In 1783 the American Revolutionary War that pitted Americans against Britain in their quest for freedom finally came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris that officially recognized the United States as an independent and sovereign country. This was a culmination of 8 years of war between the two countries and almost a decade of oppressive rule by the British Empire in America that triggered the American Revolution through the tyrannical economic and political policies of the British colonialists.
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This historical American War of Independence was fought on three fronts by the Americans; economically, military, and philosophically. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the major factors in each of these areas that enabled Americans to crash the British Empire rule to claim their independence.
There is no doubt that Americans had numerous strategic military advantages on their sides than was the case for Britain; this is so given that the war was being waged on foreign territory that they were largely unfamiliar with, in addition to the fact that they were outnumbered in population. The zeal with which the Americans fought the British Empire is evidence enough that there was no price that they were not willing to pay for the sake of independence, the fact that Britain had underestimated.
Add this to the fact that Americans had, by this time, substantially experienced militiamen having fought in the side of the British during the Seven Years War. The advent of the war also provided logistical nightmares that the British could not handle because of the distance between their operating base and America, which consisted of an expanse area that the British could not hope to effectively capture and control at the same time. It is these factors and others that provided Americans with the military edge to win the war.
Another crucial front from which the war was being fought was through economic sabotage; this was one of the most vital areas that precipitated the rise of the revolution and set the stage of the cold war that the Americans initiated against the British in the first place. As early as 1699, after the enactment of the Wool Act, the British started implementing economic policies that were aimed at strengthening their stronghold and also increasing their revenue base through increased taxation that they were imposing on Americans. Unknown to them, these economic policies would be the origin of the America’s desire to be liberated; gradually, the colonies started boycotting British goods and openly defying paying taxes setting the stage for the military uprising.
Finally, notable philosophers such as John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, and Jean Rousseau were responsible for influencing the great American leaders who spearheaded the American Revolutionary War. The ideologies of the American leaders, notably Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the war. Benjamin Franklin was very influential, for instance, in convincing the British Colonialist to scrap the famous Stamp Act of 1765, which was also being blocked by like-minded persons such as James Otis, who was also one of the most vocal critics of the law.
Benjamin Franklin also helped with drafting of the famous Declaration of the Independence document largely authored by Thomas Jefferson. It is on the Declaration of Independence document that the aspirations, hopes, and dreams of the American people are best captured, which could not have been the case without the input of historical philosophers whose ideologies are notably captured in the document.
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It is this enlightened mental attitude of the mind that the leaders possessed, which they imparted to their subjects that, in part, facilitated the victory of the American revolutionary war. It is from these three areas that the Americans waged war against the British Empire, which inadvertently enabled them to trounce the British rule.
In the aftermath of the American revolutionary war, when the United States gained independence from Britain, the country’s first task required it to address the challenges that come about because of this independence. The signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1783 changed the social, political, and economic structures of the country; in addition, the country was confronted with difficult choices that it had to make. The main areas that presented major challenges for the young nation included issues of democracy, slavery, and the economy, which would later lead to the 1861 civil war.
Because the American revolutionary war was fought and won on ideologies of liberating all free men in the country, which the revolutionaries had advocated as a natural right, the immediate problem that the leaders faced after gaining independence was naturally the issue of addressing slavery. After the war, no leaders with any conscience could attempt to deny the slaves their right to freedom, which they had started agitating even before the revolution in 1770 when they first petitioned the British Empire to be freed.
In any case, the new ideals of the country as captured in the Declaration of the Independence, which stated “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” among which includes liberty, only served to guarantee them their freedom under the new constitution in a new nation. But granting freedom to slaves who comprised as much as 40% in some states would have meant upsetting the economic equation since they were the major driving force of the economy; this meant there was no easy solution to the problem.
Another area that posed a challenge to the nation was in democracy; this is because freedom brought with it democracy, which was a new concept that the country was relying on to govern the people. Among the earliest areas of contention that pitted the government against the people was in the areas of religion, voting, and right to represent. A consensus that many States adopted after independence was the separation of religion from the government, which also led to greater tolerance of religion; however, the issues of right to vote and to represent remained areas of contention for many States. In addition, many states were at a loss of the best combination of political governance to adopt in their jurisdictions.
Finally, the country was challenged economically due to the problems of labor and land ownership rights that many States adopted after independence. Because the economy previously relied on free labor from slaves working on a large tract of lands that were owned by private individuals, upsetting this balance led to economic stress that affected the overall economy of the country. The economic stress was triggered by the phasing of slavery, land property laws, and price control efforts by the States.
Combined, these challenges served to confront the new government with issues that required urgent attention from a very early stage of its independence. The government and many States responded by putting up short-term measures such as price control strategies that failed to tackle the roots of the problem, meaning that these problems continued unabated. It is from these challenges that the roots of the 1861 Civil War can be traced, among other issues.