How did American colonists gain their independence?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The American colonists gained their independence from Britain after a long struggle. At first, the colonists began to peacefully protest laws and policies they felt were unfair. These included policies over taxation and expansion to western lands. When their protests appeared to not be unheard, they stepped up their nonviolent actions. For example, they organized boycotts of British products.

Eventually, when blood was shed at the Boston Massacre and really harsh laws were passed after the Boston Tea Party, the colonists decided more actions were needed. Eventually, they decided to organize militias. These militias were established in case armed conflict would occur. The armed conflict eventually did occur. After the battles at Lexington and Concord, colonists began to seriously consider independence. Eventually, the Declaration of Independence was written. After this was issued, we went to war with Great Britain.

We then had to fight for our freedom. With the skilled leadership of George Washington along with colonists who were committed to a cause for which to fight, the colonists began to win battles. This helped bring us aid from France and Spain. Eventually, we surrounded the British at Yorktown. Here, the British surrendered, and the war ended. We were now an independent nation.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

American colonists were fed up with British control, and the situation forced the colonists to engage in the struggle for independence. The colonists were restricted from engaging with other countries to further their trade and economic interests. They were forced to trade exclusively with Britain and, in the process, extreme taxes were levied on them. The taxes were passed without American participation, and all laws were created in Britain. The colonies were forced to comply fully. Continued impunity by the Crown and a growing feeling of rebellion amongst the colonists led to protests, which later became violent.

The thirteen colonies rallied together to fight for their independence. They rejected the authority and taxes imposed on them by Britain. Continued hostilities led to the Boston Tea Party, which forced Britain to retaliate by nullifying Massachusetts' right of self-governance. A parallel government was created by the colonists, which resulted in the onset of the armed resistance against the British and Loyalists in the American territories. Aid for the colonists, organized as the Continental Army under the leadership of George Washington, arrived from the French, Spanish, and the Dutch. The Treaty of Paris ended the war and affirmed American independence.