What was the American War of Independence?
- The American War of Independence, or the American Revolution, was a backlash against the colonisation of America by the British.
- It began on April 19, 1775, and concluded on September 3, 1783.
- After this revolt, all 13 American colonies that were under British rule became independent and together formed the United States of America.
- The American Revolution is significant in world history because it taught the concepts of republic, constitutionalism, rights, and federation. It also turned out to be the triggering point for the rise of other democracies in the future.
- Some important names connected to this revolution are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, etc.
Causes for the American War of Independence
- Independent Mindset: The mindset of Americans was much more independent than that of Europeans. The reason was that they had never faced aristocracy, and Britain’s policies were similar.
- Equality: There was much more equality in America than Britain, and the middle class was aware and in much better condition here, leading the American revolution.
- Legislative rights: The governor general of the colonies had the full right to pass or decline any bill. The Americans were not happy with this, and they wanted the public of America to make rules for them.
- Seven-year war: Britain and France fought with each other all around the world over new colonies for a long time. and so they also fought for American land. This is called the “seven-year war,” in which Britain won and took all the colonies of France in North America, including Canada, into its hands. This war weekend provided the British and Americans with an excellent opportunity to revolt. Another reason was that the British asked the Americans to pay tax because they saved them from the French, but the Americans didn’t like it.
- Economic exploitation of colonies: Britain wanted to establish complete control over the economies of the colonies. For that purpose, it passed many laws like the Trade Act, but the Americans didn’t have much trouble in the beginning because they weren’t implemented very strictly. Later, when Britain tried to implement them strongly, problems began.
- Intellectualism: Many intellectuals like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc. did the work of enlightening the American mind. Their ideas influenced politics and provided a foundation for the independence movement.
- Strong implementation of policies: George III ascended the throne of Britain in 1760, and the British Parliament turned into his puppet, and the PM at that time, George Grenville, introduced new taxes like the sugar act, the stamp act, etc. Later, the British impose taxes on five things like metal, paper, etc., i.e., the products that were imported by Americans from Britain. It was then that Americans refused to pay tax, which was directly passed by the British parliament.
Lord North’s tea policy: New laws concerning tea were the instant cause of the American independence movement. The famous Boston tea party, in which Americans threw the tea aboard the ships on December 16, 1773, at the Boston Port Under the leadership of Samuel Adams, it became a landmark for the rebellion. This incident forced the British government to take strict action, which led to the first armed struggle, which converted into a revolution with time.
Impact of American War of Independence
- Political impact: After America got independence, the aristocracy ended and a new system of government based on the Constitution and the Republic was implemented. This independent movement also demonstrated and taught the British that once a nationalist sentiment ignites in the hearts of the people, it is extremely difficult to rule over them.The Americans created a new constitution after studying many constitutions around the world and the thoughts of many political thinkers. Another important political impact was the creation of a secular state. America became a completely secular state and refused to acknowledge any religion as a national religion.
- Social Impact: The social impact was mixed.Women have equal inheritance rights now. However, the women and slaves still got no voting rights, and slavery continued, which later led to the Civil War in the next century.
- Economic impact: There was progress in the economic sector, and new business centres were set up. A new paper currency and tax system were introduced. Old traditions were abolished, and free trade was promoted.
- Impact on Britain: the policies of Lord North were blamed, and he had to resign with his cabinet. King George III lost absolute control of the Parliament. After this revolt, Britain reconsidered its policies regarding the colonies because it had impacted them greatly. As a result, Britain had to grant home rule to Ireland in 1867.
- The impact on France: France assisted America in its war of independence, further weakening its already fragile economy. After the American War of Independence ended, French soldiers who returned from America started promoting the free atmosphere of America in France. This gave new ideas to the French people and played a significant role in the French Revolution.
Because it triggered a phenomenon that eventually led to the end of imperialism, aristocracy, monarchy, and feudalism in many parts of the world in the later centuries, the American Revolution was like a lamp in the dark political system of the Western world.
Note from the author: I hope you enjoyed reading about the American War of Independence. Drop a comment for a quick review, also like it and tell me if you want to read about other major revolutions of the world like the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions.