American Revolutionary War (apr 19, 1775 – sep 3, 1783)
After the Seven Years' War, Britain was left in considerable debt which prompted them to begin imposing a series of increasing taxes on their American colonies. These Thirteen Colonies, however, were not represented in the British Parliament so did not have any votes, or say on decisions that would affect them. This was made worse by the British Empire putting limitations on what the colonist could and couldn’t do, such as which nations they were allowed to trade with and how far West into North America they could settle.
All of this caused the Thirteen Colonies to unite and refuse to pay taxes to the British government. This came to a head in 1773 when many colonists in Massachusetts dumped 342 boxes of imported tea into the harbour as a form of protest. It was then that the British sent an army into Massachusetts and put the colony under military control. This, as well as an ignored appeal to the Crown in 1775, was what finally led the Thirteen Colonies into an all-out revolt against Britain, thus beginning the American Revolution.
Soldiers, politicians, and ordinary people alike all revolted against British control and united themselves under the concept of Republicanism. For the Americans, it had gone beyond a form of government, and they felt that they were fighting for an entire way of life and an ideology that was backed by God himself. Leading this war of independence were seven key men who had risen from a variety of backgrounds - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. These men would later be known as the "Founding Fathers" as during the 1770s they began to build a new frame of government for this emerging nation. Soon a document was drawn up by a small committee of American representatives, and on the 4th July 1776 the United States of America declared their independence.
Britain at this point had not given up however and continued to fight the Americans both on land and at sea. Soon though, they slowly began to be defeated in one place after another when France, the Netherlands, and Spain supported American troops in an effort to undermine British strength. Finally, in 1783, King George III was forced to agree to peace negotiations with America.
The colonists had won, a new nation had emerged based on republican ideas of civic duty and anti-aristocracy. Now a loose confederation of thirteen states had to decide on laws, leaders, and rights as they finish establishing their brand new government over the next few years.
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