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The American Revolution and the American Civil War were two major homeland conflicts that helped define our society and government. Each conflict, although different in time and circumstance, shares common parallels and some distinct differences. In both the Revolution and Civil War, a well-intentioned but ill-funded, ill-equipped, and under-manned group sought independence from what was considered a repressive and tyrannous regime. Before the American Revolution officially began, the American colonies were increasingly at odds with Great Britain. Among other things, the British government restricted the colonist’s ability to freely import material goods. In fact, the only way to import such goods was through Great Britain herself. On top of that, Great Britain began imposing hefty taxes on basic products such as sugar and tea. This did not sit well with the colonists, because, given the opportunity, they could acquire goods on the open market at much lower prices. Eventually the colonists reached the boiling point and took action to separate themselves permanently from the tight control of the British Crown. The political objectives of the British Empire in the American Colonies were to maintain economic and political control over its subjects. The political objectives of the Colonies towards Britain, however were just the opposite, namely to free themselves from a distant and tax-hungry regime. There is a parallel to the next major American military conflict. Before the American Civil War, the southern states were at odds with the Federal Union (the North). Unlike the colonists, the Confederacy (states in the American South) were allowed to import material goods from foreign countries, but the duty on those goods, which was ... ... middle of paper ... ...ent in lines). Developing a plan of action was somewhat a challenge for the colonists. A “dual” army was created, which employed soldiers in the “traditional” sense (the Continental Army), and colonists in the form of “militias” that had a wide range of military skills. British strategies were frequently ineffective against the colonists who used their familiarity with the geographical area to their distinct advantage. The American Revolutionary War ended just after the Battle of Yorktown with Britain finally realizing the war was too costly to operate at such a great distance. This move allowed the American colonies to create the United States of America. The American Civil War ended following the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution quickly followed, making slavery illegal.

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