The American Revolution was an intellectual and political shift that occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The United States of America, the first modern constitutional liberal democracy, was established when the Americans in the Thirteen Colonies overcame the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American Revolution.
The American Revolution was a massive political and military conflict that raged from 1765 to 1783 as 13 of Britain’s North American colonies rose in rebellion against British imperial rule. The primary cause of the protest was due to levies imposed by the British Crown and Parliament without consultation with the colonies. Read a lot about the American Revolution for UPSC preparation.
Cause of the American Revolution
U.S. Revolutionary War Issues with politics
There were no colonial representatives in the British parliament. The seven years war (1756–1763), which the British ultimately won, decimated her resources. She resorted to colonies to make up for the losses. Due to their location in North America, the large colonies suffered the most. Young businesses in the colonies were subjected to particularly severe fines.
Campaigning by British-born industrialists assisted in achieving this. Many argued that because the colonies were not represented in the British parliament, the British government had no jurisdiction to tax them. They referred to “No Taxation without Representation” in their usage of the phrase. Throughout time, protests like the Boston Tea Party (1773), in which tea cartons from British ships were tossed into the water, damaged Britain’s power to enforce taxes. assuming the relevant local governments were this authority.
Economic Causes of the American Revolution
English restrictions hampered the colonies’ ability to thrive economically. Laws mandated that they use only British ships for international trade. Only cotton, sugar, and tobacco products may be delivered to England. High import fees apply to goods coming from outside of England and other colonies. Iron, steel, and textile industries were not allowed to grow in the colonies. The importation of products from London was required of the colonies. To stop the colonies’ industry and trade from growing, policies were put in place.
In 1765, the Stamp Act was adopted by the British Parliament. All official documents were required to be stamped. After it, several demonstrations regularly became violent. Much of the land in North America was bought by the nobles, who also restricted colonists’ access to purchasing property in the west. They declared that the settlers were to be their tenants forever.
The Brits faced resistance while trying to levy taxes. Britain was forced to abolish all taxes save the one on tea despite objections. Demonstrations like the Boston Tea Party were spurred by it. It was ruled that because the colonies were not represented in the British parliament, they lacked the power to tax them. The colonists disagreed with the British who viewed this as seditious
Ideological Basis for the American Revolution
Intellectuals from the age of enlightenment like Locke, Harrington, and Milton succeeded in capturing the general imagination. They believed that no authority should be able to trample on the inalienable rights that everyone possesses. This stood in sharp contrast to the oppressive British rule. There were a great number of intellectuals who disliked the injustices in British society, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson being only two of them. They emphasized the irony of having an island rule over a continent while announcing the freedom to protest.
Importance of the American Revolution
The revolution led to establishing of a republic based on the first written constitution in human history. This stood quite firmly in contrast to the other states where monarchs still ruled. This served as inspiration for people all around the world to strive for democratic and republican systems of governance. It established a federal state with equal authority for the federal government and the states. This provided a good model for power distribution in many countries that need complex political systems.
Likewise, each state institution had its unique spheres of influence. People were given a set of unalienable rights, which limited the government’s capacity to overthrow the will of the people and intrude in their everyday lives. Democracy had developed, but it was far from perfect. Women and Black Americans were excluded from the right to vote. Nonetheless, the path toward democracy had already begun.
Afterward, there were several upheavals, with the French Revolution being the biggest in Europe. Many of the generals from the conflict became significant figures in the French Revolution. Participating in the revolution were thinkers like Thomas Paine. Contemporary ideas were thereby spread across Europe.
The struggle began at Lexington, Massachusetts in 1775 after the first encounter between British troops and the provincial militia. Shortly after, George Washington becomes command of the army of the American colonies. British General Gage won at Bunker Hill.
The Saratoga victory caused the conflict’s direction to shift. French armies led by Lafayette arrived to support the American colonies. In Yorktown in 1781, General Cornwallis’s British soldiers eventually yielded to Washington. The battle ended with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris.