The crucial role of the New York in the Revolutionary war
Revolutionary war (1775-1783) was necessary. Necessity was propelled by the oppression perpetrated against the Americans by the British colonialists. American had manifested their desire for liberty through the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 (Penner, Recht). The revolutionary war was thus a revolt against the British imperialists. The war was witnessed across several colonies such as Massachusetts, Boston, and New York. Each of these cities played a crucial role in the war. The importance of New York and the New York City in history, specifically regarding the revolutionary war was due to its unique characteristics. New York is featured by exceptional waterways and has a direct connection to the rest of the heartland. It was also the military base for the British Army. Besides, the most critical battles in the revolutionary war that is the battles of Saratoga happened in New York (Penner, Recht). New York was also commerce and the conference center at the time of the revolutionary war. The research paper, therefore, aims at investigating how New York City played a crucial role in the revolutionary war. The research will further explain why some historians may argue that Boston was the most important city in the revolutionary war.
Commerce and trade propelled the growth of the urban centers in the United States. Therefore, New York with its three coastlines contains full of navigable saltwater ports and a widespread lake and river trading network emerged as trade and commerce center during the revolutionary war. Its growth as the commerce and trade center was further driven by its strategic position in relation to the other American colonies. As a consequence, of its development as the commerce and trade center, New York had a large population compared to the rest of the colonies. New York also had the privilege of establishing the first Chamber of Commerce. The New York Chamber of Commerce was found on April 5th, 1768 (Kupperberg, Paul). The Chamber encouraged growth and development of business and industries. It also promoted sustainable and dependable commercial legal procedures and contracts. Besides, it encouraged the keeping of fair trade such as having a conventional measurement unit. With these trade and commerce systems, the residents of New York were much angered by the imposition of the Stamp Act of 1765 (Penner, Recht). The Act required all the people residing in the colonies pay a direct mandatory tax to the British imperialist on any printed product. Products like licenses, newspaper, almanacs and even playing cards became taxable. As a result, citizens of New York joined the fellow patriots in resisting such oppression.
Furthermore, New York businessmen consistently called for a boycott of any taxed products. As a way of ensuring that Stamp Act was not effective, Samuel Adams prepared a secret organization which is referred to as Sons of Liberty. The secret group intended to harass those people who were meant to become the stamp agents; the organization was secretly forcing them to resign. It further ensured all those who were cooperating with the British law were terrorized; thus, guaranteeing effective resistance (Gilje, Paul). Although Sons of Liberty was incepted in Boston, it emerged as an organized and forceful organization in New York. The connection between the Sons of Liberty New York branch and the Sons of Liberty Boston branch remained strong throughout the revolutionary war. Furthermore, the Sons of Liberty New York branch played a fundamental role in sending out messages and news to the other colonies which were found in the South. As a result, all the colonies maintained a harmonious resistance.
Similarly, New York played a pivotal role in the revolutionary war by hosting the first intellectual conference agitating for American independence. A group of 27 delegates from nine colonies gathered in New York on October 7, 1765 (Penner, Recht). These representatives were hosted at Federal Hall to deliberate on the way forward regarding the Stamp Act. This delegate meeting is now known as the Stamp Act Congress. The conference was significant because it was the first meeting of the chosen representatives from different colonies to meet together for a common purpose of protesting the oppressive taxation laws (Kupperberg, Paul). After deliberations on October 19, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress agreed to send the document Declaration of Rights and Grievances to the parliament objecting the injustices perpetrated by the Stamp Act. Delegates had decided that taxation without representation was tyranny. The document averted consisted riots to shut down the spread of published material in several American cities. The congress was also significant in that; it was the start of intellectual autonomy from the colonialists. While the Declaration of Rights and Grievances only agitated for rights of the citizens as a part of the British colony; the Stamp Act Congress is marked as the primary organized political body to confront the British colonialist honestly. As a consequence, Declaration of Rights and Grievances is one of the significant documents in the history of the American independence (Kupperberg, Paul).
Another importance of New York City in history, specifically regarding the revolutionary war was the Battles of Lexington and Concord. These battles were held on April 19, 1775. The British Army suffered an immense loss because angry untrained militia massacred more than 700 trained British soldiers. As a result of this victory, Americans were encouraged to initiate the revolutionary war. British Armies were on a mission to seize arms from the militia when they suffered the humiliation. This militia and the British Army confrontation at the Lexington town marked the kick off of the revolutionary war in 1775 (Gilje, Paul). Besides, after the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the American Patriots armies under the direction of Colonel Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen seized the Fort Ticonderoga from the British Army in upstate New York. The cannons which were captured from the Ticonderoga were used by the American Patriot armies to siege British Army base at Boston; thus, making another great victory.
The Battle of Saratoga happened on the Hudson River within the New York State. The Battle of Saratoga is featured as the turning point of the revolutionary war. It was a turning point because American Patriot armies forced the British and the Germany Armies to surrender on October 17, 1777 (Brinkley et al.). The Battle of Saratoga also features the first in 1000 years for British Army to surrender to their enemies. This influential victory convinced French military to join the American soldiers and assist them. The Battle of Saratoga, therefore, is noted as the most crucial battle which changed the course of the revolutionary war and that of the world history. It is essential because it ensured the unity of all the colonies and it won the confidence of the French armies.
In conclusion, it is clear from the research paper that British colonialist were not ready to declare the colonies under their subjugation independent; hence, the necessity of the revolutionary war. It is also explicit that British imperialist were prepared to capture New York colony and city and keep it under their control due to its strategic position. Besides, New York had the New York harbor which connected the United States with other Western countries. New York also had very crucial waterways; Mohawk River, Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes as well as Lake Champlain which facilitated easy transportation system and ideal for surveillance. New York is also important in the history of American freedom because it was it marks the place where significant Battles of the revolutionary war were fought. It also hosted the first Stamp Act Congress which documented the patriot’s declarations and grievances. It also marks the place where the Sons of Liberty developed as an organized organization to agitate for American freedom. It is thus prudent to conclude that New York and the New York City played a pivotal role in making the American history and particularly in attaining the Independence.
- Brinkley, Alan, Williams, T. Harry, and Current, Richard N., American History, 14th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
- Gilje, Paul A. The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763-1834. UNC Press Books, 2014. Print.
- Kupperberg, Paul. A Primary Source History of the Colony of New York. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. Print.
- Penner, Lucille Recht. Liberty: How the Revolutionary War Began. New York: Random House, 2002, Print.
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