The American Revolution 1783

What caused former Englishmen to declare their separate identity as Americans? Ian R. Christie explores the issues underlying British recognition of United States' independence.

The 3rd of September, 1983, marks the bicentenary of the signing of the definitive Treaty of Versailles by which Britain formerly recognised the independence of the United States. Seven years after the Declaration of Independence – seven years of sometimes gruelling warfare – the British colonists in North America had made good by force their demand to be separate from Britain. What had produced this convulsion? What had caused former Englishmen to be Englishmen no longer, to assert their separate identity as Americans? Historians are still probing for answers to this question, and continue to emerge with yet more sophisticated conclusions.

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