The documentary and the movie the American Revolution depict the issues concerning the American Revolution. The movie uses actors to relate them to the actual events of the American Revolution. The director of the movie is Lisa Bourgoujian and the writer is Don Cambou. The movie was released in November 1994. It is within the history genre, and it gives the chronology of the rebellion of the thirteen American colonies against the Great Britain and the people involved with the creation of the United States of America like john Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
The movie uses actors like Charles Durning to represent Benjamin Franklin and Michael learned to represent Abigail Adams.
Within the same cast cliff Robertson represents George Washington and David Warner represents king George 3.
The movie revolves around the circumstances leading to the American Revolution and in addition it analyses the events after the start to the end of the revolutionary war.
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The American Revolution or the American war for independence was a war that was fought not only within the thirteen colonies territory but also abroad. This war was mainly between the American colonies and their British colonialists. This war was precursory to American independence. Before this war, there were some other wars the imperial wars, which gave the American natives some experience on how to wage this war. In analyzing this paper, I will first look at the nature and character of these wars and then I will later on look at the specific causes of the American Revolution.
INTERNATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE IMPERIAL WARS:
Imperial wars were wars that were mainly fought by European powers in Europe although all of them always trickled down into the North American continent where a fight for domination of the continent was going on between European powers. King Williams’s war was the first series of the French and Indian wars in North American territories between France and England with the help of some coalition countries. This war was fought between 1689-1697.after Britain failed to win the war soon the Queen Anne’s war broke out in 1702 up to 1713 for the control of the North American colonies. This war was the counterpart of the war of Spanish succession that was being fought in Europe.
The third imperial war in the American colonies was the king George’s war that was fought between the year’s1740-1748. It was part of the war of Austrian succession. This war was as an extension of the war of Jenkins ear. This war was later to lead to the seven years war in Europe after many more powers were to join the war in either the side of France or Britain. Early in the 18th century, the American colonies were colonized or inhabited by the Native Americans. Within this period, Frenchmen from Canada and Britons from the British colonies traversed through these lands in their day-to-day economic activities. As populations increased within the colonies and as they became more prosperous, British citizens began to look for more fertile lands to relocate to as well as for economic growth. This encroachment by the British angered the French who started to set up forts in order to defend themselves. The Britons also started to set up their own forts.
In 1750 attempts were made to solve the territorial disputes, but to no avail. In 1752 the French
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tried to force the British out of Ohio and this led to the outbreak of the French and Indian war. War continued over the next year but it was not until 1756 that war between England and France was officially declared. The French and Indian war was the North American nine-year chapter of the seven years war that was mostly fought in Europe.
The seven-year war (1756-1763) was one of the most intense and it led to the signing of the treaty of Paris that ended an imperial struggle between Spain, England and France. In addition, these wars extensively involved mass displacement of persons and were used as the bases for colonial expansion. They led to the demarcation of Europe especially after the treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1658 that officially marked the existence of the modern state. The imperial wars also led to the division of the Americas into different spheres of influence each managed by a different European state.
THE IMPACT OF THE IMPERIAL WARS ON THE AMERICAN COLONIES:
During the period of the imperial wars native American Indians were heavily involved in the fighting on both sides of the war. While they were fighting in these wars the natives gained many strategies of waging war. This made them gain some experience that was to be greatly essential in the war for American independence against Britain.
The imperial wars especially the seven-year war led to the defeat of France by Britain in the Plains of Abraham and by 1760 Britain had captured all of New France. This led to increased control by Britain of American territories especially the part that is nowadays Canada. The defeat of France led to an increased sense of security on the part of the American colonies .in addition this offered Britain more opportunities for practicing commerce.
IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT ENABLED THE AMERICAN COLONIES TO DEFEAT THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND GAIN THEIR FREEDOM:
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The American war of independence or the American Revolution marked the beginning of the American independence. The thirteen colonies that were later to become the United States of America started to rebel against British domination in 1763. This was especially after the military threat posed to the colonies by France ended. The introduction of higher taxes led to increased riots that started in Boston and in 1775 the colonies had mobilized a militia to fight the British combat troops. In 1776 representatives of the thirteen colonies unanimously voted to adopt the declaration of independence that formed the United States of America.
In 1778 the Americans formed an alliance with France. This alliance strengthened the American militias especially their naval strength, this led to the capturing of two British armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. This greatly reduced British power given the fact that American patriots already controlled over 70 percent of the mainland. Despite the French factor the Americans were all united against British domination especially after the increasing of local taxes. Although there were different factions they all had a common enemy that was the British. War was finally ended with the signing of the Paris treaty that effectively ended British domination. All land east of the Mississippi and south of the great lakes was declared American land. In addition the experience gained during the four chapters of the French and Indian wars were greatly instrumental in fighting the British.
THE BOSTON MASSACRE:
The Boston massacre was a situation in 1770 that was the main cause for sparking the revolutions violence. Prior to the Boston massacre, no bloodshed had been experienced although tensions were still very high. This massacre led to the death of five American civilians. These civilians had been killed by British troops. The legal outcome of this massacre is what initially led to the escalation of the violence and the spread of anti-British sentiments to all the thirteen colonies. The massacre arose after a rioting crowd attacked British military personnel only for the soldiers to react with muskets to quell the violence.
THE STAMP ACT:
The stamp act of 1765 was the fourth successive stamp act to be passed by the British
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parliament on the American colonies. This law required that all newspapers, pamphlets, permits, commercial contracts, and any other legal document as well as playing cards carry a tax stamp.
The main purpose of the stamp act was to increase funding for the military personnel that was responsible for protecting the American colonies. In addition to this the money was to be used to pay for war debts incurred during the French and Indian wars.
The stamp act met with great resistance from all the colonies and it was still part of the reason for the escalation of the revolt. The act was never effectively implemented since the Americans were not ready to pay for taxes as they claimed without representation.
THE DECLARATORY ACT:
The declaratory act was an act of the British government in 1766. This act was mainly aimed at regulating the behavior of the colonies. It was because of the formation of the stamp act congress that arose after the imposition of the stamp act. This congress was questioning the legitimacy of a distant power (Great Britain) to tax the American colonies.
THE ROLE OF JOHN ADAMS:
John Adams was the first vice president of independent United States and later the second president of the republic. He was a key sponsor of the revolution in Massachusetts. In addition to this he was also a key rebel to British rule and a key diplomat.
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He also negotiated with the Amsterdam market for money to wage the American revolutionary war.
THE TOWNSHEND ACTS:
The Townshend acts were some British legislation that were supposed or intended to raise additional revenue. They were also intended to increase British authority over the American colonies. These acts were intended to levy import duties on paper, paint, lead, tea and glass.
THE BOSTON TEA PARTY:
The Boston tea party was an act of protest by American civilians in Boston. The act was perpetrated on the Boston harbor where the American colonists destroyed crates of tea bricks. It was also a major driving force for the American Revolution.
THE GASPEE AFFAIR:
The Gaspee affair was a situation where the British vessel HMS Gaspee ran into shallow waters while chasing a packet boat. American patriots led by Abraham Whipple took advantage of the situation and attacked the vessel and stole valuables from the ship.
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The attainment of independence by the thirteen colonies marked that beginning point of the crumbling of the British Empire. This was considered by many to be the first loss since it was later to be followed by losses in other territories including India, the Caribbean, and Africa a century later.
Bailyn, Bernard (1967), the Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard University Press, Harvard.
George B. Tindall (1984), America: a narrative history, Norton, New York.
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