The History of the United States of America
The history of the United States of America began a mere four hundred years ago and has been one of the most prestigious and respectable countries to ever exist. It began with hundreds of eager pilgrims and adventurist who wanted to leave their homes in England and start new lives in the North American continent. Their optimism was short lived due to the greed and disinterest of their king. This paper will discuss the French and Indian War, the events that led to the rebellion of the English colonists, some of the significant battles and the outcome of their revolution.
During the Revolutionary War, many battles were fought between the colonists and the British. Though years before the Revolution began, there were significant hostilities brewing in the heart of the continent between the French and English Empires. The English wanted North America, but the French had an alliance with the Cherokee Indians which seemed to give them an advantage. France also desired to possess North America, thus the French and Indian War. This hostility came to a head in 1754 and became an open conflict for nine years. The French and Indian War ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and the outcome was that the French vacated North America and the Indians were no longer a threat. What seemed to be a good outcome of the war proved to have a different result. Before and during the French and Indian War, Great Britain was valuable to the colonists for protection. Though that protection came at a price. The colonists had to help pay for the French and Indian War by housing British soldiers. This wasn’t necessarily an issue, but after the war, the colonists saw that having Great Britain on their side had more obligations than benefits. In the coming years, England started a series of acts that convinced the colonists that they no longer wanted the connection to Great Britain.
For the ten years prior to the actual revolution, the British government imposed several legal acts that made the colonist’s lives intolerable. The first insult to the colonists was the Quartering Act of 1765 which required the colonists to house and feed British soldiers whenever necessary; regardless of the colonist’s circumstances. (embellish). That same year, the Stamp Act was imposed to require taxed stamps on documents such as newspapers, marriage licenses and even playing cards. The prime minister said this tax was required to pay for military defense of the colonies. A couple years later in 1767, the Townshend Act was created to impose duties on glass, paper and tea. To avoid these duties, smugglers increases their activities, which led to more troops being placed in Boston. In 1773 the Tea Act was created, and the British East India Company was given a monopoly to trade tea in America. The Intolerable Acts of 1774 were passed in response to the Boston Tea Party, because of their unlawfulness. This act placed restrictions on the colonists, such as outlawing town meetings the closing of the Boston Harbor. Finally, in 1775, the colonists could take it no more when the British troops tried to seize stores of colonial gun powder in Lexington and Concord. This became the first instance of open warfare. After all the hell the British put the colonists through in those ten years, it was time to declare the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775.
The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770 due to a clash between the colonists and the British soldiers. Because there were so many unwelcomed British soldiers in Boston during this time, there was a significant amount of unrest which led to a full-blown massacre. Because the Tea Act was imposed in 1773 and the colonists were already on edge from the Boston Massacre, they were quick to sabotage the tea crates aboard the ships. Over 300 crates were thrown into the Boston Harbor. During the battle of Lexington and Concord of 1775, the Revolution began to take off. The colonists decided to revolt against the British. That uprising led to a seven-year long war. A man named Paul Revere, warned the minute men the British were coming, that’s when the battle began. The British army was on their way to Concord to disarm the rebels and take their gun powder, but the colonists were ready to fight back and defend what was theirs. Before the British made it to Concord to confiscate the ammunition, they stopped in Lexington first. Lexington was where the first shots were fired, signaling the beginning of the armed conflict. Throughout the Revolutionary War, dozens of battles occurred between settlers and the British. Ultimately, a year after Lexington and Concord, the colonists appointed George Washington as their commander and declared their independence. On July 4, 1776, the colonists wrote the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress voted on this issue, signed the Declaration and sent it to King George. This did not bode well with the king and there were significant issues because of the colonist’s rebellion. In 1777, the British launched an invasion on the colonists to subdue their behavior. Five years after the invasion was launched, Parliament voted to end the aggression against the colonies. British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the colonists at Yorktown in 1781. The war formally concluded September 1783 and the last British troop left New York City in November, marking the end of British rule on the colonists.
In conclusion, the French and Indian War had a large impact on the Revolution, over taxation of the colonists proved to push their limits and ultimately through many years of battling, the colonists were able to gain their freedom. It was no simple task, but with strong determination the colonists got what they wanted and liberated themselves from Great Britain. The colonists created an amazing home for future generations, and it was not created in vain.
John Locke: John Locke lived from 1632 to 1704. He was a highly influential philosopher who throughout his years, wrote important treaties, essays and more. He aimed to protect citizen’s “life, liberty and property” which strongly impacted the United States’ founding documents.
Shays’ Rebellion: This rebellion lasted a year, starting in 1786. Lead by Daniel Shays, he gathered up the members of society that were deemed lower on the social later began this revolt over new terms that were forced on them by the government at the time. They gathered around courthouses to keep them from opening, causing much disorder. Many men were sentenced to death, though Shay and some others fled, eventually getting caught.
Three-fifths Clause: Written in 1787, this clause was presented to the Constitutional Convention. The clause was created during a debate on whether slaves should be counted as the population of a state. There were many debates about it, but they eventually settled on allowing every five slaves, to be counted as three votes. Or three-fifths of a person.
Bill of Rights: The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the Constitution of America. At the first United States Congress, James Madison proposed these amendments and they were accepted in 1789. These rights grant freedoms that the Constitution doesn’t indicate. For example, freedom of speech, religion, press, etc.
Louisiana Purchase: The Louisiana Purchase occurred in 1803. The United States bought 828,000 square miles of land from France practically doubling the size of our country. This was land from two Canadian Provinces and roughly fifteen United States. Napoleon was hesitant to sell the land at first but agreed because he needed the money. The entire Louisiana Territory was brought by the United States for 15 million dollars.
Lewis & Clark: Lewis and Clark ran the first ever expedition of the United States, beginning on May 14, 1804. Our President at the time, Thomas Jefferson asked his private secretary Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition and Lewis asked his friend Lieutenant William Clark to train men for the expedition. They traveled two years, and when they returned, they had maps, journals and stories of their journey.
Little Turtle: Little Turtle was a famous war chief who lived from 1747 to 1812. He ruled over the Miami Native Indian tribe of the Great Lakes region. Little Turtle led many successful raids on colonists in the Northwest Territory. His most famous defeats were the Battle of the Wabash and La Balme’s Defeat. Though he eventually had to sign the Treaty of Greenville in Ohio.
Cotton Kingdom: The Cotton Kingdom was a time between the Revolutionary and Civil War in which the north and the south were making a way for themselves. The north became an industrial powerhouse while the south remained economically stagnant. Though that turned around when cotton came into play. The south became the Cotton Kingdom, founded on slavery.
The Panic of 1837: The President at this time was Andrew Jackson, and when he came into office, he wanted to implement a banking system. This resulted in a nationwide panic because of financial and economic conditions due to this banking system. The panic was also caused by failure of the wheat crop and Great Britain’s depression that led to restricted lending policies.
Whiskey Rebellion: Thousands of farmers in 1794, took up arms due to the enforcement of a federal law that called for the imposition of an exercise on distilled spirits. This rebellion became the largest resistance against government between the Revolutionary and Civil War. Quite a few rebels were prosecuted for treason in the first legal proceedings of the United States.