A Genoese navigator and explorer, Christopher Columbus, discovered America in 1492. Later, Walter Rayleigh came to America from England in the 16th century to establish the first colony in Roanoke. However, this colony turned out be a failure. Virginia was the first successful colony set up in America, in the 17th century. John Smith, the captain of Company of Virginia named the first colony after the virgin queen, Queen Elizabeth I. This marked the onset of colonialism in America, and later thirteen colonies were established in America.
The seeds of a revolution were sown during the Seven Years' war between Great Britain and France to have control over North America and establish supremacy on the world. This war was one of the most noteworthy wars that were fought on earth. This war was fought by two of the world's greatest powers. Enormous quantities of money and manpower were invested in the war. The name was called so because the war started in the year 1756 and continued until the treaty of peace was signed in 1763. There was a great loss of men and money. The advantage of this war to the American colonies was that the fear of Spanish and French attacks was obliterated. The greatest drawback of this war was the Sugar and Stamp Act.
The Sugar Act was imposed in 1764, levied taxes on molasses, sugar, dye, coffee, textiles, and wines. Also, in 1765 the Stamp Act was imposed on the colonists to recover the damages and losses that Great Britain incurred during the Seven Years' war. Massachusetts formed the Stamp Act Congress to protest against the legislation. In December 1765, the House of Commons issued papers to the government of Great Britain to protest. In 1765, the Declaratory Act was levied on the colonies which said that the government of Great Britain had the right to make laws for the colonies. In 1767, the Chancellor of Exchequer, Charles Townshend proposed the Townshend Act. This act declared five different acts viz. The Revenue Act, Indemnity Act, The Commissioners of Custom Acts, the Vice Admiralty Court Act and the New York Restraining Act.
The Townshend Act outraged the colonists and Boston resisted the laws to the highest degree. The Massachusetts House of Representatives started issuing petitions to King George to repeal the Townshend Act. Massachusetts circular letter was sent to all the colonists. The aim of this letter was to bring together the colonists to fight against the taxation. The rage of the colonists boiled over, which lead to the Boston Massacre in 1770. In the Boston Massacre, the British troops killed some civilians in a clash. This massacre marked the actual beginning of the American Revolution.
The Boston Tea Party incident in 1773 was a very was marked as the crucial event in the American Revolution. The ships which were carrying tea were attacked by the outraged colonists and the all the tea was destroyed to culminate the Tea Act. This event gave birth to the consistent revolution in the colonies. The British government enacted the Coercive Act which closed the Boston harbor for trading. However, at the same time the British required acceptance of colonists to house them.
The first Continental Congress was formed in the following year. The British sent their troops America to fight against the colonial rebellion. The American militia was formed in order to fight against them. The British troops were ordered to march to Concord in Massachusetts. The first shots of the revolution were fired in Lexington on 19th April 1775, when the British troops encountered the American militia. The British Parliament offered staunch opposition to the Americans, and also hired Hessians and German mercenaries to help the British troops. Thomas Paine published and circulated a political pamphlet known as Common Sense. In the spring of the year 1776, all the colonists the Continental Congress called upon all the 13 colonies to form their own government. The Declaration of Independence was issued by the Continental Congress and the Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. The Declaration was adopted by the colonies on 4th of July, 1776 by all the colonies except New York. New York adopted the Declaration on 9th of July, 1776. This is the story of 4th of July, which is termed as the American Independence Day and is the most important event in the history of America.