Causes of the American Revolution

1763-1776

Causes of the American Revolution

The American Revolution is the time period in which the 13 colonies decided that they didn’t like being under British control. They fought back by refusing to pay taxes, boycotting, and rioting against British rule under King George lll. Some social causes of the American Revolution were salutary neglect, the Enlightenment, and the fact that Great Britain was far away from the 13 colonies. King George lll didn’t interfere with the 13 colonies from 1607 to 1763 and he let the colonies have self-governments and conduct commerce. The Enlightenment was a time period that included John Locke and Benjamin Franklin. The Enlightenment was an event that brought up two valid ideas: 1)governments only exist to protect the people and can be destroyed by the people as well and 2)kings are not given power by God to rule. Some British economic policies that led to the American Revolution were the gain of the Ohio River Valley by the British after the French and Indian War and the Proclamation Line of 1763. The gain of the Ohio River Valley caused tension between the British and the colonists because the colonists wanted to settle there, and British rule prevented them from doing so. This tension got even worse when the Proclamation Line of 1763 was formed. It prevented colonists from settling on the land to prevent Native American Attacks. The colonists proceeded to move on the land and ignore British law. I think that the colonists were very justified in declaring independence from England because after the colonies were being successful, the King swooped in and decided to tax the colonies just for the money. If they protested against him, King George lll usually dropped the law, but made a different one to punish the colonists.

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The Navigations Acts

The purpose of the Navigation Acts was to increase England's wealth and put mercantilism to the test by making certain items to be shipped only in England or under England's notice. Another purpose was to compete and prevent the threat of the popular Dutch carrying trade. The two rules that the colonists had to follow when trading goods were to use only English or colonial ships for trade with the colonies and send any trade with outside colonies or countries to England first. The Sugar Act was a law forcing American rum distillers to buy more expensive sugar from the British West Indies. The colonists were opposed to it because they had yet another tax to pay to England. They also felt angered because the King and the Parliament hadn't advised or asked the colonists about the tax before taxing them. The colonists believed that this was a violation of their rights.
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The Proclamation of 1763

After the French and Indian War, the Proclamation of 1763 was created. King George lll issued the proclamation to avoid more tension, conflict, and wars between the colonists and the Native Americans. The response from the colonists about the Proclamation of 1763 was anger. The colonists wanted to settle in the Ohio River Valley and west of the Appalachian Mountains, but they couldn't because the Proclamation of 1763 prevented them from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains. This angered the colonists because they wanted to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains, but they didn't want British soldiers living among them. Due to the fact that enforcing the law was hard, colonists disobeyed the law and expressed their anger to the British.
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The Stamp Act

The Stamp Act taxed anything on paper by requiring them to purchase a seal/stamp for every paper product bought. The Stamp Act was created to pay off the debt from the French and Indian War. The Stamp Act angered the colonists and they highly resented British rule. Samuel Adams and the Committees of Correspondence protested to the Stamp Act by contacting other towns and telling them how to fight the Stamp Act by boycotting against the Stamp Act tax. Samuel Adams created the Sons of Liberty and the purpose was to protest British policies. Sometimes, the Sons of Liberty led by Samuel Adams, used violence to get their message across. At the Stamp Act Congress in New York, taxes were discussed by nine colonies. King George responded to the boycott and Benjamin Franklin's address to parliament by repealing the Stamp Act.
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Quartering Act

Britain sent more troops to keep the peace in the colonies in response to the Stamp Act protests. The Quartering Act was a law that made colonists provide food and shelter for British soldiers. The two major issues that colonists had with the Quartering Act is that they didn't like having the writs of assistance and that feeding and housing British soldiers cost the colonists a lot of money. Writs of assistance were search warrants that allowed royal troops and British soldiers to search anyone's home whenever they pleased. Writs of assistance also angered the colonists because they felt that it was a violation of their rights as well.
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Townshend Acts

Some items that were taxed with the Townshend Acts were tea, glass, and many other items. The taxes from the Townshend Acts were to pay for military costs that were rising after the Quartering Act was passed. The Daughters of Liberty responded to the Townshend Acts by protesting. They responded by making their own cloth instead of buying British cloth. The one item that the British continued to tax after the Townshend Act was repealed in 1770 was tea. The British did this to show the colonists that they still have the right and liberty to tax them. The Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, responded to the continued taxation of the colonies by using violence and anger to attack the homes of British officials and colonial tax collectors.
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Boston Massacre

On March 5, 1770, a colonist was harassing and arguing with a British soldier, and a mob began to form around the the angry colonist. More soldiers began to arrive at the scene, but as the mob grew with anger and tension, shots were fired by the British soldiers and 5 colonists were killed. It was named the Boston Massacre by colonists. Samuel Adams responded to the Boston Massacre by using it as propaganda to influence the public's view on the five murders in Boston. Samuel Adams shared this news through the Committees of Correspondence. The Committees of Correspondence shared news and ideas about the recent events to other colonies. John Adams, Samuel Adam's cousin, responded to the Boston Massacre by representing the soldiers in their trial, convincing the judge to a trial by jury. This event, John Adams later announced, was his largest contribution to his country.
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Tea Act & Boston Tea Party

The Tea Act was a Law passed by Parliament allowing only British East India Company to sell tea to the colonies. This event is known as a monopoly over tea in the colonies. The colonists were unhappy with the Tea Act despite the fact that it made the price of tea lower because of the taxes. Even though the law made the price of tea lower, the colonists didn't want to pay import taxes to Britain. The Sons of Liberty responded to the Tea Act by disguising themselves as Native Americans and illegally boarding ships at the Boston Harbor. They dumped 342 crates of British owned tea into the Boston Harbor, protesting the Tea Act. This act is known today as the Boston Tea Party.
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Coercive Act (Intolerable Acts)

The colonists called the Coercive Acts the Intolerable Acts because of their extremely harsh consequences for the colonists. The four laws/restrictions that were enforced as a result of the Intolerable Acts were; stop all British and Boston trade, give the British control over the colonies, prevent any town meetings, and fortify the Quartering Acts. The other colonies responded to the Intolerable Acts by supporting the town of Boston by bringing them goods from other colonies. Since shipping had halted in Boston because of the Coercive Acts, other colonies assisted Boston during this rough time. This time period encouraged a revolutionary spirit and atmosphere in the colonies.
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