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History — Chapter 3

The American War of Independence

Class 8 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Fill in the blanks

Question 1

Britain set up its first colony in Virginia North America.

Question 2

The colonist resented the taxes imposed on them and raised the slogan, "No taxation without representation".

Question 3

The Currency Act sought to ban the prevalent Bills of Exchange and paper currency of the American colonies.

Question 4

In the American War of Independence, the British forces were led by Lord Cornwallis and the American forces by George Washington.

Question 5

The Declaration of Independence, adopted on 4th July 1776 was written by Thomas Jefferson

Match the following

Sl. No.Column AColumn B
1The Quartering ActImposed a tax on legal documents
2The Currency ActBanned the import of rum from overseas countries except from England.
3The Stamp ActObliged the colonies to pay for the expenditure of British troops deployed in the colonies.
4The Sugar ActOrganised under the guidance of Samuel Adams.
5The Boston Tea PartyBanned the prevalent Bills of Exchange and paper currency.

Answer

Sl.No.Column AColumn B
1The Quartering ActObliged the colonies to pay for the expenditure of British troops deployed in the colonies.
2The Currency ActBanned the prevalent Bills of Exchange and paper currency.
3The Stamp ActImposed a tax on legal documents
4The Sugar ActBanned the import of rum from overseas countries except from England
5The Boston Tea PartyOrganised under the guidance of Samuel Adams.

Answer the following question

Question 1

What was the Mercantilist Policy of the British?

Answer

According to the Mercantile policy of the British, the colonies existed merely to serve the mother country. The colonies provided the raw material and supplies which could not be produced at home and served as markets for the finished goods. Mercantilism was also against the establishment of self-government for colonies.

Question 2

How did the British attitude towards the American colonies lead to the war of American Independence?

Answer

The British believed that America was their colony and the colonists being English natives must serve their mother country. It was for this reason that the government in the colonies was brought under royal control. However, the Americans no longer wanted to remain subservient. They wanted to protect their American identity which they had developed over the years. Thus, this contest between imperialism and colonial home rule led to the war of American Independence.

Question 3

What made the American colonists to raise the slogan, "No taxation without representation"?

Answer

The war between France and Britain had left a heavy financial burden on the British. Since the American colonies were the main beneficiaries of Britain's victory in the conflict, Britain considered it appropriate to tax the Americans to manage its war efforts. For this purpose, the British Parliament passed a number of Acts viz. The Quartering Act, The Currency Act, The Sugar Act and The Stamp Act; imposing various restrictions and taxes on Americans. The Colonies responded by claiming that they alone had the right to tax themselves through their assemblies and that they were not represented in the British Parliament. So, they raised the slogan, "No taxation without representation".

Question 4

State briefly the Boston Tea Party incident.

Answer

In 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, Which permitted the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonies. The colonists demanded that the British government should withdraw the tax on tea. In some cities, the colonists refused to permit the unloading of tea. Under the guidance of Samuel Adams, a few Americans disguised as porters boarded the ships of East India Company docked at Boston port, picked up 340 boxes of tea and threw them into sea. This incident is known as the Boston Tea Party incident.

Question 5

What was the significance of the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776?

Answer

The Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 emphasised that all men are born equal and cannot be denied the right to life and liberty. It asserted the people's right to form their own government. It was also stated in the Declaration that hence forward the Americans were free to take authoritative decisions independently in all matters of war, peace, truce and business which are the rights of an independent state.

Question 6

Summarise the factors which led to the American Revolution.

Answer

Following are the factors Which led to the American Revolution:

  1. Views Expressed by Philosophers — A number of philosophers advocated political independence and justified resistance to the mother country by the colonies.
  2. Mercantilist Policy of British — According to this policy the colonies existed merely to serve the mother country. They supplied raw materials and served as markets for the finished goods. Mercantilism was also against the establishment of self-government for colonies.
  3. Removal of French danger — The French were a constant source of danger for the American colonists. As long as the colonists were threatened by the French they needed British military protection. But after England's victory against France in the Seven Years War, the colonies could not be subdued under this pretext.
  4. British Attitude — The British believed that the colonists being English natives must serve their mother country. However, the Americans wanted to protect their American identity which they had developed over the years.
  5. British Restrictions on Manufacture and Sale — The British restrictions on the manufacture of certain items in the colonies such as iron works, woollen goods, felts etc., caused resentment among the Americans. Similarly, the colonists had to export products like cotton, sugar and tobacco only to England at prices fixed by the British government. Such restrictions convinced the colonists that British government was deliberately hampering their economic development.
  6. Unpopular Acts — Various Acts were passed by the British Parliament like the Quartering Act, the Currency Act, the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act ; imposing various restrictions and taxes on Americans. This caused resentment among the Americans.

Question 7

How was the American Revolution a contest between imperialism and colonial home rule?

Answer

The British believed that America was their colony and the colonists being English natives must serve their mother country. It was for this reason that the government in the colonies was brought under royal control. However, the Americans no longer wanted to remain subservient. They wanted to protect their American identity which they had developed over the years. Thus, it was a contest between imperialism and colonial home rule.

Question 8

What is federalism? Explain how it operates.

Answer

Federalism is a form of government in which there is separation of powers between the Central and the State governments.

In a federal form of government there is clear distribution of powers between the central and state government. The constitution states the principles of separation of power and the system of checks and balances.

Question 9

Explain the significance of the American Revolution.

Answer

Significance of the American Revolution can be summarised as follows:

  1. It led to the independence of 13 American colonies, Which joined together to form the USA.
  2. It affirmed the principles of democracy and liberty.
  3. It resulted in the emergence of federalism.
  4. It gave the Americans several rights like freedom of speech, religion and justice.
  5. The American Revolution gave birth to the democratic system which gave the Americans the right to vote.
  6. It marked the defeat of imperialism and the birth of nationalism.
  7. It infused a new vigour into the anti-colonial struggle in other parts of the world.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Name the event depicted in the picture. When and where did this event take place? How was this event associated with the American War of Independence? What was the impact of this event on the British government? How did it react to this event? The American War of Independence, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 8.

(a) Name the event depicted in the picture. When and where did this event take place?

(b) How was this event associated with the American War of Independence?

(c) What was the impact of this event on the British government? How did it react to this event?

Answer

(a) The event depicted in the picture is "Boston Tea Party". It took place at Boston in 1773.

(b) The Boston Tea Party incident triggered the American War of Independence. The British government retaliated by passing the Intolerable Acts. They resulted in organised opposition to British policies. Committees of Correspondences, composed of citizens critical of Britain were established all over the colonies. In the Second Continental Congress organised by these committees, a colonial army and navy were organised to fight the British troops triggering off the American War of Independence.

(c) The British government on hearing the news of Boston Tea Party, retaliated by passing a number of coercive Acts in 1774, to punish the colonists. Through these Acts, known as the Intolerable Acts, the government closed the port of Boston, reorganised the government of Massachusetts and allowed troops to be quartered in Private homes. These Acts resulted in organised opposition to British policies.

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