History of War that Started Long Before the First Shot and Ended Long After the Last

Standing up against a growing problem can take a lot of courage bravery, determination, and hope. All characteristics were displayed by the soldiers of America in the war between America and Great Britain. The war did not start until 1776, but the war built a climax long before 1776. A war that some speculate did not end until 1815. As Britain made life harder and harder, America made a decision that would change the world as they knew it. A decision that will solidify their independence. By reviewing events that lead up to the war, and the use of teens in the war, a new perspective can be gained about why the war started. Lastly, touching on one of the first battles to take place can show where the colonist found hope.

The Revolutionary War started in 1776, but the war had growing tensions since the French and Indian war ended. At the end of the war between French and India, Britain had a large sum of debt. Debts they planned to pay through raising taxes. This did not sit well with the colonist, resulting in protests and backlash starting in Boston. When the Boston Massacre took place, many speculated that was from the colonists' anger toward the British policies after the French and Indian war. Many colonists were upset with Britain’s decision to have them pay for another’s actions. The British made various acts like the sugar and stamp act to tax the colonist. Parliament would not listen to their verbal protests; the expressions of their discontent became violent. Eventually, the Boston Massacre exploded onto the Boston political scene and brought the colonies closer to revolution. The colonist started to question Britain’s actions more and more when the Quartering Act of 1765 came about. This act made the debt Britain owe a shared debt. Also, the act made it the responsibility of the colonist to have places for soldiers to sleep eat, and essentially live. The colonists, however, came to resent the Quartering Act and saw it as an indirect method of taxation. It did not take long before the colonist started to view the British army’s presents, as a way to keep the colonist under control.

In 1768 tensions between the colonist and Britain continued to rise. John Hancock use to have shipments come in by sea in 1768, but one of his ships was taken because he did not pay his taxes on Madeira Wine. People were so angry that some of the customs workers' homes were razed by the enraged mobs, In the meantime, the Massachusetts legislature had written a Circular Letter that was passed around all of the colonies, exhorting them to boycott taxed goods. As a result, Britain sent more troops to calm tensions. Governor Francis Bernard called for more soldiers to keep the peace in Boston. The 14th and 29th regiments came, which only increased the tension, and two more regiments, the 64th, and 65th came from Ireland. When it appeared that the city was more stable, the 64 and 65th were transferred to Halifax. Although things seemed to be dying down, they were only heating up in Boston. Anger was boiling near the surface, and Ebenezer Richardson a common employee cut down a liberty pole in 1770. A mob of young men tried to assault him. He took refuge in a house and began firing randomly into the mob from a window, killing a twelve-year-old boy, Christopher Snider. Snider's elaborate and emotional funeral pushed the city even further towards outright rebellion, and more incidents occurred in the streets as colonists badgered and argued with soldiers, causing minor scuttles.

Not even a year later another key event leading up to the war took place. Hugh White a private out of the british army, was having a regular day doing his job on King Street in Boston. A small kid began to give White a hard time, and white knocked the boy down. His actions gained him a lot of attention and shouting. White got stuck outside a custom house door and tried to get in, but when the door wouldn’t open, he made a stand and picked up his gun to protect himself. The group of colonists got bigger, as the threats got worse. The mob soon grabbed everything in site that they could use. White cried out for help, which brought Captain Thomas Preston and his seven soldiers. Together, they tried to peaceably keep the crowd under control; but someone in the mob struck a redcoat hard enough to make the soldier drop his gun. As people dove to pick it up, the gun went off. Hearing the shots, the other soldiers began firing until Preston stopped them. Two of the colonists died on-site while three others died soon after, but one of the first men to fall was Crispus Atticus, an ex-slave. Preston and his men had to go to court about what had happened. Preston was being represented by a future president John Adams. The jury decided that there was no evidence that proved Preston had ordered his soldiers to fire into the crowd. He was acquitted and left the city. Although Preston was acquitted of all charges, Boston had one more protest up their sleeve before the war began.

Later in the year, things had died down about the White situation, but the colonist still felt out of touch with Britain. Britain still had not acknowledged the concerns the colonist had. Therefore, the colonist made their decision to take the protest to the next level. With acts such as the tea and others still in effect, when December’s shipment of tea came in the colonist dumped it all in the water. The shipment of tea was worth a lot of money and cost a lot of money to fix the situation. The merchandise was worth $48,295, or $3 million in today's money, and the British answered with the Coercive Acts, known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies. Many parts of Boston were shut down, and the government was taken away from Massachusetts. The colonists were a strong people who were not easily broken. Although the British made numerous attempts to break them down, in the end, they only brought them closer together. They started to band together because they were ready for whatever Britain had next.

As the war began in 1776, both sides of the war scrambled for soldiers. Colonists enlisted all who were willing to fight and could lift a gun. Kids as young as 15, women, and blacks all came together to gain their independence. Thundering cannon explosions shook the ground and thick smoke filled the air as 15-year-old Joseph Plumb Martin lay in the dirt, struggling to stay alive. The year was 1776 and the war was in full swing, but on the 27th of august in Brooklyn New York America and Britain had begun the war and fought a very key battle in the war. This battle had many teenagers young as 15 to fight in the war. In a time where soldiers were not easy to come by the colonist had to gather who ever they could find. Young Joseph had dreamed and asked his parents to let him go to the war many times. He speculated that the war would be fun and give him a rush. Joseph is just one of the many names who helped fight in the war. As the war started to knock on his home’s front door, he nor did his peers ignore the call. The training was not easy for young Joseph and his peers, but they pushed threw. Meanwhile, Britain continued to finish their own preparations for the war. British soldiers were in red and colonists in blue. British soldiers—known as “redcoats” for the color of their uniforms—were highly trained and famous for their skill in battle. Britain was well trained and ready for the war. In August just above 30,000 troops of the British army were waiting just outside New York at Staten Island. Britain also had a large fleet of ships not far away. Joseph could plainly see those warships, waiting like ravenous predators for the right moment to strike, yet he assumed America would be victorious in any battle. The colonists were not prepared for the coming attack, but they were ready to stand their ground. Late in the night, Britain made their move, over 15,000 Began sneaking up to Brooklyn. Brooklyn was very close to New York under a mile over the water.

As the war began the colonists found their selves losing this battle and being pushed back. Soldiers even tried to swim across back to New York. The war went on and on but on the 3rd day, Britain had started inching closer to ending the war. American forts, where thousands of soldiers—and Washington himself—were trapped. Trapped and cornered Washington refused to give in and instead came up with a plan. As war raged on in Brooklyn one of the colonist’s soldiers managed to get a message to Washington. He dispatched an urgent message; the Americans need boats in Brooklyn—now. Under the cover of darkness and fog, thousands of American soldiers— including Joseph—were stealthily ferried back to New York City After dawn, the British—unaware of what had transpired during the night—launched their attack on the six Brooklyn forts. But when they stormed inside, they discovered to their astonishment that every fort had been abandoned. Live to fight another day was the motto displayed by the colonists. The war was far from over, but the battle at Brooklyn showed the colonists always had a trick up their sleeve. The war never did end until 1783 when Britain had finally given up. As for Joseph, he fought throughout the entire war. He later married, moved to Maine, and raised five children. He lived to the age of 89. As the war came to an end and the constitution came to reality America voted Washington the first president of the United States.

Even today the brave people who fought in the war are still remembered for their sacrifice. Never to be forgotten and forever remembered in history. Giving their lives to see freedom and liberty from Britain. Although it took the colonists years to obtain their goal, they never gave up. The colonists never gave in to the will of Britain. When the war looked over the colonists dug deep and came out on top. A war that started long before the first shot and ended long after the last. History shows through courage determination and hope; the colonists were able to gain their independence. As a result, America would go on to become one of the most respected countries in the world. Not out of fear, but out of respect for their ability to stand up with nothing but their beliefs, and fellow colonists, and come out victorious.

Works Cited

  1. Lowery, Zoe, and Heather Moore Niver. “The American Revolution”. Chicago, IL: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2016., 2016. EBSCOhost, gary.libproxy.ivytech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat04866a&AN=ivy.583797&site=eds-live. Accessed 18 Feb 2019.
  2. McGill, Sara Ann. “Boston Massacre.” Boston Massacre, Aug. 2017, p 1. EBSCOhost, gary.libproxy.ivytech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.gary.libproxy.ivytech.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=17907520&site=eds-live. Accessed 15 Feb 2019.
  3. Tarshis, Lauren. “Blood, Smoke, and Freedom: A True Story of the American Revolution.” Scholastic Scope”, vol. 66, no. 6, Mar. 2018, p. 4. EBSCOhost, gary.libproxy.ivytech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=128112192&site=eds-live. Accessed 18 Feb 2019.
07 July 2022
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