Boston Tea Party
As conflict between American colonists and the British Parliament increased, there was a huge call for independence. The Colonists did not want to keep having to pay taxes to the British government who were not investing it in the colonies, and making decisions that affected the colonists. The final straw was when the British started taxing tea - 3p for every pound sold. In protest, a group of Americans dumped £11,000 worth of tea imported from Britain into the harbour. In response, the British closed the port and banned any public meetings, which angered the Americans more.
War of Independence
A group of Americans met in secret and decided to go to war with the British to gain independence. In 1775, the Americans elected a leader for the war - George Washington, and in 1776 they declared themselves independent from Britain. There were 5 years of fighting before the British finally resigned to losing, and the war ended on 3rd of September 1783.
Factors Leading to War
There were a number of different factors that led to war. There were a number of new ideas that were floating about Europe and the elites, where countries were fighting for independence and becoming republics. This is something that was brewing in America too. Additionally, the ideas of how England was ruled was seen as outdated, and the American colonists wanted a change. This was cemented when the British introduced new laws that set up British monopolies and curbed the profits Americans could gain from any of their products. The final nail of the coffin was the taxation that the British put on the Americans, like the Stamp Act.
Consequences of Independence
There had been many deaths in the war, and Britain had lost an important colony; however, they kept canada as an important part of their empire. The cost of the war costs Britain around £80 million. But after the war, Britain and America kept up trading links, and America eventually became their ally, which left Britain in a stable position.
Significance of Independence
Thousands of loyal colonists from the 13 American colonies migrated to Canada or Europe. They wanted to build a new nation that would grant them ‘English liberties’ but still have them obey the King of England, from a distance. As a result of the disintegration of Britain’s American empire, the British decided to pursue colonies elsewhere. The most notable example would be Australia, which was used as a base to incarcerate criminals who were sentenced to be ‘transported’ to the colonies.
- What are two consequences of Britain losing the war of independence?
- Your answer should include: loss / colonies / empire / death toll / war costs / increased trade / America / American / Canada / Australia
- What were the key factors causing the war of independence?
- Your answer should include: taxation / new ideas / laws
- Who was appointed leader of the American army?
- George Washington