American Revolutionary Revolution of Revolutions
For more than a decade, tensions between the Colonist and British had been building up.
Many attempts by the British to raise revenue was met with bitter protests and rebellion among the colonists, who believed that Parliament lacked representation. It was not until the skirmish in Lexington and Concord in 1775 which marked the beginning of the armed conflict. The French and Indian War in 1756 had put England in a huge debt. Parliament and its King believed it was just to tax the Colonist. The first major law passed was the Line of Proclamation in 1763. This sent waves of anger through the colonies as it restricted anyone from settling west, past the Appalachian Mountains.
In the following years, parliament will pass the sugar and stamp Act. In 1764, a former law will have expired, and was replaced with the Sugar Act. It was a tax on foreign molasses(six pence) and made it arduous for sellers to make a profit. However, because this law also imposed taxes on sugar, wine, and pimiento, the rum industry began to decline. It also began to reduce the markets to which colonies could sell to which infuriated many in the New England Colonies. The next year, in 1765 the Stamp Act was passed, which placed a tax on everything that was printed.
This law caused many to rebel as it affected the lives of daily people. This was Britain’s first attempt to “assert governmental authority over the colonies”(ushistory.org). By this time, Britain’s debt had shot up from 72 million to 129 million euros. This act aroused vehement resistance.
The Stamp Act Congress was created to help petition. In 1766, Parliament repealed it, due to growing resistance, in fear that the population would soon rebel. The Boston Massacre occurred in March 1770, in which British army soldiers killed several people while being attacked by a mob. American Patriots led by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere wanted to encourage a rebellion against the British army. British troops were already stationed in Boston since 1768. The Tea Act was passed in 1773 and was a parliament of Great Britain.
The purpose was to reduce the amount of tea held by the British East India Company and help it’s business survive. Another objective was to cut the price of illegal tea that was smuggled into the Britain’s North American Colonies. Years later Thomas Hutchinson allowed ships carrying tea to enter the Boston Harbor. On December 16, 1773 the people of Boston were protesting British parliaments tax on tea. The people were disguised as native americans and “stormed the ships and tossed 342 chests of tea into the water”(ushistory.org).
This event was known as the Boston Tea Party and escalated into the American Revolution. The significance of The Boston Tea Party was the citizens of Massachusetts taking of a stand and rebelling against the parliament’s right of taxation. This will always be an important event in American history because it promotes protesting other social movements as well as being one of the key events of starting the war. In September of 1774, fifty-five representatives from twelve colonies, no representatives from Georgia,met in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress where they discussed a Declaration of Rights, and an organized group of colonial soldiers, minutemen, who would be ready to resist British attack. They planned to meet again but before they could, British general Thomas Gage was ordered to arrest Patriot leaders and capture weapons that Patriots held in Concord.
On April 18, 1775, seven hundred British Soldiers make their way to Concord. Colonial alarm riders, including Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott, rode to Lexington and Concord to warn the colonists and make sure the minutemen were prepared for battle. On the way to Concord, the british soldiers were met by only seventy minutemen. The colonists were stalling but a shot was fired, which is known as “the shot heard around the world” and the beginning of the American Revolution. Shots were traded and in the end eight minutemen died, several were hurt, while the British had zero casualties and only one hurt in the Battle of Lexington.
They marched past and came to an abandoned Concord. However, the British accidentally catch a house on fire so the townsmen come back, surrounding the british. They fight in what is known as the Battle of Concord where the British sustain 273 casualties and the colonists 93. The British then leave Concord. On May 10, 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress was held, led by John Hancock, where George Washington was chosen as General to command the army.
The first major battle of the revolution was the Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston. On June 17, 1775, 1400 colonist stood ready on Breed’s Hill for the 2200 British soldiers. The colonists had the height advantage, but the British had the harbour, warships, and much more supplies. The colonists successfully shoot down two waves of soldiers, but they ran out of ammo and are forced to run away. The British won, but Parliament was shown that this war was not going to be quick and easy. They lost 226 soldiers, while the colonists lost 140.
One month later the 2nd Continental Congress attempt at compromise. They sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George III pleading to end hostilities, but it failed. They then had the Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms which blamed England for starting hostilities, made it clear they did not want independence (at this point in time the 2nd Continental Congress did not call for independence yet), and that they will not stop defending themselves until Britain stops attacking. The king was angered by this and wanted war. In January of 1776, Thomas Paine releases his book Common Sense which spreads around the colonies. Paine uses simple diction so all the colonists could understand.
He states how in 1607 they needed England, but the colonies did not need England anymore. He openly criticizes the king and talks about independence. This book got the conversation of independence started all throughout the colonies. On July 2,1776, the 2nd Continental Congress votes for independence and on August 2nd, the Declaration of Independence is signed. Only one-fifth of the population remained loyal to Britain, four-fifths supported the war.
At the end of 1775, Britain states that they hired Hessians, German mercenaries, to help stop the rebellion. This scared the colonists, but also showed that England was scared. On December 26, 1776, George Washington splits his 2700 men army in two and approached Hessian and British defense in Trenton, New Jersey. The Battle of Trenton was a major victory for the colonists because they only suffered 4 casualties and captured 906 enemies. A huge turning point in the war was the Battle of Saratoga.
On October 17, 1777, Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold led 6600 troops against the same amount of enemies and are able to capture 5900. America seeked international aid from France during the course of the war andthis Battle was so important because it proved to France that they can win. Benjamin Franklin convinced France to become allies. On February 6, 1778, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed, which acknowledged America as an actual country and that France and America are trade partners. The Treaty of Alliance was also signed which stated that France would fight by the colonist’s side until the war was over. The Battle of Yorktown was a decisive victory for the American and French forces, and was the last major battle of the American Revolution.
8800 American and 7800 French Soldiers siege on 7200 British troops in Virginia in September of 1781. The fighting went on until October 19th when the French and American forces forced General Cornwallis and his troops to the Yorktown Peninsula in Chesapeake Bay. The British troops built a fort and waited for British ships to rescue them, the ships never came. Charles Cornwallis was forced to surrender ,which resulted in a negotiation to end the American Revolution. On September 3,1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed.
This treaty ended the revolutionary war and recognized American independence. Now that the war was over the leaders for the colonist’s side had to begin to build their newly formed country. The current temporary government was in debt because it didn’t have any power to tax citizens which left the America in a difficult situation because they would be forced to write up a document so they could tax then face backlash from taxing like british..Also a big issue was the discussion of slavery.
Some northerners felt slavery should be removed but due to the pressure of the south and their need to have slaves it was legal in order to ratify the constitution. Although they could tax many soldiers were demanded the money from fighting in the war. The american government was very weak at this time and at times had no control or power of what the states where doing. Many people believed that the state’s government should be stronger than the central government. This debate would continue on for years after because many believed if the central government collapses so will all the states. The treatment for soldiers and veterans at this time was bad, many got cheated out of money and blacks were treated even worse.
Blacks that fought in the war received no recognition and some were put right back into slavery.Although the Colonists won the war it had to be decided of what will happen to the loyalists that supported the british during the war and some that still aligned with the british. George Washington had a lot to do after the war but one thing he was sure of was staying out of the europeans business. Washington alone built the first cabinet that put intelligent people like hamilton in positions to help the country economically as well as overall power. He put Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of state, Hamilton as Secretary of treasury and Henry Knox and secretary of war.
These men helped build america from the start, beginning the United States in a positive light for the future. Despite the many social issues like racism at this time, most reforms and improvements were delayed to a future time in american history. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/stampact.html http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history Joe Garcia