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CHAPTER

4
AMERICAN
INDEPENDENCE..SUMMARY

WAR

OF

INTRODUCTION
The treatment of British statesman with colonist was so harsh that the colonist had no other option but to
demand freedom from the British Empire.
CAUSES OF THE REVOLUTION
After the British and French war, the British suffered huge financial loss consequently they levied huge
taxes on the colonists and established strict control over the colonies which results in surging discontent
among the colonists.

1. ATTITUDE OF THE AMERICAN: The people who migrated from England to America were
mostly paupers(poors), convicts, unemployed and some religious people. These people had very
little love for their mother country because they were neither given any employment nor freedom
there. On the other hand they were enjoying more freedom in America than they could in Europe.

2. ATTITUDE OF THE BRITISH: The British believed that America was their colony and the
colonists being English natives were there to serve their mother country as a good mistress for
which purpose the government in the colonies were brought under Royal control. The American
on the other hand believed that they should manage their affairs in their own way.

3. Mercantilism and Navigation Acts: Strict measures were enforced on the colonists through
principles of Mercantilism and Navigation Acts. According to these measures colonies existed
merely to serve their mother country. Different Acts were enforced to improve the economy of the
mother country, England.

a. Navigational Act 1651: all goods entering England must carry in ships owned or manned
by British Subjects which adversely affect the dutch interests.

b. Enumerated Commodites Act 1660: English colonies shall not export certain commodites
such Sugar, tobacco, dyes, cotton and indigo to any other country, except England or any
other English colony.

c. Staple Act 1763: All European exports into American colonies must be brought into
English ports and then be reshipped after the payment of duty.

d. The Duty Act 1673: enforcement of all earlier Act through Customs Collectors.
e. The Enforcement Act1696: strict measures to check smuggling and this necessitated
registration of all colonial ships.

f. Molasses Act 1733: designed to stop the importation of French, West Indian colonies into
the English Colonies.

4. British Restrictions on Manfuacture: Wollen Act, The Hat Act and The Iron Act was enforced.
The law provided that these goods must be imported from Britain which causes further
resentment among the colonists.

5. REMOVAL OF FRENCH DANGER: After the Seven year War, the french danger was
removed to a greater extent. This enabled the American colonist to stand by their own feet and
they no longer British army help to counter French army threat.

6. POLICIES OF GRENVILLE: The war with France left British with heavy financial loss, so
they decided to levy huge taxes on the colonists which greatly resent the colonists

a. The stamp Act 1765: To meet the additional expenditure of the standing army in the
American Colonies, England decided that American Colonists should bear that expense.
So, George Greneville, the Prime Minister during the reign of George III passed the
Stamp Act in 1765. The Act directed that in the American Colonies, the government
papers, legal documents, receipts should be written or printed on Stamp Paper. The tax
which was collected from this stamp was to be used for the expenditure of the Standing
Army in America. It created storm in America. They destroyed the stamp papers. No
Taxation without Representation or Taxation without representation is tyranny,
became their cry. This gave impetus to the revolution.

b. The Declaratory Act: The Stamp Act made Grenville unpopular and he was dismissed.
Rockingham succeeded him. He passed the Declaratory Act in 1766. It repealed the
Stamp Act. It declared that the Mother country had the right to impose taxes on the
Colonies. This created a storm among the Americans and they became revolutionary.

7. Townshend Programme: Townshend, the Chanceller of Exchequer in Pitt, the Elders Ministry,
revived the policy of Greneville. He imposed duties on tea, glass, lead, paper and colour imported
into the American colonies. This gave a serious setback to the colonists and they became
rebellious. They boycotted the trade relationship with England.

8. Measures Taken by Lord North: Then Lord North, the Prime Minister of England abolished
duties on glass, lead and paper etc. but retained on tea. This annoyed the colonist. In 1770, when
a company of British soldiers were marching through the streets of Boston, the Americans
showered on them snow balls. Being insulted, the soldiers fired on them and killed five
Americans which was known as Boston Masscare

9. Tea Act and Boston Tea Party: In 1773 Lord North introduced a new Tea Act and allowed the
East India Company to sell tea directly in America. It created severe reaction among the
Americans. The agitators in Boston formed the Boston Tea Party. The chief motive of this party
was to resist the East India Company to sell tea in America. The first cargoes of Tea sent by East
India Company arrived at Boston. On 16 December 1773, under the leadership of Samuel Adams,
some agitators of Boston Tea Party entered into the ship in the disguise of Red Indians and threw
343 chests of the tea into the Sea. This event was famous as The Boston Tea Riot. Out of anger,
Lord North passed the Boston Port Act in 1774 and the Port was closed. This incident gave an
impetus to the American War of Independence. The activities of Lord North prompted the

Americans to unite. All the thirteen Colonies except Georgia met at Philadelphia in 1775. They
sent a petition in association with an Olive Branch to the British Parliament demanding the repeal
of the thirteen Acts passed by the British Parliament since 1765. This was famous as the Olive
Branch Petition. Edmund Burke and Pitt, the Elder tried to find out the method of consiliation.
They advised George III to negotiate with the Americans but George III did not pay stress on
their advice. So, on 19 April, 1775, the Americans killed eight British soldiers at Lexington.

PREPARATION FOR WAR

1. THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS( SEPT 1774): American patriot leader from 12
colonies get together and convened the first continental congress in Philadelphia. The congress
passed a set of resolution known as Declaration of Rights and Grievances. They demanded
getting rid of the taxes and the Royal Governors, non interference of the British parliament in the
internal affairs of the American.
In feb 1775, Massachusetts was declared as a state of rebellion by the British parliament.
In April 1775, the British commander Gage was ordered to disarm the rebels and arrest their
leaders. Gaged marched on to Concord and wanted to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams.
When the news of this attack reached the country, the people with their rifles ran to attack the
British troops. As a result the British were compelled to retreat to Boston.

2. SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS:

In the second continental congress held at


philaphildia , the congress voted that a continental Army be raised, George Washington was
appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the forces.

3. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: The declaration of independence was framed


through the second continental congress. The things had reached to the point of no return and the
colonists realized that the time for resolution and petition had gone and the issues could only be
settled through fight.

4. BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL (JUNE 1775): In this battle Warren, Putuam and Prescott were
the commanders of the colonists army while Gage was the commander of British Army. The
American took position on Bunker Hill. Gages troop attack the colonists and they were defeated.
George Washington took charge of the continental army on july 3, 1775 and organized the whole
affairs of the army. Gen Howe at Boston replaced Gen. Gage. Gen Howe was not that energetic as
Gen. Gage. In feb 1776 Gen. Howe was directed to seize Dorchester Heights from where Boston
was within artillery range. However, the colonists were successful in not only defending the
Dorchester Heights but conquered the city of Boston.

CONSITITUTIONAL AND ECONONMIC PROBLEMS THAT EMERGED IN THE US AFTER


THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.

1. CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEMS.

a. Lack of central Government: After independence the congress was in no sense a


government because it lacked the requisite organ of government vis, the legislature,
executive, and judiciary. It was merely a body of delegates from various states entrusted
with responsibility of war.

b. Bill of Rights: Another important challenge that emerged was the provision of rights to
the people.

2. THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS


a. Decline of commerce: After independence British imposed heavy charges on the
American ships entering her port. All efforts of the Americans to persuade Britain to
reopen trade with the West Indies failed.

b. The National Debt: The states owed huge foreign debts which had mounted due to
nonpayment of interests on these debts for many years.

c. Absence of satisfactory system of Currency and Credit.


3. THE POLITICAL PROBLEMS
a. Western Lands
b. Foreign Relations
i. Relation with Spain: Americas relation with Spain was also strained because
she encourged the Indians to harass the American frontiersmen.

ii. Relation with Britain:

Many problems after the war of independence


remained unsolved which embittered its relation with Britain.

CONCLUSION: the attainment of independence by the American colonies did not mark the end of all
the colonial troubles but it gave rise to numerous constitutional economic and political problems, which
kept the American statesmen busy for many decades.