One of the most important events in the history of the United States is the American Revolution, which is regarded as more important in the country development that ideas, trends, and actions. The significance of the American Revolution in the nation’s history and development is highlighted in the fact that it was one of the seminal instances of the Enlightenment. During this period, the political philosophy of the Enlightenment was established and utilized in creating an entirely new country that has developed to become the world’s super power. However, the American Revolution was fueled by a series of several major events and incidents brought by various factors including rebellion by the American colonies and Declaration of Independence.
Overview of the American Revolution
As previously mentioned, the American Revolution is one of the most important and remarkable events in the country’s history given its role in the birth of the United States. As the first modern revolution, the American Revolution was characterized by revolt against British trade regulations and taxes. This was the first time in the nation’s history that people fought for their independence on the premise of certain universal principles like constitutional rights, rule of law, and sovereignty of the people.[footnoteRef:2] Consequently, the American Revolution is commonly known as the United States War of Independence because of the struggles for autonomy and sovereignty from Great Britain. [2: “Overview of the American Revolution,” Digital History — University of Houston, accessed November 30, 2015, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm?eraID=3]
Prior to the American Revolution in 1775, there had been growing tensions between colonists and the British authorities, which developed for more than a decade. For instance, efforts by the British authorities to increase revenue through taxing American colonies generated heated protests among many American colonies that were reflected in increased revolt and resentment. Following a series of attempts and fights against the British, the American Revolution, which contributed to the birth of this new country, culminated in the Declaration of Independence. This was followed by a series of events and incidents that pitted proponents and opponents of independence. The American Revolution came to an end after eight years of fighting and struggles between American colonists and British authorities in 1779 following separate peace treaties that were signed between Britain and France and Britain and Spain. The signing of the peace treaties with these countries was because France and Spain has entered the conflict or war.
Events Leading to the American Revolution
As evident in the brief overview, the American Revolution was largely caused by a series of events that contributed to the fight for independence from the British, which lasted for eight years. Some of the major events that caused the American Revolution include
French and Indian War
The first major event that led to the American Revolution was French and Indian War, which is the root cause of initial issues that caused conflicts between American colonists and British authorities. Actually, the original issues and conflicts between these two can be traced back to the Anglo-French conflict during the 18th Century, which is commonly referred to as the French and Indian War. This war started when George Washington, a young British officer, marched an English Army to Pennsylvania in order to remove the French from what was regarded as British land. As Washington and the English Army encountered a French scouting group, several days of war ensued before Washington and his team were forced to retreat. The fighting between these two nations continued for nine years and ended in victory for the British, which changed the nature of relations between the British authorities and American colonies. The Native Americans who helped the British win the war received bad treatment from the British who issued the Proclamation of 1763, which angered them. Native Americans resented against the British since they felt Britain had no right to instruct them where and when to settle.
Attempts to Increase Taxation of the American Colonies
The second major event that fueled America’s war of independence, which is commonly known as the American Revolution, is attempts by the British authorities to increase taxation of the American colonies. Before the outbreak of this war in 1775, tensions had been developing between American colonies and British authorities.[footnoteRef:3] These attempts by British authorities to raise taxes were met with widespread protests among several American colonists. In these protects, colonists resented their poor representation in Parliament and advocated for similar rights as other British subjects. British authorities responded to these protests using violence as their soldiers killed several mobs of colonists. As more and more Americans read, conferred, and reasoned on this issue, they became more convinced of their rights, especially the right to exclusive or independence disposal of their property. The strong conviction was also extended to the right to refuse and resist parliamentary taxation imposed by the ruling British authorities and government. Actually, many colonists were convinced that Britain was developing a plan to bring them into a snare, which would require noble resistance for them to obtain their freedom from probable slavery. The colonists protested because of the belief that failure to do so would imply that they will never have an opportunity to fight for their freedom from the ruling British authorities and government. Some of the increased taxation measures that irked many colonists and contributed to the violence include the 1764 Sugar Act, the 1765 Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, Declaratory Act, and Townshend Acts[footnoteRef:4]. [3: “American Revolution History,” A & E Television Networks, LLC, accessed November 30, 2015, http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history] [4: Jedidiah Morse, Annals of the American Revolution: or a Record of the Causes and Events which Produced and Terminated in the Establishment and Independence of the American Republic (New York, NY: Harvard College Library) 1824:28]
Boston was hardly hit by the enforcement of new taxes by the British authorities since its economy relied on shipping between Britain and American colonies. This contributed to the emergence of an increasingly volatile environment that was characterized by growing tensions between Bostonians and the British. When a Boston man started bothering some British officers, they reacted by striking him in the face, which resulted in rapid growth of a mob that forced the soldiers to retreat. However, a chaotic scene soon emerged when one British officer fired into a mob of Bostonians following provocation by the mob. By the time the mob dispersed, several Bostonians has been massacred and the responsible soldiers were ultimately acquitted. While these officers were acquitted following the support they received from John Adams, America’s second president, Parliament amended all Townshend Acts except provisions regarding tea.
Three years after the Boston massacre, the other significance event that led to the American Revolution is the emergence of the tea party. This was largely fueled by the decision by the Parliament to amend all provisions of the Townshend Act except those relating to tea. Through this decision and actions, Parliament had essentially interfered with United States trade since the failure to amend provisions relating to tea culminated in giving the British East India Company the domination and control of teat trade throughout the country and across the region. This decision to give the British East India Company the monopoly of tea business in the country was part of an impolitic scheme that was developed between the British ministry and East India Company. The parliament of Great Britain enacted regulations in 1773 that enabled East India Company to take charge of tea exportation and business in North America. As part of the resolution between the company and the British government, the firm would export 600 clefts of tea to Philadelphia, New York and Boston as well as in other areas in some of different colonies.[footnoteRef:5] This decision to give British East India Company dominance of tea trade was not received well by American colonists. The colonists responded to the decision by dumping British tea into Boston harbor after boarding a British vessel while disguised as Native Americans. The British authorities retaliated by enacting several legislative measures to punish the colonies for their actions such as Quartering Act, the Quebec Act, and the Coercive Act. [5: Benrard Hubley, The History of the American Revolution, Including the Most Important Events and Resolutions of the Honorable Continental Congress During that Period and also the Most Interesting Letters and Orders of His Excellency General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (New York, NY: The New York Public Library Reference Department) 1805:1]
The Formation of the First Continental Congress
The other significant event that contributed to the American Revolution was the formation of the First Continental Congress, which emerged following the various intolerable acts perpetrated by the British authorities. The First Continental Congress was formed at a time when American colonies were rapidly losing their capability to self-govern, which forced leaders to do something extraordinary. This Congress provided American colonists a framework to formally oppose British authorities and state that the Parliament had no right to engage in the colonies internal issues through the Declaration of Rights and Grievances sent to King George.
In conclusion, the American Revolution that lasted for eight years played a crucial role in the birth and development of the United States. This revolution was a by-product of a series of events that were fueled by the simmering tensions between American colonies and British authorities. Some of these major events resulting in the American Revolution include the French Indian War, enforcement of new taxation, Boston massacre, and the First Continental Congress.
American Revolution History. A & E Television Networks, LLC. accessed November 30, 2015.
Hubley, Benrard. The History of the American Revolution, Including the Most Important Events
and Resolutions of the Honorable Continental Congress During that Period and also the Most Interesting Letters and Orders of His Excellency General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. New York, NY: The New York Public Library Reference Department, 1805.
Morse, Jedidiah. Annals of the American Revolution: or a Record of the Causes and Events
which Produced and Terminated in the Establishment and Independence of the American Republic. New York, NY: Harvard College Library, 1824.
Overview of the American Revolution. Digital History — University of Houston. accessed
November 30, 2015. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm?eraID=3
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