Some say the downward spiral towards war began at the end of the Frend and Indian War; this war ended in 1763 and resulted in France surrendering all its American territories East of the Mississippi to Great Britain.
It was a massive war that left Britain short on cash, and with an enlarged empire.
The Build-up to War
In order to fund her now-massive global empire, Britain imposed the Sugar Act in 1764, and the Stamp Act in 1765. These new acts meant increased taxes on basic goods in the colonies such as the 13 Colonies, Britains prized possession.
In 1757, Britain passed what it called the Townshend Acts, which were a series of bills designed to reign in the colonies and assert greater control over their government. The colonies’ parliament was resolved and further controls were enacted over the collection of tax revenue from the colonies.
We’re making a third stop today on the road to the #DeclarationOfIndependence. Patrick Henry and John Dickinson discuss England’s oppressive colonial policies, and why the North American Colonies should unite in defense. https://t.co/BVcLEDQRM2#ArchivesJuly4 #July4th
— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) June 30, 2021
These measures lead to anger and violence on the streets of Boston; this, in turn, led to the British deploying two British Army regiments to the city. In 1770, a detachment of British troops found themselves face to face with a mob of understandably angry colonists. The troops opened fire, killing five people.
In 1773, the famous Boston Tea Party occurred when angry residents and traders protested the new taxes on tea and the increasing monopoly on trade by the British East India company.
Residents boarded the trading ships in the harbor and threw thousands of dollars of tea into the harbor. It is important to note that although the colonists were taxed, they had no representation in parliament.
The First Continental Congress was formed.
Fifty-six representatives from all the colonies (except Georgia) attended the meetings held in Philadelphia. One year later, Patrick Henry made the iconic statement, “give me liberty or give me death.”
He was adamant that war with the mother country was on the horizon; as a result, he made strong arguments for arming the Virginia militia into a force capable of fighting the British Army.
The first shots were fired at the small battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, resulting in the death of 273 British and some 90 Americans. Since then, the scale and pace of the revolution rapidly increased.
Minutemen met Redcoats April 19, 1775, in Battles of Lexington and Concord, opening America's Revolutionary War: pic.twitter.com/AvNgkPmowT
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) April 17, 2020
Several months later, the British found themselves fighting to release the American siege of Boston. Although a British success, the American colonists found themselves celebrating a moral victory; the battle resulted in some 40% of the British Attacking force destroyed on the battlefield.
The Colonists had found their strategy.
For our American History Blog Hop, a fantastic post today from @SalinaBBaker about the Siege of Yorktown, featuring intriguing images and excerpts from historical letters. #secondsleep #4thofJuly #History @HistWriters https://t.co/SSCT7Uxu52 pic.twitter.com/ObcjXEyfu3
— Lisl Madeleine – Before the Second Sleep (@vorsecondsleep) July 3, 2021
After years of war, from September to October 1781, Lord Cornwallis led the British Army to victory at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
Just like at Bunker Hill, the British had won a costly victory that would lead to their ultimate surrender at the Siege of Yorktown; this is where the Washingtons’ army and the colonials French allies battered the British into submission.
Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army of 7000 men to the Americans on October 19th.
The official treaty that ended the war and the massive naval conflict still raging after the end of hostilities on land was called the Treaty of Paris. It formally ended the war between Britain, the Colonies, and America’s allies on mainland Europe, mainly France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
The bounds of the treaty mean the recognization of the independence of the United States of America.