American Revolutionary War Essays

America’s decision to declare independence form Great Britain was both due the change of economic policies and to the development of refining life and liberty. After driving the French out, with help from the Indians and British troops, colonist began to quarrel with Parliament’s insistence of testing the limits of their power in North America. Their control was made difficult when residents decided to smuggle and boycott goods. Eventually, the colonies resistance and loss of patience would lead them directly to independence.

The Proclamation of 1763 was the first to anger the colonist. In order to assure the Indians that settlers would not invade tribal lands, Britain emphasized colonist not to expand to the westward region. Shortly after, the use of writs of assistance, which allowed customs to search anywhere without the used of a warrant, placed a major infringement upon colonial natural rights. The Sugar Act (established at the same time) was an attempt to discourage smuggling by lowering the price of molasses below smugglers cost. It also stated that exports could only go through British ports before being sold to foreign countries. When merchants were accused of smuggling, they faced a jury-less trial and were often convicted. Violators of the Stamp Act of 1765 also faced the same when they did not buy special watermarked paper for newspapers and all legal documents. Because the Stamp Act was an internal tax on the colonies, it motivated the first actual structured response to British impositions.

Violence eventually broke throughout the colonies, forming such colonial groups as the Loyal Nine and the Sons of Liberty to organize the resistance and assemble the citizens in attempts to stress Parliament to revoke the act. Because of the overwhelming protest of businessmen (and the forced evacuation of stamp distributors), Britain’s economy was severely damaged and they were forced to cancel the act. However it was not long before Parliament tugged on the strings of the colonist again. The Quartering Act of 1765 demanded colonial assemblies to pay for supplies for troops residing within their colonies. The act did not affect much of the colonies except New York. New York at the time had a significant amount of troops stationed and refused to comply with the law. Parliament in returned threatened to nullify all laws passed by the New York colonial legislature, taking away what self-government they had. To avoid more hardships, New York decided to obey Parliament.

Finally, the colonies bit their last lip when a man named Charles Townshend assumed the duties of Britain’s treasurer. Britain’s House of Commons decided to cut their taxes by one-fourth and proposed to make up for the loss by passing the Revenue Act of 1767. Townshend drew a plan that put taxes on glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea entering the colonies. Though it only raised 37,000 pounds, compare to the 500,000 pound pay cut in the treasury department, Townshend duties was very effective in arousing political dispute that had laid inactive since the withdraw of the Stamp Act. The revolution was growing strong and would finally be established after an incident in Boston in 1770.

Because of continued violence in Massachusetts, British troops were brought in towards the end of 1768 to relieve tension. Ironically, situations grew worse and the troops were very unwelcomed by the colonist. The colonist felt as if rights were under the watchful eye of the king. In 1770 and irritated customs officer shot an eleven year-old boy for throwing rocks at his house. Though the troops were not responsible for the shooting, they were usually under fire for hostility toward British power. After the boy’s funeral, violence erupted outside Boston’s custom office, and after the conflict, five colonists were dead. The news spread through the colonies as the Boson Massacre. To cool down the hostility of the colonist, the Townshend duties were soon erased.

Despite the fact that the British were deciding to pursue less controversial policies, colonist could no longer bare the abuse of their rights that Britain trampled on. They were soon to be democratic nation and were tired of supporting an empire center around monarchy. Every colony united and rebelled against is abusive mother country, creating the American Revolution.

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American Revolution Essays, Timelines & Images

Select essays, timelines and images from the list of colonial America and American Revolution-related topics below.
Essays

Events Leading to the American Revolution

  • The Road to Revolution – Explore how growing economic and political tensions between Great Britain and her American colonies led to war.
  • Road to Independence – Was every American in Favor of breaking it off with Britain? Absolutely not! Learn about the people and events that led the American colonies to fight for independence.

The American Revolution

  • Yorktown Chronicles – Explore the worlds of George Washington and Charles Cornwallis from their military beginnings through the American Revolution and its aftermath.
  • Life of a Private – During the American Revolution hardships were plentiful for Continental Army soldiers. Yet thousands of men joined. Find out why these men enlisted and learn how women and African-Americans supported the Continental Army too.
  • The_Battle_of_Great_Bridge – The first major Revolutionary War conflict in Virginia happened at Great Bridge, near Norfolk.  Find out why the American victory at Great Bridge was an important precursor to the official start of the war.
  • The French Alliance and the Winning of American Independence – Find out how alliance with the French enabled the Continental Army to prevail over the highly trained British army to win the war.
  • How the Allied Victory at Yorktown Won American Independence – The American victory at Yorktown quelled British Parliament’s desire to continue to war.  Discover how this victory led to British recognition of American independence.
  • The Role of the Militia During the Revolutionary War – Why were local groups of part-time citizen soldiers important during the American Revolution?  Explore the somewhat controversial role of the militia.
  • Tea Overboard – Was the Boston Tea Party the only rebellion of its kind?  Learn about a similar, though smaller, tea party in Yorktown, Virginia.
  • African Americans and the American Revolution – Discover the extensive role played by African Americans in the American Revolution.

After the War

  • Yorktown Chronicles – Explore the worlds of George Washington and Charles Cornwallis from their military beginnings through the American Revolution and its aftermath.

Colonial Life

  • Colonial Life – Discover what life was like for a typical family and enslaved people on a Revolutionary War era farm.

Biographies

  • Yorktown Chronicles – Explore the worlds of George Washington and Charles Cornwallis from their military beginnings through the American Revolution and its aftermath.
  • People of the Revolution – Biographical essays about people who had to choose sides in the American Revolution.
Timelines

A visit to The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is the perfect complement to the online resources found here. Be sure to explore our full range of hands-on history programs for groups, families and individuals and teachers.


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