The American Revolutionary War

Topics: Napoleonic Wars, Louis XVI of France, French Revolution Pages: 43 (15658 words) Published: December 3, 2012
World Civilization II
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* The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) or American War of Independence or simply American Revolution, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. * The war was the end result of escalating political tensions between the Parliament of Great Britain and colonists opposed to various taxes and other laws they considered oppressive and illegitimate. * Earlier responses of the colonies to Parliamentary actions included petitions to King George, a boycott of British goods, and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. * France, Spain and the Dutch Republic all secretly provided supplies, ammunition and weapons to the revolutionaries starting early in 1776. * The British used their naval superiority to capture and occupy American coastal cities while the rebels largely controlled the countryside, where 90 percent of the population lived. * In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west. LOUIS XVI:

* Louis XVI ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792. * Suspended and arrested as part of the insurrection of the 10th of August during the French Revolution, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793 as "Citoyen Louis Capet". * Although Louis XVI was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime. * In the spring of 1776, Vergennes, the Foreign Secretary, saw an opportunity to humiliate France's long-standing enemy, Great Britain, as well as recover territory lost during the Seven Years' War, by supporting the American Revolution. * Louis XVI was convinced by Benjamin Franklin to secretly send supplies, ammunition and guns from 1776, sign a formal Treaty of Alliance in early 1778, and go to war with Britain. * France gained little from the Treaty of Paris (of 1783) that ended the war, except the colonies of Tobago and Senegal. Louis was wholly disappointed in his aim of recovering Canada from Britain. ESTATES GENERAL:

* Many in the Third Estate viewed the double representation as a revolution already peacefully accomplished. * However, with the étiquette of 1614 strictly enforced, the clergy and nobility ranged in tiered seating in their full regalia, and the physical locations of the deputies from third estate at the far end. * The Third Estate discovered that royal decree granting double representation also upheld the traditional voting "by orders", i.e. that the collective vote of each Estate would be weighed equally. * The apparent intent of the King and of Barentin was for everyone to get directly to the matter of taxes. * The Third Estate wanted the Estates to meet as one body and vote per deputy ("voting by heads" rather than "by orders"). * The other two estates, while having their own grievances against royal absolutism, believed — correctly, as history was to prove — that they stood to lose more power to the Third Estate than they stood to gain from the King.

* The Tennis Court Oath was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution. * The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on June 20, 1789 in a tennis court. * In 17 June 1789 this group, led by Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, began to call themselves the National Assembly. * On the morning of 20 June, the deputies were shocked to discover that the doors to their...
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