Discuss the main cause of the American Revolution.
An influence of the revolution was the French and Indian War (www.echeat.com) In 1764; British troops fought a hard 7-year war against the French and Native American soldiers. The Natives teamed up with France and the war ended in about 1763 (kidport.com). After the war, this left Britain heavily in debt. As an after affect, the British started taxing the colonists on all sorts of things. The taxing caused anger and hatred against the king and the colonists were furious. The colonials wanted to separate themselves from England and become their own independent country. They were sick and tired of all the restrictions that the king had forced upon them. Between all the new taxes and the Proclamation of 1763, the colonists were acting up and causing trouble for the Britain’s. This changed the ‘relationship’ between Great Britain and the colonists but also, these were the things that sparked the thoughts of revolting. When the Boston Tea Party took place, it was the “last stick on the pile.” It was the main cause/ the push of the American Revolution that triggered the people’s fuse.
As Rick Brainard states in his blog, “The problems between the Colonies and England had not started in the 1770s but after the French and Indian war with the Peace Treaty of 1763. In this treaty, the British had gained Canada from France and Florida from Spain” (http://www.history1700s.com/articles/article1133.shtml,) but as mentioned before, the main cause of the revolution was because Britain was taxing the colonists on everything. In 1763, The Proclamation of 1763 was made. Since the Native Americans were helping the French and were fighting brutally with the British, King George ordered to split the two. Doing what the king ordered, he cut the Appalachian Mountains in two (www.teachinghistory.org.) As the news got to the colonists, they were heated with anger and would not let this happen. In 1764, the first “Act” put on the colonists by the British Parliament was the Sugar Act, which was taxing all sugar (www.theamericanrevolution.org). On March 22, 1765, the Stamp Act was created and it stated that all stamps, paper, documents, newspapers etc. had to be taxed. It “ignited a storm or protests,” but it also led to the revoke of the law the next year (http://timeline.americanrevolutioncenter.org/) In 1766, the colonists’ spoke out against the Stamp Act and the British Parliament eventually retracted the law. As this was taking place, the Parliament did not like the idea of the colonists having a ‘voice,’ but the colonists were fascinated that they had the power. The idea of being able to make a change or difference was intriguing, but it led to other actions, which lead to the revolution.
Later in 1767, the English Parliament approved and passed the Townshend Revenue Acts. This act was a “new series of taxes,” but basically, it was taxing the colonists even more. As I read on http://www.ushistory.org, “Taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea were applied with the design of raising £40,000 a year for the administration of the colonies.” The purpose of this act was to get more money from the colonists, but of course, the colonists didn’t approve. In October 1768, British troops walked the streets in Boston and riots, as well as protests, began. As a result to all of this, on March 5, 1770, the Boston Massacre took place. The Boston Massacre was a street fight between the colonists, throwing anything they could find, and a handful of British soldiers. The British troops were very well unwelcomed and hated. (www.ushistory.org) After being taxed on almost everything and British troops being sent to “watch” the colonists, it all started adding up and causing “thoughts.” Everything was slowly falling apart, but the idea of becoming free was slowly falling together.
After The Boston Massacre, the king trialed 9 of the British soldiers that shot without command, but yet, the colonists found that ‘mishap’ as another excuse to revolt. Townshend Act still standing, but some laws within removed, it still angered the people; there was still taxes on tea. The colonists loved tea; it was imported regularly in the early 1720s. Both genders of all ages “enjoyed it as an everyday beverage” (www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org.) Tea could not be taxed. On May 10, 1773, the Parliament passed the Tea Act of 1773. This was it, the colonials had it with the Townshend Act, but this, this put them over the edge. This was the last poke; this led to the Boston Tea Party.
The Boston Tea Party happened in Boston Harbor, on December 16, 1773. The colonists dressed like Indians to disguise themselves, and than went to "The Dartmouth." The men used rowboats to get there and then entered the ship. The men dumped over 300 chests of tea into the harbor and celebrated a rebellion (ww.wiki.answers.com.) This act was an “act of revolt against the British and their tax on tea in the Colonies” (www.americaslibrary.gov.) After, England's Prime Minister passed the Intolerable Acts of 1774. The Intolerable Acts were five laws made to punish the colonists for their behavior; they were The Boston Port Bill, The Quartering Act, The Administration of Justice Act, The Massachusetts Government Act, and The Quebec Act. The Boston Port Bill closed the harbor until the tea could be paid off, the Quartering Act obligated the colonials to provide food and shelter to the troops, The Administration of Justice Act stated that the British Officials couldn’t and shouldn’t be tried in courts for crimes. They would have their trials in Britain. The Massachusetts Government Act said that the British Governor was in charge of Boston, which meant that the colony had no self-government, and The Quebec Act made the Canadian borders off limits to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia colonies (http://wiki.answers.com.) The American Colonists put their feet down and had enough. By 1775, they had a militia force. When the British refused to surrender their weapons, the colonials decided to fight for a cause and for a change.
As this essay clearly shows, this is the American’s perspective of all of this. To the Britain’s, all the laws and acts created were o simple keep the colonists under control and put them into their place. Every time things got out of hand, the King of Britain and the British parliament added new Acts to show them whose boss. From Britain’s perspective, when the British started taxing the colonists, it was just to “help repay debts incurred defending North America against the French in the Seven Year War and to prepare for any future threat” (www.redcoat.me.uk/Rev-War.htm.) The Proclamation of 1763 was just set to ‘limit’ the colonist’s movement along the Appalachian Mountains (www.redcoat.me.uk/Rev-War.htm.)
In the end, every law that was created added more hate to the British. The Laws put upon them were the main, heavier reasons for the revolution, but there are also other causative elements to the revolution. Like mentioned before, The Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre gave the colonists another reason to dislike the British. When the soldiers openly fired at colonists, it was just more of a reason to fight back. But before they decided to take action and actually revolt, they thought to make an agreement of some sort. Many colonials didn’t want to break away from their “Mother Country”, but they had to after the British Parliament turned down their request (www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com.)
In conclusion, I think the main cause of the American Revolution was that the British were taxing the Americans so significantly. Between the taxes, the laws/restrictions, and the riots, they all added up to one big war. I also believe that without this revolution, we wouldn’t have the same lifestyles today. If the British didn’t tax the colonials so much and the colonists didn’t revolt, we might still be under Britain’s rule and there would be no “American Revolution” to read about.