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The War For Independence

David Zheng By David Zheng on
Badge: Author | Level: 2 | Politics & History Expertise:

The War for Independence also known as the American Revolution was a conflict between Britain and their American colonists. It was ignited by the financial costs of the Anglo-French wars of the previous few decades, in particular the Seven Years War. In order for England to regain their monetary losses due to these wars, they began taxing the colonies. To the British, their American lands were there to provide raw materials to Britain and be consumers of British manufactured goods. With this in mind the British upheld increasing control and restriction of American trade and expansion. In contrast, many of the colonists craved expansion and freedom, and believed that they were unrestricted by decisions made 3, 000 miles away across the Atlantic. However after the French were removed from their threatening positions to the colonies, the British began enforcing more strict regulation of the Navigation Laws and even employed the Stamp Act, the prelude to revolt and revolution.

The first shots of the war were fired in Massachusetts at the battles of Lexington and Concord. After the Second Continental Congress convened, they appointed Washington as head and general of the Continental Army against England. The country in the making knew full well that if they were to oppose one of the strongest military forces in the world, they could not do it alone. Thus the colonies looked to French for assistance, and the French who were bitter for revenge were willing to aid the colonies. Their first agreement was the Model Treaty which was an accord between the United States and France that codified mutual commercial practices strict, while rejecting any formal political or military alliance. The French through the period of war between American and Britain provided Americans with equipment, money, and armed forces in secrecy. Because the French believed that such a small nation opposing one the most powerful countries at the time would be easily crushed. However they were proven wrong during the battle of Saratoga where an American army, under the command of Benedict Arnold crushed Burgoyne’s forces. After Saratoga the British offered home rule to Americans within the empire, but they rejected and continued fighting for independence. This battle made the French realize the Americans’ potential in winning the war. French in fear of the Anglo-American reunion they quickly offered the Americans a treaty of alliance. This led France to formally recognize the United States as an independent nation, declare war on Britain early in 1778, and send an army and fleet to America to aid the colonists.

After the war was over tensions arose between France and America, and the British seized the opportunity to approach the peace table. John Jay who saw the efforts of the French to weaken America for their own self interest, brought agreements to Britain were the Treaty of Paris was formulated. It had Britain formally recognize the independence of the United States and grated them a generous bounty. From beginning to end of the War for Independence it seemed as if the French had little to no benefit for being involved. So why exactly did France enter the war, the simple answer is that France had long since hated Britain but was far too weak to do anything about it. They knew for however that America would revolt against Britain. Naturally it worked like the saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.