Like many other countries, the United States of America was also colonized by Britain. American history reveals that the New World discovered by Christopher Columbus comprised of two continents, North and South America. The Native Americans were tolerant towards the arrival of settlers from different parts of Europe after the discovery. The settlers and the natives lived within mutually respected territories and did not interfere with one another. They thrived together and soon the land caught the attention of the first colonizing nation, Britain. Similar to the manner in which the British colonized regions of the Asian subcontinent, they landed on the shores of the Americas as traders.
The use of trade as a platform for introduction to the natives and settlers helped the British to establish their rule. They split the land into thirteen distinct territories and ruled in the name of the Government of Britain. They began taxing the people on goods of everyday use such as paper, tea and glass. Defiance led the settlers and natives to discover and capitalize on the methods of producing paper, glass and even paint for their own domestic use. However, tea could not be grown on the land. This led to a monopoly on the trade and tax on tea. The settlers and natives even planned a revolt that culminated in the famous Boston Tea Party. Consignments of tea were thrown into the Boston Harbor. The result and ire of the British however, was very harsh. The British stopped all trade from the harbor at Boston City and declared that the resultant loss would help pay for the damage done.
The First Continental Congress
The people of the thirteen colonies revolted and representatives met in Philadelphia. This Continental Congress agreed not to put up with British Imperialism any more. They revolted against trade and the presence of the British on the land. The British even sent soldiers to break up the Congress. The representatives then organized the people of the thirteen colonies in an army, under the leadership of George Washington. The army comprised workers and laymen, with no military background or training.
The Second Continental Congress
Amidst a battle that claimed lives both sides, the resilient Americans declared themselves free on July 4, 1776. This was a document that was meant to offer the people of the Americas strength of character and a source of pride, rather than address Britain's atrocities. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson more than a year into the American War of Independence or American Civil War. The Declaration asserts among various other rights, the right of revolution. July 4 is lettered in gold, in the history of the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence is now on display in Washington D.C., at the National Archives. The most important statement therein is the human rights, where the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are extolled. These rights are considered the most potent words in American history.
The Declaration of Independence gave the common-man-army fresh vigor and a real reason to fight. Moreover, Great Britain was facing the same fate in other colonies too. The resultant debt led to the establishment of the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, with the intent of collecting revenue. The Americans refused to pay the taxes and the ties between the empire and the colony only deteriorated. The desire for independence and the hope for a reconciliation made the Americans adamant. They formally expressed their support for state and local declarations of independence throughout the thirteen colonies.