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That’s How America Got Independence

It’s 4th July- American Independence Day so we are going to share with you the story of how America got independence.

The Colonization

The story of American independence begins with its colonization first by the Spanish and later by a strong British presence in American colonies- what are now American states. Jamestown, Virginia was the first colony to be founded in 1607.Before that Spain vigorously engaged in colonizing what is now known as Latin America. After Spain, other European powers like England, Netherlands and France made similar attempts to colonize eastern North America (North America is erstwhile United States). From 1607 to 1733 there were total 13 American colonies now with the last one being Georgia. By this time all 13 colonies were under the British Empire.

All the colonies had a mix of ethnically, religiously different European settlers who got support from Native Americans. Europeans were far more sophisticated in terms of military and governance than the Native Americans. A separate system of governance existed in all the 13 colonies. Mercantilism and Religious Persecution were the two mains goals, which motivated British to colonize America. Mercantilism in this case would mean that Britishers took such policy measures that interests of merchants based in London were well protected in light of competition by American merchants and merchants of other empires and colonies. Religious Persecution was also a strong reason why colonization happened. Protestants and Catholics in some cases left England due to religious persecution by the crown authorities and Church of England. They settled in American colonies in order to be free from such persecution and practice their religion the way they wanted to. By early 1700s, another addition to American landscape was people from Africa who were brought as slaves by the colonizers to work for them.

The Revolution

Problems between colonizers and Americans began when Britain had to fight wars against other colonial powers like France to protect its colonies. In order to shift the burden of fighting such wars, Britain started taxing American subjects, unreasonably for example The Stamp Act of 1765 where Britain aimed to tax all newspapers and other documents exorbitantly. This led to protest by Americans and one such important instance is Boston Tea Party in 1773 where in Boston town of British colony Massachusetts, Americans protested against the East India Company and British Government by throwing consignments of tea in the sea at Boston Harbor. Also highly resisted was the attempt by British government to tax American colonies directly for revenue.

The Freedom

All this culminated into armed fights between British troops and Americans in Concord and Lexington in 1775.This grew into a full-fledged civil war where armed rebels fought the colonizers for independence. Surprisingly there was a great sense of pride in Americans to be of British origin, as most had British ancestors and were protestant by religion. Thus there was an unlined commitment to the British Empire but with freedom as an addition. British crown declared on the other hand these colonies to be in rebellion and thus with no option to step back- Independence was the only choice. This rebellion turned into an International Conflict with France’s entry on the side of the colonists. This helped the Americans to secure surrender from Britishers in 1779 at Yorktown, Virginia. What is now celebrated, as the American Independence Day is the day when American Congress adopted Declaration of Independence in 1776, essentially a self-proclamation of independence by 13 American colonies.

Even after British surrender in 1779, hostilities did not end until British people outgrew their zeal to fund the war for Britain by paying taxes and Britain signed The Treaty of Paris in 1783 after a long bout of peace negotiation where Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay represented the United States. This treaty recognized Mississippi river as the western border of the new nation-US and Britishers retained Canada and Spain got Florida back.

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Monica Verma
Monica Verma

Author is a media graduate and holds a Masters degree in International Relations from South Asian University (SAARC), New Delhi. Monica is on Google Plus. You can also follow her on Twitter- @trulymonica

4 Comments

  1. This above article is result of fine research, keen to know your view concerning ”Tennis court oath”, ”Fall of Bastille”.

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