American colonists went through the hard time before revolution. The 13 colonies faced various problems due to supremacy of Great Britain. They were imposed with certain illegal acts by the Britain Parliament that placed them under risk to their freedom and independence. Britain Parliament specifically enforced such series of Acts that influenced the colonists in trading.
Roots and Significance of Stamp Act Controversy
The Sugar Act was among the first steps towards revolutionary period and the reason of united colonists. Since, it was after Sugar Act that American colonies first thought of going against the Parliament and protest on Sugar Act. The Currency Act also made the relations critical between the colonies and the Parliament. The currency act, gave complete control of colonial currency system in the hands of Parliament. It put the colonist under economic loss and completely abolished bills of credit.
Stamp Act was passed in March 1765. As according to the Act, an official stamp was required on use paper goods or on issuing in colonies and tax was to be charged on it. For this purpose, a stamp inspector was also appointed for each colony, responsible for issuing the stamps and collecting taxes. This Act made an impact on legal and professional licenses, property records, legal papers and newspapers.
This Act gave rise to the controversies and caused colonies to react violently. Since, the Stamp Act was kind of tax, imposed on colonists without their consent. Due to this unwillingly imposed tax on citizens, colonist leaders decided to raise their voice against the Act and make a united official response as every colony was been affected. This called for a meeting between the political leaders of nine colonies in New York and they ultimately decided to join their hands against the Stamp Act. (StampAct, 2012)
Empires Threatening the Freedom of Colonists
In response to the Tea Act, colonist threw 300 chests of tea in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773. This raised the wrath of London Government and they passed intolerable Acts in response. The contention between the British and American colonists continued to increase with time. British Parliament wanted American colonists to obey the laws but colonists refused as because of no representation in the Parliament. Neither party was willing to give away their interests. However, after fighting against the number of Acts and efforts to own their rights, the colonists realized that they should form a national assembly. The assembly would work for their interests and address their problems as a matter of state. In 1774, delegates of the Continental Congress petitioned Parliament for the restoration of objections. But before they were replied, the Revolutionary War broke in Massachusetts.
Even after the repeal of Stamp Act the tension remained between the colonists and the British Parliament. Since, the Declaratory Act was a threat to the American colonist and it kept the relations contended. The British Parliament had an idea that Townshend Act would bring strong reaction but it also received heavy objections. Merchants made strong resistance in response to the Townshed duties and taxes. During the same time, Bostonians rise up for the protest in 1768 when the John Hancock's Ship Liberty was seized by royal troops on violating the trade laws. Then in 1770, five Bostonians were killed during fight which is remembered as "Boston Massacre." (ushistory.org, 2012)
The American colonial women also played great role during the revolution. They served in Government offices, agriculture, and army and so on. They also boycotted British goods like tea and cloth. Moreover, they also took part in producing cloth, delivering secret messages for soldiers; even assisted armies by cooking and washing. Even many American women showed their patriotism by getting a divorce from husband who supported King George.
The unjustifiable Acts against the American colonists made them think of the independent nation where they could have freedom and natural rights.
Efforts in Revolutionary Period
During the revolution era, colonist took various actions on their way to independence. Continental Association was adopted by the Congress according to which the trade with Great Britain and West Indies was halted. Committees were established for the management of boycotts and enlargement of political nation. By 1775, Americans started making their claims on the basis of natural rights and freedom. The revolutionary period extended from 1763 to 1776 due to new British policies against colonists. In 1776, Thomas Paine composed Common Sense pamphlet and circulated it throughout America. According to Common Sense, the democratic system should be followed that support freedom and Independence. Thomas Paine's writing convinced number of colonial leaders and colonists.
By June 1776, Continental Congress found a committee that highlighted the rights of Americans in a document. This initial draft of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. The basic rights included rights of men that are liberty, life and happiness; action against violation of colonist rights and the most important one that is breaking away from Britain.
The opposition to the Britain policies gave rise to new movement of independence. But American independence was not accepted by the British Parliament and that led the war between the two till 1781. American colonist made the British to accept American liberty and independent nation and after prolonged efforts of Americans' colonists, they finally got victory in 1781 and Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.
Founding a Nation (1783-1789)
With the end of American Revolution, they were gifted with recognition of independent nation. The treaty established 13 colonies as the joint entity and described as states. However, till 1780s, it remained under discussion how joint these states would be.
Achievements and Problems of Confederation Government
In 1781, Articles of Confederation declared each colony as a virtual sovereign state but it made the role of Federal Government impossible as there was no power been allocated to demand for the funds from individual states.
These problems gave rise to economic crisis and inflation. Moreover, the revolution success seemed in danger. In 1787, improvements to the constitution were made by delegates and they decided that the Senate will have the same representation. However, House of Representatives voting strength will vary.
In 1789, the constitution became the reason of United States Federal Government and George Washington was elected as the first president of America. However, young nation still continued to make efforts towards creating political parties.
Disagreements and Amendments to the Constitution
In 1790s, two party systems emerged in U.S.. It gave rise to the conflicts on the understanding of meaning of American Revolution and how it should be developed. During this period the American politics moved towards new development. During 1791, United States Bill of Rights was also adopted, according to which freedom of religious practices and speech, states and citizens and jury trials were given rights.
The French Revolution began in 1789 because of the overtaxed and oppressed middle class and ended in 1799. The series of unsuccessful governments brought number of changes in the attitude and political situations.
Changing Attitudes and Policies
During the initial period of French Revolution, most of the Americans and the politicians were in support of democracy and wanted to free themselves from ruling kingdom. But in 1792, the radicalization of French Revolution changed views of many Americans. They started believing that the excess democracy doesn't bring positive results but it makes the society unstable.
Foundation of Two Parties
In 1794, Hamilton created a new party named the Federalist Party supporting democracy. In response, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison also formed a party in opposition that is usually called as Democratic-Republican Party.
The changed attitude because of over taxation and rulings also put other Americans under fear. They started believing that their country fellows might tend to limit their freedom and would try to preserve it. This thought created a dividend…