The American Experience to 1877

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The American Experience to 1877

The United States is among the leading countries in the world which have fought for freedom. In their quest for this, the Americans encountered harsh and painful encounter. In this paper, the focus is on the American experience to 1877. I argue that the United States underwent through harsh and challenging encounters up to 1877. The first encounter occurred during colonization, and the second one took place during the Civil War.

The Colonization and the Revolutionary War

Before the independence, the American was a colony of Britain. The king, however, did not treat the thirteen colonies with the dignity deserved. For example, the government of George III refused to approved the necessary laws passed by the colonial assemblies, dissolved the courts and legislatures, stationed a standing army, imposed taxes without the consent of the colonies, and interrupted trade (Ayers, Gould, Oshinsky, and Soderlund 111). All these misdeeds angered the Americans, and they had no options but to start a Revolutionary War. In 1776, the Americans drafted the Declaration of the Independence. Part of the document asserted that “all men are created equal; that their Creator endowed them with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Ayers et al. 112). However, when the government goes contrary, the governed can abolish and institute a new government.

The Revolutionary War and the Challenges of the New Republic

July 4, 1776, all the thirteen colonies had approved the Declaration of Independence. Thus, the American got her independence on this day. Nonetheless, they had a bigger task ahead; to win the Revolutionary War. George Washington cautioned that the peace and safety of the newly formed country rested entirely on the success of the arms (Ayers et al. 112). The United States sought the support of France. The war lasted for eight years, that is, from 1775 to 1783 (Ayers et al. 112). In 1783, the parties involved signed the Peace Settlement (Ayers et al. 119). Although the War of Independence was a success, America would face many challenges to the new republic. For instance, instituting a stable government became imperative at early stages due to the uncertainty and conflicts that followed the peace settlement (Ayers et al. 119). Another issue was that not every member of the society benefitted on an equal measure.

The Issue of Slavery and the Civil War

Under the new government, the institutions of slavery became more strongly entrenched. Slavery remained a tough issue because it violated the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. Almost a century later, the U.S. under President Abraham Lincoln entered into the Civil War because of the same issue. The southern states supported the continuity of slavery while the northern states called for its abolishment. Like the War of Independence, the Civil War also resulted in the loss of many lives, injuries, and destruction of property. At the end of the war, the country had to be rebuilt for the union to remains strong and for former slaves to get their rights; this is what is called reconstruction. Reconstruction began March 1865 and ended April 1887 (Carlisle 277). It achieved the purposes through the introduction of three significant amendments; 13th, 14th, and 15th.


In conclusion, it is evident that in the pursuit of freedom, the American encountered harsh and painful experienced up to 1877. They had to fight wars such as the War of Independence and Civil War that led to the loss of many Americans as well as the destruction of property. Consequently, it is deducible the course of freedom is ever rough, and a people who choose to follow the path must always pay the price when the conditions demand.

Works Cited

Ayers, Edward L., et al. American Passages: A History of the United States, Volume 2: Since 1865, Brief. Cengage Learning, 2011.

Carlisle, Rodney P. Civil War and Reconstruction. Infobase Publishing, 2014.

November 24, 2023

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