What Was The American Revolution?
Science and social studies have taught many lessons; among the best are those that tell of struggles and successes. For example, in the histories of nations, colonization by another power is common. But what makes a nation's history meaningful is how it breaks free from it and learns to stand independently.
Thus is the story of the American Revolution. It's a great lesson in science and social studies, a story of the struggle for freedom that eventually resulted to a great legacy.
In 1607, English forces began colonizing part of North America, though at that time, indigenous Americans were already residing in the land. The colonization by the English meant they had then to adhere with England's policies.
England became part of Great Britain in 1707, thus, the English colonies became British colonies.
Soon, French forces disputed some of the British actions on America, resulting in 1754 to what is commonly known as the French and Indian War. This name is considered a misnomer: it implies that the American Indians sided with only one party, when in fact, they were divided. Some of them allied with France, others with Britain.
When the war ended, the French allies lost. France gave up some of its colonies through the Treaty of Paris, consequently making Britain the dominating colonizer in North America.
Dawn of Uprising
After the French and Indian War, the Americans who had sided with France grew dissatisfied with British policies, such as the imposition of direct taxes. This led to an uprising that grew into a domestic war. It is referred to as Pontiac's Rebellion, named after Pontiac, one of the indigenous leaders in the uprising.
It started when a number of displeased American Indians launched attacks on British settlements. Hostilities thus ensued. A controversial detail from this time is that the conflict became so severe that the British attempted to spread the smallpox virus among the rebelling locals by giving them infected blankets.
The war grew more violent, causing many casualties on both sides. In order to end this, King George III of Britain issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, creating a boundary between the British and the American Indian territories.
The Revolutionary War
In spite of the boundary, the colonies remained under the British rule. The colonized Americans eventually sensed that their rights were being stepped on with many British policies. This included the Currency Act, prohibiting colonized people to issue paper bills, and the Stamp Act, taxing printed materials.
Thirteen of the colonies were in the Atlantic coast of America, and they were, alphabetically: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, South Carolina, and Virginia. These colonies were the prime movers in the revolution that followed.
What the Americans did first was to create Provincial Congresses to represent themselves to the British Parliament. Soon, these congresses replaced ruling in the respective colonies. This alerted the British, and the American Revolutionary War erupted in 1775.
During the war, the Americans found help from France, Spain, and even the Dutch Republic. In the meantime, the thirteen states had unanimously voted to take on a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Finally, in 1783, the war ended and America finally attained sovereignty. With the Declaration of Independence, the separate American states became united into one single nation.
The story of the American Revolution may have concluded a long time ago, but it is still one of the hallmarks in science and social studies. Its message timelessly rings true: real freedom is fought for, and that's what makes a nation.
Websites For Learning All About the American Revolution
- American Revolution
- The American Revolution: First Phase
- American Revolutionary Facts
- Causes of the American Revolution
- Historic Valley Forge
- Merchant Mariners in the Revolutionary War
- On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies
- Revolutionary War
- The Winning of Independence: 1777-1783
- Women Soldiers in the American Revolutionary War