The Factors That Led to the American Revolution

Topics: American Revolution, United Kingdom, Colonialism Pages: 4 (1255 words) Published: March 31, 2011
The factors that led to the American Revolution

In 1763 the British defeated the French in the French and Indian War which shifted the power to Great Britain in North America. The British, however, were attacked by Indian tribes in fear that they would allow colonist to invade their tribal lands. The British reacted with the passing of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which limited colonial expansion to appease the Native Americans but this angered the colonists who thought that it wasn’t North America was any of Britain’s business. This would spark a string of impositions Britain placed on the North America which would anger the colonist. On April 5, 1764 the British parliament passed the Sugar Act with the aim of help clear some of the national debt that Britain inherited from the French and Indian War. The Sugar Act lowered the duty on foreign-produced molasses from six pence per gallon to 3 pence per gallon, in attempts to discourage smuggling. The act further stipulated that Americans could export many commodities, including lumber, iron, skins, and whalebone, to foreign countries, only if they passed through British ports first. The act also placed a heavy tax on formerly duty- free Madeira wine from Portugal. This affected the colonials economically, especially merchants and shippers, as they argued that the profit margin on rum was too small for it to be taxed. [1] In addition many colonists viewed this as Britain involving themselves in their daily lives. The act allowed customs officials to transfer smuggling cases from colonial courts with juries to juryless vice- admiralty courts in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Until 1768, vice-admiralty judges were awarded five percent of all confiscated cargo and ships, a clear incentive to come to a guilty verdict. The vice-admiralty courts also reversed traditional judicial ideology, by burdening the defendant with the task of disproving the charge of smuggling rather than...
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