The American Revolution
The British Empire at one point had colonized a large portion of the world. The legacy of this can be observed in the number of countries that still have English as their official language. This despite being a fairly small landmass with a population to match. One of its largest colonies, what would later be known as the United States of America, wrested control over its affairs from the British in a Revolution that took place between 1765 and 1783.
The land mass of America had been steadily experiencing an influx of European immigrants following its ‘rediscovery’ some centuries before. Many of these settlers were able to parcel out land for themselves by displacing the local population and then become rich or at least comfortable through the kidnapping of Africans who they forced to work their fields. This system worked for a while but they still were required to pay taxes to the British and these were sometimes difficult to afford.
There was a growing sense of identity at the time not as British colonials but as Americans which inspired some people who called themselves patriots to rebel against the crown’s perceived authority over them. They committed a few acts of aggression including the Boston Tea Party in which a shipment of tea was dumped into the harbor as a sign of their distaste for the British. The crown retaliated with an increase in taxation which compelled greater support to the cause. Many of the patriots were also willing to split from Britain because they feared that abolitionist sentiments that had taken seat there would lead to them having to free their enslaved people.
The patriots ended up fighting several battles against the British to secure their rights to self governance. They received assistance in this from many allies including the Spanish and Dutch. They even attempted an invasion of Canada but this was thwarted. Despite freedom being claimed as the crux of these battles, following them members of the southern states were able to continue to torture and force labor out of people once they were of African ancestry and therefore not considered free.
The United States of America has evolved as a country in several ways since that time. New states were acquired including Hawaii and Louisiana. Slavery was eventually abolished and women were given the right to vote. In many ways the freedom that the early patriots claimed is more of a reality than it was in their time.