Causes of the American Revolution
Devon Kang 1763-1766
The Navigation Acts were set in place by the British to restrict colonial trade. In 1650 the acts were passed. The acts were created to fight against the growing Dutch trade. The act only allowed colonial trade to occur on English ships. Trade that was for nations outside the empire had to go through England first. The colonists were upset because this affected their economy and benefited the British.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was created after the French and Indian war to prevent further engagement with the Native Americans and reduce war costs. When King George III issued the proclamation, it recognized the Natives right to the land and did not allow colonists to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. Colonists became very angry that the British were attempting to regain control over the colonies once again. They were not allowed to live on the land they just fought for. The proclamation was very hard to enforce, many colonists failed to abide by it.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was passed in 1765 by the British Parliament. The Stamp Act was created to tax the colonists to pay off war debt. All colonists were required to pay taxes for all paper products, stamps, etc. The act made colonists very angry and resentful of the British Government. Many colonists formed groups that contacted each other to protest the British taxation. In 1765 multiple colonies met in New York to create a plan to fight the taxes. The Stamp Act was eventually repealed by the King.
Due to the Stamp Act protests, Britain sent in more troops to control the colonies and keep peace. The parliament passed the Quartering Act of 1765, which forced colonists to house and feed the British soldiers. The colonists were furious, they did not want their homes to be occupied by soldiers and they did not want to give their food away to soldiers. This also caused for the Writs of Assistance to be put in place, which was essentially was a blank search warrant that the soldiers could use at anytime.
The Townshend Acts were passed by the British Parliament in 1767. These acts taxed all imported tea, glass, paper, and other items. These taxes were to pay for military costs because of the quartering act. Colonists continued to boycott British goods. 1770 the protests had been successful. Most of the taxes were repealed, except for the tax on tea. Britain wanted to show that they still had the power to tax. Angry colonists attacked the homes of British officials and tax collectors.
The Boston Massacre occurred when anger raged throughout the colony. The tension exploded on March 5, 1770 when a crowd formed in the center of town. They were arguing with the British soldiers and throwing snowballs. More soldiers arrived and gun shots were fired. Five colonists were killed, resulting in this being the deadliest riot.
Tea Act & Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was passed in 1773 by the British Parliament. The Tea Act allowed only the British-East India Company to sell tea to the colonies. The tea was cheaper than usual, but the colonists were still angry they had to pay tax. The Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as natives and boarded ships illegally on December 16, 1773. They dumped 342 crates of tea into the harbor. This protest was named the Boston Tea Party.
The British Government was enraged after hearing about the Boston Tea Party. The Prime Minister passed the Coercive Acts in 1774. Colonists referred to these acts as the "Intolerable Acts". The acts closed the Port of Boston and strengthened the quartering act. The colonists became furious with the British. This led to other colonies supporting Boston and created a revolutionary spirit within the colonies.
The First Continental Congress
12 of the 13 colonies had gathered on September 5 to October 26, 1774 at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, PA. They gathered to discuss boycotts and other forms of protests. They had also written a letter to the Kind of England with all of their complaints. This letter was not even read by the King. Instead of resolving the complaints, more redcoats were sent to the colonies.