The American Revolution
Or How America was Born
By 1750, more than 1 million people lived in the British colonies.
Because of the Seven Years' War, the Crown needed new revenues from the colonies to cover war expenses and maintain an army to defend the colonies in North America. A Stamp Act in 1765 (requiring a British tax on printed materials) was met with violent opposition and was repealed the following year.
More conflict between Britain and the colonies was to follow, until the First Continental Congress met in 1774.
"Take up arms and organize militias!"
Lexington & Concord
First battles between colonists and British army occurred in April 1775 in Massachusetts.
An army was formed by the Second Continental Congress, named the Continental Army. Its Commander in Chief was none other than George Washington.
Declaration of Independence
After a year of fighting, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration on July 4, 1776. Written by Thomas Jefferson, the document formally began the Revolution and was a huge gamble on the part of the colonists.
Lexington & Concord
Support from Foreign Countries
The FRENCH supplied arms and money to the rebels, as well as officers and soldiers serving in Washington's army.
SPAIN and the DUTCH REPUBLIC entered the war, making the British face war with Europeans as well as the Americans.
The Treaty of Paris
It also gave Americans control of the western territory from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River.
The Birth of a New Nation
The new Constitution created a federal system, which means national and state governments SHARE power. Three branches of government were created (executive, judicial, legislative) and each could check and balance the power of the other branch.
The new Constitution of then nation took effect after 9 of 13 states ratified (or approved) it.
The First 10 Amendments...
Many of the rights were derived from the natural rights proposed by the 18th-century philosophers and John Locke.
Many European intellectuals saw the American Revolution as a confirmation of the premises of the Enlightenment.
A new age and a better world could be achieved.