America’s independence story is among the most interesting in human history. Unlike other nations that had been colonized by the British, America had been divided into different regions. At first, there was harmony between Britain and the colonist regions. As Britain took in more territories, there was a need to look for extra money to finance its national debt. To do this, Britain began imposing heavy taxes on its colonies. Prior to this, no single state had seen the need to unite since every region perceived they were autonomous from the other. This made the colonizer’s work easy since there was division in the land. However, long periods of war changed the people’s mindsets and they began seeing themselves as one people.
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In 1773, already under heavy taxation, officials from Boston refused to release tea that was destined for Britain complaining about the heavy tax that had been imposed on the tea. Buoyed by the official’s act of rebellion, some colonists boarded the ship and threw the tea to the sea. This was followed by more acts of rebellion directed toward the colonizers. To counter this rebellion, parliament reciprocated by passing a law they called the Coercive Act. The law stipulated that Boston had to repay the price of the destroyed tea before they were allowed to continue trading in the international market. The colonists countered this by forming the tea party which orchestrated more acts of rebellion. The rebellion finally gave way to armed conflict with the colonizers. This marked the beginning of the American Revolution that finally secured America’s independence.
Before independence, some colonists had their loyalty pegged on Britain and had refused to join the resistance. This was partly due to a large number of British immigrants in America. These immigrants had chosen to remain loyal to Britain. The other group was the slaves who felt that they needed to support the British to retaliate against the wrongs that had been met on them like slaves. They also reasoned that if Britain won the war then they would secure their own freedom. There was also a number of Native Americans who supported Britain for fear of reprisals. On top of this, a large percentage of white people did not support the notion of independence and remained actively opposed to it. It was this combined group opposing independence that was referred to as loyalists.
There are several things however that made the loyalists finally drop their loyalty to Britain and support the independence. One of these was taxation. Just like those who supported the revolution, the loyalists opposed the high parliamentary taxation that had been imposed on the colonies. This made them realize that they were fighting against a system they did not believe in and thus many ended up switching sides during the revolution.
Another major thing that made the loyalists switch sides was that the representatives of the revolution on the ground had succeeded in convincing many people to join the revolution and thus the loyalists were the minority. This left them with no option other than to join forces with the majority. At home, the British people were also being heavily taxed to finance the war. This put a strain on many people and it followed then that their support for the war waned. This led to a cut in financing which in turn affected the cause of the war negatively.
The last notable thing that crushed the loyalist’s opposition was the victory the American army was getting against Britain. The Americans under George Washington were determined to win the war. This determination saw them get the support of France who had better military training than the Americans. This new formidable force between America and France saw the invasion come to an end. When the Americans gained independence, the remaining loyalists had to switch allegiance for fear of being arrested.
The road to independence was not an easy one for America. Britain had used its vast resources to make all its colonies subject to it. Though they did this with minimal supervision at first, there came a time when they had to tax their colonies in order to meet its national debt that had risen from financing the war that was being waged by resisting colonies. It was this heavy taxation that finally switched the fuse that led to the American Revolution and consequent independence. Those who were loyal to Britain opposed the independence but since they were a minority, they were forced to support the new regime.
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Boyer, Clark, et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People: to 1877, 111-121. D.C. Heath, 1990. Print.