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American Revolution

The relationship of the American Colonies to Britain is as follows:

Around the middle of the 18th century, the thirteen colonists were doing well economically and had begun to shed their British identity.

The minds of the colonists were beginning to form a new sense of personal identity. By the middle of the 18th century, European colonists had been establishing themselves in the Americas for close to 150 years. The inhabitants of each of the 13 colonies were accustomed to a high level of independence because each colony had its own administration. The early settlers of North America referred to themselves less as British and more as natives of Virginia or Pennsylvania. However, despite this, they continued to be subjects of the British crown and were obliged to observe British law.

The Navigation Acts were a set of commercial regulations that were established by Parliament in the 1660s. Because of these rules, colonists were prohibited from selling their most valuable goods to any nation that was not Great Britain. In addition, colonists were required to pay substantial taxes on French and Dutch products that were brought into the country. Despite this, colonists devised several strategies to circumvent the regulations.

For a good number of years, Britain did not consider it necessary to strengthen its grip on the colonies. The mercantilist tactics of Britain had resulted in enormously successful trade with its colonies, despite the existence of illegal trade. The British government paid low rates for the raw materials that were produced in the colonies and sold manufactured items to the locals. In addition, colonial merchants were successful despite the trade limitations imposed by the British. On the other hand, following the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, Britain began to enforce its trade restrictions more strictly. The citizens of the colonies became increasingly enraged as a result of these changes.


When George III ascended to the throne in 1760, the majority of Americans did not give either independence or revolution a second thought. They continued to view themselves in the same light as obedient subjects of the British king. By 1776, however, a sizable number of Americans were prepared to put their lives on the line in order to win independence from Britain.

As a result of their involvement in the battle against France, Great Britain racked up a significant amount of debt during the French and Indian War. Due to the fact that American colonists gained from Britain's triumph, Britain anticipated that American colonists would contribute to the costs of the war. The Stamp Act was enacted by Parliament in the year 1765. According

In accordance with this rule, colonists were required to pay a tax in order to have an official stamp affixed to their wills, deeds, newspapers, and any other printed material.

The colonists in the Americas reacted with indignation. They have never before made tax payments to the British government on their own behalf. Lawyers in the colonies contended that the levy on stamps violated the inherent rights of the colonists. The population of Britain gave their permission to the imposition of taxes through their elected representatives in Parliament. Due to the fact that the colonists did not have representatives of this kind, Parliament was unable to tax them (No Taxation without Representation). The colonists' opposition of this tax was displayed through angry demonstrations and a boycott of British made goods. Because the boycott was so successful, the Stamp Act was eventually overturned in 1766 and abolished by Parliament.

Increased animosity inevitably results in war:

Over the course of the following decade, a progression of events eventually resulted in war. Samuel Adams, the founder of Boston, was one of the colonial leaders that advocated for independence from Britain. They stoked the flames of rebellion against the British government. At the same time, George III and his ministers alienated many moderate colonists with their hard-line stances, which resulted in them making enemies. In 1773, in order to demonstrate his opposition to a tax placed on the import of tea, John Adams coordinated an assault on three British ships that were docked in Boston Harbor. The tea contained in 342 crates was thrown into the water by the pirates. Infuriated by the so-called "Boston Tea Party," George III gave the order to close down the port of Boston, which was carried out by the British. The city was occupied by troops from the United Kingdom.

The First Continental Congress was established in September 1774 in Philadelphia by a gathering of delegates from each of the colonies, with the exception of Georgia. This organisation participated in demonstrations against the way Boston was treated. After the monarch paid their grievances little heed, all 13 colonies came to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to form the Second Continental Congress and discuss their options.

On the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, American militiamen and British soldiers engaged in a firefight with each other using firearms. The conflict extended into the neighbouring town of Concord. The members of the Second Continental Congress, upon hearing reports of the combat, resolved to organise a military force and place it under the direction of a man from Virginia named George Washington. The first steps of the American Revolution had been taken.

Ideas from the Enlightenment Had an Impact on the American Colonists:

Even though a war had already begun, the people of the American colonies continued to argue over whether or not they should remain loyal to Great Britain. Many of the colonists had the goal of maintaining their connection to Britain. However, there was a growing sentiment that supported independence. They were exposed to the convincing arguments that were presented by colonial leaders like as Patrick Henry, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. These leaders attempted to defend their independence by utilising Enlightenment concepts. They said that the colonists had requested the same political rights as individuals living in Britain, but that the king had steadfastly refused their request. Since the dictator in question had violated the terms of the social compact, the colonists' uprising against him was entirely warranted.

The Declaration of Independence was drafted and approved by the Second Continental Congress in July of 1776. The concepts of John Locke and other proponents of the Enlightenment were heavily utilised during the drafting of this paper by Thomas Jefferson. These concepts were represented in the Declaration of Independence's persuasive argument for natural rights. The Declaration of Independence includes a comprehensive list of George III's atrocities because Locke had argued that people had the right to fight against an unjust monarch. At the end of the document, a severing of relations between the colonies and Britain was accomplished.

The following are some of the reasons why the colonists were successful:

When the United States initially entered the conflict, it appeared like the odds were stacked overwhelmingly against them. In contrast to the well-trained military of the most powerful government in the world, Washington's army was a hodgepodge of poorly trained soldiers. However, in the end, the Americans were victorious in their fight for freedom.

There are many factors that contributed to their achievement.

To begin, the Americans' level of motivation was exceptionally high because they were fighting for their homeland.

Second, the overconfident British generals were responsible for a number of the errors that occurred.

Third, the passage of time itself worked in favour of the Americans. The British Army is currently engaged in a costly conflict that is taking place far from their home country.

The introduction of the French Army into the conflict in 1778 proved to be the deciding factor. At Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, combined American and French troops cornered a British army headed by Lord Cornwallis, who would eventually become Governor of India. Cornwallis was unable to flee, so he capitulated and surrendered. The Americans came out on top and won.

Americans Create a Republic:

A national government was seen as necessary by the 13 independent states not long after they had declared their independence and formed the United States. The Constitution was ratified by all 13 states in the year 1781. The Articles of Confederation was the name given to this particular form of governance. The Articles of Confederation created the United States of America as a republic, which is a form of government in which individuals rule through representatives that they have elected.

The Articles of Confederation give Rise to a Weak Central Government: In order for the 13 states to preserve their sovereignty, they came together to form a loose confederation in which they held the majority of the power. The Articles of Confederation thus resulted in the establishment of a national government that was intentionally weak.

A New Constitution: Influential politicians like George Washington and James Madison saw the necessity for a robust central government in the United States. The Articles of Confederation were deemed in need of revision by Congress in February of 1787, which led to their approval of a Constitutional Convention. May of 1787 was the month that saw the start of the first session of the Constitutional Convention. Each of the 55 delegates was a seasoned statesman who was well-versed in the political philosophies of Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau.

The Federal System: The delegates, following Montesquieu's lead, were wary of establishing a strong central authority that could be dominated by a single person or group. They did this by creating three distinct branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Because of this, a built-in system of checks and balances was created, with each branch monitoring the activities of the other two branches. For instance, the president now possesses the authority to overturn laws that have been approved by Congress. On the other hand, a veto from the president can be overridden by Congress if it receives support from two-thirds of its members.

Despite the fact that it established a robust central authority, the Constitution did not do away with existing local governments. A federal system, in which authority is shared between the central government and the state governments, was the alternative that was established by the Constitution. The delegates concurred with Locke and Rousseau's assertion that the authority of governments comes from the consent of the people who are governed.

The Declaration of Independence The revised Constitution was put under the delegates' signatures on September 17, 1787. The Constitution, on the other hand, needed to be ratified at state conventions in no less than nine of the 13 states before it could be considered a law. During these conventions, there was a lot of heated debate. The Federalists were a group of people who supported the Constitution and felt that the new government would establish a better balance of power between the national government and the individual states. Their opponents, the Anti-Federalists, were concerned that the Constitution would grant an excessive amount of power to the central government. In addition to this, they want a bill of rights that would safeguard the rights of individual residents.

In order to win support for their cause, the Federalists made the promise that the Constitution would eventually be amended to include a bill of rights. This promise paved the path for the authorization to be granted. The 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights were ratified into law by Congress and added to the Constitution. The freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, and of religion were all safeguarded by these modifications to the constitution. Voltaire, Rousseau, and Locke were all advocates for many of these rights at one time or another.

People's perspectives on government underwent a sea change after the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Both writings demonstrate how the Enlightenment influenced society. They were optimistic that reason and change could win out, and they believed that progress was unavoidable. This sense of hope spread all the way across the Atlantic. On the other hand, kings and other privileged elites resisted giving up their positions of power and influence without a fight.


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