TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

UPSC: TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

The document TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
 Page 1


253 252
Fundamental Causes
The British Government followed the policy of mercantilism.
According to this policy the colonies existed for the benefit of the
mother country. The colonies were expected to furnish raw materials.
They had to serve as markets for produced goods. Moreover, the
colonies had to ship their goods only in British ships. In these ways
the colonies were expected to add more wealth to the home country.
The British Government enacted laws to implement this policy of
mercantilism.
A series of Navigation Acts were passed by the British
Parliament to control the trade of the American colonies. These Acts
insisted that all the goods of both exports and imports should be carried
in ships owned by England. Custom collectors were appointed in the
colonies to implement the Navigation Acts. But, the American colonies
considered these Acts as infringement of their rights.
The Molasses Act levied heavy duties on sugar and molasses
imported into the American colonies. In addition to this, a series of
Trade Acts were also passed to control the trade in the colonies. For
example, the Hat Act of 1732 prohibited the import of hats from one
colony to the other. The Iron Act 1750 stopped the large-scale
production of iron in the colonies. These Acts were opposed by the
colonies.
Due to these restrictions, bitterness developed between the
home government and the American colonies. They were looking
for an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Britain.
Circumstances leading to the War of Independence
Seven Year’s War
The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the transfer of
Canada from France to England removed the French fear from the
The English Colonies in America
After the discovery of the American continent, there was a
continuous migration of people from Europe to the New World. South
America was colonized by Spain. The English and the French
established their colonies in the North America. By the mid eighteenth
century, the English had established their thirteen colonies along the
Atlantic coast. Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom
and traders had settled there. Initially the relationship between the
colonies and British Government was cordial. Although these colonies
were controlled through the governors, they enjoyed political freedom.
Each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. It enacted
laws concerning local matters. However, the policies followed by
the home government (Britain) had resulted in the confrontation. This
ultimately led to the American War of Independence at the end of
which the colonies became independent. There were several causes
for this war.
LESSON 24
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
(1776-1783)
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The fundamental causes of the American War of
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war.
3. The Declaration of Independence.
4. Important events of the war.
5. Importance of the war.
Page 2


253 252
Fundamental Causes
The British Government followed the policy of mercantilism.
According to this policy the colonies existed for the benefit of the
mother country. The colonies were expected to furnish raw materials.
They had to serve as markets for produced goods. Moreover, the
colonies had to ship their goods only in British ships. In these ways
the colonies were expected to add more wealth to the home country.
The British Government enacted laws to implement this policy of
mercantilism.
A series of Navigation Acts were passed by the British
Parliament to control the trade of the American colonies. These Acts
insisted that all the goods of both exports and imports should be carried
in ships owned by England. Custom collectors were appointed in the
colonies to implement the Navigation Acts. But, the American colonies
considered these Acts as infringement of their rights.
The Molasses Act levied heavy duties on sugar and molasses
imported into the American colonies. In addition to this, a series of
Trade Acts were also passed to control the trade in the colonies. For
example, the Hat Act of 1732 prohibited the import of hats from one
colony to the other. The Iron Act 1750 stopped the large-scale
production of iron in the colonies. These Acts were opposed by the
colonies.
Due to these restrictions, bitterness developed between the
home government and the American colonies. They were looking
for an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Britain.
Circumstances leading to the War of Independence
Seven Year’s War
The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the transfer of
Canada from France to England removed the French fear from the
The English Colonies in America
After the discovery of the American continent, there was a
continuous migration of people from Europe to the New World. South
America was colonized by Spain. The English and the French
established their colonies in the North America. By the mid eighteenth
century, the English had established their thirteen colonies along the
Atlantic coast. Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom
and traders had settled there. Initially the relationship between the
colonies and British Government was cordial. Although these colonies
were controlled through the governors, they enjoyed political freedom.
Each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. It enacted
laws concerning local matters. However, the policies followed by
the home government (Britain) had resulted in the confrontation. This
ultimately led to the American War of Independence at the end of
which the colonies became independent. There were several causes
for this war.
LESSON 24
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
(1776-1783)
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The fundamental causes of the American War of
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war.
3. The Declaration of Independence.
4. Important events of the war.
5. Importance of the war.
255 254
climbed on the ships and threw away the tea bundles into the sea at
the Boston harbour. This event took place on 16
th
 December 1773
and it was known as the Boston Tea Party. The offenders were
punished. In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts
against the Americans in order to prevent such protests.
Philadelphia Congress
The American colonists decided to unite in
their fight against the British. In September 1774,
the first Continental Congress was held at
Philadelphia. It was attended by the representatives
of the twelve colonies except Georgia. This
congress appealed to the British King to remove
restrictions on industries and trade and not to impose
any taxes without their consent. The second
Continental Congress met in May 1775 at
Philadelphia. Delegates from all the thirteen colonies attended this
Congress. Prominent leaders like  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin participated in it. George Washington was made the
Commander-in-Chief of the American army. As a last attempt, an
Olive Branch Petition was sent to the British king George III, who
rejected it. The king proclaimed that the American colonies were in
a state of rebellion.
Declaration of Independence
 In January 1776, Thomas Paine came to America from England
and issued a pamphlet “Common Sense”. It attacked
the idea of hereditary monarchy and advocated
democratic government. More than one lakh copies
of this 50 page booklet were distributed throughout
the thirteen colonies. It inculcated the fighting spirit
among the Americans. On 4
th
 July 1776, the American
Declaration of Independence was adopted by the
THOMAS PAINE 
JEFFERSON
minds of the Americans. There was no need to depend on their mother
country against any possible attack by the French. Therefore, the
American colonies decided to face the colonial attitude of the British.
Granville Measures
When Granville was the Prime Minister of England a series of
Acts were passed affecting the interests of the American colonies. The
Proclamation of 1763 prohibited the colonists from purchasing lands
beyond Appalachian Mountains. The Sugar Act of 1764 increased the
duties on the sugar which affected the interests of the colonies. The
Stamp Act of 1765 insisted on the use of British stamps in commercial
and legal documents of the colonies. The Quartering Act made it
compulsory that colonists should provide food and shelter to English
troops. These measures were severely opposed by the colonists. They
raised the slogan “No Taxation without Representation” thus insisting
American representation in the English Parliament. As violence broke
out in the streets, the Stamp Act was repealed.
Townshend Laws
Charles Townshend, the Finance Minister of England imposed
fresh taxes on glass, paper, tea, paints, etc in 1767. It was known as
Townshend laws. The Americans protested it and boycotted the British
goods. On 5
th
 March 1770, five Americans were killed by the British
soldiers at Boston during the protest. It was known as the Boston
Massacre. After this event, the Townshend laws were repealed.
Boston Tea Party
 In 1773, a new Tea Act was passed
imposing a tax on import of tea. It was a
symbol to show that the British Parliament
had the right to tax the colonies. But
Americans showed their protest. A group
of Americans dressed as Red Indians, BOSTON TEA PARTY 
Page 3


253 252
Fundamental Causes
The British Government followed the policy of mercantilism.
According to this policy the colonies existed for the benefit of the
mother country. The colonies were expected to furnish raw materials.
They had to serve as markets for produced goods. Moreover, the
colonies had to ship their goods only in British ships. In these ways
the colonies were expected to add more wealth to the home country.
The British Government enacted laws to implement this policy of
mercantilism.
A series of Navigation Acts were passed by the British
Parliament to control the trade of the American colonies. These Acts
insisted that all the goods of both exports and imports should be carried
in ships owned by England. Custom collectors were appointed in the
colonies to implement the Navigation Acts. But, the American colonies
considered these Acts as infringement of their rights.
The Molasses Act levied heavy duties on sugar and molasses
imported into the American colonies. In addition to this, a series of
Trade Acts were also passed to control the trade in the colonies. For
example, the Hat Act of 1732 prohibited the import of hats from one
colony to the other. The Iron Act 1750 stopped the large-scale
production of iron in the colonies. These Acts were opposed by the
colonies.
Due to these restrictions, bitterness developed between the
home government and the American colonies. They were looking
for an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Britain.
Circumstances leading to the War of Independence
Seven Year’s War
The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the transfer of
Canada from France to England removed the French fear from the
The English Colonies in America
After the discovery of the American continent, there was a
continuous migration of people from Europe to the New World. South
America was colonized by Spain. The English and the French
established their colonies in the North America. By the mid eighteenth
century, the English had established their thirteen colonies along the
Atlantic coast. Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom
and traders had settled there. Initially the relationship between the
colonies and British Government was cordial. Although these colonies
were controlled through the governors, they enjoyed political freedom.
Each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. It enacted
laws concerning local matters. However, the policies followed by
the home government (Britain) had resulted in the confrontation. This
ultimately led to the American War of Independence at the end of
which the colonies became independent. There were several causes
for this war.
LESSON 24
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
(1776-1783)
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The fundamental causes of the American War of
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war.
3. The Declaration of Independence.
4. Important events of the war.
5. Importance of the war.
255 254
climbed on the ships and threw away the tea bundles into the sea at
the Boston harbour. This event took place on 16
th
 December 1773
and it was known as the Boston Tea Party. The offenders were
punished. In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts
against the Americans in order to prevent such protests.
Philadelphia Congress
The American colonists decided to unite in
their fight against the British. In September 1774,
the first Continental Congress was held at
Philadelphia. It was attended by the representatives
of the twelve colonies except Georgia. This
congress appealed to the British King to remove
restrictions on industries and trade and not to impose
any taxes without their consent. The second
Continental Congress met in May 1775 at
Philadelphia. Delegates from all the thirteen colonies attended this
Congress. Prominent leaders like  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin participated in it. George Washington was made the
Commander-in-Chief of the American army. As a last attempt, an
Olive Branch Petition was sent to the British king George III, who
rejected it. The king proclaimed that the American colonies were in
a state of rebellion.
Declaration of Independence
 In January 1776, Thomas Paine came to America from England
and issued a pamphlet “Common Sense”. It attacked
the idea of hereditary monarchy and advocated
democratic government. More than one lakh copies
of this 50 page booklet were distributed throughout
the thirteen colonies. It inculcated the fighting spirit
among the Americans. On 4
th
 July 1776, the American
Declaration of Independence was adopted by the
THOMAS PAINE 
JEFFERSON
minds of the Americans. There was no need to depend on their mother
country against any possible attack by the French. Therefore, the
American colonies decided to face the colonial attitude of the British.
Granville Measures
When Granville was the Prime Minister of England a series of
Acts were passed affecting the interests of the American colonies. The
Proclamation of 1763 prohibited the colonists from purchasing lands
beyond Appalachian Mountains. The Sugar Act of 1764 increased the
duties on the sugar which affected the interests of the colonies. The
Stamp Act of 1765 insisted on the use of British stamps in commercial
and legal documents of the colonies. The Quartering Act made it
compulsory that colonists should provide food and shelter to English
troops. These measures were severely opposed by the colonists. They
raised the slogan “No Taxation without Representation” thus insisting
American representation in the English Parliament. As violence broke
out in the streets, the Stamp Act was repealed.
Townshend Laws
Charles Townshend, the Finance Minister of England imposed
fresh taxes on glass, paper, tea, paints, etc in 1767. It was known as
Townshend laws. The Americans protested it and boycotted the British
goods. On 5
th
 March 1770, five Americans were killed by the British
soldiers at Boston during the protest. It was known as the Boston
Massacre. After this event, the Townshend laws were repealed.
Boston Tea Party
 In 1773, a new Tea Act was passed
imposing a tax on import of tea. It was a
symbol to show that the British Parliament
had the right to tax the colonies. But
Americans showed their protest. A group
of Americans dressed as Red Indians, BOSTON TEA PARTY 
257 256
Revolution. It was not only a war against England but
against aristocracy and reactionary elements. It was also
a fight against colonial domination.
· It introduced new political, social and economic set up in
the United States of America. Democracy with separation
of powers on the model suggested by French thinker
Montesquieu was founded. Capitalism also took strong
roots.
· However, the rights of the sons of the soil, the Red Indians
and the Negroes were not considered at that time.
Learning Outcome
After learning this lesson the students will be able to explain
1. The fundamental causes for the war of American
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war such as Granville
measures, Townshend laws and the Boston Tea Party.
3. The Declaration of Independence and its importance.
4. The important events of the war.
5. The importance of the American War of Independence.
Continental Congress. It was prepared by a committee of five led by
Thomas Jefferson who included the ideals of human freedom in it.
The Declaration of independence laid emphasis on the unalienable
rights of men namely, “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness”.
Important Battles
 The war started in 1775, when the first battle was fought
between the British soldiers and the colonial militia at Lexington in
Massachusetts. Soon, George Washington assume the command of
the army of the American colonies. The British
General, Gage won a victory at Bunker Hill.
In 1776 the British forces led by Sir William
Howe defeated Washington in the battle of
Long Island. However, the army of American
colonies commanded by General Gates
defeated British troops at Saratoga in October,
1777.  The victory at Saratoga marked a
turning point in the war. The French troops
under Lafayette came to the help of the
American colonies. Finally, the British troops
under the command of General Cornwallis surrendered to Washington
at Yorktown in 1781. The war came to an end by the Treaty of
Paris in 1783.
Importance of the American War of Independence
· The American colonies became free and the Republic of
the United States of America was established. The first
democratic government with a written constitution in the
world became a reality. The Bill of Rights ensured
fundamental rights to the citizens of the U.S.A.
· The American War of Independence was also called the
American Revolution because it inspired the French
GEORGE 
WASHINGTON 
Page 4


253 252
Fundamental Causes
The British Government followed the policy of mercantilism.
According to this policy the colonies existed for the benefit of the
mother country. The colonies were expected to furnish raw materials.
They had to serve as markets for produced goods. Moreover, the
colonies had to ship their goods only in British ships. In these ways
the colonies were expected to add more wealth to the home country.
The British Government enacted laws to implement this policy of
mercantilism.
A series of Navigation Acts were passed by the British
Parliament to control the trade of the American colonies. These Acts
insisted that all the goods of both exports and imports should be carried
in ships owned by England. Custom collectors were appointed in the
colonies to implement the Navigation Acts. But, the American colonies
considered these Acts as infringement of their rights.
The Molasses Act levied heavy duties on sugar and molasses
imported into the American colonies. In addition to this, a series of
Trade Acts were also passed to control the trade in the colonies. For
example, the Hat Act of 1732 prohibited the import of hats from one
colony to the other. The Iron Act 1750 stopped the large-scale
production of iron in the colonies. These Acts were opposed by the
colonies.
Due to these restrictions, bitterness developed between the
home government and the American colonies. They were looking
for an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Britain.
Circumstances leading to the War of Independence
Seven Year’s War
The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the transfer of
Canada from France to England removed the French fear from the
The English Colonies in America
After the discovery of the American continent, there was a
continuous migration of people from Europe to the New World. South
America was colonized by Spain. The English and the French
established their colonies in the North America. By the mid eighteenth
century, the English had established their thirteen colonies along the
Atlantic coast. Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom
and traders had settled there. Initially the relationship between the
colonies and British Government was cordial. Although these colonies
were controlled through the governors, they enjoyed political freedom.
Each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. It enacted
laws concerning local matters. However, the policies followed by
the home government (Britain) had resulted in the confrontation. This
ultimately led to the American War of Independence at the end of
which the colonies became independent. There were several causes
for this war.
LESSON 24
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
(1776-1783)
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The fundamental causes of the American War of
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war.
3. The Declaration of Independence.
4. Important events of the war.
5. Importance of the war.
255 254
climbed on the ships and threw away the tea bundles into the sea at
the Boston harbour. This event took place on 16
th
 December 1773
and it was known as the Boston Tea Party. The offenders were
punished. In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts
against the Americans in order to prevent such protests.
Philadelphia Congress
The American colonists decided to unite in
their fight against the British. In September 1774,
the first Continental Congress was held at
Philadelphia. It was attended by the representatives
of the twelve colonies except Georgia. This
congress appealed to the British King to remove
restrictions on industries and trade and not to impose
any taxes without their consent. The second
Continental Congress met in May 1775 at
Philadelphia. Delegates from all the thirteen colonies attended this
Congress. Prominent leaders like  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin participated in it. George Washington was made the
Commander-in-Chief of the American army. As a last attempt, an
Olive Branch Petition was sent to the British king George III, who
rejected it. The king proclaimed that the American colonies were in
a state of rebellion.
Declaration of Independence
 In January 1776, Thomas Paine came to America from England
and issued a pamphlet “Common Sense”. It attacked
the idea of hereditary monarchy and advocated
democratic government. More than one lakh copies
of this 50 page booklet were distributed throughout
the thirteen colonies. It inculcated the fighting spirit
among the Americans. On 4
th
 July 1776, the American
Declaration of Independence was adopted by the
THOMAS PAINE 
JEFFERSON
minds of the Americans. There was no need to depend on their mother
country against any possible attack by the French. Therefore, the
American colonies decided to face the colonial attitude of the British.
Granville Measures
When Granville was the Prime Minister of England a series of
Acts were passed affecting the interests of the American colonies. The
Proclamation of 1763 prohibited the colonists from purchasing lands
beyond Appalachian Mountains. The Sugar Act of 1764 increased the
duties on the sugar which affected the interests of the colonies. The
Stamp Act of 1765 insisted on the use of British stamps in commercial
and legal documents of the colonies. The Quartering Act made it
compulsory that colonists should provide food and shelter to English
troops. These measures were severely opposed by the colonists. They
raised the slogan “No Taxation without Representation” thus insisting
American representation in the English Parliament. As violence broke
out in the streets, the Stamp Act was repealed.
Townshend Laws
Charles Townshend, the Finance Minister of England imposed
fresh taxes on glass, paper, tea, paints, etc in 1767. It was known as
Townshend laws. The Americans protested it and boycotted the British
goods. On 5
th
 March 1770, five Americans were killed by the British
soldiers at Boston during the protest. It was known as the Boston
Massacre. After this event, the Townshend laws were repealed.
Boston Tea Party
 In 1773, a new Tea Act was passed
imposing a tax on import of tea. It was a
symbol to show that the British Parliament
had the right to tax the colonies. But
Americans showed their protest. A group
of Americans dressed as Red Indians, BOSTON TEA PARTY 
257 256
Revolution. It was not only a war against England but
against aristocracy and reactionary elements. It was also
a fight against colonial domination.
· It introduced new political, social and economic set up in
the United States of America. Democracy with separation
of powers on the model suggested by French thinker
Montesquieu was founded. Capitalism also took strong
roots.
· However, the rights of the sons of the soil, the Red Indians
and the Negroes were not considered at that time.
Learning Outcome
After learning this lesson the students will be able to explain
1. The fundamental causes for the war of American
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war such as Granville
measures, Townshend laws and the Boston Tea Party.
3. The Declaration of Independence and its importance.
4. The important events of the war.
5. The importance of the American War of Independence.
Continental Congress. It was prepared by a committee of five led by
Thomas Jefferson who included the ideals of human freedom in it.
The Declaration of independence laid emphasis on the unalienable
rights of men namely, “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness”.
Important Battles
 The war started in 1775, when the first battle was fought
between the British soldiers and the colonial militia at Lexington in
Massachusetts. Soon, George Washington assume the command of
the army of the American colonies. The British
General, Gage won a victory at Bunker Hill.
In 1776 the British forces led by Sir William
Howe defeated Washington in the battle of
Long Island. However, the army of American
colonies commanded by General Gates
defeated British troops at Saratoga in October,
1777.  The victory at Saratoga marked a
turning point in the war. The French troops
under Lafayette came to the help of the
American colonies. Finally, the British troops
under the command of General Cornwallis surrendered to Washington
at Yorktown in 1781. The war came to an end by the Treaty of
Paris in 1783.
Importance of the American War of Independence
· The American colonies became free and the Republic of
the United States of America was established. The first
democratic government with a written constitution in the
world became a reality. The Bill of Rights ensured
fundamental rights to the citizens of the U.S.A.
· The American War of Independence was also called the
American Revolution because it inspired the French
GEORGE 
WASHINGTON 
259 258
MODEL QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answer.
1. “No Taxation without representation” was the slogan of
revolution in
(a) France (b) China
(c) America (d) Russia
2. The author of “Common Sense”
(a) Voltaire (b) Benjamin Franklin
(c) Thomas Paine (d) Thomas Jefferson
II. Fill in the blanks.
1. The First Continental Congress in 1774 was held at …..
2. The Seven Years War came to an end in …..
3. The American War of Independence came to an end by the
treaty of …..
III. Match the following.
1. Stamp Act a. 1764
2. Sugar Act b. 1765
3. Boston Tea Party c. 1767
4. Townshend laws d. 1773
IV. Find out the correct statement. One statement alone is
right.
a) The Navigation Acts were passed by the British Parliament
for the benefit of the American colonies.
b) The Quartering Act made it compulsory that the colonists should
provide food and shelter to the English troops.
Georgia
South
Carolina
Charleston
North
Carolina
Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
THIRTEEN
AMERCIAN
COLONIES
Newyork
Massachusettes
Conneticut
New
Hampspire
Rhode Island
Page 5


253 252
Fundamental Causes
The British Government followed the policy of mercantilism.
According to this policy the colonies existed for the benefit of the
mother country. The colonies were expected to furnish raw materials.
They had to serve as markets for produced goods. Moreover, the
colonies had to ship their goods only in British ships. In these ways
the colonies were expected to add more wealth to the home country.
The British Government enacted laws to implement this policy of
mercantilism.
A series of Navigation Acts were passed by the British
Parliament to control the trade of the American colonies. These Acts
insisted that all the goods of both exports and imports should be carried
in ships owned by England. Custom collectors were appointed in the
colonies to implement the Navigation Acts. But, the American colonies
considered these Acts as infringement of their rights.
The Molasses Act levied heavy duties on sugar and molasses
imported into the American colonies. In addition to this, a series of
Trade Acts were also passed to control the trade in the colonies. For
example, the Hat Act of 1732 prohibited the import of hats from one
colony to the other. The Iron Act 1750 stopped the large-scale
production of iron in the colonies. These Acts were opposed by the
colonies.
Due to these restrictions, bitterness developed between the
home government and the American colonies. They were looking
for an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Britain.
Circumstances leading to the War of Independence
Seven Year’s War
The end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the transfer of
Canada from France to England removed the French fear from the
The English Colonies in America
After the discovery of the American continent, there was a
continuous migration of people from Europe to the New World. South
America was colonized by Spain. The English and the French
established their colonies in the North America. By the mid eighteenth
century, the English had established their thirteen colonies along the
Atlantic coast. Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom
and traders had settled there. Initially the relationship between the
colonies and British Government was cordial. Although these colonies
were controlled through the governors, they enjoyed political freedom.
Each colony had its own assembly elected by the people. It enacted
laws concerning local matters. However, the policies followed by
the home government (Britain) had resulted in the confrontation. This
ultimately led to the American War of Independence at the end of
which the colonies became independent. There were several causes
for this war.
LESSON 24
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
(1776-1783)
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The fundamental causes of the American War of
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war.
3. The Declaration of Independence.
4. Important events of the war.
5. Importance of the war.
255 254
climbed on the ships and threw away the tea bundles into the sea at
the Boston harbour. This event took place on 16
th
 December 1773
and it was known as the Boston Tea Party. The offenders were
punished. In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts
against the Americans in order to prevent such protests.
Philadelphia Congress
The American colonists decided to unite in
their fight against the British. In September 1774,
the first Continental Congress was held at
Philadelphia. It was attended by the representatives
of the twelve colonies except Georgia. This
congress appealed to the British King to remove
restrictions on industries and trade and not to impose
any taxes without their consent. The second
Continental Congress met in May 1775 at
Philadelphia. Delegates from all the thirteen colonies attended this
Congress. Prominent leaders like  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin participated in it. George Washington was made the
Commander-in-Chief of the American army. As a last attempt, an
Olive Branch Petition was sent to the British king George III, who
rejected it. The king proclaimed that the American colonies were in
a state of rebellion.
Declaration of Independence
 In January 1776, Thomas Paine came to America from England
and issued a pamphlet “Common Sense”. It attacked
the idea of hereditary monarchy and advocated
democratic government. More than one lakh copies
of this 50 page booklet were distributed throughout
the thirteen colonies. It inculcated the fighting spirit
among the Americans. On 4
th
 July 1776, the American
Declaration of Independence was adopted by the
THOMAS PAINE 
JEFFERSON
minds of the Americans. There was no need to depend on their mother
country against any possible attack by the French. Therefore, the
American colonies decided to face the colonial attitude of the British.
Granville Measures
When Granville was the Prime Minister of England a series of
Acts were passed affecting the interests of the American colonies. The
Proclamation of 1763 prohibited the colonists from purchasing lands
beyond Appalachian Mountains. The Sugar Act of 1764 increased the
duties on the sugar which affected the interests of the colonies. The
Stamp Act of 1765 insisted on the use of British stamps in commercial
and legal documents of the colonies. The Quartering Act made it
compulsory that colonists should provide food and shelter to English
troops. These measures were severely opposed by the colonists. They
raised the slogan “No Taxation without Representation” thus insisting
American representation in the English Parliament. As violence broke
out in the streets, the Stamp Act was repealed.
Townshend Laws
Charles Townshend, the Finance Minister of England imposed
fresh taxes on glass, paper, tea, paints, etc in 1767. It was known as
Townshend laws. The Americans protested it and boycotted the British
goods. On 5
th
 March 1770, five Americans were killed by the British
soldiers at Boston during the protest. It was known as the Boston
Massacre. After this event, the Townshend laws were repealed.
Boston Tea Party
 In 1773, a new Tea Act was passed
imposing a tax on import of tea. It was a
symbol to show that the British Parliament
had the right to tax the colonies. But
Americans showed their protest. A group
of Americans dressed as Red Indians, BOSTON TEA PARTY 
257 256
Revolution. It was not only a war against England but
against aristocracy and reactionary elements. It was also
a fight against colonial domination.
· It introduced new political, social and economic set up in
the United States of America. Democracy with separation
of powers on the model suggested by French thinker
Montesquieu was founded. Capitalism also took strong
roots.
· However, the rights of the sons of the soil, the Red Indians
and the Negroes were not considered at that time.
Learning Outcome
After learning this lesson the students will be able to explain
1. The fundamental causes for the war of American
Independence.
2. The circumstances leading the war such as Granville
measures, Townshend laws and the Boston Tea Party.
3. The Declaration of Independence and its importance.
4. The important events of the war.
5. The importance of the American War of Independence.
Continental Congress. It was prepared by a committee of five led by
Thomas Jefferson who included the ideals of human freedom in it.
The Declaration of independence laid emphasis on the unalienable
rights of men namely, “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness”.
Important Battles
 The war started in 1775, when the first battle was fought
between the British soldiers and the colonial militia at Lexington in
Massachusetts. Soon, George Washington assume the command of
the army of the American colonies. The British
General, Gage won a victory at Bunker Hill.
In 1776 the British forces led by Sir William
Howe defeated Washington in the battle of
Long Island. However, the army of American
colonies commanded by General Gates
defeated British troops at Saratoga in October,
1777.  The victory at Saratoga marked a
turning point in the war. The French troops
under Lafayette came to the help of the
American colonies. Finally, the British troops
under the command of General Cornwallis surrendered to Washington
at Yorktown in 1781. The war came to an end by the Treaty of
Paris in 1783.
Importance of the American War of Independence
· The American colonies became free and the Republic of
the United States of America was established. The first
democratic government with a written constitution in the
world became a reality. The Bill of Rights ensured
fundamental rights to the citizens of the U.S.A.
· The American War of Independence was also called the
American Revolution because it inspired the French
GEORGE 
WASHINGTON 
259 258
MODEL QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answer.
1. “No Taxation without representation” was the slogan of
revolution in
(a) France (b) China
(c) America (d) Russia
2. The author of “Common Sense”
(a) Voltaire (b) Benjamin Franklin
(c) Thomas Paine (d) Thomas Jefferson
II. Fill in the blanks.
1. The First Continental Congress in 1774 was held at …..
2. The Seven Years War came to an end in …..
3. The American War of Independence came to an end by the
treaty of …..
III. Match the following.
1. Stamp Act a. 1764
2. Sugar Act b. 1765
3. Boston Tea Party c. 1767
4. Townshend laws d. 1773
IV. Find out the correct statement. One statement alone is
right.
a) The Navigation Acts were passed by the British Parliament
for the benefit of the American colonies.
b) The Quartering Act made it compulsory that the colonists should
provide food and shelter to the English troops.
Georgia
South
Carolina
Charleston
North
Carolina
Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
THIRTEEN
AMERCIAN
COLONIES
Newyork
Massachusettes
Conneticut
New
Hampspire
Rhode Island
260
c) The Second Continental Congress was attended by the
representatives of the 12 colonies except Georgia.
d) On 4
th
 July 1774, the American Declaration of Independence
was adopted by the Continental Congress.
V. State whether the following statements are True or False.
1The victory at Saratoga marked a turning point in American
War of Independence.
2. The British troops under the command of General Cornwallis
surrendered to Washington at Lexington in 1781.
VI. Write short notes (Any three points).
1. Townshend Laws
2. Boston Tea Party
3. Stamp Act
VII. Answer briefly (100 words).
1. Analyse the fundamental causes for the American War of
Independence.
2. Write a note on the Philadelphia Congress.
3. Bring out the importance of the American Declaration of
Independence.
VIII. Answer in detail (200 words).
1. Examine the circumstances leading to the American War of
Independence.
Read More

How to Prepare for UPSC

Read our guide to prepare for UPSC which is created by Toppers & the best Teachers

Download free EduRev App

Track your progress, build streaks, highlight & save important lessons and more!

Related Searches

study material

,

past year papers

,

ppt

,

TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

,

practice quizzes

,

pdf

,

video lectures

,

MCQs

,

Sample Paper

,

Objective type Questions

,

TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

,

Extra Questions

,

Summary

,

Semester Notes

,

Viva Questions

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

Exam

,

Important questions

,

TN History Textbook: The American War of Independence (1776-1783) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

,

mock tests for examination

,

Free

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

;