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In trying to understand or rather get more perspective on the American Revolution, this paper considers two accounts from journals that tackle the American history. These two journals; one by Davidson (1941) and the other by Middlekauff and Woodward (1982) either complement or supplement each other. Additionally, this paper also looks at a documentary to get more insight into the American history.
The documentary “Liberty! The American Revolution” offers a detailed account of critical components that ascribe to what many refer to as the American Revolution. However, in looking at these three sources; it is clear that all of them in one way or the other agree with each other and in some instances disagree with each other. All the same, the articles that are used to acquire information on American Revolution are from Historians that are widely experienced as the American history is concerned. When it comes to analyzing American Revolution, it is important to understand that America as a nation has undergone both political developments as well as social development (Davidson, 1941); Middlekauff and Woodward, (1982) supplement the information offered by Davidson (1941) in that they explain how these political developments affected the natives and the colonists as well.
Moreover, Davidson, 1941 agrees with the documentary that American Revolution involves understanding the state of America as a country after undergoing war. However, Middlekauff and Woodward, (1982) disagree that America was not what we all see and understand today before it came to be viewed as one of the super nations with great democracy,. These two authors argue that America did not have to undergo a revolution whereby its social and political setups had to undergo changes and development. True, the path has not always been easy but all in all, the aftermath has been something to be celebrated.
The cornerstones that played the most critical role in initiating for the revolution are the thirteen colonies, which both the articles that are used as will be seen further in the paper, show. It is the same thirteen colonies as the documentary used show; that was loyal to the course of making America great thus they are more or less referred to as patriots in both the film and the articles as well. It is however very important to note that the period of the American Revolution lasted for a period of approximately 25years considering that the revolution began in 1754 and lasted up to the year 1783. All in all, this paper thanks to the two articles that the paper borrows a lot from, and the documentary; shows the major aspects and the key achievements that were made during the period which initiated American Revolution.
Summary of events as is noted in this article by Davidson (1941) are such that it involved the French and the Indian war. Middlekauff and Woodward, (1982) complement most of the events as are narrated by the works done by Davidson (1941). The war was between France and Britain which lasted for approximately 9 nine years. As is noted in the article, the war began in 1754and ended in 1763 (Davidson, 1941). What happened is that the two countries were trying to fight for colonial dominance. Both France and Britain had colonial territories in the Northern party of America. Both the nations were always at loggerheads during the period in which they were in control of the Northern part.
In fact, the documentary offers supplementary information by showing how Britain wanted to win more ground by swaying the public to back them; France was more or less focused on re-establishing their military to have more power and strength to fight the war. Furthermore, the documentary shows how various British officials used the Albany Congress to try and win the backing of the public (PBS, 2016).
In 1754, as the documentary narrates; the British were unable to achieve their goal of winning more support and positive public opinion. In fact, as the second article explains, the officials only mastered half the support they had intended to achieve. All in all, the war was aligned such that American colonists fought alongside the soldiers who were British while their enemies were the French soldiers who fought alongside the natives that comprised of Native American tribes (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
Thus the documentary explains the rise of the name “French and Indian War.” This event that was critical in the American Revolution came to an end after the British won (Davidson, 1941). The British achieved victory when they were able to capture most of the forts and most of the cities that were under control France. Most of these cities and the forts that were captured were in the regions close to Ohio and some parts of Canada.
Another critical event that describes or rather forms an essential part of the revolution is the Pontiac’s rebellion. Pontiac, as is described in the first article, was a powerful chief from Ottawa who was able to convince and at the same time unite a series of tribes and tribal leaders into fighting the British in fighting against them from grabbing their lands (Davidson, 1941).
Middlekauff and Woodward (1982) agree that the rebellion involved a series of raids and attacks on forts and settlements that were occupied by the British. Thus the two works done by the three authors are in agreement that the rebellion raised awareness on the unjust settlements that the British were making on the natives’ lands and thus the continuous raids. Although from the documentary we can see that the rebellion was eventually squashed; Parliament felt obligated towards compensating their efforts thus the second article explains that Parliament issued a proclamation in the year 1763 as a conciliatory gesture (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
Thanks to the proclamation, parliament was able to forbid colonists and intruders from grabbing and settling on the lands that belonged to the Natives especially the Native American territory. Thus the efforts by Pontiac were somewhat fruitful as they eventually resulted in the proclamation by parliament. The lands that belonged to the natives was safe from intrusion and at the same time settlers who intruded felt obligated to leave and give back the lands they had taken. All in all, looking at the documentary film and the works from the two articles, they seem to agree that rebellion gave rise to the revolutionary process that is maintained up to date which is to be observed in purchasing land. This is through the use of a treaty or even through purchasing the land.
The American Revolution as is depicted in the documentary film “Liberty! The American Revolution” and both the articles that serve as the basis of reference; saw to it that salutary neglect came to an untimely end (PBS, 2016). While many argue that the war had negative effects especially ion the natives, a positive aspect that resulted from the war was that the French and Indian War acted as a motive for Parliament to make sure that salutary neglect came to an end. From the film, we can see the then Prime Minister George Greenville acting pushing for the enforcement of navigation acts; although this part is not captured in both the articles. Apart from the navigation acts that were passed during this period, the revolution saw to it that also sugar act was passed as well as currency act (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
The currency act particularly initiated the removal of currencies that were foreign in America from circulation. Most of the currencies that were barred from circulation were from France and Britain. The first article argues that salutary neglect involved a series of acts that only served to empower the country free from colonists; it also served to see to it that democracy and total independence were achieved. For instance, the second article notes acts such as quartering act and stamp act.
The author explains that the stamp act involved imposing of tax on materials that were printed within the country especially the Northern part of America. Additionally, thanks to the quartering act, the law which required that the natives feed and house the troops from Britain came to an end. The locals were thus free of the burden that had been imposed upon them during the French and Indian War.
Moreover, the American Revolution as is explained further in the second article involved the country changing taxation in that taxation without representation came to an end (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982). Middlekauff and Woodward (1982) offers supplementary information that most of the laws and the acts on taxation that existed during the war were for the monetary benefits of the colonists, there was a change in that acts were now being enacted to raise more revenue for the benefit of the country at large (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
Although Davidson (1941) disagree with the notion held by Middlekauff and Woodward (1982), Davidson offers more insight on this aspect of history by explaining that over the years even before the war, the thirteen colonies had been protesting and crying out for taxation without representation to come to an end. In fact, from the documentary, we can be able to see the means that the natives used to protest against taxation without representation (PBS, 2016).
Unfortunately, during the American Revolution; the Townshend Acts, and the Boston acts form part of the revolution that is hard to miss. From the film, we see how Parliament back then in 1767 was able to pass the Townshend Acts. The acts levied more taxes on Townshend Duties. Additionally, during this time Britain passed the Suspension act which negatively affected the operations of the New York Assembly (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
However, as the second article explains, this sparked a series of violent protests across the Massachusetts County meaning that the locals were not happy with the acts. The then Governor of the County reached out to the British army for assistance to manage the violent protests, and this led the British army to send over four thousand redcoats to the County who were available for use by the Governor. During a clash in one of the protests, five colonists were killed, but a lot of people lost their lives (PBS, 2016). The massacre is what is referred to as the “Boston massacre.” Although the news of the massacre spread across the colonies, the ripple effect was so massive that the eventual British downfall is traced to this massacre (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982).
The first continental congress and a boycott were also experienced during the period of the American Revolution (Middlekauff and Woodward, 1982). The second continental congress was also held just after the first one which also initiated seizing of various militia arsenals. Lastly, the Revolution came to an end with the declaration of independence (PBS, 2016). George Washington alongside other patriots as shown in the documentary led a spirited campaign to advocate for just and fairness thus influencing the declaration. Congress voted for independence declaration in 1776, and Thomas Jefferson drafted the declaration.
In conclusion, both the articles and the documentary film offer a detailed account of the events that occurred leading to the American Revolution; despite the fact that the authors and film disagree at various instances. In some instances, however, the authors of the articles and the film do not capture all the details and events that are written down in history, a series of events that they explain is somewhat reliable and captivating, to say the least. To sum it all up, the revolution was a dark period that America experienced war, and also it’s a depiction of the country’s journey to independence.
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