Causes of the American Revolution
Connor Hurd 1763-1776
The Navigation Acts
The navigation acts were the first set of laws that were an attempt to install the idea of mercantilism in the colonies. This meant that if someone were to trade something it would have to go to England to be taxed before it could be traded. The sugar act branched off of this and it put duty (a tax on imported/exported goods) on sugar which was a very important crop in the 1700's.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III after the French and Indian war. The proclamation made a border along the Appalachian mountains that separated English colonists from the land they had won. The reason King George did this was to avoid creating a bigger dept to other countries due to another war with the Indians.
The Stamp Act
The stamp acts purpose was to get money for England to pay off their dept to the world, it did this by taxing everything that was made of paper in the colonies. A man named Samuel Adams created the Committees of Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty in order to protest the taxes that England had set. The Committees of Correspondence did this by boycotting certain items that were being taxed, while the Sons of Liberty used more violent ways. The Stamp Act Congress was a meeting of 9 of the 13 colonies to discuss what they should do about the stamp act. The congress sent a letter to King George III asking that the tax be repealed, which it eventually was.
The Quartering Act
Due to all of the protests in the colonies England sent more soldiers to keep things under control this partially led to the quartering act. The Quartering Act was a law that forced all colonists to house, cloth and feed any soldier that asked. The British soldiers also had blank search warrants that were called writs of assistance, this gave soldiers the power to search any house they thought might have illegal goods in it. This greatly angered colonists because one, it took away one of their basic rights as a citizen and two it was incredibly expensive to feed and cloth soldiers with all of the taxes.
The Townshend Acts
The Townshend Acts would tax any colonists basic household items like tea, glass, clothing and paper. Another protesting group known as the Daughters of Liberty would protest this tax by creating their own clothing clothing and such. Even after the Townshend Acts were repealed England still continued to tax tea because it was the most popular thing to drink. Due to this the Sons of Liberty would attack soldiers and their homes and would do something called tarring and feathering in response to the taxation.
The Boston Massacre
On March 5, 1770 a group of colonists formed a mob and began to yell at a group of soldiers who were trying to keep them under control. At one point somebody did something wrong and the British soldiers opened fire on the group of protesters. The first man to die was a black man named Crispus Attucks and 4 others followed. Samuel Adams used this as propaganda (biased information) to influence the colonists into protesting. Samuel Adams cousin, John Adams, represented the soldiers in court to show the colonists that the right of trial by jury is accessible for all citizens.
The Tea Act and The Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act made so that tea could not be produced anywhere in the colonies and could only be purchased from the British East India Tea Company. The Tea Act actually made the price of tea lower however the colonists still didn't like that they had to pay import tax to Britain. The Sons of Liberty's reaction to this was to board a tea ship dressed as Indians and throw all of the tea on the ship overboard, this was later known as the Boston Tea Party.
The Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts)
The Coercive Acts were four laws created as punishment for the Boston Tea Party. The first law stopped all trade between Boston and England, the second made it illegal to have town meetings, the third gave England control of the whole colony, and the fourth law greatly strengthened the Quartering Act. When the port of Boston was closed the economy of the colonies took a major dive since trade couldn't really happen. The other colonies would try to help Boston by sending them food and other supplies.
The American Revolution was an 18 year long war between the 13 colonies and Britain. The Quartering act and The Boston Massacre created a lot of social tension between England and the Colonies because they took away the colonists rights, and Britain's army killed innocent civilians. The Navigation acts, The Townshend Acts, the Stamp Act and the Tea Act were all economic policies that made the colonies angry. This is because the laws taxed almost every basic need for an average colonist and greatly complicated things. I Think that the colonies were perfectly justified in declaring their independence because all of these taxes were throwing the economy into chaos. That and the basic rights that the colonists governments gave them were being taken away. However I do not support the Sons of Liberty in their protests in which they destroyed the homes and lives of soldiers, especially tarring and feathering which was cruel and torturous and should not have been used.