US independence history/Causes/Consequences

The independence of the United States, also called the American Revolution , was the process by which the Thirteen Colonies became independent from England. US independence history

The United States Declaration of Independence took place on July 4, 1776 , but it was not until 1783 that England recognized the country’s independence.

During the 5 years after the declaration, the War of Independence was fought between English troops and the colonists. The Americans also had the help of French and Spanish troops.

The United States was the first nation in the Americas to become independent and was a source of inspiration for struggles for independence in other countries on the continent. US independence history

The independence of the United States and other countries in the aftermath was strongly inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of defending individual liberties.

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Causes of American Independence

The Thirteen Colonies always enjoyed high autonomy and suffered little interference from England. This was due to the little interest that England had in these colonies.

However, in the second half of the 18th century, the treatment of the metropolis in relation to the colonies changed considerably and England began to exercise greater control over the Thirteen Colonies.

This change in the relationship had as main motivations the context of the Industrial Revolution and the conflicts in which England was getting involved in Europe, especially the Seven Years’ War.

Industrial Revolution

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, England came to see its American colonies as important sources of raw material for its industry and also as a consumer market for its products. US independence history

That is, the colonies that until then were considered of little relevance to England, become a potential economic gain for the metropolis.

Seven Years War

During the 18th century, England was involved in several conflicts with European nations, one of the most relevant being the Seven Years’ War. This war was a dispute between France and England for possession of the Thirteen Colonies.

England was the winner of the conflict, but due to the high costs of winning the war, it was in debt at the end of the period.

To recover its economy, it needed to raise its revenue and for that it created new taxes for the American colonies. Some of these taxes were: US independence history

  • Sugar Act (1764): increase in taxes on sugar and other products;
  • Stamp Act (1765): all documents and publications in circulation in the colony were to have a stamp paid to England;
  • Housing Act: determined that English soldiers should be lodged in the settlers’ houses;
  • Townshed Acts (1767) : raised taxes on tea, dyes, and glasses.

The increase in taxes increased the settlers’ dissatisfaction with the metropolis and several protests began against these new measures.

Ignoring the claims, in 1773 the English government enacted the Tea Act , which stated that only English teas could be purchased by the colonies. US independence history

This law was considered the trigger and that same year, as a form of protest, several settlers dressed up as Indians, boarded a loaded ship that came from England and threw the entire shipment of tea into the sea. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party .

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As a reaction to the vindication movements that took place in the colony, England further toughens its treatment and enacts the Intolerable Laws .

Among the measures adopted by the Intolerable Laws was the closing of the port of Boston until the compensation for the loss of teas and the prohibition of meetings.

At that moment, the divergences of interest between the colonists and the metropolis became clear and then the First Continental Congress of Philadelphia was held in 1774.

During this congress, the colonists drafted a document to the King of England declaring loyalty, but exposing their dissatisfaction with the measures adopted by the crown and requesting the repeal of the Intolerable Laws.

The king, however, sent a greater number of troops to the colonies, increasing dissatisfaction and thus, armed conflicts began. US independence history

The following year, in 1775, the Second Continental Congress of Philadelphia was held . On that occasion, the colonists decided to break with colonial rule and wrote the United States Declaration of Independence .

This declaration, written by Thomas Jefferson , was published on July 4, 1776. The colony, however, did not accept independence and so a war broke out.

War of Independence

This conflict lasted 5 years and involved, in addition to the American settlers and troops, French and Spanish troops. The French and Spaniards sided with the colonies in the conflict, as they wished to weaken England’s power on the American continent.

The final victory of the Thirteen Colonies came during the Battle of Yorktown , on October 19, 1781. But it was not until 1783 that the British recognized the independence of the United States, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. US independence history

Consequences of US independence

The Independence of the United States, or American Revolution, consolidated the country as a Federalist Republic and among its consequences:

  • It served as a source of inspiration for other American colonies to fight for their independence;
  • The republican state model served as an example for other countries, such as Brazil;
  • France and Spain regained American territories they had lost;
  • It allowed the internal division of American territory, which would lead years later to the Civil War.

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