Who to Blame for the American Revolution.

Topics: American Revolution, British Empire, United Kingdom Pages: 6 (2086 words) Published: June 13, 2011
War never truly has one person or side at fault; each front brings something to the table. Nevertheless, the American Revolution is a conflict that raises major debate over who to blame. The American colonies were at a standstill. How could a new nation grow with such a controlling mother country always on its back? As a result of the French Indian War, the British had to pay for their colonies war debts. For England to pay for these debts, Parliament imposed multiple harsh taxes and acts on colonists. Millions of British pounds used to fund the war were expected to be returned to Great Britain. Why does a British colony have to pay England for a war that the British were fighting in the first place? After some consideration, the American Revolution was thus a product of British oppression; limiting the New World’s settlers socially and economically, keeping their freedom on an unnecessarily shortened leash.

A contributing factor in the American Revolution was the many crippling economic sanctions implemented by the British Parliament. Mercantilism, a trading system developed by the English to bring in a larger profit from their colonies worldwide, was applied to American trade. By the mid 1660s, the Navigation Acts were in full swing, colonies could only trade with English merchants. With colonial pressure, however, the Navigation Acts were revised multiple times to include allowing sea trade with the Spanish and Portuguese in 1660. To counteract that, however, the British imposed heavy taxes on imports from France in 1663. By the time 1673 began, duties were also put on seafood, which was traded with lower western Europe. All these expensive import and export tariffs were created to discourage trade between the colonies and other European countries.

Great Britain also created a monopoly on tea with the East Indian Trading Company and America. Both British territories could only trade with the mother country, creating a substantial income for the English. American colonists were outraged at this. They should be able to trade with other nations freely, even if it be only tea, because they had the right to prosper themselves. “Bostonians, as well as other colonists were not offended by the price of tea, but by the monopoly given to the East Indian Company” (Krawezynski), which was owned by Great Britain. The English already bought raw materials from the colonies for a low price and sold the manufactured goods at a preposterous amount back to the colonies, the Americans should be allowed some profit for their own sake; so that American businesses could provide local products for American citizens. Colonists realized what the British were doing by taking back economic control, and to fight back, many Americans began smuggling goods in and out of the New World. The high taxation on goods made it almost impossible for the average colonist to buy products not made and sold in the colonies. Countries like Holland, Spain and France began trading, secretly, with ports in North America. The British saw this as a major problem because they were losing money from improper trading. Parliament did not want their colonies trading with fellow European rivals. This ‘back stabbing’ trade would give Great Britain a weakened reputation among its foes (Krawezynski).

In-order-to take control of the situation, England, in 1696, established the Admiralty Court to try smugglers. They also created a board of appointees in London to monitor the colonial governors and customs officials. The colonists wanted to govern themselves, to build a stronger nation, and they were on that path until the war began with the French and Indians.

“The colonial system in America worked reasonably well until 1754, when the French and Indian War broke out. By the end of the war in 1763, the system had been changed, the equilibrium shattered. The British, despite heavy taxes during the war had a staggering national debt of...
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