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Unit 3

3.1 Context: the Revolutionary Period

2 min readmay 29, 2020

James Glackin


By 1763, the British Empire was vast and contained colonies all over the world. This overextension of British territorial control created problems for Great Britain’s management of their colonies in North America, namely the 13 colonies. At the end of the Seven Years’ War, or French and Indian War (1754-1763), the nature of the relationship between Britain and the colonies would change.
Britain would soon impose numerous laws on the colonies, particularly new taxes that the colonists would resent.  Various forms of colonial protests would soon follow that led to the colonies declaring independence from the mother country. The Revolutionary War began in 1775.
The British military was the best in the world; however, the colonies were able to defeat Britain for several reasons and earn their newfound freedom.
First, the Brits were physically far and preoccupied with other challenges. Second, the Americans had superior defense tactics and influential leaders like George Washington.
Once independent, the colonial task was not over. The new country now had to create a permanent, stable government. They did not want to duplicate a monarchy with a tyrannical king. There was a great debate in forming a Constitution between the federalists and the anti federalists. How much power should the federal government have?
After the agreement to install the Bill of Rights, the Constitution was completed by 1789 and George Washington was chosen unanimously as the first President. The 1790s would witness numerous domestic and foreign policy challenges to the young republic during the Washington and John Adams terms and test the stability of the new government of the United States. However, the country would survive its infancy and look to expand into a bigger country by 1800. 
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Unit 3 Context

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