert, these forces made a Revolution inevitable. The Enlightenment directly influenced revolutionary thoughts. Ideas of natural rights, sensibility, and equality stemmed from enlightened thought. The Great Awakening and religious revivals of the mid-eighteenth century brought hope and salvation to the commoner. This evangelical style religion upset the formal churches and institutions and undermined existing church authority. The frontier offered vast, seemingly unlimited resources, a chance for adventurous Americans to survive often harsh journeys and developed a character that is uniquely American. The forces of the Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, and the frontier acted in concert to produce an environment in which Revolution was imminent.
The mere mention of the American Revolution to most conjures up romantic images that are taught in American schools from grade school to college. Who can forget Patrick Henry's 'Give me Liberty or give me death' speech? Or, King George III of Britain being portrayed as a tyrant of German descent who could barely speak the language of the empire over which he ruled? Indeed, the Revolution raises memories of America's first recorded experiences with martyrdom and rebellion. Textbooks are alive with Crispus Attucks' death at the Boston massacre and therefore being the first martyr of the Revolution. There exist well-documented accounts of the Sons of Liberty dressed up as Indians, in 1773, dumping tea into the Boston harbor in what all Americans know as the Boston Tea party. This is one of the earliest and most well-known American rebellions. Other images include the anonymity of the fellow who started the War for Independence at Lexington. 'The shot heard around the world' symbolizes the absolute end of colonial patience for Britain, and more importantly, the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Standing beside these broad images are the figures and personalities of the Revolution.