The American Revolution: Causes, Course, and Consequences

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The American Revolution (1775-1783)

2.1. Causes of the War

  • Ideological factors:
    • Colonists were influenced by Enlightenment ideas about liberty and equality.
    • These ideas became the basis for the independence movement.
  • Political factors:
    • British Parliament made decisions about taxes and other issues related to the colonies.
    • Great Britain refused to allow the colonies to be represented in Parliament.
  • Economic and social factors:
    • Wealthy colonial bourgeoisie wanted freedom to trade without British interference.
    • They also wanted to occupy territories to the west.
    • The high cost of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) led to increased taxes on products like tea, sugar, and lead.
    • Colonies refused to pay these taxes, leading to protests like the Boston Tea Party.

2.2. The War of Independence

  • Colonies decided to fight for independence and created their own army led by George Washington.
  • Great Britain had some initial military successes, but colonists took politically significant actions.
  • On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Independence.
  • Colonists' military victory at the Battle of Saratoga led France and Spain to offer support.
  • This led to a ceasefire and eventually the Treaty of Versailles (1783), which recognized the independence of the United States of America.

Consequences of the American Revolution

  • United States became a symbol for the struggle for liberty and equality.
  • Showed that Enlightenment ideas could be put into practice.

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