An eventful time in American History, full of pride, bloodshed, self-realization, and building of an independent nation. A nation that was fought for and built, creating things, the very things that make America the great country it is today. A rebellion that would change the world, in a matter of nearly a decade of unrest and hostility. The rejection of British Parliament’s authority due to taxation, rising prices of many things needed to sustain life under British rule. A prideful nation would be fought for, organized, and built with independence and freedom in mind.
“…The revolution was in the minds of the people, and in the union of colonies, both of which were accomplished before hostilities commenced” (Schlesinger). Tensions were high between the people of the thirteen colonies and the British authorities leading up to the revolution. Leading up to the cry for independence. Over half of the population were young adults. Sixty percent were under the age of 21 and many were children. This meaning many who fought the British for independence were young men.
Life in the Thirteen Colonies would change after Parliament’s first of many serious attempts as using government authority over its population. British Parliament would begin a series of attempts to control and gain revenue from the American People. The Stamp Act bill was passed on February 17, 1965 and approved by the Lords on March 8th. The king would then order in to be in effect just two weeks later. This imposed tax was both damaging to the people and opened the door to a revolt. Forcing the population to pay for Great Britain’s debt for the Seven Years’ War that had grown to 129,586,789 pounds. This debt was occurred due to the high cost of Great Britain’s troops in America. This taxation was a violation of the American people’s rights. Creating an atmosphere of hostility and rebellion. A year later British parliament repealed the stamp act. However, the Declaratory act was enacted. This act stated, “full power and authority to make laws and statues… to bind the colonies and people of America in cases whatsoever”. An act that would only fuel the fire burning among the people.
Each event leading up to the rebellion would raise the tension higher. On March 5, 1770 in Boston a volley of gunfire erupted from very unwelcomed British troops, anger and tempers would reach an all time high. A riot of about fifty citizens would erupt and an attack on a British Sentinel would conclude with 3 dead and 8 others wounded. Gunfire would silence the mob only after it was too late. Two British soldiers would be found guilty of manslaughter. Forcing the Royal governor to evacuate the troops from Boston. Boston would have yet another event that would bring unrest. In 1773, The Tea Act would be enacted. In attempt to receive tax payment, cheaper priced tea would be sold with the intent of a higher tax. The attempt at tax payment would explode, Lord North’s new tea monopoly plan would only bring more rebellion. Ships carrying tea to colonial ports would be met with threats of violence. In turn, these ships would often reroute back to their departed ports. The Boston Tea Party would be one of the major events most would remember from history lessons. Unidentifiable colonials would bombard ships in Boston Harbor Port on a cold December night. Dumping 342 chests of tea in the Boston Harbor. In rebellion these unidentifiable people, disguised as Native Americans would never be caught. Causing over three quarters of a million dollars of profit loss. These acts of rebellion were the beginning of the fight for independence and liberty.
At Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia the First Continental Congress met from September 5th to October 26th, 1774. This meeting would be to consider the options for economic boycott of British trade. The Declaration and Resolves would be agreed upon. The Articles of Association would state that Americans were being treated unfairly by being oppressed by high taxation. They prohibited import, consumption, and export of goods with England.
Eventually in 1775 the Revolutionary War would commence. With many major, bloody, and fierce battles fought for independence. A clashing battle of arms, Lexington and Concord would be the first major battle changing the “conflict from politics and social unrest to open warfare” (Hagist). From a steep hilltop the battle of Bunker Hill would stun the British troops as they were threatened from above. Ammunition would run low, hand to hand combat would be the only means of fight left. British Troops though taking many casualties would take the hill.
George Washington a war veteran himself would arrive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, becoming the highest command of the new American Army (history.org). Organization of the Army would be the key to possible victory in the War. Bunker Hill signaled an organized rebellion to the King who eventually issue a Proclamation of Rebellion. British General Howe also began organizing a plan of action of his own. ‘There are many inhabitants in every province well affected to Government, from whom no doubt we shall have assistance, (history.org)’ The British Generals plan to call for loyalists did not go as planned.
The Battle of Quebec in December of 1775 was an attempt for American forces to capture the City of Quebec. Planning to force British Troops from the province and gain the assistance from French Canadian support. Yet again a retreat occurred after many men were killed, wounded and captured. Extreme weather conditions and frozen ground would work against the American Forces. This would become the first defeat of the Continental Army.
Outnumber the American forces suffered many casualties in The Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. With British forces at an overwhelming 20,000 soldiers, George Washington lost almost a quarter of his force. Weather would interfere with battle once again, this time downpours of rain would prevent the British from maneuvering forces. The heavy rain would eventually cause Washington to withdraw quietly, undefeated by British Troops (Joseph). The remainder of Washington’s troops would change their strategy for future attacks.
In Trenton, NJ, on December 26, 1776 American troops would claim victory by sweeping the Troops stationed there. The surprise attack on the British Hessians would leave them with many killed, wounded, and a staggering 906 of their initial 1520 troops captured (Joseph). A once demoralized Army that had been plagued with sickness and the inability to adapt to weather conditions reined a victory.
A decisive Victory with assistance from the French gained yet another Victory for American Troops. With combined troops the French and American’s had double to amount of force over Britain in The Battle of Yorktown. Being the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. After a strategic attack by Washington, Lord Cornwallis’ troops would surrender on October 17th, 1781, on the 19th British troops officially surrendered. This opened the door to negotiations between Britain and the United States. This resulted the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
The Treaty of Paris Concluded the long and bloody war. After many unsuccessful battles the American Forces eventually gained victory. Wrongful taxation, unfair treatment and control pushed the American people to violence. After a fierce rebellion and calls for independence from a tyrant government, the American Army had won the final battle. Many lives were lost, and many had been left wounded, the Revolutionary War was necessary for the American people to gain control and begin building a government that centered around liberty and independence. The very things that make America what it still to this day.
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