Causes of the American Revolution
Will H. 1763-1776
The Navigation Acts were a series of acts passed by the British Parliament to try and curb Dutch trade and to try and have more mercantilist practices. The acts forced colonists to use English ships when trading, and if they wanted to trade sugar, tobacco and indigo it had to go to England first. Another of the Navigtion Acts, the Sugar Act, placed a heavy duty on sugar from the West Indies, forcing colonial rum distillers to pay a lot for the sugar they relied on. The Navigation Acts stifled colonial manufacturing, and was the first time colonists started to resent English rule.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was created after the French and Indian War by King George III so he did not have to fight more wars with natives west of the Appalachian Mountains to save money. The proclamation declared that no colonists could settle west of the Appalachian Mountains and the Native Americans had the right to the land. The colonists were opposed to it because they didn't like having British soldiers in the colonies and they did not like not having access to the land they fought for in the French and Indian War. Therefore many colonists simply ignored the proclamation and risked it past the mountains.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was essentially a tax placed on all paper goods in the colonies, requiring a stamp be put on all paper goods. The act was created by Parliament in an effort to continue to pay for the French and Indian War. The act was unpopular and Samuel Adams protested it in two ways. The first and more peaceful way, was through the Committes of Correspondence, who organized boycotts, rally's, and protests throughout the colonies. The second way was through the Sons of Liberty, who used violence against tax collectors and British officials. To try and end the act nine colonies met in New York to discuss the act. They decided that only colonists could decide taxes on the colonies. Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin addressed Parliament and King George III was forced to repeal the act, but he declared that Parliament had full control over the colonies.
The Quatering Act was one of Parliament's responses to the Stamp Act protests. The act required colonists to house, feed, and clothe British troops. The British soldiers were also given a blank search warrant called a "writ of assistance" , which upset many colonists. Taking care of the soldiers was also quite expensive, which led to more colonial uproar.
The Townshend Acts were a tax placed on goods like imported tea, glass, and paper. Since these were common household items many colonists were deeply upset. To protest the acts one group, The Daughters of Liberty, made their own clothes. After the Townshend Acts werer repealed in 1770 the British still continued to tax tea. The Sons of Liberty responded by attacking the homes of British officials and tax collectors.
On March 5, 1770 a large group of angry colonists began to harass a group of Redcoats in Boston. When the mob got bigger the Redcoats fired and 5 people were killed. Samuel Adams responded by using the massacre as anti-British propaganda, while John Adams chose to defend the Redcoats in court, because of his belief in the law.
Tea Act and Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was when the British Parliament gave the British East India Company a monopoly on all imported colonial tea. Even though the prices were lower the colonists didn't like paying the British import taxes. In response the Sons of Liberty threw 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party.
The Coercive Act, called the Intolerable Acts in the colonies, was passed by Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party. The new laws closed Boston Harbor to any trade, did not allow any town meetings, made Britain completely in charge of Massachusetts and strengthened the Quartering Acts. Since the closing of the harbor crippled the city many other colonies sent food and other goods to the city to try and prevent it's citizens from starving.
Summary of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was when colonist in the Thirteen Colonies, mainly Boston, began to resent British rule after heavy taxing to pay for the French and Indian War, for land they weren't allowed to live on. The two main social causes of the American Revolution were the First Great Awakening and the Enlightenment, both of which championed equality, and representation. The British economic policies that lead to the American Revolution were the policy of Mercantilism and forcing more and more taxes on the colonists to pay for other things. I think that right up until the Intolerable Acts they were not justified to declare independence because technically none of their very few rights were being broken, but after the take over of Boston I would say they were justified, especially after they tried to negotiate with George III many times.