American War of Independence

The American war of Independence, arose from growing tensions between residents of 13 American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown. It ultimately led to the formation of United States of America

European Powers fighting for colonies – British and French

  • During 1702-1713 France and Britain had a war which decided the fate of 13colonies in America
  • Britain acquired Acadia and Hudson Bay and had friendship with red Indians.

·       A peace treaty was signed between Britian and Francein 1763  at Paris known as  Paris peace treaty of 1763or the Royal Proclamation

  • According to this treaty Canada and the region east of the Mississippi was given to England
  • England forced Spain to hand over Florida –Hence French dominance ended there.

England tightens the laws: Mercantile treaty

  • England spent money for their own benefit and  not for the colonists also they tried to cover the war cost from the colony.
  • The colonists were not to sell the raw materials to outer world without their permission for better price and also they didn’t allow them to buy things in cheap from other countries rather than Britain. They were also restricted to selling manufactured goods
  • American business men were kept away from markets
  • Trade acts of 1699,1732,1750 forbid the manufacture of woolen
  • It was illegal to send certain goods to other ports rather than Britain

The royal proclamation of 1763
•Americans were not allowed to have settlements west of the Alleghany mountains angered the people of the middle and southern colonies, who had discovered the rich possibilities of that region
•The Americans refused to respect the law
•The British government placed a standing army of 10,000 men in the colonies to enforce the proclamation.
Stamp Act 1765
 •This law required revenue stamps of varying amount, to be affixed to all legal documents, newspapers, bonds , property deeds , business contracts and other commercial agreements etc., which instigated the protesters

Causes and results

Quarterins Act

This law required colonies to furnish barracks and certain foods for the troops stationed there to defend them. New York was especially hard hit by the new law because a large number of troops was assigned there

 The “Little People”, leaders of resistance

  • Most of the people of this group, who resist the England were hurt by the trade laws, the proclamation line the stamp act and the quartering act.
  • Leaders – Samuel Adams in Massachusetts, Patrick Henry in Virginia, became leaders of the “independents” and wished 13 thirteen colonies to become independent of England

Agitation against the stamp act

  • Virginia and Massachusetts inspired by the oratory of the “Independents”
  • A set of resolutions against the stamp act was passed by a single vote in the house of Burgesses, was circulated throughout the colonies
  • “No taxation without representation” become a slogan in Massachusetts
  • The declaration of rights and grievances was drawn up, and a petition professing loyalty was sent to the king and parliament
  • They burned heaps of stamps
  • Stamp collectors were handled roughly
  • 9 colonies sent delegates to the so-called stamp act congress in 1765 to register their protest against the stamp act

 Repeal of the stamp act and declaratory act:

  • British merchants complained that their colonial trade was being disruprted.
  • As a result the stamp act was repealed in the spring of 1766

 The Townshend Acts:

  • Townshend who was the chancellor of the king George had passes a series of laws, which laid duties on lead, glass, paper, paint, and tea imported by the colonies
  • The revenue obtained from these duties was to be used to pay salaries to colonial governors, judges, and British troops that were there to protect the colonists

The Boston Massacre

  • In 1770 Lord North who was the prime minister repealed all the Townshend duties except that on tea in America, the so called “Boston massacre” took place
  • In March 1770, a brawl outside the custom house began in which soldiers fired on a crowd killing five and wounding several citizens

First continental congress-1774

  • The congress told the colonists to organize local militia and start training gradually they decided  to meet  in1775.the second congress was to set the first union of all colonies
  • The British decided to suppress the rebels instead of addressing their grievance

The armed resistance in Lexington

  • In April 1775 a group of British soldiers under the command of Gen. Gage were stopped in their way by a group of patriotic farmers in Lexington and were not allowed to pass through.
  • The rebels were asked to disperse but they disobeyed.
  • So the British soldiers shot the rebels killing 11 of them.
  • The killings of the farmers infuriated the colonists and they organized themselves for an armed resistance

2nd continental congress

  • Philadelphia 1775 September 5th
  • News came that there was a major battle held at breeds hill (also called Bunker Hill) which were under the control of patriots and that the patriots fought fiercely.
  • George Washington became the commander in chief
  • It created 2 committee composed of Jefferson,Franklin,John Adams,Roger
  •  Sherman, and Robert to prepare the declaration within few days the war also declared

The declaration of independence – 1776

  • The declaration of independence was formally adopted on July 4th 1776
  • It contained the reasons for the separation of the colonies from great Britain and had three parts
  • The first part contains the reasons for revolution – consists of self-evident truths
  • The second part has a list of colonial grievances aimed at the king of England
  • The third part transforms the colonies into the United States of America.

            The effects of the declaration of independence

  • The followers of the British and the king were considered traitors
  • Their property was seized and many of them were banished to Canada
  • Most of the new states adopted a constitution
  • In New York and New England governors began to get elected by popular vote.

The war for independence

  • When the British left Boston the whole new England came under the control of the Americans
  • But the British recaptured New York
  • The Americans had to spent the cold and brutal winter in ‘valley forge’ while the British were comfortable in their havens in New York
  • American naval ships attacked and plundered the British ships
  • The final battle was held in the city of Yorktown
  • Gen Cornwallis was trapped in the city from every side and surrendered his whole army

The causes for the failure of the British

  • George Washington showed great skill as the commander of the American army
  • The men fighting for the British army had no coordination between them
  • The British had a geographical disadvantage as the American sharpshooters used the formations of the land for their favor
  • Supply routes of the British army were effectively blocked by Americans
  • The Americans were largely benefitted by the French aid