The colonists doled out a lot of dough for their freedom.
In addition to the overall price tag, the founders of the United States of America actually saw taxes rise exorbitantly after their victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. In fact, from 1792 to 1811 taxes were more than ten times higher than they were in the decade before the war was waged.
But how much did the war cost in total? In today’s terms and monetary values?
That’s a great question, and one that was answered recently by a publication known as the Journal of the American Revolution.
Here’s how they answered it verbatim
The American war costs, as shown in the above table, totaled approximately £165 million in 1783 values. It’s always tricky to convert 200 year old currencies gathered using imprecise war records – but that amount could roughly add up to about $21.6 billion in 2010 dollars.
In America, the chaos of funding the American Revolution glaringly showed the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation and a weak central government. George Washington had known all too well the many times in war he had begged for any money or supplies from a helpless Congress or indifferent states.
The establishment of the Constitution in 1787 brought fiscal stability to America, which was near collapse just after it had earned and paid for its liberty. It brought order to the national finances. It created a common market, common currency, it regulated trade and commerce, consolidated and funded the national debt, established a national bank, and gave Congress the authority to tax.
The enlightening history lesson also delves into how the war was paid for, and by whom. Which, when you think about it, is another tremendous question.
According to their sources, the revolution was primarily financed by a mixture of elements which included “taxes, bonds, IOUs and … paying off all foreign loans.”