What were the effects of the Revolutionary War on the American colonists?

Noting the:

-Political effects

-Economic effects

-Social effects


George Washington—a renowned hero of the American Revolutionary War, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention—became the first President of the United States under the new Constitution in 1789.

The major accomplishments of the Washington Administration were creating a strong national government that was recognized without question by all Americans, and, following the plans of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, assuming the debts of the states (the debt holders received federal bonds), creating the Bank of the United States to stabilize the financial system, setting up a uniform system of tariffs (taxes on imports) and other taxes to pay off the debt and provide a financial infrastructure. To support his programs Hamilton created a new political party—the first in the world based on voters—the Federalist Party. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led the opposition, forming an opposition Republican Party (usually called the Democratic-Republican Party by historians). Hamilton and Washington presented the country in 1794 with the Jay Treaty that reestablished good relations with Britain. The Jeffersonians vehemently protested, and the voters aligned behind one party or the other, thus setting up the First Party System. The treaty passed, but politics became very heated.

Although the Constitution included a Supreme Court, its functions were vague until John Marshall, the Chief Justice (1801–35), defined them, especially the power to overturn acts of Congress that violated the Constitution, first enunciated in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison.

The Monroe Doctrine, expressed in 1823, proclaimed the United States’ opinion that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas. This was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States. The Monroe Doctrine was adopted in response to American and British fears over Russian and French expansion into the Western Hemisphere.


The US was in debt because they owed the French and they didn’t have a sturdy government. They were under the Articles Of Confederation at the time which stated that congress could not pass taxes on their colonist because of what happened with Britain and King George III. They didn’t want to give too much power to one person. And also, the soldiers were going to rebel unless the congress paid them some sort of money. IN simple terms the US was in a huge debt unlike another they had been in before. And to make matters worse Britain was still acting as if they had control over them.


Before the revolutionary war, an unmarried woman could own, sell or buy property, but after marriage her husband got complete control of their joint property. The revolutionary war gave rise to a number of fresh legal rights to women that they did not enjoy before the war. The women were given the liberty to divorce, to own businesses, to own property separately from their husbands and, in New Jersey, the right to vote.

Though the slave trade would continue for several years after the revolutionary war before it was completely abolished, the Revolutionary War helped bring changes to the institution of slavery. More and more people began to feel that the things they stood for, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, were not consistent with slavery. Several antislavery societies and clubs were formed that began to demand the abolition of slavery and influenced the opinion of some that slavery was unacceptable. Some states banned slavery completely, while some gradually ended the practice.

The Revolutionary War led to the escape and the release of many slaves. Thousands of slaves attained their freedom by serving and fighting on the different sides of the American Revolution after promises were made for their freedom. Other slaves took the occasion of war as an opportunity to free themselves by escaping from their masters. Though many black slaves obtained freedom during the Revolutionary War, they were not granted equal rights.



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