The Thorny Path to American Independence: French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Treaty of Paris

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The history of the United States started with the arrival of Native Americans around 15,000 BC. The Native Americans once were settled throughout North America before the Europeans arrived. The Native Americans tailored to their land and all of their surrounding factors. They all had their own society and buying and selling routes between one another which played a significant role throughout this time period. Specifically, the time period of the 1770s and 1780s was crucial in the history-making of America. Looking closer at this era’s significance, the Declaration of Independence was executed in the year 1776 which set forth a formal evaluation of grievances against the British authorities and declared that, because their rights had been violated repeatedly, the thirteen North American colonies were formally declaring their independence from British rule. Another crucial event was the signing of the constitution in 1787 that contained a preamble and seven articles that describe the way the government is structured and how it operates. The Constitution of the United States created America’s national government and guaranteed basic rights for its citizens. It helped bring states with different interests and cultures together as a whole.

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Disease and sickness were largely faced before the Europeans to the 1750s. In the Old World, diseases had developed along with the earliest civilizations, however, they had no equivalents in the New World. When the new illnesses spread to the Americas, the effects were dramatic because this was something most people had never experienced before. The list of sicknesses introduced throughout North America was extensive and some of the deadliest ones included: smallpox, malaria, viral influenza, yellow fever, and measles. In the year of 1721, Boston faced a smallpox epidemic with 6,000 causes and resulting in 850 deaths. While this was a tragic time that lasted for nearly a year, this 1721 epidemic made history for vaccinations. By the time of the American Revolution, smallpox had killed more people than all the battles combined due to the constant spread. The people living in Boston tried to resolve the issue on their own by fleeing, but all this did was spread the sickness deeper in the Nation, killing even more citizens.

In the years 1750- 1800 the French and Indian war took place in North America. This helped Great Britain obtain huge territorial gains in the new world. The Indian war is what led to the American Revolution due to the colonial disconnect. The British tried to take over the colonies and control them to make colonists repay the crown for the defense Britain provided them with during the war, but that did not settle well. The American Revolution ended years later because of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The document was signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and officials of the United States and it essentially paved the way towards expansion. Westward Expansion was a large contribution to America in the years 1800-1850. The land west of the Mississippi River was acquired by the U.S. Federal Government which granted this massive land growth. There were much of economic opportunities and population growth in the west which explains the booming of the expansion movement.

I believe that 1750- 1800 was the most important to American History for a number of reasons. During this time period, one changing event led to a growth of other major events throughout North America. The first significant event was the French and Indian War that began in the year 1754 and lasted for roughly seven years. The name of the war is misleading because it was actually fought between France and Britain to predict who would gain control of power in the Americas. Ultimately, the British had won the war giving them the power to impose taxes on the colonists resulting from the long and expensive battle. However, the colonists quickly resented the British because of this and turned against them. British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War and formed the United States of America. Next, the American Revolution began in 1765 which was fought between Great Britain and the original thirteen British colonies because the colonial Americans wanted their own country and they were tired of being governed by Britain and their unreasonable tax laws. Patrick Henry was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States that lived during this time period. In March of 1775, the Second Virginia Convention met in Richmond, Virginia, to discuss the state’s strategy against the British. This is where Patrick Henry delivered his most famous speech, ending with the quote, “Give me liberty or give me death!” which set off a fight for independence. This speech was also influential in the creation of the Bill of Rights, which helped citizens get their freedom and put limits on the government’s power.

Several years later, North America finally became independent after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. This impacted monarchial society by making the colonists, who were once subjects to the crown, to now citizens and participants in the political process. Then, in 1776 one of the most important documents in history was created, the Declaration of Independence. This was known as the first-ever formal statement giving citizens the right to pick their own government and it also told explained why the colonies wanted their own countries. Another document that changed the history of America was named the Constitution of the United States and it was put into place once America won the Revolutionary War. It became evident that the young republic needed a strong central government. This document contains three branches of the national government which include executive, legislative, and judicial. The thought process behind this was to prevent one branch from overpowering another branch. Without these chains of events, our nation would be completely different because all of these events were connected in some way. North America could not be the free nation it is today without these carefully implemented events in history, thus making it the most important.

The image above is displaying the American Revolution. It is significant in 1750-1800 because it shows the citizens of the thirteen colonies fighting the British back for their exaggerated taxes. The colonists all shared a strong belief that the British got themselves into this situation, so they should not have to pay for their doings. This is when the frontiersmen knew something needed to change, they needed to fight for their independence. This picture depicts one of the greatest times in American history, the country slowly starting to emerge as a newly independent nation.

This image of the Treaty of Paris is very symbolic because it established the United States among the nations in the world. This is the document that was signed officially saying that the American Revolutionary War was over and it is what made the British acknowledge the independence of the United States.

The main ideas discussed in this essay from the time period 1750-1800 are still reflected upon in modern society. People continue to live in this independent country with many freedoms and the will to do most things with few restrictions. The Declaration of Independence was the Birth of the United States of America we live freely in today. The main aspects of the Declaration of Independence are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which applies to today’s society as well. This formal document is what allows citizens to be free and grants hope to everyone who lives in the country that they too can have this independence. The constitution of the United States is also still applicable to today’s times because it continues to protect individuals’ freedoms and limits the power of the government. However, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States more than likely would’ve been impossible without the events of the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Treaty of Paris because of the strong connection they hold. All of these important documents and battles are linked together. If things would of went any differently, there may not have been the Declaration of Independence or Constitution at all. We would more than likely live in a very different society and the world than we experience today.

Works Cited

  1. “British Plan to Isolate New England.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 13 Nov. 2009, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-plan-to-isolate-new-england.
  2. Kelly, Martin. ‘Major Events and Eras in American History.’ ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/american-history-eras-4140417.
  3. “.’ Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2020 .” Encyclopedia.com, Encyclopedia.com, 4 Dec. 2020, www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/declaration-independence.
  4. The Oregon Encyclopedia, www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/disease_epidemics_1770s-1850s/#:~:text=The most deadly were smallpox, malaria, viral influenza,,contact, from the late 1700s through the mid-1800s.
  5. Eric, Blair, et al. “The Fight Over Inoculation During the 1721 Boston Smallpox Epidemic.” Science in the News, 30 Oct. 2018, sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/special-edition-on-infectious-disease/2014/the-fight-over-inoculation-during-the-1721-boston-smallpox-epidemic/.
  6. “The Constitution: How Did It Happen?” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution/how-did-it-happen.
  7. “Tully (NY) Area Historical Society News & Databases.” Tully Area Historical Society, tullyhistoricalsociety.org/tahs/index.php.
  8. “The Declaration of Independence and Its Legacy.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/us/13a.asp.
07 July 2022

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