Saturday, June 27, 2015

Revolutionary America

The government of George III introduced a plan of imperial reorganization in 1763. These reforms were not welcomed in many parts of America, where the cry of “no taxation without representation” was heard.

Beginning in the mid-1760s, Britain attempted to fine-tune its colonial control through the Stamp Act (1765), the Quartering Act (1765), and Townshend Duties (1767)—all of which tended to inflame public opinion rather than dampen it. Boston became the focus of colonial opposition in the Boston Massacre (1770), the Boston Tea Party (1773) and the Parliamentary response in the Coercive Acts (1774).

Further colonial resistance was put up by the Sons of Liberty and the Committees of Correspondence. Formal opposition came from the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress.

America and Britain entered the conflict with differing strategies and strengths. Hostilities erupted at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. (See timeline of the War of Independence.) George Washington was appointed commander of the Continental Army in June 1775. Public opinion was coaxed to acceptance of independence by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in early 1776. The formal break with the mother country came in the Declaration of Independence (July 1776), largely the work of Thomas Jefferson.

Early military engagements occurred at Bunker Hill (June 1775), in the Canadian campaign (1775-76) and in the South. Later, action shifted to the New York campaign (1776). Washington temporarily reversed a series of defeats at Trenton and Princeton (late 1776 and early 1777), but British forces succeeded in taking Philadelphia in late 1777.

The turning point of the War came at Saratoga (1777), a victory that enabled American diplomats to negotiate a French Alliance (1778). Hostilities continued in theWestern Theater and the Southern Theater. The main British force surrendered atYorktown in October 1781.

Peace was achieved in the Treaty of Paris (1783) with Benjamin Franklin playing a prominent role.

No comments:

Post a Comment