Causes of the American Revolution
Allison Vilas 1763-1776
Causes of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was when the Colonists revolted against the British rule. Some social causes of the American Revolution grew out of the colonies and the colonists began loosing ties to their "mother country" and they had less allegiance to a king that ruled from thousands of miles away. The colonists began to start thinking of themselves as Americans and desired to determine their own political outlook. Some economic causes were when Britain emerged from the French and Indian war victorious, they had a lot of debt and Parliament turned to the colonies and ended the era of salutary neglect by adopting a new, more controlling attitude toward the colonies. Britain's new policies attempted to gain more control over the colonies, forcing them to respect Britain's mercantilism laws, and taxes so Britain could help pay for their debt. Previous laws designed to help British Mercantilism were enforced more seriously than ever. Some events that led to this uprising from the colonists were the Navigation Acts, the Proclamation of 1763, the Stamp Acts, the Quartering Act, the Townshend Acts, Boston Massacre, the Tea Act, Boston Tea Party, and the Intolerable Acts. These events sparked rebellion within the colonies and led to this revolutionary war. I believe that the colonists were right for declaring their independence from England and fighting for their rights.
The purpose of the Navigation Act was to set laws that restrict colonial trade, which benefited England. Two rules that the colonists had to follow when trading goods were that they can only trade in English ships, and some products could only be shipped within the empire. The Sugar Act was duty passed on the importation of sugar. The colonists were opposed to this because they were forced to buy more costly sugar. The most significant impact of the Navigation Acts was the stifling of colonial manufacturing and increasing resentment against the mother country.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was created after the French and Indian war. King George issued the Proclamation because he wanted to save money by stopping the colonists from settling West of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists were in response very angry and many disregarded it.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act taxed all paper products and was created to help pay off debt from the French and Indian war. Samuel Adams and the Committee of Correspondence protested the Stamp Act by boycotting. The Sons of Liberty were created by Samuel Adams to protest British rule, sometimes using violence to get their point across. At the Stamp Act Congress, they discussed taxation and sent a request to King George III to repeal the act. King George responded to the boycotts and Benjamin Franklin's address to the parliament by repealing the Stamp Act.
In response to the Stamp Act protests, Britain sent more troops to keep the colonies in order. The Quartering Act was a law that required colonists to house, feed, and clothe British soldiers. Two major issues colonists had the Quartering Act were that taking in the soldiers was very costly for them, and the other issue was that they did not like the blank search warrants that were now in effect due to the writs of assistance which allowed soldiers to search anyone's home at anytime.
The Townshend Acts taxed imported teas, glass, paper, and other items. The Daughters of Liberty responded to the Townshend Acts and protested by boycotting and making their own cloth. Even after the Townshend Acts were repealed in 1770, Britain continued to tax tea. The Sons Of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, responded to the continued taxation of the colonies by using violence and attacking the homes of British officials and tax collectors.
On March 5, 1770 a crowd gathered around an angry colonist arguing with a British soldier. The colonists started to insult the soldiers and throw snowballs at them. More soldiers came and the mob got out of hand and shots were fired, killing five people. This is known as the Boston Massacre. Samuel Adams responded to this by using it as a propaganda, and his cousin, John Adams decided to represent the soldiers in trial in order to demonstrate that colonists value the right to a trial by jury for all citizens.
Tea Act & Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was passed by parliament, which made the British East India Company the only company allowed to sell tea to the colonies, giving Britain a monopoly over tea. The colonists were unhappy with the Tea Act because they were being forced to pay import taxes to Britain. The Sons of Liberty responded to the Tea Act by dressing up as Indians and dumping 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773. This is referred to as the Boston Tea Party.
Coercive Act (Intolerable Acts)
The colonists called the Coercive acts the Intolerable Acts. Four laws enforced by as a result of the Intolerable Acts were that they stopped trade between Britain and Boston, stopped town meetings, gave Britain control of the colony, and strengthened the Quartering Acts. The other colonies responded to this by supporting Boston as goods were brought in from the other colonies and also stirred revolutionary spirit.