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Causes of the American Revolution

By lucylu37 Feb 23, 2014 1525 Words
Causes of the American Revolution
The American Revolution embarked the beginning of the United States of America. A war that lasted eight years, 1775-1783, was able to grant the thirteen colonies the independence they deserved by breaking free of British rule. The war was an effect of the previous French and Indian War, which forced England to tax the American colonist, compelling them to rebel against parliament. From the 1760’s to 1775, many factors lead up to the American Revolution such as the various acts the British Parliament passed to pay the war debt, no representation in parliament, and the American people wanting to gain their independence. “No Taxation without Representation”, a slogan used by the American colonist, was the most important cause of the colonists declaring war for their independence on the British government.

When the French and Indian War broke out, it was fought to claim territory and to declare the higher power. When the treaty of Paris was signed it declared the end of the war. However, the battles managed to leave Great Britain in an enormous amount of debt. As a consequence of the war, parliament claimed it was the colonist’s fault therefore implicating a series of acts that taxed all necessities. The taxation put “a financial burden [on] the shoulders of the colonist.”1 The Sugar Act of 1764 was one of the first taxations passed by English Parliament in order to recover some cost from the war. The act provided a system to load and unload cargo from the merchant ships so no smuggling could take place. It also had the power to tax certain goods that included sugar, coffee, indigo dye, and wines.2 The colonists reacted by verbally protesting, smuggling in good, and bribing tax officials. The Stamp Act was passed March of 1765. Colonist were “required [to have] an official stamp on about 50 different types of documents, ranging from playing cards to newspapers and college diplomas.”3 The act sent the colonist into a rage since they were not allowed to suggest or elect members of parliament which “led to boycotts of British goods, petitions to the King, and a formal declaration of American grievances.” 4As a result the colonist organized themselves into groups of resistance and the Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, was created. In response to the vicious actions that the colonist performed in response with the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act, British Parliament repealed them. However, the passed they Declaratory Act of 1766 in its place. This Act confirmed that parliament had full authority over the colonists and their legislatives. The Declaratory Act had the right to tax, establish laws, and govern the colonists as they pleased. The colonists were denied their rights to have representation in parliament. 5 The Colonists became more resilient and had a greater hatred towards England. A year later in 1767, British parliament passed the Townshend Act, which taxed all imported goods of window glass, paper, lead, paint, and tea. The British believed that since only the wealthy could afford such luxury goods then the protests would decrease. 6 In 1767, the Quartering Act was established amongst the colonists. It required that every colonist provide housing, food, and supplies for the British soldiers. The Colonist argued against the government because they claimed it was unfair to support the soldiers while no war is taking place. In order to help the East India Tea Company, the British Government passed the Tea Act. This particular act “did not impose any new taxes…it reinforce a three-penny tax from the Townshend Acts.”7 The colonists responded with the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773 the Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Native Americans and poured over 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The government’s objective was to reduce the massive surplus of tea which took a negative turn for not only the government but even a more strict turn on the colonists. This act of rebellion left only the government with more anger than ever before. The breakout of insurgence angered the government which made them resort to their last option of enforcing the Intolerable Acts.

The Intolerable Acts were a list of demands following the delinquent actions that took place at the Boston Harbor. This Act entitled, the Boston Harbor to be closed by a blockade until the colonists pay for all the tea that was lost, it was illegal to have town meeting, public officials needed to be chosen by a royal governor, and all colonists needed to supply soldiers since the quartering act had been reinstated. The colonists recognized their constitutional rights and liberties which led them to have the First Continental Congress.8 The purpose of the congress was a voice for the people. They tried to appeal to the crown but were unsuccessful. This unsuccessful trial to overrule the crown, was later tried again with the creation of the Second Continental Congress

During the time of the thirteen colonies, the colonists had no rights or say in their government. They suffered the consequences of their acts when rebelling against the government. As time went on the colonists grew frustrated in the lack of representation in the British Parliament and wanted to claim their independence. With the trials and tribulation that they endured the colonists finally reached it. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. With the creation of a strong government, a newly born army, and the making of formal treaties, the American Revolution was ended and what was a part of the crown became the newly reformed United States of America.

Carp, Benjamin L. "Intolerable Acts." In Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. N.p.: n.p., 2006. Accessed September 28, 2013.  

"Declaratory Act." In UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History, 431-32. N.p.: n.p., 2009. Accessed September 28, 2013.  

Miller, Laura M. "Stamp Act (22 March 1765)." In Dictionary of American History, 117-19. N.p.: n.p., 2003. Accessed September 28, 2013.  

Shannon, Timothy J. "French and Indian War, Consequences of." In Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, 80-82. N.p.: n.p., 2006. Accessed September 28, 2013.  

"Stamp Act (1765)." In Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. N.p.: n.p., 1999. Accessed September 28, 2013.  

"Sugar Act." In UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History, 1501-02. N.p.: n.p., 2009. Accessed September 28, 2013.

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