The Whig's Struggle For Liberty In Colonial America

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The search for liberty in colonial America led to the development of the Whig ideology, who believed that concentrated power, especially that of England, would lead to tyranny and corruption. Their addition of concern to the traditional American belief furthered the colonials from the British as they focused on a society driven by the “people”. From the point of view of the Whig party, “The best defenses against concentrated power were balanced government, elected legislatures adept at checking executive authority, prohibition of standing armies (almost always controlled by tyrannical monarchs), and vigilance by the people in watching their leaders for signs of corruption” (Nash 68) The Whigs hoped to change the monarchical system of England…show more content…
Wood writes, “According to the idea of virtual representation, people were represented in England not by the process of election… but by the mutual interests that members of Parliament were presumed to share with...the colonists, who did not actually vote for them. [The Americans] challenged the idea of virtual representation with what they called ‘actual’ representation.” (Wood 75) The Whigs opposed the British concept of “virtual representation” because it denied them the right to vote for a representative and gave the British government even more corrupting power over them. By circulating the notion that this act of “virtual representation”, directed by British authority, restricted liberties and freedom, the Whigs drove the concerned colonist away British rule. Moreover, Wood argues, “According to the classical [Whiggish] tradition, man was by nature a political being, a citizen who achieved his greatest moral fulfillment by participating in a self governing republic… This virtue could be found only in a republic of equal, active, and independent citizens.” (Wood 85) In order for the Whigs to fully achieve their desires, they needed to participate in an uncorrupted, self governing republic; something Britain severely

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