The American war for independence

The history of American Revolution has remained critical in its democratic growth and development. While there are several factors that led to the revolution, there are two main events that influenced the rebellion. The 1765 Stamp Act in 22nd of March, passed in the parliament pushed the colonies to develop discomfort with the British. Considering that the tax was direct, the people staged rebellion[1]. The fact that the tax was to be used to fund British military provoked widespread resistance and culminated into people’s rebellion. While the British dominated political representation, their passage of the tax against people with limited members of the parliament was taken in bad taste. The colony expected an expansion in the representation of members of the legislation. As the legislature overlooked the colonial power to make such fiscal policy decisions, the colonists opposed it. It is worth noting the malicious drive behind the tax and the insensitive objective for which it was meant. In a quick rejoinder, 29 May 1765, Patrick Henry initiated the Virginia resolution in which he emphasized Virginia as having sole discretion on whether to impose tax or otherwise [2]. Among his statements, the less radical once such as the right to self-governance is adopted. In the same year, July, another organization named sons of liberty was established to counter the violent stamp agents. The stamp act congress that was held in New York resulted into the drawing of a petition to be presented to King George III. However, with the act going into effect in 1 November, the colonists resisted the stamp and tension was looming.  While Lord Rockingham replaced Grenville bow down to the pressure of the people and repealed the Stamp Act in October 1765, the groups already formed reorganized and shaped themselves to oppose future tax impositions. Taxation without political representation informed further protests that pushed the revolution agenda.

The Townshend Act of 1767 is another critical event that pushed for American Revolution[3]. Following the defeat and repeal of Stamp Act in 1765, the British colonialist decided to raise revenue through an alternative which turned out to be the Townshend Act. The Act imposed tax on some items that included Glass, Sugar, and Tea. In order to counter the possible resistance towards the Act, the British deploy military troops in urban areas[4]. The parliament tightened the law as it emphasized zero tolerance to demonstration under Townshend Act. However, the people established an alternative method to defeat the efforts of parliament and the Townshend Act[5]. Demonstrations were replaced with boycott of the items under tax consideration.

Following the mass boycott of the products to be taxed under Townshend Act, the revenue collection amounts to an estimated L 21,000 and the British businesses incur loses. The 1773 trade losses of East India Trading Company compel the parliament to introduce the Tea Act. In a bid to achieve its goal, the British government gave the company monopoly to sell cheaper tea which was taxed. The colonists realize that they are still taxed and develop tactical resistance. One approach was prevention of ships carrying tea from docking, something that was never successful. In 1773, Boston residents formed a group that disposed all the tea into the sea in a bid to fight tax. They proceeded to form the Tea Party. The Intolerable Act of 1774 targeted Tea party members in Boston[6]. It can therefore be noted that the Townshend Act was a significant basis of the resistance that culminated to American Revolution[7] . It is worth to note the sensitivity of tax and its influence on the colonists to stand up against the British and wage a revolutionary war. In that regard, the period between 1765-1775 constituted a critical time in American history making[8]. The ensuing severed relationship between the British and the colonists was coupled with fight over land ownership, political underrepresentation, and taxation. It is no doubt that imposition of tax and violent attack on protesters shaped the path to American Revolution.

The British efforts to frustrate American trade were an important contributor to the 1812 war. In essence, the royal interception of US ships was considered a provocation that America could not take easy. In 1807, the British military involvement to effect the trade Embargo on the US saw the Chesapeake affair coming up provoked protests that pushed towards the war. During the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, the Embargo Act reflected abuse of US sovereignty and evidently benefited the French and British. As James Madison took office as the US president in 1809, his plans to continue with the peaceful approach towards the British failed to bore any fruit. The congress seemed to be bent on authorizing war to settle the US score with British[9]. The British continually harassed American commercial ships’ crews and created Orders in Council that blocked US access to Europe for commercial sails. Madison letter to the congress amplified the frustration of America and the prospect of entering war to remedy the situation.

The War hawks that steered the congress did not shy away from the reality of war. Led by Henry Clay, the congress believed that war would redeem American sovereignty, protect its territory and give its citizens prestige. Although the US had got independence, the people were still denied the prestige of self-governance, free trade, and unity. In that respect, the option of war was inevitable. Impressment is therefore a primary cause of the war of 1812.

The conflicting political policy differences between the pro-federalists and anti-federal law was also an important pathway to the war[10]. The election of 1796 in which George Washington decided not to run a third term saw John Adams and Thomas Jefferson vied. John Adams was a federalist that supported British, while Thomas Jefferson opposed federalism but emphasized states as important in concentration of power[11]. Adams won but the ideological differences deepened in July 1798 ratification of Alien and sedition Act. Immigrants were targeted and most of them were deported[12]. The residency period rose to 14 years from 5. In essence, the first amendment was evidently breached leading to further division of American people. A critical review of the war in 1812 shows that the Alien and Sedition Act had some influence on the internal instability that British exploited[13] . In that respect, the internal conflict among American leaders on federalism versus state power threatened their stability. Even as Madison proposed war with British, there were anti-war protesters that evidently boosted the chances of British win[14]. However, war was inevitable and the US had to improve its military might, mobilize the people and face their opponents.

The war of 1812 was actually a second war of independence. The British constant harassment of the US was meant to frustrate the latter from economic expansion.  Besides, the warring sides of the US exhibited the underlying mistrust within the leadership. In fact, restricted trade with Europe was an economic colonialism that America was place and the war proved important and relevant.

It is worth to conclude that British tax policy provoked widespread protests that ultimately led to revolution. The Stamp Act and Townshend Act collectively constituted of British dominance, exploitation, suppression, and violent rule on American colony. The revolution of 1812 marked the second liberation that opened a wider opportunity for the US to develop and gain global power[15]. The need to reconcile trade deficit with increasing social needs in the US necessitated the war. History of the US is therefore a function of several factors. However, the British as the main protagonist fought several wars and were exposed. The US has had several other wars but 1912 was a repeat revolution that encouraged its democratic growth.

 

[1] Tea Act. March 7, 2017.

[2] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.56

[3] Townshend Acts, 1767

[4] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.67

[5] Townshend Acts, 1767

[6] Townshend Acts, 1767

[7] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.110

[8] Tea Act. March 7, 2017.

[9] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.114

[10] The Jeffersonians Take Control .March 28, 2017,

 

[11] The American Revolution. March 9, 2017,

[12] British Colonies in an Atlantic World

 

[13] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.116

[14] Articles of Confederation

 

[15] Wheeler, William B. Discovering the American Past: Since 1865. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.p.119

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