Example research essay topic: American Heritage Created By The Revolutionary War Years – 693 words

After the end of the Seven Years War (manifested
in the colonies as the French and Indian War)
between Great Britain and France in 1763, the
British needed a way to finance their war debt.
Its own inhabitants already overtaxed, Britain
looked to the prosperous American colonies as a
potential source of revenue. Under a policy of
salutary neglect, the colonists had been allowed
to live in relative peace and self-government
since they were first established during the
seventeenth and early eighteenth century. However,
in the years following 1763, Parliament, with the
support of King George III, passed a string of
regulatory and revenue generating measures became
law. The most notable of these acts, the Sugar Act
(1764) and the Stamp Act (1765) significantly
affected the colonies’ economies and thus aroused
the ire of many colonists and colonial assemblies.
However, more offensive to the colonists was the
fact that these acts were administered and
enforced by a corrupt legal system of British
admiralty courts operating without juries. The
first signs of colonial resistance sprung up in
the state legislatures, many of which adopted
resolutions decrying the unjust and arbitrary
practices endorsed by the British Parliament. Soon
popular resistance to British rule became
commonplace throughout the New England colonies,
in the form of mob violence and demonstrations
organized by the patriotic group, the Sons of
Liberty.

The colonies had developed in relative
isolation from each other, each with its own
distinctive character and government. Faced with
the popular objection to British policies that
affected all colonies, however, they began to show
signs of unity. Representatives of nine colonies
came together to the Stamp Act Congress in October
of 1765, where they passed resolutions denying the
British Parliament’s power to enact internal taxes
within the colonies and to sanction trials without
a jury. After months of coordinated resistance and
boycotts, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. The
ensuing peace between Britain and the American
colonies was tenuous. However, there seemed little
reason to fear the outbreak of revolution.

Between
1767 and 1773, Parliament destroyed that tenuous
peace by pursuing a confrontational policy toward
the American colonies. In an act of defiance,
Prime Minister Charles Townshend imposed the
so-called Townshend Duties, which taxed imports
coming into the colonies. Many American colonies
responded with a policy of non-importation of
British goods, dealing the British economy a
serious blow. Scattered violence erupted
throughout the colonies over the next few years:
in Boston on March 5, 1770 when British soldiers
killed five colonials in the Boston Massacre, and
in Rhode Island on June 9, 1772, where colonists
burned the Gaspee, a customs ship that had run
aground. Amid these smaller conflicts, the chain
reaction of policy and military decisions, which
would lead to revolution, began in 1773. By 1775,
full-fledged military conflict had begun and
continued until 1781.

When the revolution was
over, it left an infant country on an unstable
continent to form a government based on the
principles that had guided the revolution. There
were many valid ideas on the formation of the
state, and the colonists set about deciding which
were best suited to the governing of the newly
free nation. The immediate consequence of the
revolution was more than a decade of state
building. During this period, American leaders
debated how best to build a government that would
right the wrongs they had seen in the British
government and embody the values of liberty,
equality and democracy. The events leading up to
and during the revolution were very much on the
minds of the leaders who constructed the American
government in the late eighteenth century. Those
events have remained on the minds of the American
people throughout the nation’s short history.

No
historical event is as celebrated, no time period
more revered than the American Revolution and the
birth of the nation. The American people have
consistently looked to the revolution in
developing their ideas about patriotism, liberty,
and equality. The struggle for national
sovereignty has become a formative legend
incorporated into the American belief system, and
the goals for which the patriots struggled have
become embedded in the American dream of power for
the powerless. 1776 stands more starkly in the
history of the United States than any other year..

Research essay sample on American Heritage Created By The Revolutionary War Years