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What was the american revolution all about and what was its major causes?
American Revolution: Its Causes and a Brief Analysis
The spark of revolution that arose its head between the period of 1775 to 1783 on the soil of America is known in history as the U. S. War of Independence or the American revolution. Skirmishes began out of the existing tension between the colonists of North America and the colonial government, the British. Armed conflict came into action by April 1775 between the ruling British troops and the people of Lexington and Concord which hastened to an all encompassing war of independence by the next summer. France made its entry into the American Revolution forming an alliance with the colonists in the year 1778 which heightened the status of a civil war into an intercontinental battle. The American war of independence marked the beginning of the first modern revolution where people rose their voice against the taxes and trade mandates imposed by the British government. This war also witnessed the ‘Vox Populi’ fighting for the universal principles like the rule of law, sovereignty of the people and at the same time their fundamental rights and constitutional rights (“American Revolution History”).
The conflict has its roots hidden in the year 1763 when the previously cordial mutual relationship between the colonists and the British deteriorated due to the stringent autocracy of the crown over the colonists. The arrival of the British troops had already disgusted the colonists which were further enhanced by the implementation of the land policy that restricted settlement in the west.
The British government, in an urge to raise funds, imposed various taxes like the Townshend Act, the Stamp Act, and the Sugar Act which met with strong resistance from the colonists. Soon the parliament passed the Coercive Acts that invoked serious tension and the onset of the First Continental Congress instigated the spirit of independence from the British domination. But independence did not arrive through ease and comfort rather the American war of independence has a gory history which witnessed bitter bloodshed and a long drawn battle that actually resulted in the fruition of freedom (“Overview of the American Revolution”).
The Tea Act in 1773 encountered a heated protest from the colonists who demanded equivalent rights that other British subjects enjoyed in the Parliament. It did not take much time for agitation to turn into violence when the British soldiers did not hesitate to open fire on a mob of agitated colonists which caused the death of five men and the incident is famed in history as the Boston Massacre (1770). The situation worsened with the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 that corroborated the Bostonians boarding the British ships disguised as Mohawk Indians and dumping about three hundred and forty two chests filled with tea into the Boston harbor. This enraged the government who later on implemented the stricter mandates known as the Coercive Acts or the Intolerable Acts in an attempt to impose supremacy of the British crown in Massachusetts (“American Revolution History”).
It was under the leadership of George Washington that the inception of the revolution took place against the British crown where the government had an excellent set of well equipped army and navy to fight for the crown as well as numerous loyalists who would fight for the British Empire. The war of independence suffered a severe setback under the traitor General Benedict Arnold who had initially become the leader of the rebel forces but ultimately caused the captivity of the rebels in the Fort Ticonderoga in the year 1775 (“American Revolution History”). But this could not nip down the spirit of rebellion and as a response to the arrest in Fort Ticonderoga, a bunch of eminent colonists like George Washington of Virginia along with Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and John Adams belonging to Massachusetts and John Jay from New York revealed their grievance against the British Empire in a meeting in Philadelphia in September 1774. The First Continental Congress agitated against the increased taxes along with the demand for liberty and equality for all citizens in regards to property rights, trial by the jury, assembly and life as a whole. They did not demand independence initially rather showed their discontent about the maintenance of British army in the colonies. The next continental congress was planned in May 1775 but violence broke out before that which paved the way for American War of Independence.
A letter of George Washington to William Crawford, written in September 21, 1767 also sheds light on the deteriorating relationship between the British Crown and the Native Indians. It must be noted that in the American War of Independence the Native colonists played the protagonist. In this context it must be kept in note that the “Revolutionary crisis” that broke out in the 1760s, the colonists of North America had to encounter a stiff competition while trying to navigate with the British crown. After a long and gory struggle, the natives were successful in creating a “New World” as the United States of America was formed. As an invincible circumstance, the native colonists were compelled to choose either between the loyalists or the patriots or had to occupy a neutral status. But, somehow, every native had a cause of their own to fight for their existence in their homeland and at the same time flourish trade and provisions as war had a far reaching effect everywhere. Whatsoever, some took the side of the crown to survive while the others chose to rebel to maintain their current existence and create a new world of freedom (“The Native Americans' Role in the American Revolution: Choosing Sides”).
Washington’s letter to Crawford provided a hint to the concerned deteriorating condition. Washington wrote that, “The other matter, just now hinted at and which I proposed in my last to join you in attempting to secure some of the most valuable Lands in the King’s part which I think may be accomplished after a while notwithstanding the Proclamation that restraints it at present and prohibi8ts the Settling of them at all for I can never look upon the Proclamation in any other light (but this I say between ourselves)than a temporary expedient to quiet the Minds of the Indians and must fall of course in a few years especially when those Indians are consenting to our Occupying the Lands” (“George Washington to William Crawford, September 21, 1767). It must be noted that in the context of the American Revolution, the participation of the Native Indians deserves special mention due to their unique involvement in the freedom struggle. It was quite natural for many Indian nations to play a neutral role in the Revolution. Many Indian nations preferred to maintain a neutral stance in the conflict while many of them responded to the patriotic cause of the war and supported the native Americans while others served the British army with the hope of safeguarding their motherland from the invasion of American colonists (Calloway). But whatever might be the role of the Native Americans in the revolution, their contribution to the success of the Revolution cannot be totally undermined.
But what might be the role of the participating parties in the Revolution, the Revolution ultimately ended in favor of the American colonists, and there were myriads of reasons why the British Crown had to face the defeat. It must be noted that though skillful and resourceful than their American counterpart, the British army wasn’t so huge that they would occupy enough areas of territory that belonged to North America ("Why Did The British Lose The American Revolution?”). Distance was, nevertheless, another factor that contributed to the defeat of British army. In this respect it must be noted that the colonists had the advantage that they fought on the “Home Field”, while Britain had to incur provisions and supply from their homeland. ("Why Did The British Lose The American Revolution?”). Moreover, it was before the American spirit that the British army’s resistance eventually failed. The unity of the American colonies eventually dealt the last severe blow to the British Crown making all its effort a futile one at the end.
Hence, it can be concluded that the American war of Independence was not only a conflict for freedom from the British supremacy, it was much higher than that. It marks an era where people fought for their rights. History has given us immense evidences that humans fought for throne, power, greed and even sometimes for love. But the American revolution has pointed finger to the basic requirement of human instinct which is enjoying the fundamental rights without the intervention or dictation of any ruling entity. They protested that the crown should not infiltrate army within the lives of the natives without their consent and this was the primary discontent. Then they demanded equality in the parliament and equality forms the basis of any good democracy. The citizens should pay the legitimate taxes but the government does not possess the right to impose illegitimate taxes in order to raise funds. Above all, every citizen should have the right to fair trade and profession and get just trial in front of the jury. These are the basic requirements of a democratic citizen. The British government have shown their cruel manifestation in most of the places of the world where they have colonized. History says that they faced same protest and revolt in India as strong as they had faced in America. It is the reason why many Indians supported the Americans in their struggle for freedom as the British dominion had implemented same kind of torture in India and Africa. Rebels are an inevitable consequence of an autocratic and cruel government. The native Americans has displayed their courage and steadfastness by raising their voice against inequality and injustice. They ultimately reaped the fruit of success and formed the new world of equality, freedom and justice, the land that we call the United States of America.
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"American Revolution History." History, http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history.
Calloway, Collin G. "Stories From The Revolution." https://www.nps.gov/revwar/about_the_revolution/american_indians.html.
"George Washington To William Crawford, September 21, 1767." Library Of Congress.
"Overview Of The American Revolution." Digital History, 2016, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm?eraID=3.
"The Native Americans' Role In The American Revolution: Choosing Sides." Edsitement, https://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/native-americans-role-american-revolution-choosing-sides.
"Why Did The British Lose The American Revolution?." American Revolution Blog, 2009, http://americanrevolutionblog.blogspot.in/2009/03/why-did-british-lose-american.html.
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