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Main Contributors


Crystal K., Justin L., Kathy L., Kimi C., and Nathan F.


Introduction


Samuel dragged one dry, callused hand across his brow, leaving a smear of soil on the creased surface. His clothing felt stifling and warm, and even the thin shirt clung to his shirt, drenched with sweat. Heaving a sigh, he glanced at the horse straining against the plough. Its short-haired coat was wet, glistening in the sunlight that scorched them both and sucked all moisture from the air. He leaned heavily against the plough in front of him, the hard wood making it uncomfortable, but it was still better than having all of his weight on his sore legs. The handles of the plough had once been sheathed with small bits of leather, but now only the rough wood remained. Years of constant work had worn away the hide. Especially now that he had to provide for the militia, Samuel had to work even harder to feed his family as well. It wasn’t that he didn’t support the cause, but it seemed like the workload just kept increasing, and would never stop. The horse that was harnessed to the plough was exhausted as he was, its long neck curved in a weak arch as its lungs worked like a bellows. Its massive ribcage was heaving and straining, and the dull, glazed eyes that gazed outwards from a hollow face were plain with weariness. Samuel cast his own eyes up at the blue sky, scattered with hardly a single cloud, then had to flinch away from the too-bright sun. Not for the first time, and for what he knew wouldn't be the last, a set of questions ran through his tired mind. What were the reasons this burdening war had started? Could the colonists win, even when the British were so strong? And what effects would this war leave on generations to come?
Heaving a tough, rasping sigh, Samuel leaned back over the plough and forced his aching body back to work.

Suddenly, five highschool Social Study students were beamed onto the field in front of Samuel.
"Hello, my name is Captain Jean-Luc Pic--" one started...
"Shh. Don't blow our cover," another interrupted.
"Enough, you two," began a third student. "Let's get down to business. We have the answers you are seeking, Samuel."
"You, Samuel, are a part of a Revoultion that will forever change humanity..." a foyrth student continued.
"Yeah! It's a pretty significant event in world history. It gave the inspiration for many other groups in the world to fight for their own independence and not only that, but to start a new and wonderful and terrific and beautiful and life-changing..." added one over-excited student, that obviously couldn't stop coming up with more adjectives to describe the new nation.
"Ugh, this is taking too long," the last student butted in, not letting her finish her sentence. "Here, I brought my laptop. Just read this wiki here and all your questions will be answered."

A confused Samuel reached out to receive the strange device, eager to find the answers to his questions.
There he sat in the field reading, as the five students played "Duck, Duck, Goose".



A) Top three causes leading up to the American Revolution





The American Revolution is unarguably an event that strongly influenced the

making of human society today. As a result from the Revolution, a new, powerful, and unique country was formed: the United States of America. Canada’s existence and Britain’s power today also was defined through the results of the Revolution.

Like all great revolutions, the American Revolution did not occur suddenly on one day; the ideas of revolution took years to develop and another eight years of war to establish. A major revolution does not occur randomly as well; there must be something to spark revolution in the minds of the people. In the American Revolution, some of the colonists were unhappy with their current lifestyle. Revolutionary ideas, ideas of independence, were passed around and propagandized, which added fuel to revolutionary thoughts in the colonists. Finally, because the British did nothing to cooperate with the colonists, and in fact upset them further, the colonists saw no reason to continue living the way they did and a revolution was soon underway….

1) THE COLONISTS ARE UNHAPPY AND BEGIN TO DISLIKE THE BRITISH


People generally want change when their quality of life worsens, and the American colonists are no different.

The colonists’ quality of life first worsened with the Proclamation Act of 1763, when the British gave the land the colonists had fought for (the Ohio Valley) to the First Nations. This upset the colonists because they felt they had fought for and earned the Ohio Valley and that the land is rightfully theirs. They are even more troubled by the idea of their land being given to the First Nations, who were looked down upon and thought to be as lower-class people by the colonists. The Proclamation Act also meant they could not expand their territory as easily. What likely angered the colonists most is that the British made the Proclamation Act without any showing consideration for the colonists and not letting the colonists have any influence on this decision.

The British completely infuriated the colonists with the Stamp Act in 1765, which led to the birth of an unforgivable hatred for the British in the (non-Loyalist) colonists. The Stamp Act meant the colonists would have to pay TAX (unthinkable!), which was something they were not used to in their previously tax-free society. To make matters worse, the British again did not ask the colonists’ opinions on this decision; this created the popular cry of “no tax without representation!”, as the colonists had no one to represent them in the Parliament. With a new, strong resentment for the British, the colonies begin to show some rebellion and action; boycotting British goods and meeting in secret.

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A Stamp from the Stamp Act ==> UPSET

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Proclamation Act of 1763 ==> UPSET


The colonies were obviously not pleased when the British brought in more taxes – the Townshend Acts in 1767. The British also brought in Hessians – German mercenaries who helped the British keep a military presence among the American colonies. In addition to the Proclamation Act and tax without representation, the colonists felt their rights were being alienated as the Hessians were living in the colonists’ homes and hosting or attending secret meetings now lead to harsh consequences.

Tension and hatred soon built up among the colonists. They began to show signs of rebelling and disobedience towards the British. Like all revolutions, the people becoming upset and wanting change is the first step.


2) THE COLONISTS HEAR REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS


Even if the people are upset and wanting change, they need something to motivate them or some kind of goal to work towards. When the American colonists heard of Revolutionary Ideas from Enlightenment thinkers, they had more direction and a cause to fight for.

John Locke’s ideas of maximum liberty within the law and unalienable rights (including the right to revolt against bad government) were popular among the colonists. The idea that a government should give them as much freedom as they can was more pleasing than being treated unequally by the British government. Having rights that no one can take away was gave the colonists a feeling of justice and reason to accuse the British and revolt against them.

Ideas were soon passed around (with a bit of propaganda) and fuelled the want for change in the upset colonists.


3) THE IMPERIALIST BRITISH DO NOT COOPERATE, BUT AGGRAVATE


With a revolution soon under way, a last measure the British can resort to and prevent the revolution would be to cooperate with the colonists and consider their position and ideas. This obviously did not happen, and in fact, the British only aggravated the colonists further (even when signs of rebellion was evident).

Though they repealed the Stamp Act, knowing the colonists were upset and refused to pay it, they made a rather unwise decision of bringing in the Townshend Acts afterwards. Would the Townshend Acts actually make the colonists happier?

Right before the American Revolutionary War, the colonists made the Olive Branch Petition, which stated how they wanted an end to their grievances, yet they still acknowledge they are British subjects. King George III of England refused to even look at the Petition.

Since change must be made, yet no compromises can be arranged, the colonists initiated the Revolutionary War in 1775.


B) Why did the Colonies win the War?



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The American's View of the Boston "Massacre" ==> PROPAGANDA

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The Declaration of Independence

1) Art


Art played a significant part in the American Revolution and the reasons why the colonies won the war. The propaganda and publicity stunts by the colonists were used to show that they did not want the British controlling them and wished for independence. By publicizing events such as the Boston Tea Party and the Tarring and Feathering of the loyalists, as well as promoting positive views of themselves (Washington's "great victory at Delaware") and negative views of the British (The Boston "Massacre"), the Sons of Liberty spread the awareness of the cause around. Not only did they want to spread the awareness, but in order to start a new nation, they had to create something that would unite the people by convincing their hearts and minds. This was done effectively with propaganda, since many people were literate. . Many important pieces of writing such as the Declaration of Independence, which was signed on July 4th, 1776, to separate the colonists from the British Empire after the 7 Years War. In the late 1775, Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet, “Common Sense,” that presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from the British before the Declaration of Independence was written. It was published during the first month of 1776 and gained popularity quickly due to the style and structure it was written.





2) Technology

The colonists had many advantages technology wise since they had supplies and manufacturing close by while the British had to import from England. This meant that the supply line was slow and costly for England. Along with the help of some Natives, the army of the colonists had more people than the British. The weapons that the colonists used were mainly muskets, a long gun which is fired from the shoulder. Battling without an orderly fashion also seemed to help the colonies. A better name, guerilla warfare was used by the colonist because they were not taught the way the British rules of the battlefield, and also, the Americans knew that they didn't have any chance of winning if they played by the rules. So they did everything they could to try and win, even if it meant breaking tradition. It worked, because the British had absolutely no idea. The colonists would kill the General of the army first, and used everything they could to their advantage. For instance, the British were used to fighting in an open battlefield, but of course, if the colonists fought the open, they would lose. And so, they fought in the wilderness, where the colonists knew their way around, but the British didn't.

3) Society

Society played a massive role in the war between the British and the colonies. One of the most obvious reasons was the fact that the colonists had a strong faith and belief in the society that they lived in, and were loyal to the cause. They were willing to fight for their freedom and independence, unlike the British, who had nothing to believe in but their king, who was merely a figurehead. The British army was made up of proper soldiers, who were all well-trained. However, they also followed strict rules and abided by a code that disallowed them to use the tactics that the colonies did. Both social values and the technology mentioned above resulted in the colonists favouring guerrilla tactics, which the British would never use. Much of what the colonists did was considered underhanded, and ‘playing dirty’ by the Brits. The colonies’ fighting force was primarily untrained militia, therefore more willing to fight against the so-called rules of chivalry that the British had fought by for centuries. With the creation of the Sons of Liberty, the colonists brought more attention to themselves, with publicity stunts such as the Boston Tea Party. The use of propaganda strongly influenced people to believe and trust the colonists more readily than the Brits. The colonists had learned much from the First Nations, like guerrilla warfare and how to create remedies that cured/prevented rickets, helping their society to adapt to America, while the British floundered, unused to it. The colonists took advantage of the fact that the French and Spanish, who had previously been wronged by the Brits, were willing to fight with them. Nearer to the end of the war, they had both the French and Spanish as allies, and overpowered the British.


C) The Impact of the American Revolution on US and Canada today


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The Proclaimation Line - it was the line that separated the British colonies and the Native American's land on the other side of the Appalacian mountains.

Impact on US

There were a some bumps on the road with the economy after American Revolution. Things did not go as smoothly as they had planned. The colonists were in debt from the war, and because they're not part of Britain's mercantile system anymore, key exports, such as rice and tobacco were lost. Both the English and the colonists used significant amounts of money for the war, and had made more weapons than they needed. Without the aid from the British, America's economy wasn't as stable as it was before the revolution. The Congress tried to solve the problem by printing more money, but the result was many people with fistfuls of worthless money. The people of the New World were hit with inflation, and the loss of many jobs in the urban area. And so, they tried more ways to try and make their money situation disappear. They had realized that the war had some advantages too. The colonists were not bound to the trading limitations that the British had set on them anymore. The Americans really took the fact that they're not under British control to their advantage, and went beyond the Proclamation Line and were able to grow more crops.

They had fought a war to be able to start a new nation, but they still had yet to fight a war for independence. The problems of the social inequalities still haven't been solved. There were still many slaves, and women didn't have the same rights that men did. They had taken part in the Revolutionary war, hoping that the fight for "independence" would result their freedom and equality. The ideas of the Enlightenment were swimming around people's mind, and with those ideas, it inspired women and slaves to fight for their rights, freedom, and liberty within the laws. Women did had some new legal rights, such as the right to divorce, and the right to be taking charge of buisness deals and contracts without the consent of their husbands, but those rights weren't recognized and followed throughout ALL of the colonies. Slavery was beginning to abolish in New England, and the northern parts of the United States continued to ban slavery, but in the south, where the slaves were the reason for their economic prominence, there were an abundance of slaves, and people that opposed the emancipation. They were called the United States of America, but they weren't united at all. Nobody had the same kind of thinking. Everybody just did what they thought was best, but in the end, everything was just a real big mess. The Americans were swimming in a ocean of chaos, and they didn't even know it. They should've realized by now that starting a whole new nation was more difficult than they originally thought.

Impact on Canada

Phenomenal changes were brought by the American Revolution. By breaking free of the mighty British, the Americans proved that freedom was possible to achieve, even when under the control of the most powerful nation at the time. As the British realized that the colonies were independent, British limitations on trade dropped slightly and the Proclamation line disappeared. With the Proclamation line gone, farming and agriculture spread to more fertile areas. This strengthened agriculture and trade. Even though the war hurt the economy, it managed to boost some aspects of trade.
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Map of the Proclamation Line

After the American Revolution women started to get more rights. Now they were allowed to own property, have the option to divorce, and run businesses. Sometimes they were even allowed multiple of these at the same time. Slaves also managed to get in on the fruits of the American Revolution. Slavery began to abolish in the North. The Southerners were still stubborn towards the subject of giving up their slaves. Even the Native Americans who were once seen as "backwards people" gained the right to immigrate, work, and study inside America. And with all this, the belief of Egalitarianism grew (the belief that every person is equal). Although the idea wasn't fully developed in some areas, it was present in the minds of society.

When the war was over many Loyalists joined the French Colonies in the North, creating New Brunswick. This also helped expand Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. As a result of the flooding immigrants, Upper Canada started to grow quite fast.
Southern Canada was well off also. They established councils and assemblies. This would lead to the beginnings of two great Canadian provinces, Ontario and Quebec. With the first self government system in Canada, the country started to flourish.

Canada began to urbanize. Laws were introduced, roads were built, culture developed, churches were formed, ideas were created, and the entire society was as strong as ever. People from all over immigrated to North America, bringing together multiple traditions and cultures together. Something Canada is well known for. The American Revolution has allowed North America to become as great as it is today. A colony that aspired to become a nation and fulfilled its goals. Almost entirely obliterating influence of Britain. An amazing feat. It is no wonder that the pride in our nation is rivaled by few.

This powerful and influential community all started from a single event, and scaled into the development of one of the world's most important country.
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Timeline


  • The French and Indian War, 1754-1763
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    Map of Battles in the American Revolutionary War (with battles discussed in class circled in green)
  • Treaty of Paris ends the fighting between France and England, 1763
  • Pontiac's Revolt: Stops at Detroit, 1763
  • Royal Proclamation Act, 1763
  • Stamp Act, 1763-1766
  • - The colonists’ reaction – 1765
  • - Stamp Act repealed – 1766
  • - Declaratory Act – 1766
  • The Townshend Acts, 1767
  • Boston Massacre, 1770
  • Boston Tea Party, 1773
  • Intolerable Acts, 1774
  • First Continental Congress, 1774
  • Olive Branch Petition (British refuse...), 1775
  • American Revolutionary War (The Battling Begins...), 1775
  • Lexington and Concord, April 19th, 1775
  • Declaration of Independence, July, 4th, 1776
  • - The Battle of Trenton, 1776 *
  • - The Battle of Saratoga, 1777 *
  • - The Battle of Cowpens, 1781 *
  • American Revolution Ends with American Victory, 1783
  • The Treaty of Paris officially ends the war between the Americans and the British, September 3rd, 1783

* - the battles that were mentioned in class.


Conclusion


Samuel slowly stood up and returned the metal box to the students. He was bewildered, and it was difficult for him to digest all that he had read, but nevertheless, he felt inspired and more ready than ever to face the soon-to-come revolution and its consequences.

Now he knows how all this chaos came about, how the colonists can win the war, and the significance and outcome of this Revolution, he soon discovered how he, a normal person, can be a part of an event that will change the human world, and witness the birth of a magnificent country.

With a final goodbye and thanks to the mysterious (and incredibly strange) visitors, Samuel returned to his work motivated, with a recently acquired feeling of hope and importance.



*Epilogue*
Now feeling motivated, Samuel was prompt to run to the Battle of Lexington and Concord excitedly, and shot a redcoat.


References


Websites used:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/7897344/American-Revolution
http://www.historyking.com/American-History/revolutionary-war/Cause-And-Effect-Of-The-Revolutionary-War.html
http://www.suite101.com/content/effects-of-the-revolutionary-war-after-1783-a187457
http://www.suite101.com/content/effects-of-the-american-revolution-a87997
http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/constitution/section1.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/revolution/summary.html
http://countrystudies.us/united-states/history-33.htm
http://www.theamericanrevolution.org/battles.aspx
http://www.americanindiantah.com/history/nar_entire_content.html
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/16801/effects_of_the_american_revolution.html
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000175
http://www.oldandsold.com/articles31n/canada-20.shtml


Other Sources:
-Class Notes
-Textbook


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