My Family History Essay Examples
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: England, United States, America, War, Independence, Family, Declaration, American Revolution
Indeed, the 19th century was full of important events that shaped the history of America as you will know together with the future in which you will live. Our family has indeed been a major contributor in the historical line ever since my grandfather in the late 1600s. Remember children, the events that you will learn in school, some of them my grandfather, my father and I have participated fully in them and the results, both fruits and the pains will be enjoyed and suffered respectively by my generation, your father’s generation as well as yours but in the end, it was all affected by history. As I write this paper, it is in the 19th century, specifically the February of the year 1826. In addition, I am gravely ill and near my death. Still, I would like to pass down the generations the true history of our family as we should remember with regards to the American history till today.
The family tree
Our family dates back before the founding fathers of the United States of America when my grandfather was still young. He was born earlier in 1680 of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. My granddad, Paulo Smith, was born in Pennsylvania and he grew up into a sturdy young man who was greatly involved in the activities of the community. He married Madison Ivy and gave birth to Mary Smith and John Smith, my mother and uncle respectively, 1710 and 1715. Mary was brought up in a proper household and later on got married to Peter Franklin, my dear father and together, they gave rise to John Franklin, my brother and I, Ian Franklin. I was born in 1759. We were brought up throughout our childhood and as we grew up, we became more and more participative in the societal matters since back then; the American Revolution was taking hold of America.
The times from my grandfather, to my father, to mine
France and the England developed interest in the Ohio valley and they claim it. However, George Washington arrives with a force of militia men and uses it to drive the French out of that valley. This raises a concern with King George II who questions whether his territory is safe from the clutches of the French. This forces him to enter into a treaty with Frederick the Great from Prussia in order to protect his territory, Hanover, from the French. The British army is in a great debt after the seven years of war and expects the tribute from the colonists to assist with the payment of the debt. The British army is still in America at that time in order to protect the colonists from the uprisings of the Indians in 1766, seven years after my birth.
Emma Rothschild, The inner life of empires: an eighteenth-century history (Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011), 36.
Before the declaration of independence
In 1775, the indulgence of the American revolts and the British soldiers had just began earlier in April that year and the revolutionists were majorly at war with the latter apparently for their rights as citizens of the British colony. The revolution battles were indeed influential to the other colonies under the Great Britain and few of them considered their freedom Britain. They considered the followers of John Adams as being radical. However, the revolution faced great challenges as King George III aimed to thwart the rebellion with the great force of his mighty army. However, his actions only seemed to give the rebels a reason to fight and many of those who had earlier sought to reconcile with the British changed their minds and joined the fight for their independence from the Great Britain.
Several states began holding conventions in order to know the step forward and North Carolina was the first to hold its convention and voted in favor of the independence from the Great Britain in early March 1776. Several other states followed suit and agreed upon independence and by mid-may 1776, all the states had agreed. Richard Henry Lee, Virginia’s delegate initiated a motion that called for the colonies to come and seek independence just before the Continental Congress during its usual meeting at the Pennsylvania State House that was later the Independence hall in Philadelphia2. The Continental Congress pushed forward Robert Henry’s resolution for some weeks but before they dispersed, a committee of five made of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert R. Livingston, who were to indeed design a statement that would serve as a justification for their breaking up with Britain.
Denis Fradin B., The Declaration of Independence: Origins (New York: Benchmark, 2007), 26.
Thomas Jefferson had indeed a great reputation as being the voice, an eloquent one at that, for the revolutionary fight for independence from the Great Britain especially after his publication of the document, “A summary View of the Rights of British America,” and it is due to this that he was charged with the vital task of drafting and designing the Declaration of Independence with support of the team that was selected during the meeting with the Continental Congress3. The Declaration of Independence was written in a specific format that included and introduction, a preamble, a body that was divided into two distinguished sections and finally a conclusion. The introduction mentioned the fact that seeking independence had then become necessary for the British colonies all over.
The preamble of the Declaration of Independence mentioned the famous quotes that stipulate that all men should be regarded with equity due to equal creation by God and the fact that during the creation of man, rights were born that cannot be transferred to a new owner. Some of the rights that were mentioned in the preamble might include life, liberty and the undeniable pursuit for happiness. The body of the Declaration of Independence contained majorly the grievances that the Americans had with the Britain and they were mentioned in Great detail. The document underwent three levels of corrections and the first was by John Adam and Franklin’s corrections, followed by the Committee charged with drafting the document and finally by the Continental Congress that made corrections to the introduction, body and conclusion. The document was adopted officially on July 4 and it has been marked in the American history as the Independence Day for the Americans.
Kathy Furgang, and Rosen Publishing Group, The Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia (New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2002), 14.
The American Revolutionary war
The American Revolutionary war has sometimes been referred to as the American War of Independence in the year 1775 to 1783 was merely an attempt by the thirteen states of the North American colonies under the Great Britain to seek independence from the latter. The war was indeed taken to another level, between Britain, France, Spain and even Netherlands, when France joined in the boat as supporters for the United States of America. The revolutionary was actually the final stage of the American Revolution politically since the colonists had actually denied the Great Britain’s rule in its own colony and this was because the British government was ruling them without any kind of representation. The American revolutionaries had taken up the control of all the 13 states within the British colonies in the North American continent.
Before the American Revolutionary war
The main origin of the war can be tracked to the resistance offered by the Americans towards the tax levied to them by the Great Britain government which was labeled unconstitutional. As a result of this, the protests that were led by the American patriots escalated and led to the attack and destruction of a shipment of tea at the tea party in Boston. The British government responded by punishing the Massachusetts through the closure and changing of the port of Boston’s charter. In addition, the royal government acted further by establishing a shadow government that controlled the whole of Boston. However, the American patriots set up their own government in the shadows that controlled their rebel activities and in conjunction with the other twelve colonies that supported them; the Continental congress was established that controlled the activities of the resistance in overall stature4.
Boutkhil Guemide, Revolutionary Massachusetts (1763-1775), (Ireland: Editions Publibook, 2014), 104.
The beginning of the war
Just when I was 16 years of age in 1775, the American patriots engaged into the first conflict of the revolutionary war with the British soldiers Lexington and even Concord. After the first act of war, the Continental Congress declared General George Washington as the general in charge of the militia. It is in 1776 that General George surrounded the British soldiers in Boston, attacked them and pushed them out of Boston. With regards to the revolt in Boston, the Continental Congress declared independence whereas the Great Britain was collecting its own forces in preparation to thwart the revolting colonists. In the process, Sir William Howe attacked and captured New York and New Jersey from General Washington’s grasp in 1776. However, this did not deter the patriot forces who invaded Burgoyne’s forces and captured them since they were outnumbered by Washington’s forces.
The continuing of war
The winning of the conflict between General Washington and Burgoyne intrigued the French who joined the war to aid America in its endeavor to gain independence from the British in the year 1778. The participation of France in the war was a boost to the patriots a great deal considering that the French offered monetary support to them as well as the French army. In addition, the involvement of France in the American revolutionary war inspired Spain and the Netherlands into joining forces with the patriots and the Americans gained even more power to stop the British in its tracks, in 1779. For instance, the Spain and the Netherlands were very helpful when it came to both the water power and land power. This resulted in the British subdividing their resources in order to protect their valuable interests further away from North America.
The finals of the war and the beginning of independence
The attention of the British government was indeed shifted to the Southern colonies where they managed to capture Georgia and South Carolina, in 1779 and 1780 respectively. In their attempt to bring Virginia under the rule of the Crown in Great Britain led to the confrontation by a French army which captured over 7,000 British soldiers outside of the Chesapeake Bay. The attitude in the British parliament was changed thereafter the defeat at Yorktown by the French and so they voted against the war. As a result of this vote, the Commons agrees to a treaty, known as the Treaty of Paris and the documents relating to the treaty were signed by the relevant authorities in Britain and America. However, the war formally climaxed in 1783 after the Treaties of Versailles and the Treaty of Paris were both fully signed and the last of the British army moved out of New York City.
The casualties of the revolutionary war
Every war has casualties and wars and the American revolutionary war was no exception. However, disease was responsible for more deaths than even the conflicts. For instance, the smallpox spread between 1775 and 1782 was responsible for the deaths of about 40 patriots in Boston. As a military strategy, General Washington vaccinated his army troops against the smallpox disease and so averted a good number of deaths. About 6800 died of conflicts at the battlefield and about 17,000 died of both starvation and disease during the war. The British and its allies also experienced large number of deaths with 205 British officers killed and destroyed during the war, 1,240 Navy soldiers killed in conflicts and about 18,500 died of disease as compiled by a British lieutenant in the year 1784.
The societal impact of the American Revolution
With the dawn of independence to the American and its liberation from being a British colony led to great and immediate changes to America and its societal forms. The changes took form prior to the entrance to a new century and the beginning anew was indeed their goal. However, slavery was introduced in the United States of America and traditions that were inherited from the British monarch were cast out like bad behavior including the modes of land ownership5. In terms of religion, the Anglican Church thrived no longer since the Church of England was headed officially by the British monarch. The America’s bondage under the hands of the British has finally been shattered and so the Americans destroy most of their connections with the British with regards to their societies. For instance, the Americans never established a monarch but instead their leader was a president.
In the early years of the 19th century indeed depicted greater changes with regards to the American society. According to the anonymous writer of “Old Apprentice’s “, he claims that the drastic changes in the society have resulted in the shifting of the authoritative figures possessed over a child. This has been attributed to the fact that the proliferation of equity among the people in America. However, the manufacturers during this period have also been blamed greatly for the erosion of the society because they divided the tasks in order to produce cheaper goods, especially shoes and the clothes. As a result of this division of labor, the semi-skilled and even the unskilled personnel, especially the children and women were tasked to perform these jobs instead of the apprentices. In consequence, the apprentices are therefore no longer needed in the America’s new society.
James Volo M., and Denneen Dorothy Volo, Family life in 19th-century America, (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press),.
After the gaining of independence, America now was involved in the making of decisions as a sovereign state. Therefore, it indulged itself, as early as four decades after independence, in activities of amassing wealth upon itself. The Naval war of 1812 was one of the greatest victories the American navy had ever indulged in during that time. For instance, Constitution, a team of mariners commanded by Captain Isaac Hull, set out for the east coast of Canada with direct orders of raiding British merchant ships, the Guerrière, on 9th August of 1812. Later that October (1812) on the 25th, the United States sighted the Macedonian, that was under the British Captain John Carden. They raid this frigate as well being led by Captain Stephen Decatur and in a matter of 90 minutes; they were in control of the frigate and all the merchandise on board.
While reading this description of our history from the time when we were under the British rule to the time we gained sovereignty, kindly note the great changes in society that have occurred. However, we Americans are more than proud and glad towards our American patriots who made this dream a reality. The times here are still hard but I have seen better days ahead when my son is mature and gives rise to my grandchildren. Unfortunately, those better days will arrive when I am gone but I would have loved for you children to understand the participation our family has seen the wars in its rising and ending after glorious feats in battle against the Red coats. In summary, I am glad I was born American and died an independent American in my own sovereign country.
Fradin, Dennis B. 2007. The Declaration of Independence. New York: Benchmark.
Guemide, Boutkgil. 2014. Revolution Massachusetts (1763-1775). Ireland: Editions Publibook.
Furgang, Kathy. 2002. The Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
Rothschild, Emma. 2011. The inner life of empires an eighteenth-century history. Princeton: Princeton University Press. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=686412.
Volo, James M., and Dorothy Denneen Volo. 2007. Family life in 19th-century America. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.