Much more than a revolt against British taxes and trade regulations, the American Revolution was the first modern revolution. It marked the first time in history that a people fought for their independence in the name of certain universal principles such as rule of law, constitutional rights, and popular sovereignty.
This section examines the causes, fighting, and consequences of the American Revolution. You will read about the problems created by the Seven Years' War, and British efforts to suppress American smuggling, to prevent warfare with Indians, and to pay the cost of stationing troops in the colonies. You will also read about the emerging patterns of resistance in the colonies, including petitions, pamphlets, intimidation, boycotts, and intercolonial meetings. You will also learn about the series of events, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Coercive Acts, that ruptured relations between Britain and its American colonies.
In addition, you will learn why many colonists hesitated before declaring independence and how the Declaration of Independence summarized colonial grievances and provided a vision of a future independent American republic. This chapter will discuss the composition of the British and American military forces; the Revolution's implications for the institution of slavery; and the role of the French, Spanish, Dutch, and Native Americans in the colonists' struggle for independence. Finally, you will learn why the Americans emerged victorious in the Revolution.
Emotions may have been running high on all sides of the conflict but, it's only logic that can win wars. The Americans were outnumbered, underfunded, their ports blockaded, and by every number in the book they should have expected (and many of them did) to get crushed. However, this was not just any war... this was a war for independence. With those first boatloads of colonists to Jamestown and Plymouth had come more than just a ragged group of...