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Word Count: 682
On April 19 1775 British soldiers fired the first shots of the American Revolution an action that led to not only the formation of a new country but a complete radical alteration in the political ideas and institutions of our country The war ended with the surrender of the British at Yorktown on October 19 1781 Two years later in 1783 Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris recognizing the independence of the colonies Through the hardships of life in their new land the American settlers gained strength and a firm belief in the rights and liberties of the individual man The colonists revolted because England interfered with their trade and industry demanded unjust taxes and sent British troops to compel obedience At first they fought only for their rights but after a year of war they fought for a radical change in the kind of life Britain was imposing upon them Ever since English settlement in the seventeenth century Britain and America had been growing apart In 1774 Britain was still an aristocracy ruled by men born and bred to a high status in life Their society was one of culture and refinement The common people deprived of abundant opportunity at home accepted a position of dependence They regarded hard work deference to superiors and submission to rulers as their way of life But in America things had taken a different turn The tone of society was essentially democratic there were no lords or hereditary offices The Americans did not like to look up to superiors nor were their leaders set apart by privileges of birth and inherited wealth The opportunities of the New World resulted in an energetic and aggressive society Restraints were few custom counted for little and rank for less Between these two societies there could not be much in common With such opposing viewpoints and extreme change in social and economic structure America began to yearn for independence and
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