Causes of the American Revolution
Causes of the American Revolution
The American Revolution happened because the colonists were tired of being controlled by England, so they fought for their independence. It started with the colonists boycotting the taxes England was putting on the colonies to pay for the French and Indian War. The social causes of the revolution occurred when the King of England took away the colonies self government and enforced laws and taxes the colonists did not like, which made the colonists very upset. The economic policies that were passed to lead to the American Revolution were called Acts, such as the Townshend Acts and Navigation Acts. In my opinion the colonists were justified when they declared independence because they had come to America to have freedom and enjoy their own rights and the actions of the king took all of that away from them.
The Navigation Acts occurred when England wanted to start using mercantilism with the colonists. The Acts made two laws that changed the economy of the colonies significantly. The first law was that any trade could only be done with English ships. The second law was anything being shipped out had to go through England first. The Sugar Act was a part of the Navigation Acts. It put a high tax on sugar, this made colonists very angry because they had to spend a lot more money on sugar. This was also a big deal to the colonists because every colonist drank rum, with had sugar in it, and the Sugar Act made rum really expensive.
Proclamation Line of 1763
In 1763, after the French and Indian War, King George III had a huge debt to pay. Then a battle between Native Americans and the British happened in the Ohio River Valley called Pontiac's Rebellion. The British won,but only with much bloodshed. To prevent another costly war, more debt and problems with the Native Americans, King George III set up the Proclamation Line. This line marked the border where colonists were not allowed to go west of with out kings permission, which he almost never gave. This made the colonists very angry. They wanted to be able to settle on the land that their loved ones fought, and died to obtain. They also did not like having British soldiers live among them. Most people ignored the Proclamation Line. This made it evident to England how upset the colonists felt about being controlled.
In 1765, the Stamp Act was created. This act put a tax put on anything printed on paper. To do this England make colonists buy seal or stamp with any printed paper merchandise. It was made for one reason; so England could get even more money to pay back the debt they owed from the French and Indian war. During this time, Samuel Adams started a group that told surrounding towns about what the British taxes were and how to stop them. Then Samuel started another group called the Sons of Liberty. They were a group who protested the enforced British politics and would even resort to violence to get their message across. Then in 1765, a meeting took pace called the Stamp Act Congress. In this meeting, nine colonies from New York talked decided that only the colonies governments are allowed to tax the people, not the King. They send a letter to the King asking him to repeal the law. To stop further boycotting and maybe even a revolution, King George III agreed. But, later he made another act called the Declaratory Act that made Parliament in charge of the legislation in the colonies. This only made the colonists even more angry.
The Quartering Act was what followed the Stamp Act. The Quartering Act stated that colonists must quarter, or take care of, the British Soldiers. There were a lot of things that the colonists didn't like about this Act, but there were two major problems. The first is that housing and feeding the soldiers was expensive, especially with all the taxes. The second major problem the colonists had, were Writes of Assistance. The writes of assistance were blank search warrants that allowed the British soldiers to enter and search anyone's home when ever they wanted to. The colonists felt that they were a huge privacy violation.
In 1767 another Acts was passed called the Townshend Acts. This act made the colonists pay taxes on imported goods such as; tea, paper and glass. This lead to people protesting and boycotting imported goods. A group of women called the Daughters of Liberty started to sew their own cloths instead of buying them. in the year 1770 all the protests and boycotts worked. England repealed the tax on all of the goods except one; tea. The colonists didn't like that because in a way it showed that England still controlled them. The group called the Sons of Liberty took matters into their own hands and used violence against the British officials and tax collectors.
In 1770 tensions were running high between the colonists and England. One day, a group of colonists cornered some British soldiers. While they were cornered the colonists insulted them and threw snowballs and possibly rocks at them. Then more soldiers came and fired shots at the colonists. Five colonists died. Samuel Adams used this incident to convince the opinions of the public. To most peoples surprise Samuel Adams cousin, John Adams, chose to represent the soldiers at the massacre. John later said that when he represented the soldiers it was the best thing he left for the country.
Tea Act and Boston Tea Party
Another Act that England enforced was called the Tea Act. This Act said that colonists could only buy tea from the British East India Company. Even though tea was cheaper colonists still were unhappy because they had to pay England. The Sons of Liberty decided to do something to send England a message. They ended up disquieting themselves as Native Americans and illegally boarded an England ship. They then took 342 crates of tea and dumped them into the Boston Harbor. This action that they took became known ad the Boston Tea Party.
Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts)
In result of the Boston Tea party, the Coercive Act, or as the colonists called it the Intolerable Acts, was created. This Act enforced four major rules on the colonists until all the tea that was dumped into the Harbor was paid for. The four rules were this; all trade out of Boston stopped, no town meetings were to take place, England now had 100% control and it strengthened the Quartering Act. Other colonists helped and supported Boston and revolutionary idea started spreading through out the colonies.