In the previous post of American Revolution, we have learnt about the circumstances that caused irritation for the American colonies. In 1750s America was well-aware to their causes of exploitation and now they were in dire need to relief their pain.
On the other hand, Britain was in the economic crisis because of the 7 years continuous war. This proved an opportunity for the American colonies to stand for their cause. From here started the story of American Revolution which starts with Greenville Policy of 1763.
Phases of American Revolution
“GREENVILLE POLICY TO SONS OF LIBERTY AND DAUGHTERS OF LIBERTY ORGANISATION”
With the end of 7years war in 1763, Britain became the victim of the economic crisis. So to get rid of this situation British Prime Minister Greenville declared that as they fought the war for the protection of American colonies from the French occupation. So the burden of war was to be shared by American colonies. He came out with Greenville Policy, 1763 in which he took two steps:
- Imposed new taxes on American colonies like stamp duty, sugar duty etc.
- He also imposed the old restriction like Navigation law of 1651.
The American colonies were ready to give the imposed taxation. But in return for this, they wanted representation in British Parliament in accordance with Gentleman’s Resolution, 1689. On the other hand, the British parliament was not understanding their real cause of suffering and imposed new taxes. This step irritated Americans. As a reaction to it, they formed the organisation like Sons and Daughters of Liberty.
The founder and members of this organisation were not afraid to raise their voice for justice. They knew instinctively that talk and politics alone would not bring the end to the British tyranny. So they began to protest and 1st they attacked stamp vendors. They also raised slogan “No Taxation without Representation”. This was the beginning of protest in Amercian colonies against British exploitation.
“ROCKINGHAM DECLARATION AND TOWNSHEND PLAN TO BOSTON MASSACRE(1770)”
The trouble in America and England led to the downfall of Greenville’s government in Britain. New Prime Minister, Rockingham considered that there is trouble in America due to the imposition of stamp and sugar duty. Rockingham immediately abolished stamp and sugar duty through Rockingham Declaration.
Townshend was the Finance Minister of the then England. He abolished stamp and sugar duties but imposed other taxes on America. Under it, Britain increased duties on certain articles imported by America like glass, paper, tea etc.
Americans were still frustrated because Britain was neglecting their demand for their own rights, i.e. Representation in British Parliament. The colonists objected to these restrictions and new taxation, but the British Government was least bothered about their cause. This time colonists were in no mood to submit to what they considered an injustice and wrong to them.
In this situation, Samuel Adams, a member of Sons and Daughters of Liberty organisation, organised a mass protest in Boston and Britain committed the mistake of taking military action against protesters, which eventually led to Boston Massacre in 1770. This incidence completely ruptured the relationship between Britain and American colonies.
“LORD NORTH’s TEA POLICY TO BOSTON TEA PARTY”
After the Boston Massacre of 1770, colonists were very much in anger. In this troublesome condition the then Prime Minister of Britain Fredrick, Lord North tried to have a double shot by a single arrow. He came with his Tea Policy, in which British Government forced the East India Company’s tea on American colonies. At the same time, East India Company which was draining the wealth of east sought the loan from British Parliament for the first time.
This led to the coming of Regulating act of 1773 in India to address the problems of management of the Company in India. Many of the rich people in Britain held their shares in East India Company. The government was under their influence. The members of government themselves were interested in the East Indian trade.
Boston Tea Party of 1773
East India Company was in financial crisis while America was in political crisis. Lord North adopted the Tea policy to overcome both the crisis and abolished the toll tax on American tea, bringing down the prices of tea in America.
It was the assumption of the Lord North that Americans will be attracted towards the lowered prices of tea and if they will purchase it, it will end the financial crisis of East India Company and at the same time, colonists sentiment will also be pacified.
But colonists decided a different fate for the tea policy. They decided therefore to boycott the foreign tea. In December 1773, when an attempt was made to land the East India Company’s tea at Boston. Samuel Adams with his followers entered into Boston port and threw away the tea containers in the Atlantic Ocean and this was Boston tea party of 1773. It was a challenge which led to war between the rebellious American colonies and Britain. Boston tea party, 1773, led to Philadelphia Convention-I, 1774.
First Philadelphia Convention, 1774
The representatives of 12 colonies (except Georgia) attended the convention. Forty-six leading members of the colonial congress addressed King George-III as his faithful subjects and pleaded for peace and the cessation of the “effusion of blood”. They were ardently demanded the restoring harmony and goodwill between Britain and American children. They sent Olive Branch Petition, in which they asked for two conditions: –
- Britain should immediately abolish all restrictions on trade and commerce in America.
- Americans should be given representation in British Parliament.
King George-III considered these two conditions as a revolt. So he ordered for military action. So, Americans wanted some rights and peace from Britain. Instead of understanding their demands King George-III ordered to take military action against them. This time the anger in the colonies were at its peak. This was the beginning of American war of Independence. It was followed by Philadelphia Convention-II, 1776.
Second Philadelphia Convention, 1776
In this convention on 4th July 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted Declaration of Independence. In which he said, “All men are equal in the eyes of state”. During this war, Americans initially faced the reverses and important battles were Lexington, Concord etc.
The story changed in 1781 when France decided to send military help to send military help to America (Very immature decision by the French King, because France was in a debt of 2 billion livres with 10% interest). A French contingent under Lafayette sent to America which strengthens the position of America which led to the defeat of Britain in 1783. The Peace of Paris signed between the warring countries in 1783. Britain accepted the independence of American colonies.
Third Philadelphia Convention, 1787
In 1787 American colonies were independent, but as they do not have past political experience, so next question in front of them was about their future. This led to Philadelphia Convention, 1787. In which important decisions were,
- 13 colonies turned into a federation called the United States of America.
- Accepted Republican form of Government i.e. elected head of the States.
- Formation of man made constitution with special emphasis on the human rights.
George Washington became the first president of United States. Other great men of this period were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Patrick, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and James Madison. The birth of new nation United States was the beginning of western history, as in the 19th century the United States emerged as the Industrial Power and in the 20th century as the Super Power.
This was the brief description of the American war of Independence. In the next coming post, we will read about the American Civil War. 🙂
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