Results and Consequences of the American Revolution
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The American War of Independence proved to be an important event for Americans, who dreamed about it and fought for it. Their thinking and way of life were surrounded by the intense desire for independence. The society and the government in those days were also highly focused on attaining independence. The number of adult white men in the population of the British colonies was approximately four hundred thousand in the year 1775. Of these nearly one hundred and seventy – five thousand fought for achieving independence. There were one hundred and twenty thousand patriot soldiers and fifty – five thousand Loyalists. During the days of the War, hundreds of thousands of houses were looted. Several of these were razed to the ground and the majority of the people were detained in the prisons. Many of the detained women were molested by the Patriot militia and the British troops. Tens of thousands of men fled from the major cities, which were occupied by the British troops (American Revolution).
The United States of America and the United Kingdom and its colonies fought with each other from 1812 to 1815. This war was known as the War of 1812. The colonies that participated in the war were Upper Canada, Ontario, Quebec or Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, Bermuda and Newfoundland. In the year 1814, a peace pact was signed by the warring nations. Nevertheless, the war continued up to 1815. As a result of this war, one thousand six hundred British and two thousand two hundred and sixty American soldiers lost their life. The cause of this engagement was the war between Great Britain and France, which ended in 1793 (War of 1812).
The battle zones were concentrated around New York City; and they also existed in New Jersey and Georgia. The demand of the people was for the creation of a new government and political order, rather than merely modifying the existing economic system. The fishing industry in New England was destroyed by British warships, and the British navy seized many American ships. The Atlantic trade was completely destroyed during the War of Independence; and most of the South states, which exported tobacco and rice, were severely affected by this British depredation. Similarly, in the North, the states that had grain markets suffered, as all the port cities were closed down. The major port cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston and Newport were controlled by the British troops and there was a great depletion of population in those cities (American Revolution).
There were several contributing factors for the American Revolution. These causes included long – term social, political and economic changes. These were the main causes that prevailed in the colonies before the year 1750. They stressed the importance of an independent nation that had representative political agencies. In addition to this, the French and Indian War which was fought between 1754 and 1763 had seriously damaged the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain. In 1765, the Stamp Act was enacted, which marked the beginning of the crisis between the colonies and the UK. By 1775 the crisis had reached its zenith and paved the way for the outbreak of the war. In the year 1776, the US proclaimed the Declaration of Independence (American Revolution).
In order to contain the influence of France, Great Britain attempted to hinder the neutral trade between France and the US. In this endeavor, it had imposed several trade restrictions on the United States. The latter claimed that those restrictions were in violation of international law and were illegally imposed upon it. However, Great Britain did not recognize the contentions of the United States. This led to the declaration of war by the Americans on Great Britain on the 18th of June 1812. The Americans had several reasons for their declaration of war against Britain. Some of the reasons included, the impressments of American sailors into the navy of Great Britain; the restrictions imposed by the British on neutral trade with France; the British support and encouragement for the rights of Native American Indians who fought with American settlers in their tribal lands; and the American ambition of expanding the Republic of the USA (War of 1812).
The 1783 Treaty of Paris had guaranteed American independence. It granted the United States the territory of land to the east of the Mississippi between Canada and Florida. Under this treaty, the British could still recover debts from Americans, and the properties belonging to its loyalists could be compensated for. The other benefits provided by the war that were effective in the long term, included voting rights to more people, provision of more land for the Americans, the availability of vast lands that were confiscated from the loyalists, religious freedom, promotion of antislavery ideology, the abolishment of the practice of slavery and the import of slaves by all the states except South Carolina and Georgia, increase in the manufacture of American products, and the establishment of state governments (THE RESULTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION).
The National government adopted the principles and Articles of the Confederation. However, the conflicts between Great Britain and the US remained unresolved even after the declaration of independence, because the debts were not recovered by the British and the Loyalists were not compensated for their properties, which were confiscated by the newly formed state governments. In the Northwest, the British continued to maintain forts. Eventually, the War of 1812 resulted in three new countries, namely, the United States of America, Canada (English speaking) and Australia (THE RESULTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION).
In the South, slavery proliferated greatly, immediately after the revolution. The slave families suffered greater difficulties in the southern states. In the upper South regions, economic development created better and new job opportunities for adult black men and women. There were payment arrangements with the owners of slaves to free their wives and children. Slavery included child labor and this new development of payment arrangement provided even better opportunities for Artisans and manufacturers in Baltimore to engage a greater number of black laborers, who needed money to obtain the freedom of their family members from their owners. The post war environment had provided development for port cities in the North such as Boston, New York and Philadelphia. For the first time in 1780, Pennsylvania enacted the emancipation legislation. This law served to accelerate the growth of economic conditions of the black community in a rapid manner. Women became the heads of black households by 1790. As such, in the context of the blacks, the American Revolution proved to be the driving force behind the emancipation of slaves in the northern states (Kleinberg, Boris and Ruiz).
The American Revolution proved to be a costly affair for both the US and Great Britain. In the year 1781 the war was declared at an end when the American troops and the allies surrounded the British army, which was led by General Cornwallis. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed declaring the independence of the US. This Treaty granted the newly independent nation the land that had been appropriated by the British in the French and Indian wars (Mulcrone).
The United States sustained heavy loss in the war of 1812. In 1814, the British troops burned down the White House at the Capitol. This act undermined the dignity of the US. Moreover, most of American governmental buildings in Washington were gutted during the war. However, the US could withstand the losses caused by the British, and it established itself as a superpower of the world. By 1900, the US had rebuilt its national resources and infrastructure, which helped the growth of American supremacy in the world economy. The United States was reborn as the most powerful nation in the world, both economically and militarily. The American standard of living remained par excellence the world over, and its industry remained unmatched in the world. It has very high levels of sanitation, very high levels of per capita income and unmatched development in medical care, which has brought about a very healthy American society (Mosler, Catley and Catley).
There are common factors to the European, American and French revolutions. The common causes for these revolutions relate to feudalism, capitalism, democracy and national sovereignty. The French revolution proved to be more violent than any other revolution in the world. It was fought for the cause of democracy and it was radical and protracted. The French revolution posed serious problems, which were absent in the other European revolutions (Rudé and Kaye).
The American Revolution had been the inspiration and proved to be the model for the French people prior to the year 1789. In 1788, Jacques – Pierre Brissot of France visited the United States. He was much inspired and impressed by the Pennsylvanian constitution. The Bill of Rights enacted by Virginia had also impressed him. His visit and the impression of the American statutes inspired many French revolutionists. These individuals encouraged the French revolutionary factions to study the American documents with regard to the American Revolution and subsequent developments in the United States. However, the American Revolution and the French Revolution differed in their circumstances and issues. The former was fought for creating a new country and independent province. The circumstances that led to the French Revolution were unique and unrelated to the factors that resulted in the American Revolution. Brissot was executed in 1792 for having brought the philosophy of American constitution to France (Marshall and Johnston).
The American Revolution can be considered a civil war. The British rulers had exploited the American people by misinterpreting the constitution for their own nefarious and exploitative purposes. There were political debates both in the US and in Great Britain between American supporters and the British imperialists. In this manner, there was an unseen division among people both in America and Britain. There were people who supported the American cause and people who argued against the American interests. The British people supported British imperialism, whereas the American patriots stressed upon independence and the cessation of British exploitation of America (Liberal Democrat History Group).
In the British colonies many Americans remained Loyalists to the British Crown and supported the British constitution. There were protestors in Britain who condemned the British policies in America and supported American patriots. During the entire period of the American Revolution, the British government was able to obtain the consent of its people for the policies adopted by it in the American colonies, which promoted British imperialism (Liberal Democrat History Group).
The American Revolution was a landmark incident in the history of British politics. It challenged the administration of Lord North, under the aegis of the Emperor George III. Great Britain lost its colonies in this War of Independence and this clearly demonstrated the incapable administration of Great Britain, and exposed the vulnerability in the British approach towards colonization. Moreover, the American War of Independence established the leadership qualities of George Washington. The French aid was also a significant factor that was responsible for the debacle of the British regime in North America (American Revolution (or American War of Independence; 1775 – 1783). In The Macmillan Encyclopedia).
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