The Revolutionary War in America was a 1775–83 revolt in which 13 of Britain’s North American colonies acquired political independence. British Crown and a significant number of British North American colonies had grown angry with British attempts to exert greater control over colonial affairs following a long era of exemplary apathy by the British government. Until France and Spain joined the colonists in their fight against the British Empire in 1778, it was a civil war within the British Empire itself that they were fighting (Coleman 56). Even though the United States had received official recognition and financial backing from the Netherlands, which was engaged in a war with the British, the Netherlands was still involved in its conflict. Early in the war, British maritime power had a crucial role in shaping the direction of the struggle, allowing for more flexibility in strategy and, ultimately, allowing the French to aid in the British defeat at Yorktown. When the British tried to impose more power over the colonies and make them pay compensation for the crown’s protection during the French and Indian War (1754–63), the American Revolution was launched. Instead of relying on British manufacturers, Americans built their products (Paine 89). A variety of factors sparked the American Revolution. Therefore this study will examine the causes and the consequences of the American Revolution.
Cause of the American Revolution
The need to rule themselves created the revolution. As a result, American colonists favored independence from the British monarchy rather than losing control of the government they had established during the British Empire’s period (Clark 7). Therefore, resistance was essential to protect the American colonies, the people and their freedom. Instead of being oppressed slaves, the Americans were people who wanted to be free from the British government’s intrusion into their lives. The British government had veto power over colonial laws, but the colonies were typically self-governing domestic issues. Taxes and laws enacted by the colonial parliament gave the populace a greater sense of autonomy from the monarchy. This was a colonial uprising against policies that curtailed their freedom and independence.
Intolerable Acts and protests in Boston are two other factors leading to the revolution. Many Americans began to speak out against the British government’s new taxes and regulations. Boston saw the founding of the Sons of Liberty in 1765, and the organization swiftly spread throughout the American colonies. Several colonists were shot and murdered after a fight broke out during a protest in Boston. Following this episode, the Boston Massacre was renamed. In 1773, the British imposed a new tax on tea (Bessler 89). Tea was poured into Boston Harbor as a form of protest by Boston patriots. Named the Boston Tea Party, this protest was one of the most well-known American histories. After the Boston Tea Party, Britain decided that penalizing the colonies was the proper course of action. The British Parliament passed acts of Parliament in response to colonial complaints about the oppression they faced. The Boston Port Act, one of the Intolerable Acts, restricted trade through the port of Boston. The British blockade of Boston Harbor targeted both loyalists and patriots. There were many colonists in neighboring colonies worried that the British might follow suit. British lawmakers continued to impose additional rules and taxes on the American colonies to help pay for the country’s costly foreign wars. The British government established the Sugar Act of 1764, which increased the sugar tax and other imported products like textiles, wine and coffee, wine (Bessler 89). The Stamp Act of 1765 imposed the first American colony direct tax on printed items, including newspapers and pamphlets, bills and legal documents. The American colonists fiercely opposed both of these practices.
Consequences of the American Revolution
During the revolution, new republican governments were established. Politics in the former colonies became more and more democratic following the American Revolution. State constitutions were, in fact, the most immediate result of the declaration of independence in 1776 and 1777. New state constitutions are built on the idea of “popular sovereignty,” which means that the people themselves have a say in how much power and authority their governments have (Bessler 89). These constitutions featured a “bill of rights” to protect individual freedoms. Liberal republican values include liberty, equality, and anti-corruption as fundamental principles. Also, as part of the new constitutions, the penal code was reworked to eliminate physical punishments such as ear-cutting and branding that were still widespread in Britain.
The revolution resulted in the loss of land for many Native Americans. Several Native American tribes participated in the American Revolution. Most of them sided with the Brits during the war to stop further colonial expansion. On the other hand, most people preferred to remain neutral rather than take part in what they saw as a European conflict. No indigenous representatives attended the peace discussions following the fighting (Paine 89). Although the country between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River was largely uninhabited by white people and populated primarily by Native Americans, the British handed it to the United States. The beginning of the end of Native American independence may have been heralded by the declaration of independence by the United States of America.
After the American Revolution, slavery was abolished in the northern states, where it had previously been practiced. Before the American Revolution, slavery was legal in every colony in the Americas, including British North America. All of the Northern States had abolished slavery when the United States attained independence in 1804 because of the revolutionary values of equality (Zhao 117). Slavery was abolished entirely in the northern states’ constitutions, including equal rights wording. There was an impact, although no Southern state abolished slavery. When slavery was eliminated in several Southern states, the freedom of slave owners to liberate captives on their conditions was granted. Before the American Revolution, enslavers in the South were not allowed to free their slaves willingly.
When 13 British North American provinces revolted against the Crown in 1775–83, they were known as “the Thirteen Colonies.” The revolution was sparked by people’s desire to rule themselves. Rather than giving up on the government, they had built up while Britain was neglecting its empire, American colonists backed independence from the British monarchy. Two more factors contributing to the American Revolution were the Intolerable Acts and the Boston demonstrations. New republican regimes were founded as a result of the revolution. Many Native Americans lost their lands as a result of the American Revolution. Slavery was abolished in the northern states of the United States after the American Revolution.
Bessler, John D. “A Century in the Making: The Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the Origins of the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.” Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 27 (2018): 989.
Clark, J. C. D. “How Did the American Revolution Relate to the French? Richard Price, the Age of Revolutions, and the Enlightenment.” Modern Intellectual History (2020): 1-23.
Coleman, Kenneth. The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763–1789. University of Georgia Press, 2021.
Paine, Thomas. Common Sense: 1776. Infomotions, Incorporated, 1776.
Zhao, Yiyang. “Views of Freedom Prior to American Revolution—A View of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! An American History.” 2019 International Conference on Advances in Literature, Arts and Communication. Vol. 1. The Academy of Engineering and Education, 2019.