PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
6.5 Consequences of the American Revolution
The American War of Independence is regarded as one of the greatest landmarks in the history of the world since it had far-reaching results:
1. It gave birth to a new nation, that is, the United States of America. Under the Treaty of Paris (1783) England acknowledged the independence of her American colonies.
2. France regained two small colonies, Tobago in the West Indies and Senegal in West Africa. Spain recovered Minorca and Florida.
3. England lost her colonies in America and her national debt increased to a great extent. However England could defeat and destroy the Spanish and French fleets, and thus retain her naval supremacy.
4. France lost heavily during the American Revolution. Owing to her heavy naval and military expenditures the royal treasury in France grew bankrupt. Further bankruptcy soon led to the fall of the French monarchy, since the Frenchmen had helped the Americans in their revolt against a King. They were now prepared to revolt against their own king.
5. A few years after the Revolution, the old Federal Constitution, that is the Articles of Confederations that the Continental Congress had drawn up during the war, was changed. It was replaced by a new constitution that a special body of delegates framed at Philadelphia. It is referred to as the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
The Philadelphia Convention
6. The new American State had many features. It was a republic
and not a monarchy. Instead of being a unitary state it was a federation.
It was a democracy rather than a dictatorship. It could be regarded
as the world’s first democratic federal republic.
7. Owing to their experience under the old constitution, the framers of the new one in 1787, gave the federal government greater powers such as taxation and regulation of commerce. The government was divided into three branches instead of one. The new government had a Congress, the legislative body; there was also an executive branch, with the President at its head, as well as a judicial branch, at the head of which was the Supreme Court. The three branches of the national government under the constitution of 1787, which came into effect in 1789, were expected to ’check and balance’ one another.