CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
The American Revolution- Introduction
The American Revolution was a war fought between the British and the original 13 colonies of America. Some social causes of the American Revolution were that the colonists felt like they were Americans, and had their own power and had lost some of their allegiance to England especially when the Quartering Act was put into action. Their loyalty towards England only got worse as England started to enforce new economic policies like taxation on tea and other goods. England was in a lot of debt due to The French and Indian War and needed a way to pay it back. I think that the colonists were justified in declaring their independence from England because they had lived and started their new lives in America for so many years, and now they were being taxed and felt like their rights were being taken away.
The Proclamation Line of 1763
King George III created the Proclamation Line of 1763 after the French and Indian War. This imaginary line prohibited the colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains. King George did this so that there would be no further risk of conflict between the colonists and the Native Americans. England was already in a lot of debt, and couldn't afford to pay for anymore wars. The colonists however, were very angry about not being able to settle on that land, and they became even more upset about having British soldiers live among them.
The Navigation Acts
The Navigation Acts were attempts to put the theory of mercantilism into gear. For example, one of the rules was that trading was allowed by using only English or colonial ships, and certain items like indigo and sugar were only allowed to be shipped within the empire. Another rule was that any trade bound for nations other than the empire had to go to England first. Soon England came up with another act called the Sugar Act, which forced the colonists to buy expensive sugar from the British West Indies instead of the French West Indies, which is why the colonists opposed it so much. The most significant impact of the Navigation Acts was that they caused more hatred between the colonists and England, the mother country.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act taxed anything that was printed on paper, whether it was a deck of cards or a marriage certificate. The act was created as a way to raise money to protect the colonies and pay back the debt fro The French and Indian War. Samuel Adams and the Committees of Correspondence protested the Stamp Act by boycotting. Samuel Adams also helped create the Sons of Liberty who's purpose was also to protest, only this time using violence. There was soon a meeting to discuss the acts at the Stamp Act Congress. The congress of colonists met and suggested to King George III that only colonial governments should tax the colonists and asked him to repeal the act. Benjamin Franklin spoke before Parliament and as a result of his speech and all the boycotts, King George repealed the act.
The Quartering Act
The Quartering Act was an act created due to the Stamp Act protests. England sent more troops into the colonies to live with the colonists who were forced to feed and house them. This was referred to as the Quartering Act. A few major issues with the Quartering Act were that the colonists hated the British soldiers living with them and that it was quite costly, since they were having to care for another person. The colonists couldn't do anything about the act since all the soldiers had Writs of Assistance which were search warrants that allowed them to go into someone's house whenever they wanted.
The Townshend Acts
The Townshend Acts taxed all imported paper, glass, tea, and many other items as another way to pay for military costs for the Quartering Act. The Daughters of Liberty, a group of women, boycotted the Townshend Acts by making their own goods like cloth, instead of buying it. Due to all the protests and boycotts, King George III repealed most of the act in 1770, but still continued to tax tea. The Sons of Liberty responded to the taxation by continuing to use violence and even attacked the homes of British soldiers and tax collectors.
The Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770. It all began when a colonist started to argue with a soldier. More colonists joined in and threw rocks and snowballs at the soldier. More soldiers came and shots were fired at the unarmed colonists, resulting in the death of five. Samuel Adams created a propaganda to persuade public opinion. However, John Adams, Samuel's cousin, represented the soldiers in trial to show that the colonists were aware of and value the importance of the right to trial by jury for every citizen.
The Tea Act & Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was an act that forced the colonists to buy tea from only the British East India Company, which was the only company that was allowed to sell tea to the colonists. This resulted in a major monopoly over tea. Even though the price of tea was lower, the colonists were still angry because they had to pay import taxes. As a result, on December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, dressed like American Indians, illegally boarded the tea ships and dumped 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. The protest was known as the Boston Tea Party.
The Coercive Act (Intolerable Acts)
The Coercive Act or "The Intolerable Acts," as the colonists called them, were four laws enforced as a punishment for the Boston Tea Party. The first law was that all trade between Boston and Britain was stopped. The second law banished town meetings and the third strengthened the the Quartering Act. The final regulation was that England was now in full control of the colony. The colonists responded to the Intolerable Acts with a revolutionary spirit since their economies were failing, and their rights were being taken away.