Causes of the American Revolution

1763 - 1776

American Revolution

The American Revolution started when the English made the American Colonies pay taxes. The English created these policies in an attempt to to pay off their war debt. The colonists were outraged and did everything they could to rebel English order. Some groups like the Son's of Liberty protested and boycotted taxed items. These protests created a revolutionary spirit throughout the colonies. Colonists thought that being taxed by the British was ludicrous because they were both American and English.

Revolution Begins

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Policies created by the British

Many acts were passed in an attempt to pay off the debt from the French and Indian war.

Acts such as:


  • Coercive Acts
  • Townshend Acts
  • Navigation Acts
  • Proclamation of 1763
  • Stamp act
  • Quartering Acts
These British policies angered the colonists and kickstarted the American Revolution.

Coercive Acts

The British Parliament created this act after the Boston Tea Party. The British Prime Minister was so infuriated that he took control of Boston. The laws that were passed prohibited trade between Boston and England and closed the Boston Harbor. Closing the Boston Harbor diminished Boston's economy significantly. The Coercive acts created a revolutionary spirit throughout all colonies.

Townshend Acts

The Townshend Acts was a policy created by British Parliament in 1767. The Act put a tax on everyday items such as Tea, glass, paper, and many other items. Many groups protested the Townshend Act by making their own supplies and not buying British items. A famous group of women known as the Daughters of Liberty made their own cloth as a way to protest. The protesters ended up winning because by 1770 most of the taxes were repealed. The only tax that was not repealed was tea.

Navigations Act

The Navigations act was created in an effort to prevent the colonists from trading with the Dutch. Certain items like sugar, tobacco, and indigo were to only be distributed by the English. All products from outside of England were given to England and then the Royal Empire could distribute the items to the colonists. The most significant result of the Navigations Act was the diminishing colonial manufacturing.

Proclamation of 1763

After the French and Indian war the British stayed along the Ohio River Valley to make sure no colonists crossed the border to settle. King George III wanted to prevent any costly wars that could be started if they disturb the Natives. The colonists were very upset because they wanted to settle on the land.
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Stamp Act

The Stamp act was a policy passed by the British Parliament as another way to diminish their war debt. The act taxed all paper goods. The colonists were prohibited from using their own paper. The colonists we forced to use paper stamped by the Royal Empire.
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Quartering Acts

The Quartering Acts was another way the English tried to decrease their war debt. The English sent Red Coats to occupy the colonies but had no where to stay. Building housing for the Red Coats was incredibly costly so the British Parliament passed the Quartering acts. The Quartering Acts stated that the Red Coats could stay with the colonists and that the colonists must feed them. This act arguably angered the colonists the most.
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Boston Massacre

The policies passed by the British caused several incidents including the Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre was a riot that was started by colonists. The colonists were protesting the taxes that were placed on the colonists. The patriots threw snowballs and other various objects at the Red coats. The Red Coats were outraged and killed 5 of the rioters. The Boston Massacre was the first fatality in the Revolutionary war.
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Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was another incident caused by the taxes placed on the colonists. The Tea Party was a famous protest that caused lists of change to the city of Boston. A group called the Sons of Liberty went on board a British ship that was transporting tea dressed as Indians. The group dumped 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. The King was so infuriated that he closed the harbor and took control of the city.
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