In the 18th century, the colonies experienced long term economic, political, social changes that provided a foundation for the revolutionary War of 1775 – 1783, that preceded the independent Nation or what is now the United States of America. The American war of independence was an insurrection by the 13 colonies patriots to the British imperial rule; it grew as a result of the tension between residents ofÂ Great Britain’s 13 colonies and the colonial government representing the British crown.
The origin of the American War of Independence dates back to the Seven Years War between 1756 to 1763, the conflict between the British and the French over territories which ended with a British victory. The seven-year-old therefore identify bracing as the most dominant European country in the world as it gained vast tracts of land in the process. With such reputation Britain tried to increase its control of its American colonies in several ways like putting up Acts, the colonists began rebellion and the expense of the war had led to a new and unaware taxes which the British government attempted to raise revenue by taxing the colonies beginning with the stamp act of 1765, then the Townshend act of 1767, followed by the Tea Act of 1773 which as a result resentment was formed from the colonies as they insisted that the taxes were unfair even when they had no representative in the Parliament. An authoritative organization or political party that made policy for the colonies did not exist and so, the 13 colonies were seen as independent entities with their own governor or legislative assembly. The allegiance of the members of the colonies were therefore to their own colony and relationships between other colonies were created in response to events that affected all the colonies.
The factor therefore responsible for the American War of Independence or the American revolutionary War of 1775 to 1783 goes thus;
The French Indian war
The Seven Years War between 1756 to 1763 a conflict which had the France they are French colonists in the North America and their native American allies on one side and on the other side was the Great Britain they are British colonists in North Africa and their native American and although it ended with the British win the settlers who had admiration for the British colony discovered that the British army was strong on the outside but fled for their lives during the war. This showed that the British army was not as strong as they presented themselves.
George Grenville Acts
George Grenville, the prime Minister of England introduced several acts which led to the American colonist resistance. The Cider Act which placed taxes on alcohol production, the Navigation Act in which the Americans were forbidden to export native products directly to other European countries, as the colonist ignored this act, The Act of encouragement to seize ships was imposed, the colonist engaged in long-distance trade and were entitled to pay taxes when coming in. Custom officers were appointed but delegated their works to delegates on their behalf but the Grenville ActÂ made sure the custom officers went to the colonies to perform their duties themselves. Similarly the currency act was introduced by Grenville, the new world was fed up with sending money back to Britain and printed their own currency. Grenville imposed the currency act prohibiting the currency for being used in the colony.
The Molasses Act
The Molasses Act was imposed in 1733 where the British government imposed taxes on molasses sugar and rum imported from non Britain foreign colonies in North America colonies. The act was further strengthened as each person trading molasses how to pay six pins per gallon for trading with the French. The offended settlers refused to comply which caused an economic problem. In 1764 the sugar act was imposed reducing the taxes from 6 pences to 3 pences. Later on the molasses act reduced it to 1 pence as theÂ colonies were expected to pay revenue taxes.
Works from Writers and Scholars
Several works of writers and philosophers gave the basis to the revolution of 1775-1783. Samuel Adam of Massachusetts was the most effective and influential person. He wrote newspapers, articles, made speeches and wrote letters to the politicians and influential people appealing to the colonists democratic instincts. Similarly, Thomas Paine clarifies the arguments for separation in a pamphlet called “Common sense”, this inspired the American to raise their voices against the British Government.
The Great Awakenings
Religion was the basic factor in which the 13 colonies were formed and so the great Awakening what’s the religious movement and the 1730 to 1740 where the circular saw that the British disregarded religion which they have early been used as a foundation for the colonies to exist, the British committed adultery on the Sabbath day which was considered to be a holy day. This led to a strong resistance by The American colonist as implied that all they’ve been told by the British were lies.
The Stamp Act of 1765
In order to regain the debts they had acquired during the war, the British Parliament imposed taxes on the thirteen colonies. It was of the opinion that having protected the colonies from the Indians at the expense of their economy. It was the colony’s job to get back the finance spent. The stamp act was introduced in March 1765 and it required that colonies buy and place revenue stamps on all official legal documents such as Deeds, Newspaper, Pamphlets, Playing cards etc. Members of The colony are expected to apply a stamp which they are to obtain from Britain. The stamp act meant that taxes or money would be paid to Britain to acquire the stamp and be able to sell or distribute printed materials. This brought about resistance and resentments among the colonies as they were not only to buy from Britain but to now pay for what they have bought and they refused to be taxed without being represented in parliament and in 1976, it was repealed.
The Townshend Acts of 1767
The Townshend Act was created by Charles Townshend, a British chancellor of the Exchequer whom the Act was named after in JuneJuly 1767. He was stated to be indeed loyal to the British crown and found the reaction of the colonies of the New world as being very offensive and therefore assumed office with the intention of punishing them.The Townshend Act placed tariffs on colonial imports of lead, glass, paint, paper, and tea. And also specified that the revenue was to be used not only to support British troops in America but also to provide salaries for royal officials who would collect taxes. Through this Act, there was the inauguration of a board of custom officers to deal with cases of smuggling and collect custom duty fee and imposed a judicial system used to sue those who engage in smuggling and refuse to court duty, mostly in Boston and Coastal Areas. It was considered inappropriate as they were living under a law and trailed with another law from Britain, because of the violent reaction of the people of the new world, the British Parliament revoked all Townshend Acts.
The Boston Massacre
The people of the new world believe that it was their representative in the parliament thatÂ was to issue taxes to them but since they had no representatives there was no tax to issue and so the imposition of this taxes on the colonists led to a mob revolt against the British government in 1770 known as the Boston Massacre. It was also stated that this conflict may have been instigated by an apprentice wig maker confronting a British soldier which led to the gathering of about 200 colonists surrounding 7 British troops. One of the Protesters knocked down a British soldier as they insisted on provoking the British troops who became agitated and shot in the crowd, leaving three dead including an African American sailor and two others injured.The Boston massacre therefore became a useful propaganda tool for the colonists to acquire their freedom.
The Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act of 1773 was one of the different measures imposed on the colonies by Lord North on behalf of the British Government. Unlike other Acts, the Tea Act was not created to raise revenues from the colonies but rather to bail out the declining East India Company which was owned by the British and a key actor in the British economy. The British government granted the company the freedom on the importation and exportation (Sales) of Tea in the colonies. Lord North for an example who was a minister was more concerned in helping his friends as they all benefited from the Tea trade. The American colonists opposed it as it would mean that Merchants from the colonies who had sales with the Dutch would lose this valuable trade as they were not allowed to Import or sell Tea for free and the company planned to sell tea only through its agent. Such events led to what is referred to as the Boston Tea Party. A shipment of Tea arrived in Boston Harbour, a radical group known as the Sons of liberty who disguised themselves as Mohawks(Red Indians), boarded three ships and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of British Tea by dumping them in the sea. Out of anger, Lord North passed the Boston Port Act in 1774 and the port was closed.Â
The Coercive Acts
Thomas Jefferson of Boston encouraged his people to pay for the tea lost in the sea and his people refused. As punishment and an attempt to tame the colonists for the Boston Tea Party, the British government passed the Coercive Act which closed Boston Harbor until payment was made for the chest of tea that was destroyed. The Coercive Act also led to the replacement of the colony’s once appointed council with ones appointed by the British government including British military governor, General Thomas who gained a lot of power and forbade gathering in colonies which led to The Quartering Act, which allowed British military officials to demand accommodations for their troops in unoccupied houses and buildings in towns, rather than having to stay out in the countryside. Such Acts led the the First continental congress of 1774.
The Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress comprised of delegates from the colonies who met in 1774 in reaction to the Coercive Act imposed by the British government. The Delegate’s meeting in secret session, the body rejected a plan for reconciling British authority with colonial freedom. The Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775 preceding the First Continental Congress in 1774. George Washington was appointed as commander of the continental army during the second congress and on July the 4th 1776 the Congress issued the declaration of Independence which was the first time the colonies intended to gain Independence for the colonies.
Battle of Lexington and Concord
British General Thomas Gage led a force of British soldiers from Boston to Lexington, where he planned to capture colonial radical leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock, and then head to Concord and seize their gunpowder. The British force was confronted by 77 American militiamen in Lexington and they began shooting at each other. Seven Americans died, but other militiamen managed to stop the British at Concord, and continued to harass them on their retreat back to Boston. Both the colonist and the British troops encounter losses and this was the start of America’s war of independence.
In conclusion, due to the high rate of violence between the American colonist and the British troops and the strong agitation of this Colonists towards the Act set up by the British government, the American Revolutionary war began in 1775 and 1783. This war independence led to the Americans freedom from their mother country, it also inspired countries like Ireland to gain their independence, emphasized on the Declaration of Human Rights by Thomas Jefferson then the Treaty of Paris or Versailles which lead to what we know as The United States of America.