It was in 1783 when the British Empire officially recognized American independence. So that’s the period most consider the time when the Revolutionary War ended. The succeeding years would prove critical in molding the new nation.
The American Constitution was created in 1787. Its emphasis was a strong government. Even during this time there were some who were loyal to the British Empire. Congress was given the power to quell any threats. President Washington meanwhile, provided the leadership needed at the time.
Expanding the Territory
As nationalism increased in America, one of the goals became territorial expansion. President Washington bought Louisiana from Napoleon. After the purchase America grew twice in size. It meant more resources and opportunities for the people. When the Revolutionary War ended, independence was the main goal. Now it was to secure more lands for its increasing population.
The War of 1812
Britain and France were locked in a dispute over territories, including American lands. In 1812, both the British and French captured US shops that were meant for trade. The US became infuriated because they were neutral, yet it was not respected by the warring nations.
Britain and America went to war again. It ended in 1815 with no clear winner, but the Americans felt triumphant. They had few weapons and little training, but once again the British couldn’t put them down. When the Revolutionary War ended, the British were beaten at Yorktown. This time they were routed at the Battle of New Orleans. Their superior navy also suffered major defeats.
American pride swelled even more during the war when Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner. It became the national anthem and inspired the Americans.
Another crucial factor emerged during and after the war. Before, they were heavily dependent on Britain for goods and materials. The conflict made the Americans realize they could make their own industries. It bolstered their independence even more.
After the War of 1812, the country acquired more lands. In 1819, the Spaniards were forced to hand over Florida to the US after being defeated in battle. A few years later, President Monroe declared that the United States would not allow European states to take over the Latin American countries.
When the Revolutionary War ended, the Americans realized the value of independence. They didn’t want the other countries to go through what they did.
In the meantime, the US continued to expand. They took over Mississippi, and Alabama. In 1846 they went to war against Mexico. The Mexicans were defeated and lost half their territory. This included California, Texas and New Mexico. As the land grew, so did prosperity.
The Civil War
Prosperity would lead to rivalries and eventually the Civil War. Over 600,000 people perished. But when it ended, slavery was abolished and the country was stronger than ever.
When the Revolutionary War ended, the Patriots were faced with the difficult task of unifying a country. Through sheer will and determination, they were able to succeed. Within a few years, it would emerge as a major player in world affairs.