An Eventful Time in American History
An eventful time in American History, full of pride, bloodshed, self-realization, and building of an independent nation. A nation was fought for and built, created things, the very things that make America the great country it is today. A rebellion would change the world, in a matter of nearly a decade of unrest and hostility. The rejection of the British Parliament’s authority due to taxation, rising prices of many things needed to sustain life under British rule. Brought about a war. A prideful nation was 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. In time, the cry for independence was heard. Over half of the population were young adults. Sixty percent were under the age of 21 and many were children. This meant many who fought the British for independence were young men.
Life in the Thirteen Colonies changed after Parliament’s first of many serious attempts at using government authority over its population. British Parliament began a series of attempts to control and gain revenue from the American People. The Stamp Act bill was passed on February 17, 1965, approved by the Lords on March 8th. The king then ordered it 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 accrued due to the high cost of Great Britain’s troops in America. Many felt this taxation was a violation of the American people’s rights. This created 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 A year later British parliament repealed the stamp act.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 (history.org). An act that only fueled the fire that burned among the people.
Each event leading up to the rebellion rose the tension higher. On March 5, 1770, in Boston, a volley of gunfire erupted from very unwelcomed British troops, anger and tempers ascended to an all-time high. A riot of about fifty citizens erupted and an attack on a British Sentinel concluded with 3 dead and 8 others wounded. Gunfire silenced the mob only after it was too late. Two British soldiers were then found guilty of manslaughter. This forced the Royal Governor to evacuate his troops from Boston. Boston had yet another event that would bring unrest.
In 1773, The Tea Act was enacted, in an attempt to receive tax payment. Cheaper priced tea would be sold with the intent of a higher tax. The attempt at tax payment would implode, Lord North’s new tea monopoly induced more rebellion. Ships that were carrying tea to colonial ports were met with threats of violence. In turn, these ships rerouted back to their departed ports. The Boston Tea Party became one of the major events that most remember from history lessons. Unidentifiable colonials bombard ships in Boston Harbor Port on a cold December night. With 342 chests of tea dumped in the Boston Harbor one million seven hundred thousand dollars in today’s was lost to the sea (Shean). In rebellion, these unidentifiable citizens, disguised as Native Americans were never caught. 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 was to consider the options for the 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 (history.org).
Eventually, in 1775, the Revolutionary War commenced. With many major, bloody, and fierce battles fought for independence. A clashing battle of arms, Lexington and Concord was 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 stunned the British troops as they were threatened from above. Ammunition ran low, hand to hand combat was the only means of fight left. British Troops though taking many casualties took the hill defeating the American Forces.
George Washington a war veteran himself arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and became the highest command of the new American Army (history.org). Organization of the Army became the key to possible victory in the War. Bunker Hill signaled an organized rebellion to the King who eventually issued 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 General’s 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. They planned to force British Troops from the province and gain assistance from French Canadian support. Yet again a retreat occurred after many men were killed, wounded and captured. Extreme weather conditions and frozen ground worked against the tired American Forces. This became the first defeat of the Continental Army (Schlesinger).
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. The weather had interfered with battle once again, this time downpours of rain prevented the British from maneuvering forces. The heavy rain eventually caused Washington to withdraw quietly, undefeated by British Troops (Joseph). The remainder of Washington’s troops changed their strategy for future attacks.
In Trenton, NJ, on December 26, 1776, American troops claimed victory by sweeping the stationed British Troops. The surprise attack on the British Hessians left 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.
In addition, a decisive victory with assistance from the French gained yet another Victory for American Troops. With combined troops the French and American’s sustained double the number of forces over Britain in the Battle of Yorktown. It was the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. After a strategic attack by Washington, Lord Cornwallis’ troops surrendered on officially on October 19th, 1781 (Joseph). This opened the door to negotiations between Britain and the United States. As a resulted the Treaty of Paris in 1783 was born.
The Treaty of Paris Concluded the long and bloody war. After many unsuccessful battles, the American Forces eventually gained the 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 men had been left wounded, in the Revolutionary War. In every sense, the war was necessary for the American people to gain control and begin building a government that was centered around liberty and independence. These are the very things that made America what it is today.