|← Ottoman Empire||Representation of a Holocaust Survivor's Pain →|
Franklin Benjamin will remain in American history. He deserves the credit for being one of the founding fathers of America. Benjamin Franklin was intelligent and also enthusiastic. Americans regarded Franklin as an enlightened compatriot. His time as a leader had a significant effect on America and the world altogether. Out of necessity he discovered the bifocal. This provided an instant solution for short the sighted and also the longsighted. The bifocal lenses were crucial for scientific works and also to those suffering from that condition. His personal interest drove him to invent the lens because he longed for a time when he could see both near and far on a single frame. Because of his discovery, many people in the world today are using spectacles, especially those with eye defects, because bifocal lenses correct vision and increase clarity. Franklin did not stop working even after this discovery, and in 1752, he discovered a catheter. This was a tube inserted in the human body especially through the cavities. Inside the body, the body fluids pass into and out. This allows diagnoses of diseases. Although same discoveries happened in Europe, he discovered the catheter in America. Other discoveries made by Franklin include the Franklin Stoves, glass Armorica, lighting rod and odometer. These discoveries brought changes to the economy, social and political system, and this was evident in changes of lifestyle as those with eye defects were now able to get a solution to their problem. This indirectly caused increased in working hour for American and also the made read for those who had eye defects. Some of his discoveries affected the countrymen’s lifestyle. For example, the invention of Franklin stove, although it was cruder compared to recent times. This discovery of 1741 brought significant changes in America. He made Franklin stove such that it could transfer heat from fire to the room’s air. This was of immense use during the winter season when temperature got as a low -19°C. The invention gained popularity in countries and brought considerable improvement in USA. After the discovery of electricity and the Stove, he built the first fire company and the first street lighting company. He built the street lighting company to ensure the safety of the street. He negotiated with other foreign countries thereby strengthening Americans position in the world.
It is there in history that in 1777 George Washington led a troop of soldiers from America to Valley Forge to fight the British forces, but when they reached there, George Washington ordered his soldiers to retreat. This was across the SchuylkillRiver. They destroyed the bridges behind them so as to make sure that the British troop does not cross and reach them. Some critics say that this was a cowardly act while others see it as wise decision because British outnumbered them, and this prevented unnecessary deaths. Washington finally deployed continental Army and took soldiers for exceptional training. A lot of them died during this training in an effort to turn the soldiers to a well-trained regiment. After the first American retreat, they sought support from France which agreed to assist in war against the British army. When the British realized what the French government was doing to assist America, they decided to revenge. At this time, General Washington wrote an epistle to the state of Massachusetts. He was requesting it to give him four thousand new soldiers under his command. These were to remain for a few days after their term of service expired. It is during this time that Washington declared that the commander in chief possessed ultimate authority over the military. The battle went on for a number of years. The Spanish also joined the war. They were allies with the Americans. By then, British soldiers were fewer, so they were fighting a defensive war. They fought on various cities and states, from Boston to Savanna, from Carolina to New York to Charleston. In 1780, the American troops made a mistake at the battle of Camden. There, a huge number of the American soldiers died and many more injured. This was a setback to the American side who thought that the British would use their renewed energy to conquer states they had lost. Commander Cornwallis and his men also fought the soldiers. The government appointed another commander, Greene in 1781. He attacked South Carolina and took over British strong holds. The final battle was in York town. The British surrendered since their enemies were attacking them from all sides. The residing in America Britons had two options: to stay and accept the new conditions, or to leave.
The Stamp Act was one of the reasons the Americans rejected the British rule. Unlike the previous forms of taxation, the stamp duty was a direct tax. Benjamin Franklin was the representative of Pennsylvania in Britain. He thought that the stamp act was inevitable, and that was the reason he did not go against it. However, he realized the hate for the stamp duties from the American people when they threatened to kill his friend who was in charge of stamp duty collection. The angry mob also attacked Benjamin Franklin’s house. Benjamin Franklin sprang into action and argued against the stamp duty, testifying against it before the House of Commons. Eventually, British repealed the stamp duty collection act.
The Boston massacre is an unfortunate incident that occurred in that place. Boston was a rebellious state that had constant fights between the colonists and British sympathizers. The Boston massacre took place in a church when a group of colonists was up to their normal duty of tormenting the British soldiers. They were at a custom house when a sentry lashed out at the angry mob of the colonists. The colonists caused a scene and called for support from the other ones. The sentry called for help. Captain Thomas Preston came to rescue them with a fleet of soldiers. They fired at the crowd which left five people dead, and several injured. During the trial of the soldiers later, John Adams defended the soldiers saying that they were acting in self defense. After the Boston massacre, people saw the brutality of the British, and they were more psyched for independence than before. It was a signal of the impending revolutionary action against the British government, even thought the British removed the army that was occupying Boston.
A few years later after the Boston Massacre, in 1773, nationalists formed the Boston Tea Party. It was one of the events that laid a foundation to the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party was a group formed to stand against the oppression they were facing. The party was a result of temper and resentment. Its group held meetings in order to discuss the events that transpired in their cities. The leader of the party was John Hancock who stood vehemently against taxation, and challenged people to do something about it. The party involved itself in smuggling so that they would not have to pay taxes for the British government. The government arrested John Hancock because he was the party’s leader. However, the party’s act of rebellion was not in vain. The colonists realized Britain was using taxes that it collected to pay debts that Britain incurred when they were conquering colonies. The party members attacked British ships, destroyed and looted tea. They were careful enough so that the British would not discover them. For this reason, they wore masks. The British reacted by lashing out punishments which include intolerable acts such as forcing colonies to provide housing for British soldiers, Canadian borders extended to Massachusetts which was the headquarters of Boston Tea Party located. The acts angered the public and united them against the England rule. The Boston Tea Party may have not yielded immediate results, but it inspired patriotism. It gave people the motivation they needed in order to fight for independence even if it meant risking their lives. The Boston Tea Party main motivation for fighting the hatred they had towards taxation. However, it ended up psyching people to fight for their independence. The effects of the Boston Tea Party were immense as it laid a foundation for the end of the British rule.
Thomas Paine wrote a book, Common Sense. It addressed the anger the Americans had towards the British. The publishers published the book several times making Paine an instant Celebrity. He blamed the suffering of the people on the British monarch under King 3. He said that common sense called for an immediate break of ties between the Americans and the British. Thomas Paine used Biblical allusion so as to gain interests of the Americans. Americans were religious because they believed God will help them in the situations they were facing. For instance, he referred to King George of England as the Pharaoh of England who was oppressing the people. Great American politicians such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were against Thomas Paine saying that he was an extremist. However, Benjamin Franklin liked him because he was excellent in writing, and could influence the masses. His writings had sparked the spirit of democracy among people and the in the last bit of the book he posed a challenge to the people. He questioned the people as to why the tiny England could rule a whole vast and extensive continent. He wondered why the colonists professed support for the British government, yet the British were oppressing them.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence happened in 1776 when the members of Congress were to write down their signature on the document which was the named one. Not all delegates signed the Declaration, for instance, the delegates from Pennsylvania and New York did not sign because they were loyal to the British government. Preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Lee put forward a resolution before Congress that the colonies were free, and had a right to be independent. All the connection between them and the British rule was to end. Congress decided that Thomas Jefferson would write the Declaration of Independence. The Congress adopted it. John Hancock was the Congress chairman at the time. Personal liberty was the main thing in the Declaration of Independence. However, there were a few changes in the independence draft by Congress. This is the reason why America’s Independence Day is on 4th July and not on 2nd July as stipulated earlier by the draft. All delegates received handwritten copies. The news of declaration arrived in London eight days later.
The warring parties signed the Paris peace treaty after conquering York town. This signified the defeat of the British army; it was a peace treaty between England and American colonies. Though King George III had a hard time in accepting defeat, his delegates convinced him to sign a treaty that would bring peace to all the countries that participated in the war which includes France and Spain. Benjamin Franklin and John Gray were the representatives of the United States in Britain, and they signed the treaty. The treaty contained the following:
It recognized the United States of America as an independent government.
It came up with new boundaries of the new United States of America.
It gave citizens from Holland, France, the United States, Spain and Britain rights to the Mississippi River.
It determined fishing rights off the Newfoundland coast.
Loyalists who decided to stay in America got their land and property.
It set rules for the withdrawal of British troops in America.
It returned Florida to Spain and Senegal to France.
The Paris treaty ended British mandate in America. The British army left for Britain, and the continental army mandate ended after the treaty disbanded it. Though some British soldiers still remained, and caused chaos later, the day of the treaty the Britain had finally accepted USA as an independent nation.
The last part of the fight for independence was the creation of the creation of the Bill of rights and the Constitution. America wrote down a Constitution in 1787, at the summer convention in Philadelphia. All of the delegates unanimously voted for the hesitant George Washington as the President. There was a long discussion among the delegates present; they wrote the first draft in August 1787 some wanted to adopt the British way of government while other wanted a new form of government. Controversial parts of the Constitution were establishing the rules of commerce and abolition of slavery. Some delegates opposed federalism such as James Madison said that it was an impersonal form of government, unrepresentative, and it would be dominated by the rich. In 1788 five states out of nine states necessary for the ramification of the Constitution approved it. Other states later approved it putting the Constitution into action. The Constitution reflects the law in the US federal government system.
The Bill of Rights had barely been mentioned during the convention, and that is why anti-federalists were opposing the Constitution. Most delegates were against the Bill of Rights. In fact, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Madison saying that the bill of rights was what people have a right, against every government on earth. However, Madison pushed for the idea of the Bill of Rights saying that it was the fundamental maxims for every free government. In 1791 Bill of Rights featured in the Constitution for the first time.
The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, right of religion, freedom to petition, right to bear and keep arms. It also protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure, cruel punishment and forced self-incrimination. The Bill of Rights also checks the powers of the federal government. For instance, it prevents the government from infringing on personal rights to liberty, life and property. The adoption of the Constitution marked a new era in America governance where the American people were in charge of the new government and above all, the government respected the rights of the people.
The last part of the 18th century features the emancipation of the Americans from the British rule. It all began with acts such as rebellion against the stamp duties ad invocation of articles such as the Common Sense by Thomas Paine. This set the people in the mood to fight for their independence even if it meant going to war. The leaders took charge of the army and fought various battles until they finally defeated the British soldiers. After that the formation of government and the writing of the Constitution followed, after the oppressive rule under the British government the Americans knew how it feels to be oppressed from experience that is why they added the Bill of Rights to their Constitution.