The origin and essence of the conflict between England and the colony – Before the French and Indian War, the American colonies had been left more or less to themselves. During this time, they got used to having relative autonomy and came to see it as a right. At the same time, the colonies were growing in population and economic strength and becoming less dependent on the “mother country.”
After the French and Indian War, the British needed funds to pay for the war and other costs of empire. They felt the Americans should help to pay, so they imposed taxes and tried to increase British control of the colonies to ensure the smooth flow of revenues. This need came into conflict with the expectations the colonists had built up over the years.
Boston Tea Party of 1773 – Political protest by the Sons of Liberty ( The secret society, which was formed to protect the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government.) in Boston in 1773. The demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, in defiance of the Tea Act ( The principal objective was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive), destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests into the Boston harbor.
Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 – Document, adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies (who were at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain) regarded themselves and thirteen newly independent sovereign states and were no longer under British rule. Instead, they formed a new nation – USA. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence. The term „Declaration of independence“ is never used in the document itself.
Revolutionary War 1775-1783, reasons, outcome – Aka American War of Independence. Armed conflict between the thirteen colonies and Great britain. France, eager to get revenge after suffering a heavy defeat in the Seven Years’ War, signed an alliance with the new nation in 1778, which proved decisive in the ultimate victory. The origins of the war were in the resistance of many Americans to taxes, which they claimed to be unconstitutional, imposed by the British parliament. Protests escalated into boycotts and culminated with the Boston tea party. The Patriots responded by setting up a shadow government that took control of the province outside of Boston. Twelve other colonies supported Massachusetts, formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and set up committees and conventions that effectively seized power. In April 1775 the battles of Lexington and Concord, in Middlesex County, near Boston, began open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of its colonies.
Articles of Confederation of 1781 – The Articles of Confederation was an agreement between all 13 original states in the United States of America that served as its first constitution. Its drafting began in 1776, it was completed in 1777 and ratified in all states by 1781. It established a confederacy between the states and defined its name as being the United States of America. Interestingly, the amount of articles in the documents are equal to the number of states at the time, 13. The articles allowed the confederacy to be more organized, to be able to direct the American Revolutionary War, to conduct diplomacy with Europe and to manage affairs with the Native Americans. According to some key nationalists, however, the articles did not give the state enough power, which led to it being replaced by the United States Constitution later on.
Constitutional Convention of 1787 – The Constitutional Convention took place in 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The convention was initially intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, however, some in favor of creating an entirely new government. The result of the convention was the United States Constitution. The convention tackled many problems, such as how to elect the president and whether there should be power invested into one president or multiple leaders.
US Constitution and the Bill of Rights – The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. It was created in 1787 and is still in use to this date. It was ratified in 1788. Originally it was comprised of seven articles. Its first three articles describe the federal government’s three branches: the legislative (the bicameral Congress), the executive (the President) and the judicial (Supreme Court). The fourth to sixth articles describe the rights and responsibilities of states and state governments. The seventh article describes how federal procedure should be ratified. The US Constitution also includes 27 amendments. However, originally, the constitution only had ten amendments. These ten original amendments are referred to as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was introduced to address the objections of those who were concerned that the state might be gaining too much power. The Bill of Rights grants guarantees of personal freedoms and rights.
The role of George Washington – While still in his teens, Washington became a land surveyor, which helped him gain a basic grasp on mathematics and topography. This would later serve him well as a military commander. His involvement began as early as 1767, when he first took political stands against the acts of the British Parliament. Throughout his career as an army leader, Washington had to worry about organizing and maintaining an army in the first place, let alone having military success with it. His greatest feats as a commander were the surprise attacks on the garrisons at Trenton (December 26, 1776) and Princeton (January 3, 1777). These victories helped the patriots regain their morale immensely.
The Role of Thomas Jefferson – After having been a member of the Continental Congress for a year, he was given the task to write a draft for the Declaration of Independence, which was finalized on June 4th, 1776. The declaration allowed him to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777. Even though it was not put up as an official law until 1786, it states that all forms of religion are allowed, eradicating the Anglican Church. Thomas also helped found the University of Virginia. During his time as president, Jefferson achieved many accomplishments, such as decreasing the national debt by 30 million dollars in two years, The Louisiana Purchase and elimination of the Tripoli pirates.
The Land Pattern Musket, also known by its nickname “Brown Bess” was a smoothbore flintlock muzzle-loading musket used by the British from 1722 to 1838. A variant of this weapon was also used against the Americans in the American Revolutionary War, however, ironically, most male American colonists owned this gun and ammunition as well due to a British law, so this gun was used widely by both sides of the American Revolutionary War. The gun itself took 19.05 mm ammo, weighed a little under 5 kg and was 1.49 meters long. Over its long lifetime more than 4.3 million of these guns were built (considering all variants of the gun). The effective firing range of the musket was 45 to 90 meters, which is very small compared to the firearms of today. Due to this short effective range, the belligerents had to get very close to each other to engage. Overall the gun was pretty good for its time and served its purpose.