The roots of the United States stem from the British Empire. It is essential to understand how people who created this great country have been treated before its emergence to understand why America eventually became one of the major powers in the world. This essay will discuss one of the most critical events in the history of the United States – the American Revolution. The thesis statement for this paper is that the continuous increase in the oppression from the British Empire was a necessary factor for forging a strong nation.
The Thirteen British Colonies, which later became known as the Thirteen American Colonies, were heavily taxed during that period due to the losses that the British Empire tried to alleviate with this move. The Anglo-French dispute over the colonial rights on the North American continent caused significant losses for the British Empire (Wood, 2011). There were several major preconditional occurrences that eventually catalyzed this revolution. The King issued several crucial acts that brought disparity into the lives of American colonists, one of the first being the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act (Wood, 2011). While taxation on goods and stamps was in place before this event, Parliament had never forced this law on English colonies (Wood, 2002). These Acts have placed a significant strain on the Americans, which led to riots, boycotts, and unrest (Wood, 2011). From this point onward, the situation began to worsen with each passing act and further increased the strength of the bond between the Americans, at the same time separating them from the Empire.
The growing tension between the thirteen colonies of the British Empire was continuously heated during the second half of the 18th Century, and the disparity between British colonialists and the government became significantly more prominent. One of the primary sources of information about the actions that were taken by the British Empire in an attempt to prevent the revolution from happening is known as the Intolerable Acts. This set of documents consisted of four legislative acts that were aimed to avoid the increase of the rebellious movements (“Intolerable Acts,” 1774). The intention of these Acts was to shift the governmental structure into the favor of the Empire and increase its influence on the American colonies. The Acts were met with heavy resistance, causing riots, breakdown of production chains, and increased despise toward the impact from overseas (Wood, 2011). This approach magnified the sense of patriotism, causing Americans to band together in the face of imminent danger.
There were attempts from the American Colonies to make peace with the British Crown in the form of declarations that were aimed to resolve the situation. Reports and grievances regarding the adverse effects of the British government on the American States were documented in the Continental Congress’ Declaration of Rights and Grievances against Great Britain (The Continental Congress, 1774). The paper was written and presented to the British Crown in 1774, however, it did not bring the desired effect for the Americans. Its inefficiency led to an increase in resistance, as American leaders began to call to arms, issuing such papers as the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (Wood, 2002). In turn, growing concerns of the British Empire led to its attempts to disarm colonists, which were largely unsuccessful (Wood, 2002). The opposition started to become more radicalized as more frustrated Americans were turning against the British government.
During that period, the actions of the British Empire were not aimed to alleviate the situation, but to force people to adhere to its power. Wood (2011) argues that, during that time, “contracts became much more voluntary, explicit, and consensual, much less declaratory of previously existing rights and duties and much more the consequence of conscious acts of will” (p. 202). However, the British Empire did not take any of these trends into consideration. The oppression was further worsened by the attitude of the British soldiers towards civilians, which was described as lacking any respect or concern (Wood, 2011). In order to decide how to deal with the situation, The First Continental Congress had conducted a meeting in Philadelphia in order to organize a resistance movement (“List of delegates First Continental Congress,” 1774).
The answer from the British Empire was a call for harsh and strict hostile measures against rebels, and it has attempted to hold onto the influence over its colonies. A document called “By the King, A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition” was issued later in the year 1775, which further worsened the relationship between the Thirteen Colonies and the Empire (King George III, 1775). It effectively called all the colonists rebels, despite their personal attitudes towards the Crown. The colonists, who were just accused of rebellion, were indignant and significantly frustrated (Wood, 2011). This attitude caused a widespread revolt, and organized resistance came in full swing (Wood, 2011).
This resistance had turned into a rebellion that reached to all parts of the American colonies. By the year 1776, military hostilities were in full swing across the states (Wood, 2011). Americans were fully convinced that the war with British Empire was inevitable, and the massive battles, such as the Battles of Lexington and Concord, began to take a death toll on both sides of the conflict (Wood, 2002). On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress debated and issued the Declaration of Independence that stated that the rule of the British Empire had to be abolished (Jefferson et al., 1776).
In conclusion, the attitude of the British Empire towards the Thirteen American Colonies has caused them to break apart. The measures that were taken in an attempt to exert power over the colonies led to the rallying of American people, strengthening their bonds while weakening their beliefs in the fairness of the British Crown. The evidence points at the desperate attempts of the Empire to recover its losses during the Anglo-French conflict on the North American continent, which was hastily dispatched and had an opposite effect. The American Revolution had been started by the colonists, however, it was impossible without immense pressure from the British Crown. Eventually, this series of events led to the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the forming of the United States of America. This story shows how the British Crown began to lose its leading position, and where does the American patriotism take its roots. The modern mindset of the American citizens continues to stay true to the ideals of the people who led this rebellion, which allowed this country to become one of the dominant forces in the world.
Intolerable Acts. (1774). The Pennsylvania Journal, 1645. Web.
Jefferson, T., Adams, J., Franklin, B., Livingston, R. R., & Sherman, R. (1776). The Declaration of Independence. Web.
King George III. (1775). By the King, A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition. Web.
List of delegates First Continental Congress (1774). Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774 – 1789. Web.
The Continental Congress (1774). Continental Congress’ Declaration of Rights and Grievances against Great Britain. Web.
Wood, G. S. (2011). The radicalism of the American Revolution. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
Wood, G. S. (2002). The American Revolution: A history. Random House Publishing Group.