American History – Essay Example
American History The purpose of this essay is to provide information on events pertaining to the American Revolution The American Revolution was one of the most significant events in the History of the United States. What were the key factors that led up to the war?
As with many conflicts in world history there is no one single event that caused the American revolution, rather it was a series of events that when combined caused a tipping point. Firstly it was the case that Great Britain imposed a number of direct and indirect taxes on the American colonies such as the stamp tax of 1765. These taxes led to the Boston Tea Party which was a group of patriots who dumped vast quantities of British tea into the Boston harbor because arguably they were being taxed without any kind of representation in the British Parliament. This in turn led the British to pass the Five Intolerable Acts which further tightened the grip of the British Empire on the Colonies.
2.What were the political and social reasons behind the colonists wanting to break free from Great Britain?
Almost certainly the reasoning behind why the colonists wanted to break free from Great Britain is owing to the fact that significant taxes were levied on the colonies yet it was the case that they were not represented in the British Parliament (Which gave rise to the expression ‘No taxation without representation!’). Moreover it was the case that the American colonies were in many respects self directed, plus many colonists had very little personal connection to Great Britain and the idea of being subjects to a nation which was an ocean away probably did not sit well with most people.
3. What factors led the British to think that they would win the war?
Without question, Great Britain had one of the most sophisticated armies of their time. Building on this point, the British had excellent military leadership from such as General Cornwallis Moreover they commanded a vast navy with excellent naval leadership (Such as Admiral George Rodney) which could cut off most trade that the colonies were engaged in. It was also the case that the British had contracted over 30,000 Hessian soldiers who were experienced mercenaries. Lastly the British believed that the American soldiers were nothing more than an army of peasants and inexperienced in the means of war.
4. How did the British underestimate the colonists?
One could argue that the British underestimated the colonists insofar as they were not able to accurately gauge just how resolved the people were. When the American Patriot Nathan Hale was about to be executed, supposedly his last words were, “My only regret is that I only have one life to give for my country.” Moreover, the Americans had a much better understanding of the terrain that the British, which gave advantages for the securing of provisions and expedited military communication. Lastly the colonists greatly outnumbered the British and Hessian mercenaries.
4. How did America win the war?
There are a number of competing theories on this matter but in my opinion probably the most significant factor was the fact that the Americans were much better at conducting a kind of guerilla warfare, insofar as the British wore bright red coats where the militia wore regular clothes and were better able to blend into their surrounding. Moreover the French Naval blockade proved to be a major contributing factor and some decisive military victories made ultimate victory more viable.