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How America gained Independence in 1783 - A quick glance.

America is currently the world superpower in all forms whether it is the defense, communication, navy, technology, space, finance. It leads the world in true sense but now the world is going through a drastic change. Change in terms of the way people do businesses, the way people think and approach life and the rising geopolitical tensions due to COVID-19 and the Russia - Ukraine War and the unnecessary aggression of China towards maximum countries of the world including against India. As we see the shift of geopolitics towards multilateralism and away from the west, let's try and understand how America used to be 250 years from now and how the American's fought against the French and British to gain Independence, to what is known as American Revolution (1776 - 1783).

Colonies in America

After the discovery of American continent, Europeans and people from other continents used to migrate to this new land for work or other means such as the landless peasants, traders and religiously motivated individuals. At that time South America was colonized by Spain and English and French had their colonies in North America.

These colonies were controlled through governors, but they enjoyed political freedom and each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. The relationship was cordial initially but didn't remain for long enough.

Laws initiated by the British that led to War

The British government used to treat the colonies as a medium to benefit the parent state and the policies existed for their own benefit. As like the case was with India util 1940's, these colonies were also expected to furnish raw materials and serve as a market for produced goods. Moreover, they were asked to ship their goods in the British ships only.

By the year 1763 after the War between French and British over Canada, popularly known as 'Sever Year's War' the British came as victorious, which resulted in removing the fear of French in the minds of Americans and now they only had to tackle the British. The British government also enacted series of laws for the benefit of mainland which led to exploitation of American colonies which made the people of these colonies enraged and they slowly started to demand the representation in British parliament in return for the legislations imposed on them by the British.

Certain laws enacted by British's were:

  • Proclamation of 1763 - Passed by then British PM, Granville which prohibited the colonists from purchasing the land beyond Appalachian Mountains.

  • Sugar Act 1764 - Increasing duties on sugar.

  • Stamp Act 1765 - Insisting the use of British stamps in commercial and legal documents.

  • Quartering Act - Which made it compulsory for colonists to house and provide food to English troops.

  • Townshend Laws - Famous on the name of British Finance Minister, which imposed taxes on glass, paper, tea and paints etc in 1767 on the colonists.

  • Tea Act 1773 - Imposing tax on import of tea, enraged against this a bunch of Americans dressed themselves as red Indians threw the bundles of tea into the sea at the Boston harbor in the protest and this incident became popular by the name of Boston Tea Party.

Similarly, some previous acts which played party to the unrest were the Hat Act of 1732, the Iron Act of 1750 which imposed taxes and curbed imports and productions.

Enraged Americans started to unite themselves against the British Government. On 4th July 1776, the American Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental congress, comprised of the leaders of thirteen states where the British colonized.

The declaration laid emphasis on human freedom such as "Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness".

The WAR.

It started in 1775, when British soldiers fought the Americans at Lexington in Massachusetts. The British were winning the war initially, but the army of Americans commanded by General Gates defeated British troops at Saratoga in October 1777 which marked the turning point and the French troops under Lafayette came to the help of American colonies. The war came to an end by the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

After Effects

The American War of Independence inspired the French revolution and popularized the idea of freedom, liberty as it was fought against the aristocracy and colonial domination.

Democracy came in the United States of America with the separation of power and the first democracy with written constitution in the world came into existence during that era.

(A quick fact - India was a democracy from ancient times, it was later due to periodic invasions which led it to become an Islamic and later the British colony).

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