The Road to a Revolution
The American Revolution was a major event, which resulted in America gaining its freedom from England, during the last half of the eighteenth century. From the very founding of each settlement, America promised people a new life in which one could live in happiness without being prosecuted. The founding fathers of America knew the potential the colonies had to offer to its people and chose to fight against the British for freedom. Many events had occurred that lead the colonies right to the moment they declared their independence.
In 1754, the French and Indian War began, which resulted in the British taking control of North America. Its high expense laid the foundation for conflict that resulted in the choice to declare independence from Great Britain. After the French and Indian war ended in 1762, the Proclamation of 1763 was issued, which stated that none shall pass beyond the Ohio Valley, resulting in the colonies to be outraged. The settlers were in the midst of Pontiac’s Rebellion, which were a series of raids from Indians. The Proclamation of 1763 caused the colonists to get angry, because they could not protect themselves, since the British could not afford to build forts for the protection of the colonists. George Grenville became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1763, and he allowed not only direct taxes, but indirect taxes as well. This lead to his choice on the creation of the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act. Grenville knew the colonies needed to find revenue, and charged taxes on molasses and all paper products used for official documents. The Sugar Act in turn regulated trade and did little to raise revenue, as planned. The Stamp Act resulted in many who resisted, and fell to a repeal in 1766. In 1765, the Quartering Act was introduced, which claimed that British troops could live in people’s homes if needed. Also in 1765, the British composed the Writs of Assistance, which allowed the British to look through any paperwork. Both the Quartering Act and Writs of Assistance left the colonists to feel used by the British, while also being left with no privacy. Another event in 1765 added to the growing tension between Great Britain and the Colonies. Colonists were attempting to dock at Ft. Johnson, South Carolina, and the British refused them. This caused the Colonists to take over the fort. The Townshend Acts were created in 1767, which was a British law that established a tax on all tea, glass, lead, paper, and paint imported to the colonies. This act also added to the tension growing between the Colonies and the British. The Townshend Acts lead the colonies to a boycott. Then in 1768, there was the Circular Letter which stated the colonies needed to unite against Great Britain.
All these acts lead up to the Boston Massacre in 1770. Although only 5 died during this event, it was one of the first violent acts made against the British during this time of major changes imposed to the colonies. Also in 1770, the Townshend Acts were repealed, and lead to a boom in trade until 1771. In the following year, the royal Navy ship Gaspee burned down, which resulted in Great Britain raising their fences against the Colonies. In 1773, England imposed a new tax on tea, which lead the Americans to become enraged, leading to the event known as the Boston Tea Party. Three ships containing tea arrived, where they were denied access to the dock, unless the revenue was repealed. The British ships wouldn’t back down, which lead to a large crowd gathering, and anticipating their next move. Shortly after, 100 to 150 men disguised as Indians boarded the ships, while dumping hundreds of pounds of tea into the harbor. This event lead to the British closing the Boston Harbor, until all the wasted tea was paid for. Great Britain also altered the charter for Massachusetts, leading to Parliament gaining control of Massachusetts. The third act put in place was known as the Impartial Administration of Justice Act, which stated although the men were tried for the Boston Tea Party, they still had to be tried for court in Britain as well. The fourth act was the Quartering Act, and the fifth act was the Quebec Act. These five acts are what history calls the Coercive Acts, or the Intolerable Acts.
In 1775, Massachusetts was declared to be in a constant state of rebellion against the British, and then lead to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which mark the very beginning of the American Revolution. The colonies were refusing to be under the control of Great Britain, and lead to the declaration of independence of America. The British pushed the colonies too far with all the taxes and laws when the Colonists came to the New World to escape these restrictions.