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American Revolution the war, the article of confederation and the constitution

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The paper discuses the United States of America road to self governance from hands of British colonialism. First it looks on the war between the United States America and Britain. The war took place in late 18th century when the thirteen states of America colonialist joined forces to overthrow the British emperor. Although the states militiamen were untrained and used simple weapons, they were determined to topple down Britain from America. The paper also focuses on how the militiamen though inexperienced in war, caused sleepless night to the British army.

With time the war seemed unending until reached a point where a deal had to be reached to end the war. The war was ended with a deal being reached between the United States of America and the Britain. A Paris treaty signed in France between the parties in war ended the stalemate. The article of confederation is looked into. This document (the articles of confederation), outlined the rules governing the operations of the united thirteen states. The article outlined the powers of the confederation government and how the states had to relate to each other.

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The strengths and weakness of the article is outlined in the paper. Article of confederation was replaced by constitution soon after America attained her independence. At the end the paper compares the American Revolution with other world revolutions such as, French revolution, the Russian and the Iranian revolutions. The British army and the militiamen During the last half of 18th century, the thirteen colonies of North America overthrew the governance of British emperor and merged to become the nation of the “United States of America”.

The colonies regrouped to form one self governing state that fought with British army. Americans lacked trained army and each group of the colonies relied on militia groups which had simple arms and slight knowledge on fighting for defense. Although, this militia had no fighting skills, their high number gave them an advantage over the few British soldiers in the battle fields. “In 1775, America established a regular continental army to give more support to the militia in battles. The British army was about 36,000 men, but within the course of war, Britain hired more soldiers from Germany” (Savas, 2006).

The combined army was huge, but its strength was weakened by the virtue of being spread across large regions of Canada and Florida. The revolutionary war on North America started when the commander in charge of British army sent his men to seize ammunition held by the militiamen in Massachusetts. On arrival, they found that the Minutemen (a group of men from the colonial militia) had been alerted of unexpected visit by the British army. This group of militia (minutemen) consisted of young and more mobile men who were ready to fight British army any minute they are called to do so.

A battle started between the two sides with the British army killing a number of militia. As the war continued, a great damage was inflicted on British army, as thousands of militia fought them, before reinforcement was brought to help them to prevent more damages. On their way to capture Canada from British emperor, the militiamen were grouped into two groups with each having a leader. The group lad by Richard Montgomery with more than 1500 men attacked northern Canada forcing the governor of Quebec to escape. The second group led by Arnold, was not a success because many men succumbed to smallpox.

Although Montgomery was killed, the groups after merging again, held the city of Quebec until British war ships arrived to get hold of the siege. The militia played a cat and mouse game to the British army. They could engage the British army in fighting, retreat and the came again when the army was not aware. The militiamen were determined, courageous and ready to overthrow the British emperor at all cost for their independence. Paris Treaty In 1777, France and her allies (Spain and Dutch) entered in the war to support the Americans.

Her involvement proved decisive when the second British army surrendered to her naval army. “As a result a treaty had to be signed to end the American war and recognize the sovereignty of United States of America over the territory bounded by what is now called Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and Mississippi river to the west” (Bobrick, 1998) As the political support of war plunged, the British prime minister resigned in 1782 leading to the house of common to vote in favor of ending war with Americas.

Signing of preliminary peace articles followed in Paris but the war ended when the Paris treaty was signed between America, France and Britain in 1783. The American-French alliance proved too strong to British army. As a result, British government together with American representatives in Europe began peace negotiations to stop the alliance against Britain. In the negations Britain negotiator was supposed to acknowledge that he was negotiating with American states not colonies.

“First the French and Spanish military were to besiege fortress of Gibraltar, which was the seaway connecting Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea” (Burnett, 1941). What followed is that the alliance was weakened and France relentlessly accepted a preliminary peace treaty between Britain and United states which was formalized later. The treaty was signed in September 1783 despite British parliamentary protest of some of agreements contained in the deal. The Article of Confederation “The article of confederation was the governing constitution of thirteen independent and sovereign states style “(United States of America)” (Ward, 1952).

The article was proposed in 1777 and ratified in 1781 uniting the states into the “United States of America” as a union with confederation government. The article gave the states the power to all government functions not posed by the central government. The article stipulated the rules for operation of the “united states” confederation. The article allowed the confederation to make war, negotiate agreements and settle maters concerning the western territories. However, the confederation had no power to mint coins or borrow with or outside United States. Each state had its own currency.

The main reason for drafting the article was to provide a plan for securing the freedom, sovereignty and independence of United State. The article stipulated that the confederation to be known as “the united States of America”, each stated to retain its freedom, independence and sovereignty. The article also established the United States as league of states united and freedom of movement across the states. In the article; each state was allocated one vote in congress of confederation, the central government was only the one to conduct foreign relations and declare war.

The article further stated that; expenditures by the United States would be paid by funds raised by state legislatures, defined the powers of central government and the admission of new state was to be approved by nine states. The article also mandated a committee to be a government when the congress was in session. In addition, the article reaffirmed that the confederation accepts war debt incurred by congress before the articles. Finally it declared that the article was final and only could be altered by approval of congress.

Some of the weaknesses of the article includes; power of central government was weak because each states had powers, there was no balance between the large and small states in legislative decision making, the congress lacked taxing authority hence could not plan on expenditures, some argued that the provisions of the article were no favorable for effective government, and under the article, congress did not had powers to regulate trade. Its main strength was that it gave direction to the continental army and thus helped to win the American revolutionary war.

Ways that the Constitution remedied the flaws in the Articles The article of confederation was replaced by the U. S. constitution which changed the government from confederation to federation. The constitution is the supreme law that outlines the organization of United States of America. Constitution defines that the government has three branches namely; the legislative, an executive branch led by the president and judicial branch headed by Supreme Court. The document also states the powers of each branch and reserves rights of each state, hence establishing United States federal system of government.

“The constitutional reallocation of powers created a new form of government, unprecedented under the sun. Every previous national authority either had been centralized or else had been a confederation of sovereign states. The new American system was neither one nor the other; it was a mixture of both” (Collier, 2007) The constitution established the manner of election and vested all legislative powers to the congress of United States of America which consisted of; senators who headed states and House of Representatives who represented the lower house.

The executive branch outlined the qualification of president and also makes provision for the post of vice president. The vice president was given powers to succeed the president incase the president; died, resigned, removed or unable to discharge duties. The constitution requires that there will be one court (supreme), but the congress could create lower courts that judgments are reviewable by the Supreme Court. The constitution sets all the cases and defines who to hear the same. The constitution defined the relationship between the states and the federal government and amongst the state.

The state government was prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states. There must be fair treatment to all citizens regardless of which state he/she comes from. Legal basis of freedom of movement and travel amongst the states was laid in the constitution. This provision was not taken more seriously as it was the case in the time of articles of confederation, where crossing of states lines was costly. Within the constitution, there provision for creations of new states and the congress is given the power to make rules concerning the disposal of federal property.

The United States is required to allow each state to have a republican government and protect the states from all attacks. The constitution and laws of states were to set in such a way that it did not conflict with the laws of the federal government and incase of conflict, judges were supposed to honor federal laws over those of states. Constitution addressed the freedoms of; religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. States were give were right to keep and maintain militia and individuals to poses arms. Government was prohibited from using private homes to keep soldiers without consent of owners.

The constitution required that; a warrant of arrest be issued, prohibited repeated trial, guaranteed a speedy trial for criminals and forbade excessive bail or fines. How was revolutionary revolution The American Revolutionary was actuary a revolution, there was change of power and change in organizational structures. American wanted a change; wanted to be represented in the parliament, wanted to get benefits of the tax they paid etc. It was the result of the war and signing of Paris treaty that Britain moved from America and America was declared independent.

This is a political revolution where a political regime was “overthrown and thereby transformed by a popular movement in an irregular, extra constitutional and/or violent fashion"(Ward, 1952) The U. S. constitution replaced the articles of confederation, which change government from confederation to federal one. Both the French, American, Russian, and Iranian revolution were accompanied by turmoil and blood shade. The French revolution was transformation of government from anarchy to a form based on reason, nationalist, citizenship and inalienable rights.

Russian revolution was made to change the nature of society and transform the state with replacement of Tsarist autocracy with Soviet Union The Iranian revolution transformed Iran from a monarchy to an Islamic republic. In general all the revolution involves transformation of government from one form to another, although American underwent both government transformation and change of land ownership. Reference Bobrick, Benson (1998). Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution. Penguin, paperback reprint Burnett, Edmund Cody (1941).

The Continental Congress: A Definitive History of the Continental Congress from Its Inception in 1774 to March, 1789 Collier, C. (2007) Decision in Philadelphia: The Constitutional Convention of 1787. New York: Random House. Savas, Theodore, P. and Dameron, J. David (2006). A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution, New York. Ward, Christopher (1952). The War of the Revolution: History of land battles in North America, 2, New York: Macmillan. Greene, Jack P. (1987). Introduction. The American Revolution, Its Character and Limits. New York University Press: New York.

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