The revolt of the American colonies against the yoke of their mother country in 1776 brought about the political movement and war known as the American Revolution. This war marked other transitions in political thought as well, most notably the growth of new republican ideals, which clashed with the traditional and formerly English set of values.
In the wake of the Revolutionary War, at the Treaty of Paris in 1783, a new nation, the United States of America, was created, although the seeds had been planted some 20 years earlier. In 1763, as the result of the treaty ending the French and Indian War, France lost its military hold over the American colonies and all of its North American possessions east of the Mississippi River with the exception of two small islands off the coast of Newfoundland.
Colonial alienation from England, the primary cause of the conflict, grew as a smoldering flame of resentment starting with the different taxes imposed on the 13 colonies without representation, particularly the Stamp Act of 1765. Britain’s unfair practice of taxing its North American colonies in order to defray the costs of its past European wars resulted in eventual separation from the mother country. The American Revolution technically began on 19 April 1775 at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and ended in 1783.
Historians differ as to the interpretation of the ramifications of the war on modern political thought. There are some who feel that the American Revolution merely supplanted a distant political ethic with a more localized one, while others claim that it profoundly transformed the political thinking of the day concerning the growth of republicanism and the natural rights of all mankind.
No matter how one feels about the Revolution, there can be no question that it affected world thinking and influenced subsequent revolutions in France, Haiti, Latin America, Ireland and the Netherlands. It provides the rest of the world to this very day with a working model of liberal thought. In its aftermath are the cries of every nation that stands up for its rights and defies the powers of its oppressor.