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The History of Revolutionary War: Banding Colonies and Revolt Against a Tyrannical Government Essay

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Updated: Sep 26th, 2021

Introduction

The Revolutionary War was a result of the British colonies in America banding together and revolt against a tyrannical government. Britain had ruled over the thirteen colonies in America for more than 200 years before the Revolution. The colonists had no industry, as mandated by British law, so to create wealth. Farmers were forced to sell crops such as tobacco and corn exclusively to the British government at less than wholesale rates.

The ‘Mother Country’ in turn made huge profits by reselling these products. This loss of revenue began in earnest the widespread grumblings demanding freedom from Britain. By the beginning of the Revolution, the wars against France fought on both sides of the Atlantic had burdened Britain with the massive national debt. To ease the national debt, Parliament imposed taxes on the colonists believing it only fair that they bear part of the expenses incurred by the British military in protecting them from Indian attacks and French invasions. The Stamp Act taxed paper goods sent to the colonies. It was the first of these laws while, with the tea tax, was one of the most infamous.

The colonists thought taxation without representation in the British government to be unjust and openly protested these laws which led to hostilities between British troops and the Massachusetts Minutemen in 1775. This and other conflicts with the ‘Red Coats’ led to colonists forming the Continental Congress which immediately created the Continental Army and in 1776, signed the Declaration of Independence (The American Revolution, 2006).

Main body

Many colonists were, of course, British either by birth or heritage and a significant percentage remained loyal to the Crown. Besides being burdened by far-off supply lines and fighting a ground war against guerilla tactics, the British had to pacify the Loyalists who were indistinguishable from the enemy. Ensuring Loyalist support was crucial for the British because the objective of fighting the far-off war was to retain the colonies. The more local support they had, the easier the task.

If support in America vanished, the war would be lost without firing another shot and the British were very aware of this. The Loyalists had friends and relatives among the ranks of the rebels and objected to oppressive tactics for which the British were historically infamous. Having to keep an alliance with Loyalists came at a heavy price; the British were ‘handcuffed’ militarily speaking. “The need to retain Loyalist allegiance also meant that the British were unable to use the harsh methods of suppressing rebellion employed in Ireland and Scotland. Even with these limitations, many potentially neutral colonists were nonetheless driven into the ranks of the Revolutionaries because of the war” (Kruschandl, 2007).

The Loyalists vehemently objected when the British used Germans (Hessians) as mercenaries against Americans. British killing Americans was one thing but Germans killing Americans was another altogether. The British considered recruiting Native Americans and slaves to aid in the war effort fight but the Loyalists would likely have been angered to the point of defect. In all of the thirteen colonies, differing interests and groups both supported and opposed a federal constitution, sparking an intense public debate. The disagreement within Continental Congress was a representation of the divide. (“A Dangerous Plan”, 1787).

The Revolutionary War was fought because the colonists believed they were not being treated fairly. Being under British control was a drain on the economy and the colonists were becoming increasingly independent-minded, being such a large distance from their governing country. Many openly asked why a continent should be ruled by an island thousands of miles away, a months-long excursion at that time. Had it not been for the financial aspects of the disputes between Britain and the Colonies, the Revolution may never have happened or not for a very long time after it did.

Works Cited

(The) American Revolution. Military.com. (2006). Web.

Kruschandl, Nelson. “American War of Independence: 1775-1783.” Solar Navigator. (2007).

“A Dangerous Plan of Benefit Only to the Aristocratic Combination.” (Anti-Federalist Paper #1). The Boston Gazette and Country Journal. (1787). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The History of Revolutionary War: Banding Colonies and Revolt Against a Tyrannical Government." September 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-history-of-revolutionary-war/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The History of Revolutionary War: Banding Colonies and Revolt Against a Tyrannical Government'. 26 September.

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