The British Colonies in the New World Essay

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The British Colonies in the New World

Several historians often examine significant points in history in attempt to discover the reasons the events occurred. The aforementioned statement applies to the American Revolution as countless number of books has been written concerning the American colonies decision to declare independence from England. Woody Holton and Bernard Bailyn are two historians who have probed the subject and reached two separate decisions about the revolution. Focusing on the fears and threats the colonists felt, Bailyn identifies England as the threatening force against the colonists, while Holton gears towards those within the colonies.

Before examining the two authors’ views, exploring the terms liberty and
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Then there is power, a word that is "richly connotative" (Bailyn 56). Bailyn identifies the colonists understanding of the term as "the dominion of some men over others, the human control of human life: ultimately force, compulsion" (Bailyn 56). Power is not necessarily evil by its lonesome. However, when power is coupled with the intentions of men, it becomes evil. The connection between the terms is that liberty is a victim of power for "the aggressiveness of power was the fact that its natural prey, its necessary victim, was liberty, or law, or right" (Bailyn 57). Therefore, the two could not be intermingled. If one longed for liberty, he or she could not stand for power simultaneously for the mere existence of power negates liberty.

The concepts of power and liberty are present in both Holton’s Forced Founders and Bailyn’s Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. However, the terms are utilized in Bailyn’s book and implied in Holton’s. In regards to Bailyn’s interpretation, the colonists feared England’s want for power as it interfered with their interests. The colonists believed that England was corrupted due to individual need for power. Because of the alleged corruption, the colonists’ right to liberty were threatened for there existed a conflict of interest between the colonists and Britain. Mother England was dominate, thus if she wanted power instead of liberty, she would have
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