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Why Colonies Rebeled Against Britian

By melissa2871 May 04, 2013 1735 Words
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 and interest of colonials VS British were very different. The colonists started a slogan “no taxation without representation” over British taxes. Another issue that the colonists had was that English courts in most cases would not give colonists a trial by jury, they gave their own people a trial by jury; why not give the colonists one. They were part of the English empire and they were not treated as so. This was not a major cause for the rebellion, but it was one of many that added up.

In 1768 royal troops were stationed in Boston to enforce the heavy tax burden imposed by the Townshend Acts. The condition in Boston was growing steadily with more and more tension between the Bostonians and the red coats. British troops were cursed daily by citizens and fights broke out on a very regular basis. On March 5, 1770 a crowd of Bostonians gathered around a small group of British soldiers and started slinging snowballs at the British troops. After one troop was hit they were shots fired, 5 colonists were killed. After the Boston Massacre the British realized that by taxing all the English goods they were discouraging sales to colonists and encouraged them to manufacture at home. In 1770 all the Townshend Acts were repealed except for thee tax on tea.

The colonists were still unhappy with Britain for they were still paying taxes on tea and molasses, which they had not consented to paying. They also were still subject to trial in admiralty courts, which was a trial without a jury. They also still lived with a standing army; Americans were growing angry at the fact that they were being treated with inequality.

Americans took action and formed the committees of correspondence. These committees were established in all the colonies and they drew up statements of American grievances. After the committees off correspondence had formed Britain had passed a new act called the Tea Act in 1773. The Tea Act was passed in an effort to bail out the financially troubled British East India Company by giving them a monopoly on the tea trade to America. The colonists saw through the deception of parliament and immediately revolted. The final event that occurred before the revolution was the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773 Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain. Samuel Adams and his sons of liberty boarded the ships and destroyed all the tea by throwing into the Boston Harbor. The Boston’s Tea party was key to the revolution. Parliament responded with the Coercive Acts, or Intolerable Acts, which closed Boston’s commerce and ended self-government in Boston. The crisis in America escalated and the American Revolutionary War begin near Boston in 1775.

Bacons Rebellion: Bacons Rebellion happened during the 1660’s when overproduction of tobacco was depressing tobacco prices, exporting duties on tobacco prices paid under the navigation acts helped plunge many small planters into crushing debt and some were forced back into servitude. Tensions in Virginia came to a head in 1676 when the rebellion when William Berkeley favored building forts to guard against Indians. Nathaniel Bacon arrived from England well connected and expecting to receive favors from the governor, including permission to trade with the Indians. Nathaniel Bacon wrote a letter to Berkeley asking to trade with the Indians, but Berkeley and a few friends had a monopoly on trading with the Indians and he declined. When he declined Nathanael Bacon formed a militia and in the summer of 1676 Bacon marched into Jamestown and with his armed men and bullied them into approving his expedition to kill the Indians. Berkeley declared Bacon a rebel and in September 1676 Bacon burned Jamestown to a mound of ashes, he died a month later.

Uncle Toms Cabin: The anti-slavery novel written by Harriett Beecher Stowe published in 1852, the novel helped to lay a lot of ground work for the civil war, it was used as propaganda to make people see that slavery is wrong; the north accepts the book as truth. During this time slavery was the topic of discussion (slavery right or wrong emotions are brought into this). The impact of attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abram Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared “ so this is the lady that started the great war”.

American System: The American system was an economic plan that played a prominent role in American policy during the first half of the 19th century. Alexander Hamilton made a plan that consisted of three mutually reinforcing parts: a tariff to protect and promote American industry, a national bank to foster commerce, and federal subsidies for roads, canals and other internal improvements to develop profitable markets for agriculture. This American system was a plan to strengthen and unify the nation, it was advanced by the Democratic - Republican Party, and leading politicians including Henry Clay, John C Calhoun, and John Quincy Adams advanced this system.

First Great Awakening: The first great Awakening was a Christian revitalization movement that swept past protestant Europe and British America, and especially the American colonies in the 1730’s and 1740’s leaving a permanent impact on American religion. It resulted from a powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of deep personal revelation of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ. Famous Preachers during this time were George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards.

Election of 1880: During this time the naval war was ragging on the high seas and the alien seduction and sedition acts sparking debate at home, Adams shocked his party by negotiating peace treaty with France. The political culture during this time was extreme views, two parties had emerged during this period it was the federalist and the republicans. Each party regarded its opponents as a dangerous faction of ambitious men striving to increase their wealth and power at the expense of the other republican liberty. Republicans accused Washington and Hamilton of being British agents and monarchists as; federalist denounced Jefferson as an atheist and his partisans as a pack of blood drinking cannibals. The election of 1880 was the 24th quadrennial presidential election. It was largely seen as a referendum on the end of reconstruction in the southern states carried out by the Republicans. There were no pressing issues of the day save tariffs, with the republicans supporting higher tariffs and the democrats supporting lower ones. James A Garfield won the election capturing 214 of the 369 electoral votes cast.

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