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Rebellion. “An act of violent or open resistance to an established government or
ruler,” according to Google. Over the past hundred years, rebellions have been held in order
to stop laws. Many of these have resulted in being extremely violent, killing over thousands
of people. Rebellions have been a very controversial topic for the past decades. A rebellion is
justified when the government has too much control over people, it targets a minority group
of people, and the people don’t have a voice/ government doesn’t listen.
Too much control. What is too much control? When Britain still had complete control
over the colonists, they placed many laws and taxes over them. There were taxes on sugar,
molasses, tea, paper, paint, etc. The King and Parliament also created the Quartering Act and
Stamp Act which allowed soldiers to stay in the homes of the colonists and forced them to
pay taxes on newspapers, magazines, and legal documents, laws in which they had no say.
Eventually, the colonists refused to pay these taxes and started to rebel. During the Civil
Rights Movement, people of color were completely separated from the whites. This law
created a mindset which made whites think they are superior to blacks; that they were of
higher rank. This law controlled everyone’s beliefs toward people, which eventually lead to
peaceful protests. The laws from both the American Revolution and Civil Rights Movement
were created by very controlling governments.
A rebellion should be justified if it targets a specific group of people. The Whiskey
Rebellion started because of the tax on whiskey, hence the name. All alcoholic drinks were
taxed but smaller manufacturers had to pay a higher amount compared to larger businesses
($0.09 and $0.06). Then in the Civil Rights Movement, all segregation laws were aimed
towards the African Americans such as: attending different schools, drinking from separate
fountains, eating at different restaurants, not being able to marry the other race, and the list
goes on. Also, they lost the right to vote and freedom of speech… all because their skin was
darker. These two forms of rebellion were aimed at a minority group of people.
The citizens having no voice in the government and/or the government not listening
is the last reason a rebellion should be justified. This means that they don’t have a say in any
future (or current) laws. During Shays’ Rebellion, farmers’ taxes were raised without them
being able to tell their opinion, they were never asked for consent. Peaceful protests were
later on used as a tactic in the Civil Rights Movement. People boycotted buses and performed
sit ins at restaurants to protest and were often arrested for doing so. Although the
government knew about these many protests, they ignored it instead of resolving it. These
two rebellions has no consent over the laws.
Rebellions should only be justified if the government has too much power over the
citizens, if it’s intended for particular people, and if the people don’t have any opinion on the
matter/ the government doesn’t listen to the people’s opinion. For example, the Civil Rights
Movement and American Revolution are prime examples of a justified rebellion. Both
rebellions were started by an extremely controlling government that had many laws. These
laws were specified for certain people and when the people tried to voice an opinion, the
government turned it down.