Friday, May 27, 2016

Summer 2016 Part 2


The Korean War

Over 50 years ago, the Korean War existed. It occurred during the midst of the Cold War between America and its allies (from the United Nations) to fight the Communists from North Korea. The Korean War was a historic one, which was the war that Americans fought in a fully integrated basis (after President Harry Truman integrated all of the Armed Forces back in 1948). The war was very bloody as millions of Koreans, Americans, and other human beings died tragically in the war. The war came after World War II and Truman viewed this war as a police action to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations. General Douglas MacArthur was the anti-Communist who desired the Korean Peninsula to not be ruled by the Communists. The U.N. forces were pushed back, made a comeback, and experienced a stalemate. The Korean War was the beginnings of the many international war conflicts involving the Cold War era. Also, many people don't know too much about the Korean War, so we have to understood the lessons of this war, so a better future can exist for all.



The land of Korea was part of the Korean Empire during the later 19th century. Japan defeated Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Then, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905. Korea was annexed to Japan in 1910. Therefore, many Korean nationalists fled the country of Korea. In 1919, there was a provisional government of the Republic of Korea in Nationalist China. It didn’t receive international recognition. It failed to unite nationalist groups and it had a fractious relationship with its American-based founding President, Syngman Rhee. Korean Communists fought the Japanese from 1919 to 1925. The Empire of Japan ruled Korea brutally. During this time, many Koreans were forced to accept Japanese culture. The Chinese Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the Communist People’s Liberation Army helped Korean refugee patriots and independence fighters against the Japanese military. In World War Two, Koreans fought the Japanese. It is ironic that the Communists in Korea fought the Japanese fascists during World War Two and the United Nations would fight them during the Korean War. Korea was exploited of its food, livestock, and metals to fund the Japanese Empire during the Second War war. Millions of Koreans were used for conscripted in forced labor. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, China, the United Kingdom, and United States all decided "in due course Korea shall become free and independent.” Japan was defeated by the end of the war. The Soviet Union came into the northern part of the Korean peninsula by August 10, 1945. By this time, the Soviets and the Americans divided the Korean Peninsula into U.S. and Soviet occupation zones. They proposed the 38th parallel as the border. This was incorporated into America's General Order No. 1 which responded to the Japanese surrender on  August 15. Explaining the choice of the 38th parallel, Rusk observed, "even though it was further north than could be realistically reached by U.S. forces, in the event of Soviet disagreement...we felt it important to include the capital of Korea in the area of responsibility of American troops." Stalin agreed with the 38th parallel policy.

During September 8, 1945, U.S. Lt. General John R. Hodge arrived in Incheon to accept the Japanese surrender south of the 38th parallel. General Hodge was the military governor. He was the head of the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK 1945–48). The USAMGIK refused to recognize the provisional government of the short-lived People's Republic of Korea (PRK) because it suspected it was communist. A five year trusteeship proposal was opposed by Koreans and riots exists. To contain them, the USAMGIK banned strikes on December 8, 1945 and outlawed the PRK Revolutionary Government and the PRK People's Committees on December 12, 1945. The U.S. supported the right wing Representative Democratic Council led by Syngman Rhee. Various strikes in Korea existed and USAMGIK declared martial law. Divisions and disagreements on how Korea would exist continued. South Korea or the Republic of Korea was created in August 15, 1948. Its leader was Syngman Rhee. In the Russian Korean Zone of Occupation, the Soviet Union established a Communist North Korean government led by Kim Il-sung. President Rhee's régime excluded communists and leftists from southern politics. Disenfranchised, they headed for the hills, to prepare for guerrilla war against the US-sponsored ROK Government. Soviet Union troops withdrew from Korea in 1948 and U.S. troops withdrew in 1949. South Korean forces killed 86 to 88 people in the Mungyeong massacre. Rhee was a dictator as he jailed alleged communists and used policies that violated human rights.

North Koreans fought in the Chinese civil war on the Communist side too. Many served with the PLA or the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. China promised North Korea that it will support North Korea if a war happened between North and South Korea.  Since 1949, North Koreans have planned an invasion of South Korea. Kim Il-sung wanted Stalin for support back in March 1949 for an invasion. Yet, Stalin was cautious and said that it wasn’t the time to do so. By 1950, Stalin changed his mind, because of them having nuclear technology and U.S. withdrawal of troops from South Korea. Stalin gave aid to North Korea and in April 1950, Stalin gave Kim permission to invade the South under the condition that Mao would agree to send reinforcements if they became needed. There were skirmishes done by both sides before the invasion.

The United Nations response

At dawn on Sunday,  June 25, 1950, the Korean People's Army crossed the 38th parallel behind artillery fire. North Korean forces had strong artillery and South Koreans didn’t have tanks, anti-tank weapons, and they had no heavy artillery. South Koreans were retreating. Rhee evacuated from Seoul in June 27, 1950. On 28 June, at 2am, the South Korean Army blew up the highway bridge across the Han River in an attempt to stop the North Korean army. The bridge was detonated while 4,000 refugees were crossing the bridge, and hundreds were killed. Destroying the bridge also trapped many South Korean military units north of the Han River. In spite of such desperate measures, Seoul fell that same day. A number of South Korean National Assemblymen remained in Seoul when it fell, and forty-eight subsequently pledged allegiance to the North. In early July, when U.S. forces arrived, what was left of the South Korean forces were placed under U.S. operational command of the United Nations Command. In early July, when U.S. forces arrived, what was left of the South Korean forces were placed under U.S. operational command of the United Nations Command. Truman intervened, because Korea as close to Japan and Truman didn’t want Communist power to spread everywhere in Asia. American military leaders were more concerned with Europe and the Soviets at the time. The UN Security Council approved the use of force to help the South Koreans and the US immediately began using what air and naval forces that were in the area to that end. The Administration still refrained from committing on the ground because some advisers believed the North Koreans could be stopped by air and naval power alone. On Saturday, June 24, 1950, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson told President Truman that the North Koreans invaded South Korea. Immediately, they both agreed to act militarily to the situation.

On 25 June 1950, the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the North Korean invasion of the Republic of Korea, with UN Security Council Resolution 82. The Soviet Union, a veto-wielding power, had boycotted the Council meetings since January 1950, protesting that the Republic of China (Taiwan), not the People's Republic of China, held a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. The Soviet Union failed to block the Resolution, so it prevailed. By June 27, 1950, President Harry Truman ordered U.S. air and sea forces to help the South Korean regime. On 4 July the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister accused the United States of starting armed intervention on behalf of South Korea.

The North Korean Early Victories

During the early part of the war, North Korea has between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into 10 infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division, with 210 fighter planes and 280 tanks, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu, and Ongjin. The ROK Army (from South Korea) were unprepared and ill equipped during the early part of the Korean War. In days from the invasion, many ROK Army soldiers retreated southward or were defecting en masse to the northern side of the KPA. In August 1950, the President and the Secretary of State obtained the consent of Congress to appropriate $12 billion for military action in Korea. The Battle of Osan was the first significant American engagement of the Korean War. It involved the 540-soldier Task Force Smith, which was a small forward element of the 24th Infantry Division which had been flown in from Japan. On July 5, 1950, Task Force Smith attacked the North Koreans at Osan but without weapons capable of destroying the North Koreans' tanks. They were unsuccessful. The result was 180 dead, wounded, or taken prisoner. The KPA progressed southwards, pushing back the US force at Pyongtaek, Chonan, and Chochiwon, forcing the 24th Division's retreat to Taejeon, which the KPA captured in the Battle of Taejon the 24th Division suffered 3,602 dead and wounded and 2,962 captured, including the Division's Commander, Major General William F. Dean. In August, the KPA pushed back the ROK Army and the Eighth United Army to the vicinity of Pusan in southeast Korea. Both sides did massacres. The KPA killed civil servants and intellectuals in South Korea. General MacArthur said that North Korean leader Kim Il-sung was responsible for the KPA atrocities in August 20, 1950.

In September, the UN Command controlled the Pusan perimeter. This enclosed about 10% of Korea in a line partially defined by the Nakdong River. Kim was wrong to assume that the war would end by late August. Chinese leaders knew that Americans would make a comeback militarily. Lei Yingfu or Zhou’s military advisor in Korea said that MacArthur was going to land in Incheon to fight. Zhou briefed Soviet and North Korean advisers of Lei's findings, and issued orders to Chinese army commanders deployed on the Korean border to prepare for American naval activity in the Korea Strait. At the Battle of Pusan in August-September 1950, the U.S. Army withstood KPA attacks. The North Koreans tried to get Taegu. By this time, KPA were overextended in supplies. KPA forces were forces to hide in tunnels in day and move only at night. U.S. Navy air forces and USAF destroyed harbors and other locations. On 27 August, 67th Fighter Squadron aircraft mistakenly attacked facilities in Chinese territory and the Soviet Union called the UN Security Council's attention to China's complaint about the incident. Meanwhile, U.S. garrisons in Japan continually dispatched soldiers and materiel to reinforce defenders in the Pusan Perimeter. Tank battalions from the port of San Francisco came to the port of Pusan or the largest Korean port. The Pusan Perimeter was heavily defended by U.S. forces. In early September 1950, ROK Army and UN Command forces outnumbered the KPA 180,000 to 100,000 soldiers. The UN forces, once prepared, counterattacked and broke out of the Pusan Perimeter. The Pusan Perimeter had UN forces that were rested and reinforced. The KPA was undermanned and didn’t have supplies or naval or air support.

The Battle of Inchon

General MacArthur on July 6, 1950, he ordered Major General Hobart R. Gay, Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, to plan the division's amphibious landing at Incheon; on 12–14 July, the 1st Cavalry Division embarked from Yokohama, Japan to reinforce the 24th Infantry Division inside the Pusan Perimeter, commended an amphibious landing at Inchon near Seoul and over 100 miles behind KPA lines. MacArthur’s plans were initially opposed by the Pentagon. In September of 1950 when the attack of Inchon started, the city of Incheon mostly was destroyed. U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and ROK Army forces were involved in the attack. After the Incheon landing, the 1st Cavalry Division began its northward advance from the Pusan Perimeter. The Soviets and China wanted North Korea to move north to defend Seoul and other places. On September 23, the 65th Infantry Regiment from the 3rd Infantry Division arrived at Pusan. The enemy made many attempts to encircle that regiment, but each time they failed because of the many casualties inflicted by the 65th. Because the 65th held their positions, this enabled the U.S. Marines to withdraw from the Chosin Reservoir. Seoul was recaptured by South Korean forces. American air raids damaged the KPA forces. KPA tanks and its artillery were destroyed. Stalin was angry over the KPA defeat. General MacArthur was given a top secret National Security Council Memorandum 8/11 from Truman on September 27, 1950. The memo said that operations north of the 38th parallel were authorized only if "at the time of such operation there was no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist forces, no announcements of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily..." On September 29, 1950, Syngman Rhee’s government was ceremonially restricted in Seoul.  The ROK committed massacres against people suspect of being sympathetic of North Korea in October of 1950. This would continue until early 1951.

China’s Zhou Enlai on September 30, 1950 warned America that China would intervene in the war if the United States crossed the 38th parallel line. Zhou attempted to advise North Korean commanders on how to conduct a general withdrawal by using the same tactics which had allowed Chinese communist forces to successfully escape Chiang Kai-shek's Encirclement Campaigns in the 1930s.

UN forces cross the Partition line

On October 1, 1950, the UN Command repelled the KPA northwards past the 38th parallel. The ROK Army crossed after them into North Korea. So, the US was in North Korea. General MacArthur made a statement demanding the KPA’s unconditional surrender. Six days later, on October 7,1950, with UN authorization, the UN Command forces followed the ROK forces northwards. The X Corps landed at Wonsan (in southeastern North Korea) and Riwon (in northeastern North Korea), already captured by ROK forces. The Eighth U.S. Army and the ROK Army drove up western Korea and captured Pyongyang city, the North Korean capital on October 19, 1950. The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat team or the "Rakkasans" made their first of two combat jumps during the Korean War on October 20, 1950 at Sunchon and Sukchon. The missions of the 187th were to cut the road north going to China, preventing North Korean leaders from escaping from Pyongyang; and to rescue American prisoners of war. At month's end, UN forces held 135,000 KPA prisoners of war. As they neared the Sino-Korean border, the UN forces in the west were divided from those in the east by 50–100 miles of mountainous terrain. Taking advantage of the UN Command's strategic momentum against the communists, General MacArthur believed it necessary to extend the Korean War into China to destroy depots supplying the North Korean war effort. President Truman disagreed, and ordered caution at the Sino-Korean border.

China intervenes

On the date of June 27, 1950 (which was 2 days after the KPA invaded and three months before China entered the war), President Truman dispatched the United States Seventh Fleet to the Taiwan Strait. He did this to prevent hostilities between the Nationalist Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mao Zedong on August 4, 1950 aborted a PRC invasion of Taiwan. He reported to the Politburo that he would intervene in Korea where the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Taiwan invasion force was reorganized into the PLA North East Frontier Force. China wanted to justify their entry into the war by saying that they were responding to American aggression “in the guise of the UN.” On 20 August 1950, Premier Zhou Enlai informed the UN that "Korea is China's neighbor... The Chinese people cannot but be concerned about a solution of the Korean question." Thus, through neutral-country diplomats, China warned that in safeguarding Chinese national security, they would intervene against the UN Command in Korea. President Truman dismissed the words from China as he accused the Chinese of trying to blackmail the UN. When the UN troops crossed the 38th parallel on October 1, 1950, it was the first anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. During that day, the Soviet ambassador forwarded a telegram from Stalin to Mao and Zhou. The telegrams wanted China to send five to six divisions into Korea. Kim Il-sun sent many appeals for Mao to send Chinese military forces in Korea. Stalin also made it very clear that Soviet forces themselves would not directly intervene. In a series of emergency meetings that lasted from 2–5 October, Chinese leaders debated whether to send Chinese troops into Korea. Many Chinese military leader didn’t want to confront the U.S. in Korea. Mao strongly supported intervention including Zhou. Lin Biao had a medical treatment to do, so he didn’t command forces. Peng Dehuai was chosen by Mao to lead the Chinese forces. Peng said that if the U.S. troops conquered Korea, they could cross the Yalu and then invade China. The Politburo agreed to intervene in Korea.

Later, the Chinese claimed that US bombers had violated PRC national airspace on three separate occasions and attacked Chinese targets before China intervened. On October 8, 1950, Mao Zedong re-designated the PLA North East Frontier Force as the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA). Stalin send military equipment and air support in March of 1951. The Soviets gave the Chinese machine guns, trucks, grenades, etc. Immediately on his return to Beijing on  October 18, 1950, Zhou met with Mao Zedong, Peng Dehuai, and Gao Gang, and the group ordered two hundred thousand Chinese troops to enter North Korea, which they did on October 25. The USA 1st Calavry Divison capture Pyongyang  on October 19, 1950. Before on October 15, President Truman and General MacAruthur met at Wake Island to discuss strategy. MacArthur believed that China won’t intervene in Korea. He believed that the PRC wouldn’t aid the KPA massively. General MacArthur said of the criticism of his policies: "I realized for the first time that I had actually been denied the use of my full military power to safeguard the lives of my soldiers and the safety of my army. To me, it clearly foreshadowed a future tragic situation in Korea, and left me with a sense of inexpressible shock."

After secretly crossing the Yalu River on 19 October, the PVA 13th Army Group launched the First Phase Offensive on 25 October, attacking the advancing UN forces near the Sino-Korean border. This military decision made solely by China changed the attitude of the Soviet Union. Twelve days after Chinese troops entered the war, Stalin allowed the Soviet Air Force to provide air cover, and supported more aid to China. They defeated the ROK II Corps at the Battle of Onjong. The first confrontation between Chinese and U.S. military occurred on 1 November 1950; deep in North Korea, thousands of soldiers from the PVA 39th Army encircled and attacked the U.S. 8th Cavalry Regiment with three-prong assaults—from the north, northwest, and west—and overran the defensive position flanks in the Battle of Unsan. It was a surprise attack and the UN forces retreated back to the Ch'ongch'on River, while the Chinese unexpectedly disappeared into mountain hideouts following victory. It is unclear why the Chinese did not press the attack and follow up their victory. The US used their Home by Christmas Offensive on November 24 thinking that the Chinese didn’t openly intervened. The U.S. Eighth Army fought in northwest Korea and the US X Corps attacked along the Korean east coast. Yet, China was waiting in ambush with their Second Phase Offense. The Chinese attacked US forces. The UN Command retreated including the U.S. Eighth Army. By December the X Corps evaluated. During the Hungnam evacuation, about 193 shiploads of UN Command forces and matériel (approximately 105,000 soldiers, 98,000 civilians, 17,500 vehicles, and 350,000 tons of supplies) were evacuated to Pusan. After that, the leading part of the war became the Chinese army. Following that, on February 1,1951, United Nations General Assembly adopted a draft resolution condemning China as an aggressor in the Korean War.

Third Phase Offensive

With Lieutenant-General Matthew Ridgway assuming the command of the U.S. Eighth Army on December 26, 1950, the PVA and the KPA launched their Third Phase Offensive (also known as the "Chinese New Year's Offensive") on New Year's Eve of 1950. There were trumpets shown and the PVA and KPA conquered Seoul for the second time in January 4, 1951. Many UN forces retreated to the south. This setback caused General MacArthur to consider using nuclear weapons against Chinese and North Korean forces. He wanted to cause radioactive fallout zone to stop the Chinese supply chains. This was extreme. Yet, General Ridgway inspired the Eighth Army to revive itself. UN forces retreated to Suwon in the west, Wonju in the center, and the territory north of Samcheok in the east, where the battlefront stabilized and held. The PVA had outrun its logistics capability and thus were unable to press on beyond Seoul as food, ammunition, and matériel were carried nightly, on foot and bicycle, from the border at the Yalu River to the three battle lines. By late January 1951, upon finding that the PVA had abandoned their battle lines, General Ridgway ordered a reconnaissance-in-force, which became Operation Roundup (February 5, 1951). A full-scale X Corps advance proceeded, which fully exploited the UN Command's air superiority, concluding with the UN reaching the Han River and recapturing Wonju. After cease-fire negotiations failed in January, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 498 on February 1, 1951, condemning PRC as an aggressor, and called upon its forces to withdraw from Korea. The Geochang massacre and the Sancheong-Hamyang massacre happened when many South Korean troops and cops killed North Korean sympathizers.

In mid-February, the PVA counterattacked with the Fourth Phase Offensive and achieved initial victory at Hoengseong. But the offensive was soon blunted by the IX Corps positions at Chipyong-ni in the center. Units of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and the French Battalion fought a short but desperate battle that broke the attack's momentum. The battle is sometimes known as the Gettysburg of the Korean War. The battle saw 5,600 Korean, American and French troops defeat a numerically superior Chinese force. Surrounded on all sides, the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division Warrior Division's 23rd Regimental Combat Team with an attached French Battalion was hemmed in by more than 25,000 Chinese Communist forces. United Nations forces had previously retreated in the face of large Communist forces instead of getting cut off, but this time they stood and fought at odds of roughly 15 to 1.

Operation Roundup was replaced with Operation Killer in the last 2 weeks of February of 1951. U.S. Marines moved out over rugged mountain terrain while closing with hostile North Korean forces. Eighth Army carried out Operation Killer. It was an action to kill as many KPA and PVA troops as possible using a full scale attack assault. Then, I Corps re-occupied the the territory south of the Han River, and IX Corps capturing Hoengseong. On March 7, 1951, the Eighth Army attacked with Operation Ripper, expelling the PVA and the KPA from Seoul on 14 March 1951. This was the city's fourth conquest in a years' time, leaving it a ruin; the 1.5 million pre-war population was down to 200,000, and people were suffering from severe food shortages.

Mao sent a cable to Stalin in March 1, 1951. Mao said that the Chinese forces had difficulties in the war and that he wanted air cover over supply lines especially. Stalin agreed to send air cover since he respected the Chinese effort. Stalin sent air force division, anti-aircraft divisions, and 6,000 trucks. PVA troops in Korea continued to have logistical problems. From September  1951 onward, the Chinese air force was involved in the Korean War. On April 11, 1951, Commander-in-Chief Truman relieved the controversial General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander in Korea. Truman didn’t like how MacArthur crossed the 38th parallel with the mistaken view that the Chinese would not enter the war. Truman opposed MacArthur desiring to use nuclear weapons as he felt that this was his decision not MacArthur’s decision. Truman later realized that either truce or an orderly withdrawal was a valid solution. MacArthur was the subject of congressional hearings in May and June 1951, which determined that he had defied the orders of the President and thus had violated the U.S. Constitution. General MacArthur returned in America as a hero.  General Ridgway was appointed Supreme Commander of Korea. He regrouped UN forces for successful counterattacks. General James Van Fleet assumed command of the U.S. Eighth Army. Further attacks slowly depleted the PVA and KPA forces; Operations Courageous (March 23-28, 1951) and Tomahawk (March 23, 1951) were a joint ground and airborne infiltration meant to trap Chinese forces between Kaesong and Seoul. UN forces advanced to "Line Kansas", north of the 38th parallel.

The Chinese counterattacked in April 1951, with the Fifth Phase Offensive, also known as the Chinese Spring Offensive, with three field armies (approximately 700,000 men). The offensive’s first thrust fell upon upon I Corps, which fiercely resisted in the Battle of the Imjin River (22–25 April 1951) and the Battle of Kapyong (22–25 April 1951), blunting the impetus of the offensive, which was halted at the "No-name Line" north of Seoul. On 15 May 1951, the Chinese commenced the second impulse of the Spring Offensive and attacked the ROK Army and the U.S. X Corps in the east at the Soyang River. After initial success, they were halted by 20 May. At month's end, the U.S. Eighth Army counterattacked and regained "Line Kansas", just north of the 38th parallel.The UN's "Line Kansas" halt and subsequent offensive action stand-down began the stalemate that lasted until the armistice of 1953.

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The Stalemate

For the remainder of the Korean War, there was the stalemate. The UN Command and the PVA fought, but they exchanged little territory. There was bombings in North Korea too. Armistice negotiations started on July 10, 1951 at Kaesong. On the Chinese side, Zhou Enlai directed peace talks, and Li Kenong and Qiao Guanghua headed the negotiation team. Combat continued while the belligerents negotiated; the UN Command forces' goal was to recapture all of South Korea and to avoid losing territory. The PVA and the KPA attempted similar operations, and later effected military and psychological operations in order to test the UN Command's resolve to continue the war. During the stalemate, there was the Battle of Blood Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge, and the Battle of Kumsong in 1953. Chinese troops were overextended. Chinese causalities increased. Massacres of civilians were committed by North and South Koreans including American forces too. On March 29, 1952, President Harry Truman announced that he will not run for reelection.


The negotiations for an Armistice lasted for 2 years. Each side had to deal with the prisoner of war or POW situation. In the final armistice agreement, signed on 27 July 1953, a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, under the Chairman Indian General K. S. Thimayya, was set up to handle the matter. In the meantime, the United States elected a new President, Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 4, 1952. Dwight D. Eisenhower came into Korea in November 29, 1952 to find out how to end the Korean war. India’s proposed Korean War armistice was accepted by the UN. The KPA, the PVA, and the UN Command ceased fire with the battle line at approximately at the 38th parallel. Upon agreeing to the armistice, the belligerents established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has since been patrolled by the KPA and ROKA, United States, and Joint UN Commands. The Demilitarized Zone runs northeast of the 38th parallel; to the south, it travels west. The old Korean capital city of Kaesong, site of the armistice negotiations, originally was in pre-war South Korea, but now is part of North Korea. The United Nations Command, supported by the United States, the North Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People's Volunteers, signed the Armistice Agreement on  July 27, 1953 to end the fighting. The Armistice also called upon the governments of South Korea, North Korea, China and the United States to participate in continued peace talks. The armistice was signed at Panmunjom and it allowed the 38th parallel reset as boundary between communist North and anti-communist South. Cold War tensions continue unabated. Gen. Mark W. Clark says he has "the unenviable distinction of being the first US Army commander to sign an armistice without victory." The war is considered to have ended at this point, even though there was no peace treaty. After the war, Operation Glory was conducted from July to November 1954, to allow combatant countries to exchange their dead. The remains of 4,167 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps dead were exchanged for 13,528 KPA and PVA dead, and 546 civilians dead in UN prisoner-of-war camps were delivered to the South Korean government. After Operation Glory, 416 Korean War unknown soldiers were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (The Punchbowl), on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Division of Korea and Modern times.

Korea was divided between North and South. The armistice is here today. Incursions have been done by North Korea since the armistice in the 1970’s. Today, we have North Korea being a Stalinist nation while South Korea being more capitalistic. Mistakes have been made by both sides. North Korea has nuclear weapons. North Korea wants peace talks on its terms while the United States wants the country to have nuclear disarmament before any treaty comes about. By January 6, 2016, North Korea conducted their fourth nuclear test, which ended the possibility of talks among America and North Korea.

The American Revolution

So many emotions exist in the words of those who contemplate about the Revolutionary War. We are still influenced by the American Revolution after 240 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Revolutionary War is an important part of our history. It lasted for many years during the latter part of the 18th century. It represented an end to a new era and a beginning of a new one. Also, globally around that time, Revolutions existed in Haiti, Latin America, and Europe. These revolutions wanted to end the oligarchic power base of the monarchy and form republics or more democratic style governments. The end of the Revolutionary War resulted in the birth of the nation of America itself. Today, people wear hats, sing songs, eat hot dogs, and view performances that celebrate and commemorate the American victory of the Revolutionary War. Yet, that war has a long, controversial history that must be shown to the general public. Both the British Empire and the early American colonies promoted the evils of slavery and racial discrimination during the 18th century. The lands of Native Americans were readily exploited, stolen, and harmed by imperialists (both from the British Empire and those colonists in America). The issues of slavery, empire, democracy, gender, a Republic, the Enlightenment, the Founders, etc. are part and parcel of the American historical experience. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and other people were diverse in their ideologies and political views. Yet, they were unified in their opposition to the British Empire and they desired the independence of the American nation. The good and the evil actions of many Americans must be made known. To start, America, by the beginning of the eighteenth century, was filled with colonies. These colonies on the eastern seaboard and the South were controlled by the British Empire mostly. The evils of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans existed. So, the Revolutionary War occurred in a backdrop of many injustices and controversies. The Seven Year War was one reason (out of many) on why the Revolutionary War commenced in the first place.

The Seven Years War

The Seven Years’ War was a war that was prelude to the Revolutionary War. It was one of the first world wars in world history. It was fought between 1755 and 1764 and the main conflict lasted from 1756 to 1763 (which was about seven years). The war was fought in the Americas, West Africa, Europe, India, and in the Philippines. The war dealt with the competition between Great Britain and France (among other European nations) for the imperial control of many nations in the world. During the course of the War, Great Britain allied with Prussia, Portugal, Hanover, Brunswick,-Wolfenbuttel, the Iroquois Confederacy, and other nations. France allied with the Holy Roman Empire, Austria, Saxony, Russia (until 1762), Spain (from 1762), many Native American tribes, and the Mughal Empire (from 1757). In America by the early to mid 1700's, France controlled the Mississippi river valley heavily with the construction of their own forts and trading positions. English colonists wanted to travel in the region, especially in the Ohio Valley. By 1753, then 21 year old Major George Washington (back then, he was in the British Empire during the Seven Years War) left Williamsburg, Virginia to the Ohio Valley. Virginia’s governor Robert Dinwiddie has sent Washington to order the French to abandon the string of forts they are building between Lake Erie and the Forks of the Ohio River (the confluence of the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny Rivers). Robert wanted Washington to stop the French from preventing English settlements. Lt. Colonel Washington defeated a French force near the Great Meadows in May 28, 1754. British attempts to halt this fort construction were unsuccessful, and the French proceeded to build the fort they named Fort Duquesne. British colonial militia from Virginia was then sent to drive them out. Led by George Washington, they ambushed a small French force at Jumonville Glen on May 28, 1754 killing ten, including commander Jumonville. Washington worked with his ally or Seneca chief Tanaghrisson to attack the French people captured. The French commandeer was killed and the victims were scalped too. Later, a French force of 700 attackrf George Washington and his 400 troops at Fort Necessity in retaliation for the massacre of the French at the Great Meadows. Washington surrenders and leaves the Ohio Valley. The Mohawks left the alliance with Britain and proclaimed neutrality.

The first British action was the assault on Acadia on June 16, 1755 in the Battle of Fort Beauséjour, which was immediately followed by their expulsion of the Acadians. The major conflict started in 1756 when both France and Britain declare war officially against each other. King Frederick II of Prussia was a great ally of Britain and he gained many early victories in Germany and then as years came about, he suffered defeats. The French captured Fort Oswego in the Great Lakes in August 14, 1756.  William Pitt was the secretary of State. He promoted sending resources to defeat the French in America and in Europe. He will authorize the raising of 23,000 provincial troops in North America in 1758, and will end squabbling over taxation by guaranteeing the colonial assemblies that Parliament will cover all expenses. The huge defeat of the British in 1758 caused 2,000 casualties for the British. In the same year, the British captured the French port on Nova Scotia called Louisbourg. This caused the British to restrict heavily the French supply lines flowing down the Saint Lawrence River. General James Wolfe in 1759 attacked Quebec and the French retreat to Montreal. Wolfe was killed in battle. The French (with Governor General Vauderueil of New France) surrendered Montreal or the last French stronghold in North America without firing a shot when a British army of 17,500 British regulars, American provincial troops, and Indians converge on the city from three directions. While the Iroquois allied with the British. In Africa, Britain captured Gambia from the French. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 was the beginning of the end of the War. Complex land exchanges were the end result of the War. The Treaty allows Great Britain to get territories east of the Mississippi River, Canada (except Saint Pierre and Miquelon), and the island of Grenada. The Northern Circars go to Great Britain. Louisiana west of the Mississippi River goes to Spain. Great Britain receives Florida from Spain. The war caused a huge financial burden on France and Great Britain. Great Britain became the most powerful European nation in that time and France decreased in power. Prussia also increased its power after the Treaty of Paris. The British forced American colonists to pay the bills for the war via taxes and other policies. This was part of the anger from the colonists (from the Thirteen Colonies) which would expand into the Revolutionary War. So, the Seven Years War was one crucial factor in causing the Revolutionary War.

The American Colonies

By 1780, the population of Great Britain and Ireland had ca. 12.6 million people while the 13 colonies had 2.8 million people including over 500,000 black people (who were mostly enslaved unjustly). Before that time, European explorers set up colonies. Many Europeans voluntarily came into the Americas while black people were involuntarily kidnapped and sent into the Americas. The European imperialists wanted to explore resources, built up agricultural products, and exchange goods between Africa, the Americas, and Europe (in the form of the Triangular Trade). The colonies in North America were controlled by the French, the English, the Dutch, the Spanish, and other European powers. New England colonies were settled heavily by the Puritans. They wanted religious freedom from persecution in Europe, but they violated the human rights of Native Americans in many circumstances. They formed a “covenant community” based on the principles of the Mayflower Compact. They had town meetings to advance direct democracy. The Middle Atlantic region was settled mostly by the English, the Dutch, the Swedes, the Finns, and the German speaking immigrants seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity.

Virginia and the other Southern colonies were settled by imperialists and colonists who wanted economic opportunities. Most of the slaves back then existed in the South. Some of the early Virginia settlers were “cavaliers” (or English nobility who received large land grants in eastern Virginia from the King of England). Later, there were the small farmers who came as English poor immigrants. They wanted better lives. Some of them were artisans too and some lived in the Shenandoah Valley or western Virginia. Indentured servants (who were white and black people) agreed to work on tobacco plantations for a period of time to pay for passage to the New World. Jamestown was established in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London as a business venture. That was the first permanent English settlement in North America. The Virginia House of Burgesses was created in the 1640’s. That was the first elected assembly of Europeans in the New World. It has operated continuously and is known as the General Assembly of Virginia. Black slaves were in Jamestown too. They were oppressed, violated of their human rights, and abused by white racists.

As time went on, the colonies developed their own economic, social, and political characteristics (especially by the late 1600’s to the 1700’s). During the colonial period, New England colonies developed an economy based on shipbuilding, fishing, lumbering, small scale subsistence farming, and eventually manufacturing. The Puritans believed in hard work and thrift. The middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware developed economies based on shipbuilding, small scale farming, and trading. Cities like New York and Philadelphia began to grow as seaports and/or commercial centers. Southern colonies developed economies in the eastern coastal lowlands based on large plantations that grew “cash crops” like tobacco, rice, and indigo for export to Europe (via mercantilism). Further inland, however, in the mountains and valleys of the Appalachian foothills, the economy was based on small scale subsistence farming, hunting, and trading. There was a strong belief in the private ownership of property and free enterprise characterized colonial life everywhere.

The social life of the New England colonial society was based in religious views. The Puritans grew increasingly intolerant of dissenters who challenged the Puritans’ belief in the connection between religion and government. Rhode Island was founded by dissenters fleeing persecution by the Puritans in Massachusetts. Their government had town meetings in the operation of government, which was similar to the Athenian direct democracy model. The middle colonies were home to multiple religious groups who generally believed in religious tolerances. There were Quakers in Pennsylvania, Huguenots and Jewish people in New York and Presbyterians in New Jersey. The middle colonies had a more flexible social structures and began to develop a middle class of skilled artisans, entrepreneurs (business owners), and small farmers. The middle colonies had a number of democratic principles that reflected the basic rights of Englishmen. Virginia and the other Southern colonies had a social structure based on family status and ownership of land. Large landowners in the eastern lowlands dominated colonial government and society and maintained an allegiance to the Church of England and closer social ties to Britain than did those in the other colonies. In the mountains and valleys further inland, however, society was characterized by small subsistence farmers, hunters, and traders of Scots-Irish and English descent. The Southern colonies maintained stronger ties with Britain with planters playing leading roles in representative colonial legislatures.

The Intolerable Acts

The Intolerable Acts of 1774 was one of the major reasons for the existence of the American Revolutionary War in the first place. These Acts came from Britain as a way for the UK to try to control the American colonies. The American colonies opposed such acts, because the colonies believed that they didn’t have enough political representation in the British Parliament and they felt such acts violated their rights as colonists. The four British disciplinary acts placed on Americans by the British were that: The Boston Port Act closed Boston’s harbors due to the Tea Party, the second act allowed British officials to hold Americans to trial in other colonies (even in Britain called the Administration of Justice Act), the Quebec Act of 1774 banned trading between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the last act was to allow the British to have colonist soldiers (or the Coercive Acts). There was the Quartering Act was extended to publicly occupied buildings or that Boston must house the British troops sent to enforce the Coercive Acts. This mostly involved the crown seizing large public buildings like warehouses, churches, and Faneuil Hall. The Massachusetts Government Act caused almost all self-government is removed from the people from Massachusetts. Town meetings are greatly curtailed and most positions were now filled with crown appointees rather than elected by the citizenry. This led to the First Continental Congress of September 5th, 1774. It was the first Congress to meet at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia. 44 delegates had attended. Late comers brought the total up to 56. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was chosen as President and among the members of the first Congress were George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Jay, John Adams, and others. The First Continental Congress of 1774 wanted to fight the Intolerable Acts. Their representatives wanted to try to figure out a compromise that could be made with England. The Congress voted to cut off colonial trade with Great Britain until the Parliament abolished the Intolerable Acts. Congress also decided to prepare training men for war, fearing that war with England was inevitable. King George III and Parliament didn’t acknowledge or respect the requests of the colonists. Back then, the border of Canada was extended into the western colonies of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia in 1774.

The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party happened in December 16, 1773 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a political protest done by the Sons of Liberty organization. The Sons of Liberty wanted political independence from the British Empire. It had members from all thirteen colonies and it opposed the taxation from the British government. They fought the Stamp Act of 1765 as well. Controversy between Great Britain and the colonies arose in the 1760's when Parliament sought, for the first time, to impose a direct tax on the colonies for the purpose of raising revenue (because of the Seven Years War, etc.). Some colonists, known in the colonies as Whigs, objected to the new tax program, arguing that it was a violation of the British Constitution  (as no colonies could be taxed without consent from colonial assemblies).This protest was against the Tea Act of May 10, 1773. The Tea Act came from Parliament. It was created to help the British East India Company, which faced economic problems. It also wanted to prevent illegal tea that was smuggled into the North American colonies. Tea smugglers continued to work in New York and Philadelphia. Whigs in the colonies opposed the Tea Party. They resisted the consignees who were assigned to enforce the Tea Act too. The Boston Tea Party involved colonists (some of them disguised themselves as Native Americans) to board tea ships anchored in the harbor. Later, they dumped the tea cargo overboard. The British Parliament and King George were furious, so they enacted the Coercive Acts.

These acts were used to punish Massachusetts for its resistance and it established the appointment of George Thomas Gage as royal governor of Massachusetts. The actions by the Parliament from British further increased tensions. The colonists have said that they were experiencing “taxation without representation” as the colonists had virtual no representation in the British Parliament to really have a say in policies politically. The North Ministry failed to make the colonists and the Parliament to reconcile amicably. Samuel Adams defended the Boston Tea Party. Other people involved in support of the action were Paul Revere, William Molineux, and other Sons of Liberty.  Many meetings of the Sons of Liberty took place in the Green Dragon Tavern. This place had a downstairs area of the tavern. Upstairs had the St. Andrews Lodge of Massachusetts (Ancients). It was filled with Freemasons who would later be involved in the American Revolution. Many Freemasons were involved in the American Revolutions from Generals to regular colonists. The Sons of Liberty held secret sessions in the Green Dragon Tavern. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere were well known Freemasons. Masonry teaches the followsing according to 233rd Degree Freemason Manly P. Hall: "...The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth." (The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Manly P. Hall, 33rd, page 65, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co. Richmond, Va., 1976). The Boston Tea Party was one of the last acts of rebellion by the American colonists before the American War of Independence took place in April 1775.

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre was one of the major catalysts for the American Revolutionary War. The Boston Massacre happened on March 5, 1770. During this time, Boston was a strong city of pro-independence sentiment. The British in Boston and all over the colonies enforced the Townshend Acts. These acts were duties and taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea imported into the colonies. Many Americans saw these acts as an abuse of power as the American colonies had no representation in Parliament. By 1770, the duties did exist on tea. British custom officials were repelled in many cases of enforcing the Townshend Acts. On March 5, a large crowd was in Boston. Soldiers from Britain were there. Heckling exists and shots were fired. They or the British soldiers fired into the crowd, without orders, instantly killing three people and wounding others. Two more people died later of wounds sustained in the incident. Three Americans—rope maker Samuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and Crispus Attucks (who was of black African descent) died instantly. The British officer in charge, Capt. Thomas Preston, was arrested for manslaughter, along with eight of his men; all were later acquitted or released. In an effort to demonstrate the impartiality of colonial courts, two Patriot leaders, John Adams and Josiah Quincy, volunteered to defend Captain Preston and his men. The prosecution produced little evidence, and Preston and six of the soldiers were acquitted; two others were found guilty of manslaughter, branded on the hand, and released. The killings of March 5, promptly termed a “massacre” by Patriot leaders and commemorated in a widely circulated engraving by Paul Revere, aroused intense public protests and threats of violent retaliation. This pressure caused Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson to withdraw the troops to an island in the harbor. Paul Revere and Samuel Adams talked about the incident to promote animosity against British authorities. John Adams wrote that the "foundation of American independence was laid" on March 5, 1770, and Samuel Adams and other Patriots used annual commemorations (Massacre Day) of the event to fulminate against British rule.

The Beginning of the Revolutionary War

The American Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 to 1783. It was one of the most serious wars in human history. The war was between Great Britain and the thirteen of the North American colonies who had declared themselves the independent United States of America. The conflict expanded into the Caribbean, India, and other places. America had allies in France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The war started in 1775. As early as February of 1775, Parliament declared Massachusetts as in a state of rebellion. Lieutenant General Thomas Gage was the British North American commander in chief. He commanded four regiments of British regulars (or about 4,000 men) from his headquarters in Boston. The countryside was controlled by the revolutionaries. On April 14, Gage was ordered to disarm the rebels and arrest their leaders. It was during the night of April 18, 1775 that things would change forever in America. On that date, General Gage sent 700 men to seize munitions sorted by the colonial militia in Concord, Massachusetts. Riders including Paul Revere alerted the countryside, and when British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, they found 77 Minutemen formed up on the village green. Shots were exchanged, killing several Minutemen. The British moved on to Concord, where a detachment of three companies was engaged and routed at the North Bridge by a force of 500 minutemen. As the British retreated back to Boston, thousands of militiamen attacked them along the roads, inflicting many casualties before timely British reinforcements prevented a total disaster.

As Robert Parry has mentioned: "...the British military controlled Boston long before April 1775, garrisoning Redcoats in the rebellious city since 1768. The British clamped down more tightly after the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773, imposing the so-called “Intolerable Acts” in 1774, reinforcing the Boston garrison and stopping commerce into Boston Harbor. The aggressive British actions forced dissident leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock to flee the city and take refuge in Lexington, as colonial militias built up their stocks of arms and ammunition in nearby Concord.

The Revolutionary War began not with British forces seizing Boston in April 1775 as Romney wrote, but when the Redcoats ventured forth from Boston on April 19, 1775, to seize Adams and Hancock in Lexington and then go farther inland to destroy the colonial arms cache in Concord. The British failed in both endeavors, but touched off the war by killing eight Massachusetts men at Lexington Green. The Redcoats then encountered a larger force of Minutemen near Concord Bridge and were driven back in a daylong retreat to Boston, suffering heavy losses. Thus, the Revolutionary War began with a stunning American victory..."

With the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the war had begun. The militia from the Americans came into Boston. They bottled the British in the city. About 4,500 British soldiers came to Boston by sea. By June 17, 1775, British forces under General William Howe seized the Charlestown peninsula at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British mounted a costly frontal attack. The Americans fell back, but British losses totaled over 1,000 men. The siege was not broken, and Gage was soon replaced by Howe as the British commander-in-chief. General Gage admitted in a letter to the Secretary at War in London that the Americans showed strong spirit in their fighting. In July of 1775, newly appointed General George Washington came into Boston. He took charge of the colonial forces and organized the Continental Army. Washington wanted the army to have more gunpowder since there was a shortage. So, he asked for new sources. Arsenals were aided. Manufacturing was attempted. 90% of the supply (2 million pounds) was imported by the end of 1776, mostly from France. Patriots in New Hampshire had seized powder, muskets and cannons from Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth Harbor in late 1774. Some of the munitions were used in the Boston campaign. The standoff continued throughout the fall and winter. During this time Washington was astounded by the failure of Howe to attack his shrinking, poorly armed force. In early March 1776, heavy cannons that the patriots had captured at Fort Ticonderoga were brought to Boston by Colonel Henry Knox, and placed on Dorchester Heights. Since the artillery now overlooked the British positions, Howe's situation was untenable, and the British fled on March 17, 1776, sailing to their naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia, an event now celebrated in Massachusetts as Evacuation Day. Washington then moved most of the Continental Army to fortify New York City. In 1775, the American forces invaded Canada and especially Quebec.

Various Battles

American forces invaded Quebec three weeks after the siege of Boston started in 1775. It was led by the Green Mountain Boys (or a group of militia volunteers led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. Yes, Benedict Arnold was once a Patriot and later became a Redcoat). They captured Fort Ticonderoga, which was a strategic location between New York State and the Province of Quebec. They later raided Fort St. John’s, which wasn’t too far from Montreal. People in Montreal and other locations were shocked at the American advance. In response, Quebec’s governor Guy Carleton started to fortify St. John’s. He also opened negotiations with the Iroquois and other Native Americans tribes for their support. These actions along with lobbying both Allen and Arnold (along with the fear of a British attack from the north, persuaded the Continental Congress on June 27th, 1775 to authorize the American invasion of Quebec. The Americans wanted to drive the British military from Quebec. Back then, Quebec was referred to as Canada. Most of its lands included former French Province of Canada. During this era, a total of two Quebec bound expeditions existed. On September 28, 1775, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery marched north from Fort Ticonderoga with about 1,700 militiamen. They besieged and captured Fort St. Jean on November and then Montreal on November 13. General Carleton escaped to Quebec City and started to prepare that city for an attack. The second expedition was led by Colonel Arnold. He went through the wilderness of what is now northern Maine. Logistics were difficult, with 300 men turning back, and another 200 perishing due to the harsh conditions. By the time Arnold reached Quebec City in early November, he had but 600 of his original 1,100 men. Montgomery's force joined Arnold's, and they attacked Quebec City on December 31, but were defeated by Carleton in a battle that ended with Montgomery dead, Arnold wounded, and over 400 Americans taken prisoner.

The remaining Americans held on outside Quebec City until the spring of 1776, suffering from poor camp conditions and smallpox, and then withdrew when a squadron of British ships under Captain Charles Douglas arrived to relieve the siege. Americans still tried to get Quebec. They failed at Trois-Rivières on June 8, 1776. Carleton then launched his own invasion and defeated Arnold at the Battle of Valcour Island in October. Arnold fell back to Fort Ticonderoga, where the invasion had begun. While the invasion ended as a disaster for the Americans, Arnold's efforts in 1776 delayed any full-scale British counteroffensive until the Saratoga campaign of 1777. Many British people started to lose support of the American independence cause because of the invasion of Canada. The people of Quebec initially supported the invasion early on, but became less supportive during the occupations. The Patriots overtly wanted Quebec to be part of their cause and made specific provisions for it to join the U.S. under the 1777 Articles of Confederation.

In the beginning of the War, British forces were huge in Boston. This force evacuated by the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Patriots in all 13 colonies were quick to form new revolutionary government based on committees and conventions that they have established in 1774 and early 1775. Royal governors and officials found themselves powerless to stop the rebellion and in many places were forced to flee. In many places the Patriots were energetic and were backed by angry mobs while the Loyalists were too intimidated or poorly organized to be effective without the British army. The term "lynching" originated when Virginia Patriots held informal courts and arrested Loyalists (the term did not suggest execution). Loyalists supported the British Empire. They were funded by London officials. Patriots defeated the Loyalists in the Snow Campaign in South Carolina in late 1775. Loyalist and Virginian governor Lord Dunmore tried to rally a loyalist force. Yet, he was beaten in December 1775 at the Battle of Great Bridge. In February 1776 British General Clinton took 2,000 men and a naval squadron to assist Loyalists mustering in North Carolina, only to call it off when he learned they had been crushed at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. In June he tried to seize Charleston, the leading port in the South, but the attack failed as the naval force was repulsed by the Patriot forts.

Apart from the thirteen, no other British North American colony joined the rebellion. King George III considered the American Patriots as traitors of the British crown. He issued a Proclamation of Rebellion in August 1775. He addressed Parliament on October 26, 1775. He said that "the authors and promoters of this desperate conspiracy" who had "labored to inflame my people in America ... and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions repugnant to the true constitution of the Colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great Britain ..." He detailed measures taken to suppress the revolt, including "friendly offers of foreign assistance." The King's speech was endorsed by both Houses of Parliament; a motion in the House of Commons to oppose coercive measures was defeated 278–108. The British received an Olive Branch Petition written by the Second Continental Congress dated July 8, 1775, imploring the King to reverse the policies of his ministers. However, by this time the invasion of Canada was already well under way, and Parliament debated on whether to accept the petition, but after a lengthy debate rejected it by 53 votes, viewing it as insincere.

Parliament then voted to impose a blockade against the Thirteen Colonies. The popularity of war in Britain reached a peak in 1777. King George III was involved in the war effort. He rejected independence and wanted to use Native Americans to distress the Americans. The Irish Parliament agreed to the withdrawal of troops from Ireland in order to suppress the rebellion in America. Most Irish Protestants were against the war and favored the Americans. The Catholic establishment supported the King. The American Revolution was the first war in which Irish Catholics were allowed to enlist in the army. The British peacetime army in the beginning of the war was small since the Glorious Revolution, so an abuse of power was prevented by the King. To muster a force, the British had to launch recruiting campaigns in Britain and Ireland and hire mercenaries from the small German states, both immensely time-consuming. The king wanted to save money, and the administration of the army was inefficient. Russia refused to rent out soldiers. After a year the British were able to ship Sir William Howe an army of 32,000 officers and men to open a campaign in summer 1776. It was the largest force the British had ever sent outside of Europe at that time.

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence was a document created by the American colonies to establish the proclamation of independence from the British Empire. It was created in the midst of the early parts of the American Revolutionary War. One-third of America supported the Revolution while two-thirds were either neutral or Loyalist. There were attempts to end the war, but they failed. Many colonies opposed the British Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767. The colonists were restricted of representation in Parliament. The Thirteen colonies announced that they wanted to be independent sovereign states. So, the document was very historic. It was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence. On June 7, 1776, there was Lee’s Resolution.

Richard Henry Lee was a delegate from Virginia. He read a resolution before the Continental Congress that said the following: “…that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

On June 11, 1776, there was the Committee of Five being appointed. The consideration of the Lee Resolution was postponed. The Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world about the colonies’ case for independence. On June 11, Congress recessed for three weeks. During this period the "Committee of Five" (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson) drafted the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson drafted it, Adams and Franklin made changes to it. Congress reconvened on July 1, 1776. Thomas Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration of Independence with changes made to it by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. The best known version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  The Declaration listed grievances against King George III by citing the Intolerable Acts, the slave trade, and other issues. It talked about inalienable rights and the right of revolution. It promoted the principle that people had natural and legal rights. Of course, there are contradictions with this document. The document talks about equality, but many signers to the Declaration of Independence were slave owners and didn’t view black people or women as equal human beings. The famous words of the Declaration involving human rights are the following words:

"...When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness..."

These words are very powerful words which have inspired various future Revolutions in the four corners of the Earth.  Thomas Jefferson took influence from the Constitution of Virginia and George Mason’s draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Jefferson had included a paragraph in his initial draft that strongly indicted Great Britain's role in the slave trade, this was deleted from the final version. Many of the ideas from the Declaration of Independence undoubtedly came from the views of the Enlightenment. During the American Revolution, Jefferson and other Americans looked to the English Declaration of Rights as a model of how to end the reign of an unjust king. The Scottish Declaration of Arbroath (1320) and the Dutch Act of Abjuration (1581) have also been offered as models for Jefferson's Declaration, but these models are now accepted by few scholars. Thomas Jefferson respected John Locke, who a philosopher was writing about property rights.

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and printed. This occurred late in the morning of July 4. The Committee of Five took the manuscript copy of the document to John Dunlap or the official printer to the Congress. On the morning of July 5, 1776, copies printed by John Dunlap were dispatched by members of Congress to various committees, assemblies, and to the commanders of the Continental troops. By July 9, the action of Congress was officially approved by the NY Convention. On July 19, 1776, Congress ordered that the Declaration be "fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile {sic} of ‘The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America’ and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress." Most members signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. George Wythe signed on August 27. On September 4, Richard Henry Lee, Elbridge Gerry, and Oliver Wilcott signed. Matthew Thornton signed on November 19, and Thomas McKean signed in 1781. The Declaration is not divided into formal sections; but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of King George, the Denunciation of the British people, and the Conclusion.

President of Congress John Hancock sent a broadside to General George Washington, instructing him to have it proclaimed "at the Head of the Army in the way you shall think it most proper.” Washington had the Declaration read to his troops in New York City on July 9, with thousands of British troops on ships in the harbor. Washington and Congress hoped the Declaration would inspire the soldiers, and encourage others to join the army.  Copies were sent to France and other places of the word from Switzerland to Pother nations. Many British leaders opposed the Declaration of Independence as the work of rebellion. Some viewed it as hypocritical to proclaim that all men are created equal and maintain slavery. British Tories denounced the signers of the Declaration for not applying the same principles of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to African Americans. Referring to this contradiction, English abolitionist Thomas Day wrote in a 1776 letter, "If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves." William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who had fought in the war, freed his slave, Prince Whipple, because of revolutionary ideals. In the postwar decades, other slaveholders also freed their slaves; from 1790 to 1810, the percentage of free blacks in the Upper South increased to 8.3 percent from less than one percent of the black population. All Northern states abolished slavery by the 19th century. By the 19th century, abolitionists in the States used the Declaration of Independence as a means to inspire people to fight against slavery (and endorse revolution as the document did endorse revolution under certain circumstances). Abraham Lincoln invoked the Declaration of Independence in his speeches and the early suffrage movement of the 1844, the Seneca Falls Convention (which was held in Seneca Falls, New York) promoted the motto that: “All men and women are created equal.” The suffrage movement was supported by William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. So, the Declaration of Independence was historical document which represented the aspirations of the colonists and outlined the beginning of the long evolution of the American Revolutionary period.

Campaigns in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

General Howe from Great Britain withdrawn his army from Boston. So, Howe was focused on capturing New York City. NYC back then was limited to the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Howe’s forces came off of Staten Island across from the harbor from Manhattan on June 30, 1776. His army captured Staten Island without resistance. To defend the city, General George Washington spread his forces along the shores of New York’s harbor, which is concentrated on Long Island and Manhattan. While British and recently hired Hessian troops were assembling, Washington had newly issued the Declaration of American Independence read to his men and the citizens of the city. Washington was in an extremely dangerous situation, because he had divided his forces between Manhattan and Long Island. These forces couldn’t match the full strength of the opposing force. Military critics note that Howe could have trapped and destroyed Washington’s whole army if he had landed on Manhattan, but instead Howe decided to mount a frontal assault against Long Island.


The British landed about 22,000 men on Long Island. By late August, they badly defeated the Continental army in the war’s largest battle. They took over 1,000 prisoners and driving them back to Brooklyn Heights. Instead of pursuing the American forces, Howe decided to lay siege to the heights. He claimed that he wanted to spare his men’s lives from an assault on the Patriot fortifications. He actively restrained his subordinates from landing what could have been the finishing blow against Washington’s forces. Washington at first reinforced his exposed position. Yet, Washington personally directed the withdrawal of his entire remaining army and all their supplies across the East River on the night of August 29-30, 1776 without loss of men or materiel. The unfavorable direction of the wind had prevented British warships from blocking Washington's escape. A peace conference took place on September 11, 1776 to explore the possibility of a negotiated solution. The British promoted Lord North’s “fixed contribution” formula of the preceding year. The British said that other laws could be revised or repealed if the authority of Britain was acknowledged. The American negotiators insisted that they would not give up the Declaration of Independence.

Howe continued with his attack. By September 15, Howe landed about 12,000 Redcoats in lower Manhattan. They quickly took control of New York City. The Americans withdrew north up the island to Harlem Heights. That is where they battled the next day to repulse a British advance. A devastating fire took place in September 21 and the Patriots were blamed for. Yet, there is no proof that the Patriots were involved in the fire. On October 12 the British made an attempt to encircle the Americans, which failed because of Howe's decision to land on an island that was easily cut off from the mainland. The Americans evacuated Manhattan, and on October 28 fought the Battle of White Plains against the pursuing British. During the battle Howe declined to attack Washington's highly vulnerable main force, instead attacking a hill that was of no strategic significance. Washington retreated and Howe returned to Manhattan and captured Fort Washington in mid-November taking about 3,000 people prisoners. This started the infamous “prison ships system” that the British established in New York for the rest of the war. This situation caused more American soldiers and sailors to die of neglect and disease than died in every battle of the entire war combined. Howe later detached Sir Henry Clinton with 6,000 men to seize Newport, Rhode Island for the British fleet. This came about without encountering any major resistance. Clinton objected to this move, believing the force would have been better employed up the Delaware River, where they might have inflicted irreparable damage on the retreating Americans.


General Lord Cornwallis continued to chase Washington’s army through New Jersey, but Howe ordered him to halt and Washington escaped across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania on December 7, 1776. Howe refused to order a pursuit across the river even though the outlook of the Continental Army was bleak. "These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine, who was with the army on the retreat. The American army had dwindled to fewer than 5,000 men fit for duty, and would be reduced to 1,400 after enlistments expired at the end of the year. Congress moved inland and abandoned Philadelphia in despair, although popular resistance to British occupation was growing in the countryside. Later, Howe came to divide his forces in New Jersey into small detachments that were vulnerable to defeat in detail with the weakest forces stationed the closest to Washington’s army. George Washington decided to take the offensive by stealthily crossing the Delaware on the night of December 25-26, 1776. Washington and his forces captured nearly 1,000 surprised and unfortified Hessians at the Battle of Trenton. Cornwallis marched to retake Trenton, but was first repulsed and then outmaneuvered by Washington, who successfully attacked the British rearguard at Princeton on January 3, 1777. He took around 200 prisoners. Howe then conceded most of New Jersey to Washington, in spite of Howe's massive numerical superiority over him. Washington entered winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey, having given a morale boost to the American cause. Throughout the winter New Jersey militia continued to harass British and Hessian forces near their three remaining posts along the Raritan River.In April 1777 Washington was amazed that Howe made no effort to attack his smaller army.


The British started to plan for more operations in 1777. They had two main armies in North America. They had an army in Quebec (later under the command of John Burgoyne) and Howe’s army in New York. In London, Lord George Germain approved a campaign for these armies to converge on Albany, New York and divide the American colonies into two. Yet, there was no express orders to given to Howe (who was developing his own plans). In November 1776 Howe requested large reinforcements so he could launch attacks against Philadelphia, New England, and Albany. These reinforcements were not granted so Howe modified his plan to launch an attack against Philadelphia only. Germain gave his approval to this plan. He believed that Philadelphia could be taken in time for Howe to coordinate with the northern army. Howe, on the other hand, opted to send his army to Philadelphia by sea via the Chesapeake Bay instead of taking shorter routes either overland through New Jersey or through the Delaware Bay. This left him completely incapable of assisting Burgoyne.
There was the 1777 campaign of Saratoga too. The first of the 1777 campaign was an expedition. It was from Quebec being led by General John Burgoyne. He wanted to seize Lake Champlain and the Hudson River corridor. That could isolate New England from the rest of the American colonies. Burgoyne's invasion had two components: he would lead about 8,000 men along Lake Champlain towards Albany, New York, while a second column of about 2,000 men, led by Barry St. Leger, would move down the Mohawk River Valley and link up with Burgoyne in Albany.

British General John Burgoyne worked to fight the Americans in June of 1777. He recaptured Fort Ticonderoga in early July. Afterwards, his march was slowed by the Americans. The Americans knocked down trees in his path. His army had an extensive baggage train. There was a detachment sent out to seize supplies and they were defeated in the Battle of Bennington by American militia in August. This caused Burgoyne to be deprived of almost 1,000 men. At St. Leger, more than half of his force of Native Americans led by Sayenqueraghta—had laid siege to Fort Stanwix. American militiamen and their Native American allies marched to relieve the siege but were ambushed and scattered at the Battle of Oriskany. When a second relief expedition approached, this time led by Benedict Arnold, St. Leger's Indian support abandoned him, forcing him to break off the siege and return to Quebec. Burgoyne’s army was reduced to about 6,000 men by the loss of Bennington. He wanted to garrison Ticonderoga and he was running short on supplies. With these setbacks, Burgoyne was determined to go to Albany. An American army of 8,000 men were entrenched about 10 miles south of Saratoga, New York.

They were commanded by General Horatio Gates (by they were also led by his subordinate Benedict Arnold, who was in favor of the Patriot cause at the time). Burgoyne tried to outflank the Americans, but was checked at the first battle of Saratoga in September. Burgoyne’s situation was desperate. He hoped that help from Howe’s army in New York City might be on the way. It was not. Howe sailed away on his expedition to capture Philadelphia. American militiamen flocked to Gates’s army. This caused his force to be 11,000 people by the start of October. The British were defeated badly at the second battle of Saratoga, so Burgoyne surrendered on October 17, 1777. The British General Clinton in New York City tried to create a diversion in favor of Burgoyne in early October by capturing two key forts, but he withdrew after hearing of the surrender. Saratoga was a turning point of the Revolutionary War. Once, Patriot confidence and determination suffered with Howe’s successful occupation of Philadelphia. Yet, Patriot confidence and determination improved. This victory of Saratoga caused the French to make an open alliance with America after 2 years of semi-secret support. The war was more complicated for the British. The Americans held the British prisoners taken at Saratoga until the end of the war, in direct violation of the agreed surrender terms, which specified they would be repatriated immediately.



The war continued in Pennsylvania including Philadelphia. Howe started to fight in Pennsylvania in June of 1777. He failed to engage in battle against Washington’s smaller force in New Jersey. Howe sent his troops in transports and slowly sailed to the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. He landed 15,000 troops on August 25 at the head of the Elk River. Washington positioned his 11,000 men in a strong position along the Brandywine River. That was between the British and Philadelphia. Howe outflanked and defeated General Washington on September 11, 1777. French observers noted that Howe didn’t follow up on his victory. If Howe continued to press the Americans, then that could have destroyed Washington’s army. The Continental Congress was abandoned against in Philadelphia. On September 26, Howe financially outmaneuvered Washington and marched into Philadelphia unopposed.  A part of Howe's army was then split off to reduce rebel forts blocking his communications up the Delaware River. Hoping to bring about another Trenton-like victory while the British were divided, on October 4 Washington assaulted against the British in a surprise attack at Germantown. Howe had failed to alert his troops there, despite being aware of the impending attack the previous day. The British were in danger of a rout, but faulty American decisions resulted in Washington being repulsed with heavy losses. Both armies met at White Marsh in December. There were some skirmishes. Howe decided to retire as he ignored the vulnerability of Washington’s rear. Such an attack would cut off Washington from his baggage and provisions. George Washington and his army encamped at Valley Forge in December 1777, which is about 20 miles from Philadelphia. At Valley Forge, they stayed for the next six months. During the winter, 2,500 men (out of 10,000) died from diseases and exposure to the elements. The army as reduced to 4,000 effectives. During this time, Howe's army, comfortable in Philadelphia, made no effort to exploit the weakness of the American army. The American army was in good order by the Spring of 1778 with the help of a training program, which was supervised by Baron von Steuben. Baron Von Steuben introduced the most modern Prussian methods of organization and tactics. Many historians say that British forfeited many chances for military victory in 1776-1777. According to them, if General Howe violated military tradition by going into Valley Forge in December of 1777, then the war could end in a British victory. Howe submitted his resignation in October 1777. Until it was accepted, he spent his time in Philadelphia preparing his arguments for an expected parliamentary inquiry. Although he had twice as many men as Washington, the bitter memory of Bunker Hill made him highly reluctant to attack entrenched American forces. General Clinton replaced Howe as British commander-in-chief on May 24, 1778.

After the news of surrender at Saratoga came to England and the concern over French intervention, the British decided to accept the original demands made by the American Patriots. The Parliament repealed the remaining tax on tea. They declared that no taxes should be imposed on the colonies without their consent (except for custom duties, the revenues of which would be returned to the colonies). A Commission was formed to negotiate directly with the Continental Congress for the first time. The Commission was empowered to suspend all the other objectionable acts by Parliament passed since 1763; issue general pardons, and declare a cessation of hostilities. The Commissioners arrived in America in June 1778 and offered to place the colonies in the condition of 1763 if they would return to the allegiance of the King.  The Parliament agreed that no troops would be placed in the colonies without their consent. The Congress refused to negotiate the commission unless they first acknowledged American independence or withdrew all troops.

On October 3, 1778, the British published a proclamation offering amnesty to any colonies or individuals who accepted their proposals within forty days, implying serious consequences if they still refused. There was no positive reply. King George III gave up all hope of subduing America by more armies, while Britain had a European war to fight. "It was a joke," he said, "to think of keeping Pennsylvania." During this time, King George III didn’t want to acknowledge the independence of the Americans. He wanted to punish them by prolonging the war eternally. So, King George III wanted to keep the 30,000 men garrisoned in New York, Rhode Island, Quebec, and Florida; other forces would attack the French and Spanish in the West Indies. To punish the Americans the King planned to destroy their coasting-trade, bombard their ports; sack and burn towns along the coast. He wanted the Native Americans to attack in frontier settlements. These operations, the King felt, would inspire the Loyalists, would splinter the Congress, and "would keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse." King George III believed that the colonists would beg to return to his authority. He wanted to re-subjugate the colonies after dealing with the Americans’ European allies. This plan could even harm the Loyalists and the Native Americans who supported the British. King George's plan could  indefinite prolongation of a costly war, and the risk of disaster as the French and Spanish assembled an armada to invade the British Isles. The King hoped to re-subjugate the rebellious colonies after dealing with the Americans' European allies.

The Tide Tuns (Americans begin to win the war) and International Support

From the spring of 1776, France and Spain had informally been involved in the American Revolutionary War, with French admiral Latouche Treville having provided supplies, ammunition, and guns from France to America after Thomas Jefferson encouraged a French alliance. Guns like the de Valliere type were used. They played an important role in battles like the Battle of Saratoga. After learning of the American victory at Saratoga, the French became concerned that the British would reconcile their differences with the colonists and turn on France. In particular, King Louis XVI was influenced by alarmist reports suggesting that Britain was preparing to make huge concessions to the colonies and then, allied with them, strike at French and Spanish possessions in the West Indies. So, the French concluded a Treaty of Alliance with the United States on February 6, 1778. This committed the Americans to seek nothing less than absolute independence. Previously France had only been willing to act in conjunction with Spain but now they were willing to go war alone if necessary. Britain responded by recalling its ambassador, although Franco-British hostilities didn’t break out actually until June 17, 1778. In 1776, the Count of Arnada met in representation of Spain with the first U.S. Commission composed by Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee. The Continental Congress had charged the commissioners to travel to Europe and forge alliances with other European powers that could help break the British naval blockade along the North American coast. Aranda invited the commission to his house in Paris. He was acting as the Spanish ambassador and he became an active supporter of the struggle of the fledgling colonies, recommending an early and open Spanish commitment to the colonies. However, he was overruled by José Moñino, 1st Count of Floridablanca who opted for a more discreet approach. The Spanish position was later summarized by the Spanish Ambassador to the French Court, Jerónimo Grimaldi, in a letter to Arthur Lee who was in Madrid trying to persuade the Spanish government to declare an open alliance. Grimaldi told Lee that "You have considered your own situation, and not ours. The moment is not yet come for us. The war with Portugal — France being unprepared, and our treasure ships from South America not being arrived — makes it improper for us to declare immediately.” Meanwhile, Grimaldi reassured Lee. There were stores of clothing and powder  deposited at New Orleans and Havana for the Americans. There were further shipments of blankets being collected at Bilbao. Spain finally entered the war officially in June 1779, thus implementing the Treaty of Aranjuez. The Spanish government had been providing assistance to the revolutionaries since the very beginning of the war, but it did not recognize the United States officially. The Dutch Republic, which also had assisted the colonists since 1776, declared war on Britain at the end of 1780, and did recognize the United States diplomatically.

Northern theater after Saratoga

The French entry into the war caused the British to change strategy. Sir Henry Clinton (or the British Commander in Chief in North America from 1778- 1782) abandoned Philadelphia. He wanted to reinforce New York City, now vulnerable to the French naval power. George Washington shadowed Clinton on his withdrawal through New Jersey and attacked him at Monmouth on June 28, 1778. The battle was tactically inconclusive, but Clinton successfully disengaged and continued his retreat to New York. It was the last major battle in the north. Clinton’s army went to New York City in July arriving just before a French fleet under Admiral d’Estaing arrived off the American coast. Washington’s army returned to White Plains, New York (or north of New York City). Both armies were back where they were two years earlier, but the nature of the war had now changed as the British had to withdraw troops from North America to counter the French threats elsewhere. In August of 1778, the Americans attempted to capture the British held Newport, Rhode Island with the assistance of France. Yet, the effort failed when the French withdrew their support. The war in the north was bogged down in a stalemate. Neither side was capable of attacking the other in any decisive manner. The British instead attempted to wear out American resolve by launching various raiding expeditions like Tryon’s raid against Connecticut in July 1779. In that year the Americans won two morale-enhancing victories by capturing posts at Stony Point and Paulus Hook, although the British quickly retook them. In October 1779 the British voluntarily abandoned Newport and Stony Point in order to consolidate their forces.

By the winter of 1779–80 the American army suffered worse hardships than they had at Valley Forge previously. The Congress was ineffective; the Continental currency worthless, and the supply system was fundamentally broken. Washington was finding it extremely difficult to keep his army together, even without any major fighting against the British. In 1780 actual mutinies broke out in the American camp. The Continental Army's strength dwindled to such an extent that the British decided to mount two probing attacks against New Jersey in June 1780. The New Jersey militia strongly rallied, however, and the British quickly returned to their bases. In July of 1780, the American cause had a boost. There was the 5,500 strong French expeditionary force arrived at Newport, Rhode Island. Washington hoped to use this assistance to attack the British at New York and end the war. Events elsewhere, however, would frustrate this. Additional French reinforcements were prevented from arriving by a British blockade of French ports, and the French troops at Newport quickly found themselves blockaded as well. Moreover, the French fleet refused to visit the American coast in 1780, having suffered significant damage in actions in the West Indies. Benedict Arnold decided to come over to the British side after Saratoga. The reason was he was disenchanted with struggle. He believed that the war fulfilled his responsibilities.  In September 1780 he attempted to surrender the key American fort at West Point along the Hudson River to the British, but his plot was exposed. He escaped and continued to fight under the British army. He wrote an open letter justifying his actions by claiming he had only fought for a redress of grievances and since Britain had withdrawn those grievances (see above) there was no reason to continue shedding blood, particularly in an alliance with an ancient and tyrannical enemy like France. He led the last British attack in the north, a devastating raid against New London in September 1781. The British held Staten Island, Manhattan, and Long Island until peace was made in 1783. These areas contained about 2% of the population of the thirteen colonies.

Frontier Battles

There was the Northern and Western frontier of the Revolutionary War too. West of the Appalachian Mountains and along the border with Quebec, the American Revolutionary dealt heavily with Native Americans. Most Native Americans supported the British. There were separate factions that supported the Americans and some that didn’t. These factions included the Iroquois Confederacy, the Shawnee, and the Chickamauga including the Cherokee. The British supplies their Native American allies with muskets, gunpowder, and advice. Yet, Loyalists led raids against civilian settlements, especially in New York, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. There were joint Iroquois-Loyalist attacks in Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and at Cherry Valley in New York in 1778. That provoked George Washington to send the Sullivan Expedition into western New York during the summer of 1779. There was little fighting as Sullivan systematically destroyed the Native American’s winter food supplies. This forced them to flee permanently to British bases in Quebec and the Niagara Falls area. During the Illinois Campaign of 1778, the Virginia frontiersman George Rogers Clark attempted to neutralize British influence among the Ohio valley tribes by capturing the colonial outposts of Kaskaskia and Cahokia and Vincennes, in the Illinois Country. When General Henry Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, retook Vincennes, Clark returned in a surprise march in February 1779 and captured Hamilton. In March 1782, Pennsylvania militiamen killed about a hundred neutral Native Americans in the Gnadenhütten massacre. In the last major encounters of the war, a force of 200 Kentucky militia was defeated at the Battle of Blue Licks in August 1782.

The Carolinas

During the first three years of the American Revolutionary War, the primary military encounters were in the north. Yet, some attempts to organize Loyalists were defeated. A British attempt at Charleston, South Carolina failed and a variety of efforts to attack British forces in East Florida failed. After France entered the war, the British turned their attention to the southern colonies. They British hoped to regain control by recruiting a large number of Loyalists. The southern strategy also had the advantage of keeping the Royal Navy closer to the Caribbean, where the British needed to defend economically important possessions against the French and the Spanish. On December 29, 1778, an expeditionary corps from Clinton’s army in New York captured Savannah, Georgia. There was an attempt by the French and American forces to retake Savannah, which failed on October 9, 1779. Clinton then besieged Charleston, he captured it, and most the southern Continental Army on May 12, 1780. With relatively few causalities, Clinton seized the South’s biggest city and seaport, which provided a base for further conquest. The remnants of the southern Continental Army began to withdraw to North Carolina. Yet, they were pursued by Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, who defeated them at the Waxhaws on May 29, 1780. These events caused the organized American military activity in the region to collapse. The war carried on by partisans called Francis Marion. Cornwallis took over British operations while Horatio Gates arrived to command the American effort. On August 16, 1780, Gates was defeated at the Battle of Camden in South Carolina.

This set the stage for Cornwallis to invade North Carolina. Georgia and South Carolina were thus both restored to Britain for the time being. Cornwallis came into North Carolina, but a Loyalist wing of his army was utterly defeated at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. That temporarily aborted his planned advance. Cornwallis received reinforcements, but his light infantry under Tarleton was decisively defeated by Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781. In spite of this, Cornwallis decided to proceed, gambling that he would receive substantial Loyalist support. General Nathanael Greene, who replaced General Gates, evaded contact with Cornwallis while seeking reinforcements. By March, Greene's army had grown to the point where he felt that he could face Cornwallis directly. In the key Battle of Guilford Court House, Cornwallis drove Green’s much larger army off the battlefield, but in doing so suffered causalities amounting to one-fourth of his army. Also, far fewer Loyalists were joining up than expected. The reason is that the Patriots put heavy pressure on them and their families (who would become hostages). Cornwallis decided to retreat to coastal Wilmington, North Carolina for resupply and reinforcement. This left the interior of the Carolinas and Georgia open to Greene. He then proceeded north into Virginia. American troops in conjunction with Patriot partisans then began the process of reclaiming territory in South Carolina and Georgia. Despite British victories at Hobkirk's Hill and at the Siege of Ninety-Six, by the middle of the year they had been forced to withdraw to the coastal lowlands region of both colonies. The final battle (Battle of Eutaw Springs) in September 1781 was indecisive but by the end of the year the British held only Savannah and Charleston.

African Americans and the Revolutionary War

African Americans have a huge role to play in the Revolutionary War (among both sides). Back during that war, black people in North America were heavily enslaved and some were free. African Americans participated in both sides during the war for diverse reasons. The British recruited slaves from the Patriot side and promise freedom to them. One promise was made by Dunmore’s Proclamation. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation had the following words: “…And I hereby further declare all indented servants, Negroes, or others (appertaining to Rebels) free, that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty's Troops, as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing the Colony to a proper sense of their duty, to this Majesty's crown and dignity…” Lord Dunmore was the title of the Governor of Virginia. Dunmore officially issued his proclamation in November, 1775, and within a month 300 black men had joined his Ethiopian regiment. Probably no more than 800 eventually succeeded in joining Dunmore's regiment, but his proclamation inspired thousands of runaways to follow behind the British throughout the war. There were manpower shortages on the American side, so George Washington (who owned slaves) lifted the ban on black enlistment in the Continental Army in January of 1776. There were small all-black units were formed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Many slaves were promised freedom for serving. When the war was over, some slaves were brought back to slavery and some were freed. Another all-black unit came from Saint-Domingue with French colonial forces. At least 5,000 black soldiers fought for the Revolutionary cause.

Thousands of slaves escaped during the war and joined British lines. Other moved into the areas of America. One example is in South Carolina; nearly 25,000 slaves (30% of the enslaved population) fled, migrated or died during the disruption of the war.  This greatly disrupted plantation production during and after the war. When they withdrew their forces from Savannah and Charleston, the British also evacuated 10,000 slaves belonging to Loyalists. Altogether, the British evacuated nearly 20,000 blacks at the end of the war. More than 3,000 of them were freedmen and most of these were resettled in Nova Scotia; other blacks were sold in the West Indies. There was a 1780 drawing of American soldiers from the Yorktown campaign which showed a black infantryman from the 1st Rhodes Island Regiment. For black people, we wanted freedom back then. Back then, the majority of Americans were either neutral or Loyalist. African Americans like Agrippa Hull and Prince Hall sided with the Patriot cause. James Lafayette, an enslaved African American from Virginia, served in the Continental Army and successfully requested his freedom after the war.

5,000 black men served in the Continental Army and hundreds more served on the sea. Black people fought side by side with their white counterparts in the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Colonel Tye was perhaps the best-known of the Loyalist black soldiers. An escaped bondman born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, he fought the American colonists with his guerrilla Black Brigade in New York and New Jersey. At one time he commanded 800 men. For most of 1779 and 1780, Tye and his men fought by getting cattle, freeing slaves, and capturing Patriots at will. On September 1, 1780, during the capture of a Patriot captain, Tye was shot through the wrist, and he later died from a fatal infection. Boston King was a black escaped slave and he joined the Loyalists. He was kidnapped by Southern Loyalists who tried to sell him back into slavery. He escaped and again rejoined the army. Many thousands of African Americans who fought for the British lost their freedom. Some were placed into slavery in the Caribbean. According to Margaret Washington (historian on the evacuation of Charleston): “…Many of them ended up in slavery in the Caribbean. Others, when they attempted to leave with the British, in places like Charleston and Savannah, were prevented. And there are incredible letters written by southerners of Africans after the siege of Charleston, swimming out to boats, and the British hacking away at their arms with cutlasses to keep them from following them. So it was a very tragic situation. And of the many thousands of Africans who left the plantations, not many of them actually got their freedom.” Sir Guy Carleton (or the acting commander of the British forces) refused to abandon black Loyalists.

So, Brigadier General Samuel Birch, British commandant of the city of New York, created a list of claimants known as The Book of Negroes. Boston King and his wife, Violet, were among 3,000 to 4,000 African Americans Loyalists who boarded ships in New York bound for Nova Scotia, Jamaica, and Britain. Yes, the miniseries “Book of Negroes,” which is an excellent movie is based on these events. I saw the Book of Negroes movie before and I do recommend it for any person. They or those Brothers and Sisters were not slaves anymore. In 1780, Massachusetts approved a new constitution, which borrowed from the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Bill of Rights, stating that "all men are born free and equal." Relying upon this language, Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker (both African Americans) successfully sued for emancipation.

One of the greatest books on the experience of Black America centuries ago is “Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America” by Lerone Bennett, Jr. Lerone Bennett, Jr. is a Brother who is a great historian and has done great research for decades. I do recommend this book too. In the book, he has written the following words: “…To grasp its true significance, we must draw back for a movement and view it against the background of the American Revolution, which simultaneously and paradoxically produced a new nation and black and white fragments wedded to each other and to conflict by the terms of their common birth-terms that involved a contradiction between affirmation (equality) and reality (inequality). It was in the struggle surrounding the Revolution that the founders of Black America defined themselves and re-positioned themselves. It was the failure of that Revolution-it was the realization that the makers of the Revolution didn’t believe what they said-that forced Black America to create itself. In assessing that momentous event, it is important to keep in mind that the black creation accompanied the white creation but was not contained by it or defined by it.” As he has also mentioned, “An educator in a system of oppression is either revolutionary or an oppressor.”

Phillis Wheatley was a black woman who was an amazing poet and wrote literature in favor of liberty. The Revolutionary War (filled with controversies, hypocrisies, and contradictions) included history where many black people fought courageously for freedom and justice. We do honor that black people back then who fought against slavery and desired justice for all.


The Yorktown campaign was during the end of the Revolutionary War. The British General Cornwallis came from Wilmington (in Delaware) into Virginia. He wanted to conquer Virginia in order to hold the southern colonies. Before Yorktown, in January of 1781, there was a small British raiding force under Benedict Arnold. Benedict Arnold came into the British side, because he felt that the Patriots fulfilled their goals of opposing the Intolerable Acts and he felt that it was time for the Americans to go be with the British crown. Despite Arnold's successes while he was with the Americans, he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress while other officers claimed credit for some of his accomplishments. Adversaries in military and political circles brought charges of corruption or other malfeasance, but most often he was acquitted in formal inquiries. Congress investigated his accounts and found that he was indebted to Congress after spending much of his own money on the war effort. Arnold was frustrated and bitter at this, as well as with the alliance with France and the failure of Congress to accept Britain's 1778 proposal to grant full self-governance in the colonies. He decided to change sides and opened secret negotiations with the British. In July 1780, he was awarded command of West Point. Arnold's scheme was to surrender the fort to the British, but it was exposed when American forces captured British Major John André carrying papers that revealed the plot. Upon learning of André's capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war Vulture, narrowly avoiding capture by the forces of George Washington, who had been alerted to the plot. In 1782, Benedict Arnold and his family moved to London where he passed away in 1801 at the age of 60 years old.

They or the British forces moved in the countryside and destroyed supply depots, mills, and other economic targets. In February of 1781, General Washington dispatched General Lafayette to counter Arnold. He later sent General Anthony Wayne Arnold. Arnold was reinforced with additional troops from New York in March. His army joined the army of Cornwallis in May. Lafayette had a skirmish with Cornwallis, so it prevented a large scale battle while gathering reinforcements. Cornwallis’ superior officer, General Clinton opposed Cornwallis Virginia campaign. General Clinton believed that such a large and disease ridden area with a hostile population could be pacified with the limited forces available. Clinton wanted instead to fight further north in the Chesapeake region (as found in Maryland, Delaware, and southern Pennsylvania). Clinton believed that those areas had a strong Loyalist presence. Upon his arrival at Williamsburg in June, Cornwallis received orders from Clinton to establish a fortified naval base and a request to send several thousand troops to New York to counter a possible Franco-American attack. Following these orders, he fortified Yorktown, and, shadowed by Lafayette, awaited the arrival of the Royal Navy.

There were northern, southern, and naval theaters of war converging in 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia. The French fleet became available for operations, which could either move against Yorktown or New York. Washington still favored attacking New York, but the French decided to send the fleet to their preferred target at Yorktown. Learning of the planned movement of the French fleet in August, Washington began moving his army south to cooperate. The British fleet, not realizing that the French had sent their entire fleet to America, dispatched an inadequate force under Admiral Graves, though the underlying reason for this was a lack of naval resources. Since the entry of France and Spain into the war, the British lacked the necessary ships to match their opponents every move. In early September, French naval forces defeated the British fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake, cutting off Cornwallis' escape. Cornwallis, still expecting to receive support, failed to break out while he had the chance. When Washington's army arrived outside Yorktown, Cornwallis prematurely abandoned his outer position, hastening his subsequent defeat. The combined Franco-American force of 18,900 men began besieging in early October. For several days, the French and Americans bombarded the British defenses, and then began taking the outer redoubts. The British attempted to cobble together a relief expedition, but encountered numerous delays. Cornwallis decided his position was becoming untenable and he surrendered his entire army of over 7,000 men on October 19, 1781, the same day that the British fleet at New York sailed for his relief.

By November 1781, news of the surrender at Yorktown arrived in Britain. King George III took the news calmly and delivered a defiant address pledging to continue the war; a majority of the House of Commons endorsed it. In the succeeding months news arrived of other reverses, however. The French and Spanish successfully took several West Indian islands and appeared to be on the verge of completely expelling the British there. Minorca also surrendered to a Franco-Spanish force on February 5, 1782 and Gibraltar seemed to be in danger of falling as well. In light of this, Parliament on February 27, 1782 voted to cease all offensive operations in America and seek peace. He or Lord North was threatened with votes of no confidence, so he resigned on March 20, 1782. His Tory government was replaced by the Whigs. The British won the Battles of the Saintes to gain parts of the West Indies and they dealt with Gibraltar. If the North government held out, they could continue to fight despite Yorktown (being strengthened). The new Whig administration accepted American independence as a basis for peace. There were no further major military activities in North America, although the British still had 30,000 garrison troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah. The war continued elsewhere, including the siege of Gibraltar and naval operations in the East and West Indies, until peace was agreed in 1783.

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris was signed in September 3, 1783. It was signed by the representatives of King George III of Great Britain and the representatives of the United States of America. It was signed at Hotel d’York (called now 56 Rue Jacob) in Paris, France. 1783 marked the end of the Revolutionary War. After the battle of Yorktown, political support for the war in London decreased rapidly. British Prime Minister Lord North resigned in March of 1782. In April 1782, the Commons voted to end the war in America. There were preliminary peace articles signed in Paris at the end of November 1782. The formal end of the war didn’t happen until the Treaty of Paris (or the Treaties of Versailles for other Allies) was signed on September 3, 1783. The last British troops left New York City on November 25, 1783. The United States Congress of the Confederation ratified the Paris treaty on January 14, 1784. Britain negotiated the Paris peace treaty without consulting her Native American allies. They ceded all Native American territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States.  Native Americans reluctantly confirmed these land cessions with the United States in a series of treaties, but the fighting would be renewed in conflicts along the frontier in the coming years, the largest being the Northwest Indian War.  The British sought to establish a buffer Native American state in the American Midwest, and continued to pursue that goal as late as 1814 in the War of 1812. The United States gained a lot of lands in the western territory. The other Allies had mixed to poor results. France had some gains over its nemesis, Great Britain. Yet, France’ material gains were minimal and France experienced huge financial loses as a product of the Revolutionary War. France was already in financial trouble and it was borrowing money to pay for the war. It used up all of its credit and created the financial disasters that marked the 1780’s which led into the French Revolution. The Dutch clearly lost on all points. The Spanish had a mixed result; they did not achieve their primary war goal (recovery of Gibraltar), but they did gain territory. However, in the long run, as the case of Florida shows, the new territory that Spain acquired was temporary.

The United States Government (The U.S. Constitution)

The Constitution was created by a long process. In essence, the Constitution as we see today evolved from the Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution. The Articles of Confederations had weaknesses like it gave the states a whole amount of power, states disagreed on how to function, it had no Bill of Rights, and the federal government was very weak to handle interstate disputes. The Declaration of Independence was created in July of 1776. The Articles of Confederation was created in November 15, 1777 to form a weak central government. It had a weak federal government, because the colonists didn’t want to mimic the authoritarian rule of the British Empire over them. By July 9, 1778, the Article of Confederation was signed. As early as March 25, 1785, the Mount Vernon conference started to deal with navigational rights in Virginia and Maryland.

In 1785, the Land Ordinance of 1785 passed by Congress ­ provides for rectangular survey dividing northwestern territories into townships, which are in turn divided into lots of 640 acres each, with one lot set aside for public education. During 1786, the Ordinance of Religious Freedom was adopted by Virginia legislature ­written by Thomas Jefferson. This statute would later become the model for the first amendment to the Constitution.  The 1787 Northwest Ordinance was enacted by Congress ­and it provided for the eventual incorporation of three to five new states in the Northwest Territories, with the establishment of a bicameral assembly, freedom of religion, the right to trial by jury, public education, and a ban on slavery.

Shay’s Rebellion was turning point in early American history. Shay’s Rebellion lasted from August 1786 to June 1787. It happened in Massachusetts. One of the rebel leaders was Daniel Shays. Shays and other people rebelled, because they opposed the huge debt and taxes imposed on farmers. On February 1787, after a surprise attack in Sheffield, 30 rebels were wounded in a skirmish with the government troops. This caused fear among the new American oligarchy. So, they decided to establish a new policy to establish a stronger federal government and revolutionize the old Articles of Confederation.

In 1786, many represents from states started to advocate a convention to discuss amending the Articles of Confederation (or the old law governing the newly created United States of America). On September 14, 1786, the Annapolis Convention adjourned. The convention report, sent to Congress and the legislatures of the various states, contains a request that another convention be held the following May at Philadelphia to discuss amending the Articles of Confederation. Many states in late 1786 and early 1787 (like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, etc.) elect delegates to participate in the proposal constitutional convention.

On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was established in Philadelphia. This was created to discuss changing the Articles of Confederation at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The delegates began their work. George Washington was elected President of the Convention.

The Constitution in its final version was written in September of 1787 and is taken up at the Convention’s final session. A committee of five was appointed to write the constitution. The U.S. Constitution was signed in September 17, 1787. William Jackson is selected as the secretary to the convention. Alexander Hamilton, Charles Pinckney and George Wythe are chosen to prepare rules for the convention.

The Great Compromise is formed in July 16, 1787. This allows proportional representation for seats in the House on Representatives based on population while equal representation for each state in Senate. Later, the Committee of Eleven evolve with different members including some of the same people to address issues of government, trade, impeachment, etc.

During the Convention, various plans are proposed to improve the government like the Virginia Plan (or the Large State Plan) and the Pinckney Plan. The New Jersey Plan was proposed too or the Small State Plan. Alexander Hamilton outlines his plan as well. On July 2, 1787, the Committee of Eleven composed of Abraham Baldwin, Gunning Bedford, William Davie, Oliver Ellsworth, Benjamin Franklin, Elbridge Gerry, Luther Martin, George Mason, John Rutledge, William Patterson, and Robert Yates, is selected to work out a compromise on the issue of representation in the two houses of the federal legislature. Committees like this one, composed of one delegate from each state represented, were established on several occasions during the convention in order to secure a breakthrough so that the deliberative process could move forward in a productive fashion. From September 13-14, 1787, the official copy of the draft Constitution is engrossed by Jacob Shallus. On September 15, the draft Constitution received unanimous approval by the state delegations.

The Constitution was signed in September 17, 1787. It was signed by 38 out of 41 delegates present. 12 states except Rhode Island sign it. One delegate, John Dickinson, who was ill and not present, had George Read sign his name by proxy. Three delegates present declined to sign the document: Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry. George Washington, as president of the convention, signed first. There was a debate over signing it between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The Federalists wanted a strong central government and they didn’t want repeat of Shay’s Rebellion. George Washington didn’t want political parties, but human nature would cause different political cliques to arise. The Federalists wrote Federalist papers to defend their views and promulgate their ideologies. The Federalists supported the Constitution over the Articles of Confederation. They included people like James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. They believed in the protection of property rights. They believed that checks and balances alone would protect against abuses. They were hesitant in supporting the Bill of Rights federally (as they said that state constitutions already had a bill of rights). The Federalists (who believed in a loose construction of the Constitution) included the wealthy and common citizens. The Anti-Federalists wanted a weaker central government and they opposed the ratification of the Constitution. Famous anti-Federalists (who believed in a strict construction of the Constitution) included people like Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and Samuel Adams.  They wanted a strong state government and they didn’t want the executive branch to act like a monarch. They wanted a federal Bill of Rights to protect citizens from the government. The Anti-Federalists included small farmers and debtors. In essence, the Constitution was a compromise between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists on how government would function. Copies of the Constitution spread into Philadelphia by September 18, 1787. Now, the Constitution must be ratified. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787. On September 13, 1788, the Constitution is ratified.

Later, the Congress of Confederation sets date for the first meeting of the new federal government and the Presidential election. The first quadrennial Presidential election under the new Constitution is held from December 15, 1788 to January 10, 1789. The Electoral College convenes to vote for their respective states in February 4, 1789. George Washington is unanimously elected to be the nation's first President and John Adams is elected its first Vice President, receiving 34 of 69 votes cast. Only ten of the thirteen states cast electoral votes in this election. North Carolina and Rhode Island were ineligible to participate as they had not yet ratified the Constitution. The New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted electors in time, so there were no voting electors from New York.

On March 4, 1789, the United States Constitution officially replaces the Articles of Confederation and the first United States Congress convenes. The federal government begins operations under the new form of government as members of the House and Senate are seated at Federal Hall in New York City. The Senate of eleven states would include 20 Federalists and two Anti-federalists (both from Virginia). The House would seat 48 Federalists and 11 Anti-federalists (from four states: Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia).  However, the initial meeting of each chamber must be adjourned due to lack of a quorum. The Electoral votes are counted on April 6, 1789. The House and Senate, meeting in joint session, certify that George Washington has been elected President of the United States and John Adams elected as Vice President. On April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States and John Adams inaugurated as Vice President at Federal Hall in New York City. Washington placed his hand upon a Bible belonging to the St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M.  as Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston administered the presidential oath of office. In 1789, War and Treasury Departments are established by Congress. Henry Knox will be the Secretary of War, and Alexander Hamilton will be the Secretary of the Treasury. By February 2, 1790, the first term of the Supreme Court commences, with Chief Justice John Jay presiding. Rhode Island was the thirteenth and final state to ratify the Constitution on May 29, 1790. In January 10, 1791, Vermont votes to ratify the Constitution and apply for admission to the Union. Washington, D.C. will not be the Capital of The United States of America until 1800. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is one of the most important parts of the Constitution. It is made up of 10 Amendments that each deal with an important part of societal structure.

A New Nation

The new nation of the United States of America was influenced by Enlightenment Ideals. The creators of the Constitution and the early American government knew about history. They studied the works of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. They understood about the history of England too along with English Bill of Rights. So, they used many concepts from Enlightenment scholars to create the American government and the U.S. Constitution. There were political writings like Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws”, Rousseau’s “Social Contract”, and John Locke’s “The Two Treaties of Government” that impacted American society and law.  John Locke believed that a government’s power comes from the consent of the people. America formed a government that is a representative government the Preamble mentions the consent of the governed. Montesquieu believed in the separation of powers in government. The U.S. government does have the separation of powers (or three branches of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government). Rousseau followed direct democracy and we have many kinds of elections of politicians. Voltaire wrote about about free speech, religious tolerance, etc. and we have the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech found in the Bill of Rights. Beccaria believed that the accused has rights and he opposed torture. The Bill Rights gives rights to the accused and it bans cruel and unusual punishment. Torture is against the Eighth Amendment. Back then and today, the American government has popular sovereignty, limited government, the separation of powers, and checks and balances. Checks and balances is a concept of government where one branch of government doesn’t have too much power over another branch of government. For example, the judicial branch can declare acts of Congress constitutional or unconstitutional. Congress can impeach judges. The Senate may reject appointment of judges. The President can sign and executive laws, but the Congress can override the President’s veto. The Supreme Court can declare executive actions unconstitutional. So, the American government has many complexities and simplicity at the same time.

Originally, the American government is a federal republic or a government with divided power among the federal (or national) government and the state plus local governments. By 1789, the Constitution became the official law of America. The Enlightenment principles spread globally from Europe to the Americas. In 1789, the French Revolution would begin. The Haitian Revolution against France would start in 1791. Black people in Haiti were tired of slavery and they rightfully rebelled against imperialism and tyranny. In 1811, Paraguay proclaimed independence from Spain. In 1818, Chile was independent from Spain. Columbia would be independent from Spain in 1819. Many of the Latin American revolutions would be influenced by the Enlightenment principles. Mexico would gain independence from Spain in 1821. Peru would be independent from Spain in 1821 too.  Brazil would be independent from Portugal in 1822 and Bolivia achieved independence from Spain in 1825. This was an era of Revolutions globally. The world would never be the same again.


Looking at American history is very eye opening. The Revolutionary War occurred for almost 10 years and during that short period of time, the world changed forever. Empires globally started to change and even declined. Life became more filled with change socially, culturally, politically, and economically. Also, the Revolutionary War dealt with contradictions and hypocrisies. Many of those Founders, who said that all men are created equal, owned slaves and oppressed Native Americans. I have no respect for George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson because of obvious reasons. Another contradiction was that the First Amendment promoted the freedom of speech. Yet, the evil Sedition Act of 1798 (which was passed by John Adams) blatantly and obscenely violated the freedom of speech & the freedom of the press. The Preamble including the Constitution back then didn’t apply to black people, Native Americans, women, or poor people. Most of the leaders of the Revolutionary War were made up of upper middle class and wealthy landowners who opposed the British Empire. The vast majority of early Americans didn’t express total support for the American Revolution. The British Empire should receive no sympathy either, because of their actions of slavery, colonialism, racism, and other injustices. The British Empire would promote the exploitation of black people in the Americas and in Africa for centuries. Their acts of nepotism are well known plus greatly documented. The Revolutionary War was miraculous in the sense that early American forces on many times were almost completely defeated by the Redcoats (i.e. there were early American defeats like Bunker Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Harlem Heights). The Redcoats were ultimately defeated by many factors like the following: the alliance of many nations with America, the Americans’ experience in North American territories, the growing British opposition of the war by even some of the Whigs, the resiliency of the American forces, and the lack of follow through by the British forces against Americans. Many Black people fought on both sides. There were also the struggle among the poor and richer Americans. Poorer Americans opposed the oligarchical system of the wealthier Americans. The birth of the United States of America literally was created by blood. Mostly white male landowners in America directly benefited from the American Revolution. As Howard Zinn has written:

“…The Continental Congress, which governed the colonies through the war, was dominated by rich men, linked together in factions and compacts by business and family connections. These links connected North and South, East and West. For instance, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was connected with the Adamses of Massachusetts and the Shippens of Pennsylvania. Delegates from middle and southern colonies were connected with Robert Morris of Pennsylvania through commerce and land speculation. Morris was superintendent of finance, and his assistant was Gouverneur Morris….” (Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States of America).

In essence, the Constitution was a compromise between the slave owning states of the South and the North on how to deal with slavery and other matters. Black people, women, Native Americans, poor whites, and others were not treated as human beings by the racist landowning wealthy elitists who dominated early American society.  The political views of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalist influence our political discourse today. We still have debates on the role of government, on the concept of human rights, and other civic issues. Numerous early Americans during the 18th and 19th centuries (who were black, white, Native Americans, Latinos, etc.) had guns on their person and in their homes. Afterwards, many Americans would go into the wrong path of reaction, the promotion of slavery, and doing other evils. Also, another group of Americans would be progressive, stand up against slavery, and fight for justice for all. Their names should be known and honored. Their names include: Ida B. Wels-Barnett, Frederick Douglas, Helen Keller, Mary Church Terrell, John Brown, Frederick Douglas, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frances Harper, and other courageous human beings. Justice for all is a creed that many people in the world accept. I believe in that precept too. The Revolutionary War was a different type of war, but we do learn lessons from it every day. We learn that both sides looked out for their own interests. We also realized that imperialism and oppression is wrong when the British Empire does it and when many Americans do it too. The fight for freedom, liberty, and justice isn’t over. It is ongoing, but we have faith and hope. We congratulate sincere heroes who continue to enact social activism in our generation. Bless the good people of America helping the homeless, educating the youth, and fighting against injustice. Bless the firefighters and rescue workers who have saved lives in America. Bless the families of America who care for their children and their relatives. That is the America that we praise and honor as God would want us to do. Today, we are fighting against poverty, against police brutality, against imperialism, and against injustice in general. We have hope that one day the unyielding creed of “liberty and justice for all” is made real. We want the system of racism/white supremacy to be gone, so a real system of justice can exist. That is the hope that we cherish and we shall overcome.

By Timothy

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