The 1775-1783 revolutionary war, popularly known as the “American revolutionary war” started as a war between the thirteen North American colonies and the kingdom of Great Britain. However, the revolution later developed into a global war involving several great powers of Europe. The revolution started taking shape after the lodging of the concepts of self-representation and liberty in the minds and hearts of the patriots (Chambers, 85). The remaining bit was war or parliamentary compromise. The revolutionary war began as result of heightening political tensions between Great Britain’s parliament and the colonists opposing and challenging the constitutionality of the 1765 stamp act. The colonists underlined that there should be no taxation if there was no representation while the parliament of Great Britain maintained it had rights to tax its colonists. This paper provides a detailed analysis and account of the Revolutionary War.
In the late eighteenth century, the Americans were enjoying more liberties compared to other people in the world and equally paid lower taxes in comparison to subjects of other European states (Jensen, 40). Despite declaring their allegiance and loyalty to the British monarch, they feathered and tarred the royal officials. The dissenting colonies burned ships docking on their ports, boycotted imports and defied taxes despite professing their loyalty and respect for the rule of English law. The colonies from different locations in North America came together in a unity of purpose because of their shared grievances, notion of self-determination and the concerns about tyranny.
The colonies in North America proceed to form a shadow government in every colony and continental congress that was to unite them all (Jensen, 40). In the beginning, they were reluctant revolutionaries who wanted to reconcile with their master /sovereign even as they were defiant protesters seeking recognition of their rights. The Great Britain responded by putting to an end the self-government established in Massachusetts. The Great Britain equally established a military control in the colony, installing General Thomas gage to govern it. It is after deployment of troops in Boston by the Great Britain that the war broke out shortly afterwards in 1775 (Jensen, 40).
The mansions of Virginia, pulpits of the churches and the town halls in New England were instrumental in the decisions long before the waging war at the battlefields of Yorktown, Lexington and Saratoga. The American masses started understanding the meaning liberty and began absorbing and acting upon what they conceptualized as liberty. The preexisting feuds and their actions influenced the course of action and response by the colonial masters from the Chesapeake plantations to the Hudson River valley. Leaders such as Thomas Paine began articulating the political philosophies of the seventeenth and eighteenth century in a simple manner though the use of pamphlets that was equally easy to read. Representation was one of the key demands of the colonists. They also demanded accountability from their leaders (Jensen, 40).
The growing tension between Great Britain and the colonists was because of the American notion that serving and protecting the people is the role of government and the reason for its existence. According to the Americans, the people should revolt in case the government fails to serve and protect them, replace it with a new one that is able meet their expectations, and serve their interests (Chambers, 85). The rhetoric of freedom however, engulfed the entire segment of the colonial population including the unintended group such as the slaves who equally decided to capitalize on the prospects of a radical change. Many slaves got their own freedom by escaping from their masters, fighting behind the lines of the British troops or enlisting with the colonists’ continental army.
All the groups including women seemed to understand the concept of liberty and each worked to advance their own realization of the said liberty. The colonial women for example perceived this as an opportunity for them demonstrate patriotism and self importance through weaving homespun, spying, fundraising and passing information across the enemy lines. For the African Americans and white women the revolutionary war gave them a chance to expand their liberties and rights (Chambers, 85). The realization that the revolutionary war was not going to guarantee equal rights or emancipation made certain groups to ally with the enemy as a means trying to achieve their own goals and aims.
The colonies in North America did not have proper preparation for the war, lacking a central government and having no organized army nor navy. The delegates from the various colonies managed to form a Continental Congress to undertake the roles and duties of a national government. The Continental Congress directed the colonists’ war efforts and in the process voted to establish an organized navy and army. At this stage, the congress appointed George Washington a former military officer and wealthy landowner from Virginia as the Continental army’s commander in chief.
The patriots’ battle for minds and hearts won many of the colonists thus ensuring the support of the majority before the beginning of the war and this was very instrumental in the military aspect of the revolutionary war. The Americans had faith in their leader George Washington and believed in the cause unmatched by that of the homesick British troops. The American had a notion and a cause they were fighting for and therefore they did not despair despite their challenges of fighting a superior force and their master. The Great Britain had a better-trained and larger army and navy thus launching a huge sea and land attempts to crush the revolution. They equally suffered setbacks and had their own challenges such as supplying and transporting its army (military personnel) across the Atlantic (Chambers, 85).
Declaration of Independence
As the war progressed, the British forces won several battles but were gaining little from their victories while the American patriots continued forming new forces and fighting on. The revolutionary war had its own limitations, as it did not seek equal rights for women and African- Americans but in relation to eighteenth century, the war marked an unprecedented and substantial break from the past (Chambers, 85). On 4 July 1776, the colonies declared their freedom after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Congress. The treaty of Paris in 1783 marked the end of the revolutionary war. The American Revolution had an immense impact on the world despite its flaws, launching the age of revolutions in the globe. America set the precedence of successful struggles for liberty, equality, freedom and self-determination thus radically changing the eighteenth century rigid hierarchical world in the West. The principles advancement by the revolution acted as the foundation for democracy in the modern society.
In conclusion, it is important to note that there was tension building between American colonies and Great Britain for over ten years before the start of the revolutionary war. The passing of a series of laws by the British aimed at increasing its control over the colonies in the mid 1960 led to the strong resistance of the laws, especially the tax law by Americans accustomed to self-government (Jensen, 40). However, the revolutionary war had its limitations, as most of its underpinning principles were to benefit primarily the white men in America. Despite the limitations, the Revolutionary War marked the birth of a society dedicated to the concepts of equality, freedom and liberty.