Republican Ideology and the American

The republican ideology is a facet of the social
fabric of the colonial citizens of America that may, arguably,
have had the greatest affect on the struggle for independence
and the formation of a constitutional form of government in
the United States. The birth of the republican ideology, while
impossible to place an exact date on, or even month, can be
traced back more than a decade before the Revolutionary
War. It can also be argued that this social machine began to
function as a result of circumstances which led many colonist
to choose to come to America. The uniformity of this
ideology, however, would change and modify itself as
circumstances warranted in the period between 1760 and
1800. It is first necessary to understand the exact reasons
why the ancestors of the American revolutionaries chose to
live in America, as opposed to staying in England, where a
healthy and prosperous life was a much greater possibility.
America was, in the eyes of its first English settlers, an open
book with no writing on the pages. It was the foundation of a
building that had not yet been built. Many felt that it was up
to them to shape the way this new land would function, as
opposed to the way Parliament or the King felt it should.
The memories of these early pioneering settlers were a
common theme for American revolutionaries before the
Revolutionary War. These early settlers were the creators of
the foundation to the building the revolutionaries would finish.
Another common theme which drove the revolutionary
ideology was the knowledge not only of the monumental
significance of the job to be undertaken, but also the impact
a free democracy on a scale as large as America would have
on future generations of Americans who, certainly, would not
take their freedom for granted. The ideology held by most
American revolutionaries was one in which they knew their
sacrifices would be acknowledged and appreciated by future
generations of Americans. There was also the knowledge
that America would serve as an example to God and the rest
of the world of what the advantages of a free society could
be. Religion also played an important role in the
establishment of this ideology. God, in the eyes of the earliest
revolutionaries, was on the side of liberty. There was
religious justification for actions undertaken by both England
and America. The English stated that rebellion was a sin,
while the Americans stated that the corruption of England, as
well as its intolerance of liberty to the point of warfare, was
also a sin. War, from the religious perspective of the
revolutionary in America before the outbreak of war with
England, was seen as a necessary evil. God could permit
war as a means of escaping tyranny, such as that which
England was symbolic of. God was, in the eyes of the pre
Revolutionary War revolutionaries, without question on the
side of liberty and personal freedom. The suffering of
Americans under the tyrannical hand of English government
was much the same as the suffering undertaken by Jesus at
the cross. He suffered for all the sinful people of the world.
He died for our sins. The revolutionaries felt much the same
way about any suffering that may be incurred throughout the
war. They felt that it would be looked back upon as a
sacrifice that they made for the success of future generations
of Americans. On an even larger scale, it would also be
looked upon as a sacrifice for liberty and freedom in all
countries around the world who suffered under the sinful
hand of oppression. The revolutionaries also had their own
ideas about independence as well. To them independence
was a necessity. It was absolutely key to any further
advancement towards their ultimate goal of freedom to enjoy
personal liberties. How exactly independence was physically
achieved was not as important as the fact that it had already,
and would always be, achieved in the minds of Americans.
Their thoughts and actions were already that of an
independent people regardless of whether or not England
still had legal domain over them. Independence was a
essential aspect of self-preservation which, according to the
revolutionaries, was their objective. Their motive was not an
act of active rebellion against authority as much as it was one
of self-preservation. As the Revolutionary War continued to
wage on longer than had been expected by many
revolutionaries, it became clear that some sacrifices, or
modifications of this ideology would have to be made. One
of the first clear examples of this can be seen with the
formation of the Continental Army. An army went directly
against the revolutionary ideology in