Why Colonies Rebeled Against Britian

Topics: American Revolution, Boston Tea Party, British Empire Pages: 5 (1735 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Why colonies rebelled against the British (Midterm)

The American Revolutionary War Begin in 1775 as an open battle between the combined thirteen colonies and Great Brittan. The colonies won their independence in 1783 by The Treaty of Paris. The colonists had come to the New World seeking political, religious, and economic independence. The geographical distance helped to create an exclusive identity for the colonies. Americans felt that they deserved all the rights that Englishmen had. The British felt that the colonies were created to be used in the best way that suited the crown and parliament, meaning mercantilism where the colonies exist to benefit the mother country.

There is no one event that started the rebellion against British Crown. However, there was an enormous number of abuses and insults which taken as a whole convinced the colonists that rebellion was their only acceptable course of action.

The American colonists had a variety of taxes and levies required upon them by the British, but between the years 1714 to 1763 was a time when no taxes were collected and they were allowed to govern themselves, this time was referred to as salutary neglect. Salutary neglect was British’s unofficial policy that was initiated by Robert Walpole to relax on the taxes and strict regulations, in particular the trade laws imposed on the colonies. Salutary neglect enabled the American colonies to prosper by trading with non Brittan entities, and then to spend there wealth on British made goods and at the same time provide British with raw materials to manufacture. The policy did in fact have an unintended side effect it enabled the colonies to operate independent from Brittan, both economically, politically, which allowed them to create an American identity.

When the seven year war ended (French-Indian-English War) Britain was granted control over most of the North American continent. The war had doubled Britain’s national debt, which in turn caused Brittan to remove salutary neglect and resort back to the navigation acts, taxes, and monopolies on the colonies once again. Britain also left a standing army in America; they figured that the colonies benefited from the war and that they should pull out their purses for the king and the country. Parliament also passed a new act called the Sugar Act, it imposed new taxes on mainland imports and expanded the authority of the admiralty courts, where decision on maritime crimes, including smuggling, were handed down without consulting a jury; in 1766 the act was repealed. There was the Currency Act of 1764 which prohibited the colonies from making their own paper money legal tender. This prevented the Americans from paying their debts to British traders in currency that had fallen to less then its face value. They also imposed the Quartering Act of 1765, which obliged any colony in which troops were stationed to provide them with suitable accommodations, this contributed to the cost of keeping British forces in America. Finally in March of 1765 parliament passed the Stamp Act which placed taxes on legal documents, customs, newspapers, almanacs, college diplomas, playing cards, and dice. Just like the Sugar Act for those violators would be tried without juries in admirably courts.

The first display of colonial unity was summer of 1765 when American assemblies passed resolves denying parliament the right to tax colonies, they ruled the right to tax Americans belonged to the colonial assemblies alone. Patrick Henry took lead in protesting the stamp act and the sugar act. The house of Burgess petitioned the king and parliament to repeal the sugar act and the Stamp Act. The stamp act was one of the first steps to enslave Americans. The problem the colonists had with these taxes was that they were being made in British parliament where they had no representation. Colonists could see no virtue in the theory of virtual representation. Circumstances...
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