The (Summarized) History of the American Revolution
Today, we’re going to turn our attention away from Air Conditioners, Boilers, Thermostats, and everything else in our industry to look at history and change. We’re going back before the air conditioner and before climate control as we know it today, to a period when your “air conditioner” was the window and a strong breeze.
The 13 English Colonies are on the border of outright war with the crown. In 1765, the Stamp Act tried to raise taxes in the colonies and block smuggling to ensure England got it’s cut of everything entering or leaving the country. The Act was repealed shortly afterward, with Parliment refusing to give up control or provide true representation to the colonies. These unpopular laws lead to the Boston Massacre in 1770, seeing colonists gunned down by British soldiers during a protest. This fueled calls for revolution. In 1773 the Tea Act was created to prop up the failing East India Company. There were widespread protests about the implications of the law. Efforts across the country were made to stop the British Tea shipments entirely. One particular shipment of tea was dumped into the Boston harbor in what we now call the Boston Tea Party.
At the time, there was no concept of anyone truly resisting the British Empire. Larger nations such as France and Spain had failed to fight back. Decades after the American Revolution, the British would even defeat China, in a war over Tea and Opium. Standing against the British were their 13 underfunded, undersupplied colonists. At the time, victory seemed impossible.
The Start of a War
In 1775 the British Army attempted to confiscate weapons held by the Lexington Militia. Certain details of the battle, such as who shot first, are lost to history. The broader strokes we do know, are that the militia lead a tactical withdraw to Boston, a siege broke out, and soon outright war would begin.
Uprisings began across the colonies as other attempts were made to disarm the militias and as Britain’s enemies secretly supported the colonists fight. France would be an early ally, secretly sending supplies for the revolutionaries. It was Britain versus the world, only, they didn’t know it yet. The crown had bitten off more than it could chew.
Up until 1776, the colonists were willing to stand down and return to peaceful conditions, but at a cost to the Empire. They would have to grant the colonies more independence, representation in Parliment, and otherwise treat them as British Citizens. When it became apparent that peace was not an option, it became time to set the record straight.
“Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.”
The declaration would take weeks to draft and finalize. By the end, it would be a a scathing response to the actions of Parliament and the King. It listed the numerous harms done to the colonies and concluded that it would only be just for the colonies to be liberated, to have their own sovereignty. The backlash from Britain was swift as outright war descended upon the colonies, but there would be no going back now.
Battles would rage on land and sea for years. Armies would clash over every corner of the colonies and more. The conflict would soon grow to inspire other uprisings and wars against the British Empire.
Bigger Than Us
By 1778 the Revolution would grow beyond the colonies’ borders. France and Spain would directly join the conflict. There would be battles in India, South America, and the Carribean as the world’s borders fought to shift. Our quest for Freedom would prove an opportune movement for resistance to the empire across the world. Protests would even erupt in London after Parliament allowed Irish Catholics to join the Army in 1780.
The ripples of that first battle at Lexington would stretch into the 1780s before the world would finally begin to settle and countries would accept peace with their enemies. New, more complex challenges would arise over the years to come, including replacing the failed Articles of Confederation with the Constitution, the War of 1812, and so much more.
We would love to cover this in more detail, but there are entire textbooks and careers dedicated to the minutia of the American Revolution and its effect on the world. If this little summary of history interests you, maybe spend the day after Independence Day at a library and learn the history of the US, France, Spain, or any other country from the conflict.
Or Just Watch This
If you don’t feel like reading, we have a catchier way to look at the Revolution as well. Don’t blame us if this gets stuck in your head. Blame my High School history teachers.