Categories for American Revolution

European contact with native North Americans Essay

European contact with native North Americans Essay

On October 12, 1492, the loud words ring across the deck “Land Ho”. After 70 long days at sea a tattered bunch of sea dogs jump down into a small rowboat and work there way ashore. The man in charged is named Christopher Columbus. Have you ever wondered what the impact was on the Native American population, when they first met the insatiable intruders of the European continent? When I was in high school I remember learning about Christopher Columbus and others who were credited for discovering the New World.

I do not recall being told about the many negative impacts that were caused to the Native Americans. Well I always had this nice picture of Chris and the Indians sitting down and enjoying a meal and exchanging gifts. This is what I was taught in high school but is this really what took place? What really happened was the loss of three items that we as American’s hold in high value they were the loss of life, land, and freedom of the Native American’s! I do not know whether they thought we were too young to understand the overall picture of what took place, or if it is meant to be saved for college level history.

During the period of early European settlement there are believed to have been seven different cultural based Native American societies within the present day boundaries of the United States. First you have the Northeast tribes located along the East coast some of which were the Iroquois, Powhatan, Wampanong, Weapemeoc, and there were many more in addition to these. The Southeast Tribes Located around the Florida Coastline was the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and the Choctaw are just a few of them. The Prairies, which consisted of the Wichita, Missouri, and the Omaha and numerous others. The High Plains, which consisted of some of the following tribes Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapaho, Pawnee, and the Tonkawa. The Southwest tribes consisted of Apache, Navajo, and Hopi. The Great Basin you had the Paiute, Shoshone, and the Spokane. And last but not least you had the Northwest tribes, which included the Chinook, Makah, and the Tillamook. Each of these different tribes had engaged in trading networks over vast stretches of the continent for centuries before the Europeans arrived (Nash et al. 13).

The European settlers and explores brought the Native Americans something of unparalleled importance in history, a viral infection that spread like wildfire through a population that had no immunity against it (Nash et al. 5). Everywhere the Europeans landed the natives were infected. It is believed that a 90 to 95% death rate amongst the Native American was caused by these viral infections such as smallpox, measles, and chicken pox (Trickel 32). In most areas where Europeans intruded in the hemisphere for the next three centuries, the catastrophe repeated itself. No matter who came, whether French, English, Spanish, or Dutch, every newcomer from the old world participated accidentally in the spread of disease that typically eliminated, with in a few generations, at least two-thirds of the native population (Nash et al. 26).

I am not trying to say that all European contact was bad for them, take the French involvement with the Native Americans. When the French met with the natives they found it to be better to live amongst them. Trade was also beneficial to the natives. The Indians and the French set up many little trading posts and villages along the interior of the Americas, along the Mississippi river valley, and both prospered from those villages.

The Dutch and British began early buying land, a practice never understood by the Native Americans, who generally believed that they were granting the newcomers rights to use rather than to own the lands. European settlers started putting up fences and claiming land that did not belong to them (Nash et al.12). To the European the owning of land was a show of ones wealth. This was a concept, which the Native Americans were not familiar; with due to the fact that land to them was communal, it belonged to all. There were no rich or poor in Native American villages everyone shared this was something the Europeans did not understand. I am not saying they did not have boundaries, too, because they did amongst different tribes. So this had a great impact because they were being driven from their hunting grounds and roaming spaces.

The Spanish came to the New World looking for gold (Nash et al. 5). Often they married with the Native Americans. French explorers were trappers and traders they often married with the Native Americans and maintained friendly relations based on trade partnership with the Native Americans. The Dutch and British, in contrast with these other European groups, came to the New World with their families to set up colonies most of them were seeking to settle the land (Nash et al. 68).

What was life like in a Native American village before European exploration? I picture a village of many people sharing a land working together for the needs of the village. Some people thought that the Native Americans were savages but is that true? I think not. They had services not as a Christian would believe but they did join as a group and did worship. Who is to say that if you are not a Christian you cannot be saved? They took from the land what they needed to exist; they used every part of what they hunted. They used the skins for blankets, flooring, clothing and they ate the meat and found uses for everything they killed. They believed the people belonged to the land not, as the Europeans held, that the land belonged to people.

In Native American societies, women also held subordinate positions, to men but not to the extreme found amongst the European men and women. In Iroquois villages, men sat in a circle to deliberate and make decisions, but the senior women of the village stood behind them, lobbying and instructing. The chief was often a male; the elder women of their tribe named them to their position. If they moved to far from the will of the women who appointed them, these chiefs were removed. (Nash et al. 12). The women played active rolls in all aspects of the tribal affairs and everyday life, such as planting and harvesting.

The Native Americans were used in many different fashions during the early exploration and colonization of America. They were often used as guides, slaves, traders, and also as allies or enemies to the many different colonizing factions of the European countries. In Latin America many Native Americans surrendered when faced with European domination. Others were enslaved on plantations, where they mixed together with African slaves and survived, mixed in race and culture. The French found them very useful in the trade and allies along the Mississippi river valley and the interior of the Americas. The English found them to be blocking the progress to advancing civilization of the coastal regions, but also found them to be useful allies during the French and Indian war.

The Indian tribes who lived in and near the English colonies seemed natural subjects for enslavement, as had the Indians in Spanish America. Native American slavery was attempted, but the Native Americans did not make as good of slaves as Africans. For one thing, they were less accustomed to the settled agriculture at which they were expected to labor. Perhaps most importantly, Native Americans were not bewildered foreigners, weakened and cowed by the terrible experience of being transported to a new world. Native Americans were in their own homeland, where they were organized into tribes and nations; they were not so few and scattered as the Africans in the early decades of the colonies. By the time the colonists were sufficiently numerous and organized to enforce slavery on the Native Americans, an easier solution was presented by the ever larger number of more helpless Africans put on the block and sold by the slave traders.

The British, who employed them after the British victory in the French and Indian War, started the practice of making treaties with the American Indians in the colonial period. During the American Revolution the U.S. government adopted the treaty system, signing its first treaty with the Delaware. The purposes of a treaty was to obtain tribal land, to determine boundaries between Indian and white lands, and to regulate trade. By adopting the treaty system, the British and U.S. government recognized the prior ownership of land by Native American tribes and status as independent nations. After the American colonists won their independence from England, the American government continued the English practice of treating the tribes as independent nations. Other Indians, particularly throughout the center of America, entered into the economic, religious, and social life of their conquerors and became the lowest class of the U.S. society.

The European colonization of the New World had a great impact on the Native Americans In many ways and the majority of them were negative. I wonder it would have been like if it had been the other way around, if it had been the Native Americans who had colonized Europe. I also wonder why I never knew these facts until I attended a college level history class. I believe that we should be taught the entire truth in high school not given the impression of Chris and the Native Americans sitting down at a table and sharing a nice meal and exchanging gifts.

Works Cited

Nash, Gary B., et al. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. Volume One to

1887.4th Edition. Los Angeles: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc., 1998.

Trickel, John A. Readings In United States History To 1877: Perspectives on America. Volume

1. New York: American Heritage Custom Publishing, 1

Revolutionary Changes in the Atlantic World Essay

Revolutionary Changes in the Atlantic World Essay

1. List four (4) 18th century European wars. p.542
2. Define, in short, John Locke’s political philosophy. p.542-
3 3. What was Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s political argument? p.543
4. European monarchs that supported some Enlightenment ideas were called “enlightened despots”. Who were these monarchs (examples) and why did they favor some Enlightenment ideas? P.543
5. What is Nicolas-Jacques Conte famous for? P.544
6. Describe at least 3 ways in which women were instrumental in the dissemination of new ideas. P.545 7. The intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment most deeply influenced what emerging class in Europe? P.

545 8. What were folk cultures and what were some of their characteristics? P.546-7 9. What two (2) related problems did the British face after defeating the French in 1763? P.547 10. Which Amerindian chief drove the British from some western outposts and raided Virginia and Pennsylvania at the end of the Seven Years’ War? p.547 11. What was the purpose of the Proclamation of 1763? P.547

12. What sparked a political confrontation that led to rebellion in the British N.

American colonies? P.548 13. What was the Stamp Act of 1765? P.548
14. Who were the Sons of Liberty? p.548
15. What violent event radicalized many colonists against the British? p.548 16. Before declaring its independence (essentially war), list at least three (3) tactics used by American colonists in response to British policies. P.548 17. Who wrote the inflammatory pamphlet Common Sense? p.549

18. Read the excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. What kind of “rights” are expressed in the excerpt and what famous British philosopher popularized it? p.549 19. What convinced the French to enter the war on the side of the U.S. in 1778? P.550 20. What were at least two negative aspects of the government under the Articles of Confederation? p.551 21. Why were slaves counted as 3/5 of a person when considering representation? P.551 22. Until what year did the U.S. Constitution permit the slave trade to continue? p.551 23. What happened to King Louis XVI as a result of the French Revolution? p.552 24. (a)Describe the makeup of the Estates General.

(b) Why did Louis XVI call a meeting of the Estates General after 175 yrs of recess? P.552-3 25. Which French Estate declared itself to be the National Assembly? p.554 26. What was the Bastille and what prompted common people to attack it in 1793? pp.554-5 27. List four things that were accomplished by the new French constitution. p.555 28. What happened when rumors of counter-revolutionary plots circulated throughout working-class neighborhoods? p.555 29. With whom did Robespierre forge an alliance? p.556

30. What was the period of repression led by Robespierre called? p.556 31. Why did Robespierre remove Sunday from the new calendar? p.556 32. Why did Napoleon succeed in forming Europe’s first popular dictatorship? p.557 33. How did Napoleon achieve support of the peasantry and the middle class? p.557 34. Napoleon’s arch nemesis was Britain, which he attempted to invade in 1805. What was the name of the decisive naval battle and what was the outcome? p.557 35. Napoleon’s invasion of what country eventually led to his demise? p.557-561 36.

At what famous battle was Napoleon finally defeated after only one hundred days in power? p.561 37. What was the financial worth of Saint Domingue to French trade? P. 561 38. What destabilized the colonial government of Saint Domingue (Haiti)? p.561 39. What was the main purpose of the Congress of Vienna? p.563 40. The revolutions of 1848 were widespread across Europe and were inspired by what? p.564 41. Greece gained its independence in 1830 from whom? P.564

Free Response Focus Questions: Answer these questions in a 5-7 sentence paragraph. In your own words. Do not simply copy from the book and memorize the response. Know it. Support your response with plenty of facts.

Understand where events fall historically (global context, cause/effect, etc)

1. How were the revolutions of the 18th century inspired by a body of new ideas? Discuss Locke and Rousseau in your response.

2. After defeating the French in North America in 1763, the British faced the related problems of continued westward expansion by its settlers and paying for governing the colonies (taxation). What did the British government do in response to these problems and how did they contribute to colonists’ resentment of the British government and eventual war?

3. Describe the nature of the fiscal crisis that triggered the French Revolution.

4. What were some of the reasons for the failure of the French Revolution to initiate lasting representative government and for the rise of the new dictatorship?

5. What were the causes of the revolution in Saint Domingue?

6. The Enlightenment as a social and intellectual movement impacted many segments of society. How did this movement affect women in the elite classes and the common women during the revolutions?

Compare/Contrast Thesis statement

7. Compare and contrast the goals and outcomes of the French and Haitian Revolutions.

The Birth of the Republic Essay

The Birth of the Republic Essay

During the Seven Year War against France, England encountered many expenses which lead to the nation falling into a great debt. This debt created many issues between the British government and its people. England’s people felt as if the King was trying to rule over them and not take their own personal beliefs into consideration. The government tried to resolve the issues of their debt by creating new acts that would hopefully pay for the war expenses, the new territory of Canada and Mississippi, and its troops to defend as well as take care of their new land.

The British saw an opportunity to tax the colonies as well as demand more of their property from them to help benefit their own economic issues. They continued to tax the colonies until finally the Colonial people had had enough. The parliament tried to pass the Stamp Act which stated that the newspapers and other legal and commercial documents had to be taxed.

They also tried to pass the Sugar Act which tried to tax people three cents on not only sugar but coffee, indigo, and wine as well. Most of the people felt that the British parliament did not have the right to tax them, and many of whom migrated to the colonies to escape British rule, yet they were still being controlled heavily by them. Before the Stamp Act could be finalized the Colonial people made for certain that the act did not get passed.

Essentially there were two groups in Parliament led by William Pitt and Marquis of Rockingham who favored repeal. Pitt was head of the Parliament during the war against France; in which many seemed to turn to him during this crisis. After the war, the parliament limited his role within them due
to his dictating qualities. This led to Pitt and his remaining followers arguing in the House of Commons that “taxation is no part of the governing or legislative power”. He not only wanted the Stamp Act repealed but also for the parliament to admit this act was based off of a flawed principal. Rockingham had more followers than Pitt in the repeal of the Stamp Act, and momentarily the King supported him. In time Rockingham found himself being the leader of a foundation he did not support due to the circumstances with Grenville which ultimately led to him repealing the Stamp Act.

During this time Rockingham got Benjamin Franklin to stand before The House of Commons to state that Americans were much oppressed by the Stamp Act. This eventually led to the arrangement of the Declaratory Act which affirmed Parliament’s right to make laws and statutes binding the colonists. The Americans were uncertain of the Declaratory Act due to the vagueness of the Parliaments representation of it. Shortly after this occurrence the Townshend Act was in acted which told the Americans that they needed to provide the British soldiers with food and shelter.

When this act was initiated the plan was that they would stack America with external taxes; since they all believed what Franklin said. Americans then rebelled by not importing British goods and then came to say they had no right to be taxed. Pitt’s popularity continued to decrease, while Rockingham switched his belief, parliament began to destroy American legislative assemblies, and Americans began to show hatred toward officials from England. The Parliament then decided it was time to show who was boss by sending over two regiments.

After some time the Americans developed a distinction between taxation and legislation which lead to the Americans demanding more of the distinction, resulting in the determination of the Parliament members to teach them that they could not overrule the Parliaments authority. Repeal of the Stamp Act momentarily took away the thought of the colonist’s fear of the army that England had sent over, but the Townshend Act renewed their fears resulting in a suspicion of a colonial drive to liberation. In Boston they began to notice that it was time for a reassessment of the colonial position. They started to believe that maybe it was time to overlook Parliaments right to tax and question the limits of its right to legislate too. Right before the troops were about to arrive in Boston, the people of Boston gathered at a town meeting and declared “without their consent in Person or by Representatives of their own free Election, would be an infringement of their natural, constitutional and Charter Rights; and the employing such Army for the enforcing Laws made without the consent of the People, in Person, or by their Representatives would be a Grievance.”

Some Bostonians were not satisfied with this encounter to Parliaments legislative authority, and wished to back words with weapons if the troops did indeed try to land. The town called upon the delegates to go to a convention but unfortunately no one showed resulting in the troops coming in completely armed. There was absolutely no confrontation and no complaints. Protests against the Townsh end A cts and intimidation tactics against tax collectors, government officials and merchants violating the boycott of British goods, prompted Governor Francis Bernard to request troops in order to keep civil order in Boston. On October 1768 additional British troops started to arrive in Boston joining another regiment and adding up to a total of 4,000 soldiers, a large number considering the population of Boston was 20,000 at the time. The 14th and 29th regiments were to protect government officials, restore order, reinforce the collection of taxes and take action as needed.

Eventually this backfired and a street brawl broke out which became to be known as the Boston Massacre. The Bostonians mostly kept to themselves but found several ways to harass the troops who had been harassing them. The Americans still felt strongly about the danger to their liberties from the Parliamentary taxation, but were slowly learning to extend their inquiries to Parliamentary legislation too. Soon after all of this had taken place, yet another act was initiated called the Tea Act. The Tea Act was an act of Parliament of Great Britain; its principal objective was to reduce the massive surplus of tea held by the troubled British Eat India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive.

This act did not settle well with the colonists because they did not want to have to pay a tax on the tea and it eventually led to them firing back and dumping thousands of pounds of tea into the harbor. After this happened the patience of the ministry in Boston grew very slow, as well as the Parliament getting very angry, so they enacted a series of laws known as the Coercive Acts. This was a series of four different laws that closed the ports of Boston until the leaders paid for the tea that was dumped into the harbor. This law would force the colonists to follow laws they thought were unfair. Although these laws were aimed at Boston, many of the other colonies were expected to learn from it.

Although England experienced an extensive debt problem, the government tried to fix the issue by creating new acts. Many of the acts were not well liked among the people which resulted in them backfiring and trying to get the acts revoked. This revolt against the King lasted for several years.

The American revolution Essay

The American revolution Essay

One of the major reasons why the American Revolution started was because of the fact that the British were not including the Americans in the decisions that were being taken for the taxation proceeds from the citizens the Americans who felt that they were not being asked to participate in important decisions (Blanco 757). The seeds for revolt were planted by the resentment at the non-inclusion at the decision making process given the fact that the Americans felt that they made significant contributions to the coffers of the British.

America, at this point, was willing to wage war in order to be properly represented and to be allowed to take part in the decision making process (Blanco 757). It had now become a common sentiment among the Americans that there were so many things that they felt had to be done but were left unresolved due to their exclusion. America went to war not to prove that they were stronger but rather they went to war in order to set things right.

America wanted to help the people in living an unsuppressed life and this is why they fought for independence. According to a Richard Blanco, “The most radical impact was the sense that all men have an equal voice in government and that inherited status carried no political weight in the new republic. The rights of the people were incorporated into state constitutions. Thus came the widespread assertion of liberty, individual rights, equality and hostility toward corruption which would prove core values of republicanism to Americans. (702)”

This means that according to some sources, the American Revolution had a greater impact on the world because it was the first who had fought against the British rule and ensured independence for itself. The American Revolution was the one that began the trend of ambushing the British and taking over their own country so that they can rule it in the right way and so that they can also allow the public to be a part of the decisions that are going to be made by the government. This was a major victory for America and this is why they celebrate such an occasion.

The American Revolution as a European Movement Essay

The American Revolution as a European Movement Essay

The American Revolution was and always will be the most important piece of history for the United States of America. It was definitely revolutionary. The Enlightenment of the eighteenth century was one of these paradigm historical shifts, challenging the traditional notions of authority by investing reason with the power to change the human condition for the better. The Enlightenment also shows that the American’s colonies were influenced by European ideals and political developments, and in turn the American’s colonies also influence Europe.

Across the Atlantic, the Enlightenment had a profound impact on the English colonies in America and ultimately on the infant nation of the United States. “The Enlightenment challenged the role of religion and divine right and this helped Colonial America to see that it was possible to challenge the King and divine right. The movement challenged the role of God and allowed people to see that they were important and had the ability to shape their own lives.

(“The Great Awakening…”, Journal)

In many ways, the new United States was the Enlightenment, for its leaders could actually implement many of the ideas that European philosophers could only talk idly about. First, the Enlightenment helped to shape the colonies was in terms of religion. With the Great Awakening came a new understanding of America’s early relationship to God and the Church. Instead of one all-powerful church that almost required membership, Protestant ideals based on Enlightenment principles of free will and freedom from institutions allowed people to choose membership in a church rather than be forced into one.

Although during the Enlightenment there was a very secular focus, in America this was not the case. The colonies were still very religious but they used the ideas of their freedom to choose that were based on the Enlightenment. Instead of being tied to one religious authority, there were many choices in the colonies and people had a right to choose how to establish and maintain their connection to God. Much of what colonists wanted to do with politics had a greater influence coming from Britain.

Philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke both had great influence on American thinkers, with Locke being the more influential as Hobbes’ solution was not the thing the American founders wanted. Locke was far more optimistic, stating that all humans were capable and that they strove for the betterment of the world. John Locke believed that natural laws say that every person has certain basic rights, and he argued passionately for freedom of religion.

He wrote that every person has the natural right to defend his “life, health, liberty or possessions. John Locke argued that because we have so much doubt about so many things, each person should have as much freedom as possible. Because we really don’t know the best way to organize and improve our society, all people should make their own decisions about what they want to do with their own lives. When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he echoed Locke, writing about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have become the central themes of American Revolutionary philosophy. ” (Morton, Joseph C, 143) The American Revolution had much influence beyond the political boundary of the new nation.

Many liberal movements in Europe took heart from the accomplishment of the American Declaration of Independence, the war itself, and the creation of a new government to replace the British rule over the old colonies. Many peoples wished to either overthrow the idea of monarchy or, at least, establish a constitutional monarchy. The French Revolution was inspired by many of the ideals of the American Revolution When the French people heard of the revolt in America they realized they didn’t have to live under tyranny.

They started the revolution in hopes of becoming an independent country. The French fought alongside the Americans against the English to accomplish a democratic, independent nation and the declaration of independence France was bankrupt at the time, so the people were very poor. Meanwhile they saw their monarchs in all their wealth and began to see them as tyrants. The stories of the French soldiers that had fought in America, like the Marquis de Lafayette, loved the American notion of liberty and began to support similar reforms in France.

As James mentioned “Lafayette was one of the first people to advocate a National Assembly, and he worked to make France a constitutional monarchy. ”(James) Revolutionary ideas turned into real plans of attack. They wanted to rid themselves of a monarchy ruled by the royals, clergy and aristocrats. In conclusion, Enlightenment thinking, economics, and geography all helped in some way toward an American revolution. Also, Enlightenment thinking helps the American colonists to know what they want in a government.

Women in the American Revolution Essay

Women in the American Revolution Essay

As had been the pattern in Europe over the centuries, women in early America were not supposed to play any political role in society. Following the ideas and values brought here from the Old World, colonial leaders decided that women’s main place was in the home, centered around conventional activities for example housework, cooking, cleaning, as well as childrearing. Besides taking care of the household, it was accepted; women could partake in some phases of the religious life of the community.

However a sharp difference was drawn between religion and politics. When the question arose in early Massachusetts regarding possibly permitting all church members a political voice irrespective of their other status, Puritan minister John Cotton argued that merely independent adult men had the essential qualifications to act sensibly in the political sphere. “Women and Servants,” he said, are not reckoned “capable of voting in the choice of Magistrates, though they may be and are, church members.

”1 Cotton and others felt that women may exercise some decision-making authority within the family, however in society at large men alone could be rulers.

Certainly, not all men in early America had access to the political realm. As noted in Reverend Cotton’s remarks, bound servants were to be excluded. Furthermore, religious dissenters, white men without property and, certainly, black slaves were generally barred from any form of political participation.

Members of these groups, along with women, had been conventionally looked upon as lacking the independence and personal qualities believed essential for becoming a voter or officeholder. Thus far women were obviously a special case, which is perhaps why it ultimately took longer for them to lawfully get political rights. Perhaps, too, it elucidates why in colonial times few theorists even measured the prospect of women having any sort of political role. In the second half of the 18th century, certain writers elaborated further as to why women did not belong in the political ground.

A foremost advice book of the time, The Polite Lady, published in England however extensively read in America, stated that women’s natural abilities were not equal to such a difficult task as politics. Female education, as currently conducted, said the author, was too slight and superficial to allow women to be competent judges of such matters. Just before the colonists stated their independence, Massachusetts lawyer and emerging statesman John Adams reiterated some of these views.

Like the previous writer, Adams did not assert that women lacked any intellectual capacity. To a certain extent, he thought that they were unsuited both by temperament as well as training for such a worldly pursuit as politics. “Their delicacy,” Adams insisted, “renders them unfit for practice and experience in the great business of life, and hardly enterprises of war, as well as the arduous cares of state. Besides, their attention is so much engaged with the necessary nurture of their children, that nature has made them fittest for domestic cares.

”2 Women in the Patriot Cause: These few instances of female participation despite, the foregoing criticism reveals the fact that women were not seen as having a justifiable place in the political community. The passage of time had brought much development to the colonies however none concerning any institutionalized political role for women. That women should have no business dealing with matters of state was an approach maintained not merely by notable men in America but as well among the great minds of the late 18th century European Enlightenment.

Outside of the French philosopher Condorcet, no intellectual of the period seriously thought that women belonged in the public sphere. Though, the American Revolution would force as a minimum some rethinking of women’s connection to the political realm here in the New World. Even though no formal context existed for women entering the civil polity, they would in several ways become attached to the movement looking for political independence from England. As historian Linda Kerber has noted, women’s services turned out to be highly sought after either for the army or on the home front.

Consequently, women were challenged to commit themselves politically and then validate their allegiance. In a little while the age-old question was raised: could a woman be a loyalist, an essentially political person, and, if so, what form would it take? The issue, as Kerber indicates, never achieved full resolution. However without doubt many women, at least for a time, went beyond their conventional roles and started engaging in some kinds of public activity.

France in the American Revolution Essay

France in the American Revolution Essay

The role of France in the American Revolution can be identified as noticeable and visible. Despite the fact that the country experienced financial difficulties, it had managed to use the American Revolution as an effective tool to weaken arch-rival in both affairs of Europe, Britain and many other countries. The position of the British Empire was seriously damaged and therefore, France expected the United States to ally with it. There are many suggestions and assumptions about the role the country has played in the American Revolutionary War.

Some argue that the sole purpose of the country was to revenge the British Empire as France had lost its territory in America after signing the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Others claim that the country has made up decision to intervene not to revenge, but because of strong desire to revenge the loss of Canada. However, the widely help suggestion is that France participated in the American Revolution because of desperate French position in Europe.

Nevertheless, America had failed to weaken the British power and war appeared to be a tragic failure for French expectations.

It is argued that the country “was desperate for peace but did not attempt to betray the United States”. (p. 87) Therefore, France can be defined as one of the most important supporters in American Revolution. Debt maintenance was the primary problem of the French government and the war resulted in more severe financial crisis which “which provided the immediate occasion for the release of those forces which shattered the French political and social order”. (p. 134)

Summing up, France entered the revolutionary war in 1779 and helped the United States to become independent from the British Empire. France was willing to become the first commercial partner of the newly-formed and independent United States, but its hopes failed to be realized, but France became important trade partner. France expected to be recognized in the American Revolution and to be appreciated, as well as it was going to re-gain its territories in the United States.

Works Cited

Dull, Jonathan R. A. Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. USA: Yale U. Press, 1985.

Haitian and American Revolutions Essay

Haitian and American Revolutions Essay

While the revolutions in colonial America and Haiti had many parallels, they were also unique in their own ways. In both revolutions, the rebels revolted against a foreign superpower that was in a weakened economic state in order to gain economic and social freedom. However, the Haiti revolution stressed freedom for everybody (including slaves), whereas the American Revolution focused more on the needs of the Bourgeois, or middle class.

The revolutions in both of these countries would have been unsuccessful were it not for the crippling problems faced by both opposing superpowers.

The success of the Haitian revolution was due in no small part to the political turmoil brought about by the French revolution. This weakened the ability of the colonial administrators in Haiti to maintain order and caused the authority of colonial officials to no longer be clear; even the very legitimacy of slavery was even being challenged in France. The turmoil in France and Haiti paved the way for a struggle between the elite plantation owners and the free black slave owners.

This fighting in turn gave the slaves, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the unheard of opportunity to revolt against their owners and emancipate themselves from a brutal system of bondage (Corbet).

The revolution in the Americans was against its mother country, Great Britain, and unlike Haiti, the British army was in full force when war broke. There were, however, economic weaknesses that led to the inevitable revolution against Britain. Britain was burdened by debts from the French and Indian War, and therefore taxed the colonies substantially to make up for this.

The ideologies of the revolutions in both Haiti and America were very similar. In America, philosophers such as Thomas Paine and John Locke preached social and economic freedom. Thomas Paine writes, “And he hath shown himself such an inveterate enemy to liberty, and discovered such a thirst for arbitrary power, is he, or is he not, a proper person to say to these colonies, ‘you shall make no laws but what I please!'” (Overfield, 198). This represents the opinion of many revolutionaries: that they should be allowed to rule on their own and not be taxed and forced into things by a ruler thousands of miles away. Also, these philosophers believed in the idea of unalienable rights for men.

The Declaration states, “We hold these truths to be [sacred and undeniable] self evident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Maier). The colonists believed that everyone with land should have a chance to pursue happiness, and that the British monarchy wasn’t allowing them this freedom. They also proclaimed that taxation without representation was a denial of the rights they deserved.

The bourgeois class brought up this claim to get more economical freedom and rights. Acts passed by the Parliament such as the Stamp Act limited the economic potential of this middle class. Thomas Paine talked of how no immigrants would move to the colonies of the government was not allowed to be independent and thrive (Overfield, 198). Although this would help the middle class gain more money and thrive, the lower class including the slaves would be unaffected. These slaves were not to be given any rights or improvements from their previous lifestyle.

In Haiti before the revolution, slaves also had no rights or say in their lives. With France’s being in a state of turmoil, a window opened for a chance to rid of their masters and grasp a life unheard of to slaves of this era. All they needed was a leader: someone to bring them together and unite them in this noble cause, and for them, this man was Toussaint L’Ouverture. With the slave owners fighting and in disarray, the slaves rose up and fought hard for a better life. L’Ouverture might have grasped the idea of economic independence, but the slaves’ only goal was social freedom. Many fought to the death because they welcomed death as a change from the terrible lives they had been living. This revolution was to give inalienable rights to all, including slaves, instead of just to the bourgeois class as had been done in America.

In the Haitian revolution, the slaves revolted against the wealthy plantation owners. Details of these events are shown with illustrations that were created from British admirer Marcus Rainsford’s own sketches. Rainsford depicted him through his portraits almost as if he were a deity – “a countenance bold and striking, yet full of the most prepossessing suavity – terrible to an enemy, but inviting to the objects of his friendship or his love.” The rebellious slaves eventually gained the upper hand under the leadership of L’Ouverture (Rainsford).

L’Ouverture then led an invasion of neighboring Saint Domingo where he continued to liberate slaves. In 1802, Napoleon, the leader of France, sent a large military force and fought the rebel forces. The resistance persisted, and the slaves eventually gained independence by defeating Napoleon. L’Ouverture was captured and sent to France, where he died in prison. One might wonder what he was thinking as when he was there. A letter, or a journal written by him might provide insight into the mind of this influential revolutionary.

The American Revolution started with boycotts to repeal unjust measures such as the Stamp Act. These passions intensified into riots, which were portrayed in the Boston Tea Party, where rebels dumped 10,000 pounds of tea into the river to protest high tea taxes. The Boston Massacre also incited hatred towards the King of Britain, King George III (Middlekauff 712). All these factors escalated and came to a climax when war was declared against the British. In the early stages of the revolution, minutemen, ordinary colonists, were used in the battles. Eventually, strong military leaders organized the colonists into a fighting machine and the colonists were able to surround the British at Yorktown, thus gaining their independence


Corbett, Bob. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803. 21 Mar. 2001. Webster University.


Maier, Pauline. American Scripture – Making the Declaration of Independence.

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Jefferson, Thomas. The Declaration of Independence. Maier 235-241.

Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789. Vol. II

of the Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1982.

Overfield, Andrea. The Human Record – Sources of Global History. Vol. 2.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. Overfield 194-198.

Rainsford, Marcus. An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti: Comprehending

a View of the Pricipal Transactions in the Revolution of Saint Domingo; With its Ancient and Modern State. London: James Cundee, 1803.