Cause And Effect Of The Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War is also known as the American War of Independence. There were several causes that led to this war. The prime cause was the growing demand of freedom among the Americans. They did not want Great Britain, which was an ocean away from their land, to govern their lives.
Secondly, the British government decided to make the American colonies pay a large share of the war debt from the French and Indian war. Thirdly, the British collected huge amounts of money from the Americans in the form of the Sugar Act, Stamp Act and other taxes. Levying of such inconsiderate taxes antagonized the Americans to a great deal. Fourthly, The Americans wanted to have a right in the formation of law and be a part of the parliament. This combination of the harsh taxes and the lack of an American voice in parliament gave rise to the famous phrase of ‘taxation without representation’. Finally, leaders such as Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine and many others called for an independent America, colonies free from British rule and interference.
The American Revolution lasted for only 6 years. The war had several effects. Firstly, the Peace of Paris granted land and sovereignty. At the culmination of the war, the peace negotiations were held in Paris, France. A preliminary treaty was signed on November 30, 1782 and the final document was accepted on September 3, 1783. Canada being an exception, all requests made by the Americans were accepted. The new American territory stretched all the way west to the edge of Spanish territory, the Mississippi River. The Treaty also illustrated some other provisions such as the use of Canadian waters by American fishermen. The British were expected to leave behind all property owned in America, including the slaves. However, the issue of slavery was not covered in this document.
The second effect of the war could be seen in the form of a tremulous economy. The Revolutionary War resulted in an instable economy in America. Being a full scale war, both sides utilized enormous amounts of supplies. The demand of these supplies increased the prices by many folds. America also lost her primary trading partner, Britain, as well as the West Indies territory. With the end of the war, the requirement for war supplies ceased. As a result, the surplus supply created more inflation and high unemployment rates in urban areas. Trade with other countries in the Mediterranean also suffered due to the lack of protection by the British navy from the pirates. However, the war did create some advantages for the economy as well. Trade flourished as now American trade was not bound by the British limitations. With the Proclamation Line no longer in existence, agriculture could grow and spread into even more fertile territory. Thirdly, the position of women saw a marked change in society after the war. Property rights moved a little bit more within reach and women got the opportunity to show their potential beyond housekeeping. Fourthly, the Revolutionary War aided in the freeing of slaves in the north but not in the south where it was considered to be necessary to the economy. Native Americans also felt the pressure of change in the post-Revolutionary War time period. With the end of the Proclamation Line, the white settlers entered their territory. This became a cause of conflict. They had no representation at the Peace of Paris and the Revolution proved to be truly destructive towards the Native American population as a whole. After the conclusion of the war, the Articles of Confederation were created, permitting some power to a national legislature, but still retaining most at the state level. The post war time economy had its negatives and positives, and the minority groups were each affected in their own way by the battles. The state of affairs in the country and shattered relationship with Britain furnished a platform for the next true conflict, the War of 1812.
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