Causes of the American Revolution
Sydney Johnson 1763-1776
The Navigation Acts were made by the British Parliament in 1650. They were made so they could test the theory of mercantilism. The colonists had to follow two rules including that the colonies could only trade with England. The rules also state that courts and to be set up to prosecute smugglers. They set up these laws so that the colonies in the new world could compare with the growing Dutch trade.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was a law made after the French and Indian War. King George issued it because the wanted to avoid fighting in the future with the Native Americans. The proclamation stated that the new land that Great Britain claimed from the french couldn't be settled on, and the colonists were prohibited to move past the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists were outraged by this law because they had just fought for this land, and the King said that they couldn't use it. This just added the tension between the colonies and the mother country.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was a law passed in 1765 by the British Parliament enabling the taxation of everything made out of paper. The law was passed because Britain needed more funds to help pay off their debts from the French and Indian war. A group of colonists called the Sons of Liberty protested this act by boycotting all the paper goods. Later on, a group assembled called the the Stamp Act Committee discussed the taxation of the colonists and sent a letter to the king, but he didn't listen. The taxation just got stricter, and therefore adding to the tension between Britain and their colonies.
Britain responded to colonist protesting by passing the Quartering Act in 1765. This law said that the colonists in the colonies had to house, feed, and cloth British soldiers. Another part of the act was that soldiers got writs of assistance, blank search warrants, and they were allowed to search people homes if they were suspected smugglers. The colonists didn't like having soldiers waiting right outside their doors.
The Townshend Acts were passed by the British Parliament in 1767. This act made colonists pay taxes on many common goods like imported tea, glass, paper, and other items to pay for rising costs from the Quartering Acts. A group of colonist women, the Daughters of Liberty, boycotted this act by making their own cloth instead of buying it from the British. In 1770, the British Parliament repealed most of the taxes except for the one on tea. Protests still took place and colonists and the Sons of Liberty continued to attack British official's homes and using violence to make their point. This contributed to the rising tension between the colonies and Britain.
The tension between the colonists and Britain, especially the soldiers, rose and rose. On March 5, 1770, the tension hit its first breaking point out of many. A group of colonists were mocking and insulting a group of soldiers. The soldiers got fed up with the insults and started to open fire against the group of colonists. The first colonist to die was Crispus Attucks, and after him, four other colonists fell to the soldiers fire. After the Massacre happened, Samuel Adams and the rest of the Sons of Liberty used the event as propaganda.
The Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was a law made in 1773 by the British Parliament. The law decreed that the only tea allowed to sell tea in the colonies was the British East India Company. That allowed the company to have a monopoly over tea in the colonies. even though the prices were much lower, the colonists still found it unfair because they were forced into paying import taxes. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty sneaked onto ships, disguised as Indians, and dumped 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. Later on, this protest became known as the Boston Tea Party.
The Coercive Act (the Intolerable Acts)
After the Boston Tea Party, the British government was fuming. After some convincing by the British Prime Minister, the parliament passed the Coercive Acts. These laws stopped all trade between Boston and Britain, gave Britain total control of the colony, and prohibited all town meetings. Since these laws were unfair, the act became known among the colonists as the Intolerable Acts. Since Boston's port was closed, the whole economies of all the colonies were severely impacted. The other colonies supported Boston and it lit the fire leading to the American Revolutionary War.
The entirety of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was the war between the 13 colonies and Britain for the colonies' independence. Some of the social causes included the First Great Awakening and the Enlightenment. The British economic policies included the many acts like the Navigation Acts, the Proclamation of 1763, the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, the Townshend Acts, the Tea Acts, the Coercive Acts, and more. I think that the colonists were justified in declaring independence because Britain had been treating the colonies very unfairly and all the colonies did was stand up for themselves.