The American Revolution is also said to be the U.S. War of Independence and the American Revolutionary War. The conflict in the war arose because of the growing tensions between the colonial government and residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies who were the representatives of the British crown.
The conflicts between the colonial soldiers in Lexington and Concord as well as the British troops triggered the armed conflict that grew into a full-scale war in no time. In 1778, France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists that turned a civil war into an international conflict.
In 1779, the Americans had effectively won their independence after French assistance helped the Continental Army force which forced the British to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, though fighting would not formally end until 1783.
The causes are as follows:
- The Colonial Policy of England: In economic matters, the primary cause of resentment in the American colonies was the colonial policy of England. The policies of England did not motivate the American colonies to develop an economy of their own. Certain products, such as sugar, cotton, and tobacco, could be exported only to England since the English Parliament had refused them to use non-British ships in their trade.
- Debt Burden of England: The English government was burdened with debt due to the continuous wars in Europe. In 1765, the English Parliament passed the Stamp Act which stated that the stamp taxes would be imposed on all business transactions in the American colonies. The legal documents as well as other such papers had to contain the revenue stamps up to 20 shillings.
- Inspiration by the Philosophers: The ideas of the English philosophers of the 17th century inspired the American revolutionaries. Some philosophers such as – Locke, Harrington, Milton kept a belief that man enjoyed certain fundamental rights which no government had the right to infringe. The saying and writings of French philosophers at that time also inspired the American thinkers, especially Thomas Jefferson.
There are certain successive events that led up to the Revolutionary war. In 1775, for more than a decade before the outbreak of the American Revolution, tensions had been building between the British authorities and between the colonists.
The attempts that the British government made to tax the colonies incited protest from the native people who were already against the fact that they were not given adequate representation in the Parliament.
The resistance of the colonials led to violence in 1770, the time when British soldiers opened fire on a mob of colonists in which five men were killed, which came to be known as the Boston massacre.
After December 1773, an angered Parliament passed a series of measures that were designed to reassert imperial authority in Massachusetts when a band of Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
In September 1774, in order to give voice to their grievances against the British crown, a group of colonial delegates which included John and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, John Jay of New York, George Washington of Virginia, and Patrick Henry of Virginia, met in Philadelphia.
As to demand independence from Britain, the First Continental Congress did not go so far but it condemned taxation without representation, also the maintenance of the British army in the colonies without their permission, and also issued a declaration of the rights due to every citizen including liberty, assembly, life, property, and trial by jury.
Again, in May 1775, the Continental Congress voted to meet in order to consider further action, but by then violence had already broken out. Local militiamen clashed with British soldiers in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, on April 19, marking the first shots fired in the Revolutionary war.
There were stages of war fought at Saratoga and then in the northern and the southern parts. By the year 1781 to 1783, the revolutionary war drew towards a close. The movement led to a triumph at Yorktown.
There the contemporary observers did not see the victory as a decisive one. Later, the British and the American negotiators signed a preliminary peace agreement in Paris and then Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
After America gained independence, the American states too sorted out their differences and then went out to draft a new Constitution. The newly drafted Constitution was signed by 55 people.
And it came into force on June 21, 1788. America, thus, became a democratic country that adopted the federal system of governance. This federal system saw a clean line between different sections of the government and thus separation of powers could be clearly seen.
This new Constitution provides several rights to the Americans. Till now, people were living under the dominance of a foreign power but now they were living on their own will, under their own governance, and with rights and liberties of their own.
These rights provided were freedom of speech, religion, press, and the right to get justice. This new Constitution guaranteed the citizens, the security of life, property, and freedom in every matter, but with certain exceptions. George Washington was elected as the first president of independent America.
At the advent of the war, each of the 13 colonies in North America, had their own army and their own finances as well as customs duties. Now, after the signing of the Philadelphia convention, all these 13 colonies became one and combined as one United States.
Initially, they had together fought against a common enemy and that had helped them to live in unity now. A Republican government was established in America at a time when the entire world was under the rule of monarchies. The federal constitution separated powers between the Centre and the State governments.
A Declaration of Independence was signed. This declaration was written by Jefferson who later, along with his followers, demanded the addition of a Bill of Rights to this declaration. This was done through 10 amendments to the American constitution which promised certain rights to the people.
The separation of powers was practiced by the Americans so as to prevent any one branch of the government- executive, legislature, and judiciary, from interfering with the working of the other branch. It was done so that each branch is independently able to exercise its powers.
Therefore, this was all one needs to know regarding the American war of Independence or the American Revolution in order to get effective assignment help or help in homework in History.
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