Causes of the American Revolution
The American Revolution
The American Revolution was a war fought between England and the thirteen colonies after many years of unfair laws and built up anger in the colonists towards England and the king. Some social causes of the Revolution were the Quartering Act of 1765. Colonists were mad that the king of England was allowing soldiers to come into their homes to be fed and housed while they were in the thirteen colonies. Another cause was the Boston Massacre in 1770. Colonists were protesting to soldiers and the soldiers later opened fired on the unarmed colonists. Some economic policies that stirred the Revolution were the Townshend Acts, the Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party, the Coercive Acts, the Navigation Acts, the Proclamation Line of 1763, and the Stamp Act. The Townshend Acts, the Tea Acts, and the Stamp Act all put taxes on everyday items such as glass and paper. This made the colonists unhappy. All of the other laws benefited England, but not the colonies. Yes, I do think that colonists were justified to declare independence from England. I say this because England was issuing all of these unfair laws that the colonists didn't like. They should be able to fight for what they believe is right.
The Navigation Acts
The purpose of the Navigation Acts was to put the idea of mercantilism into actual practice. If the colonists wanted to trade there were a couple of rules that they had to follow. One of the rules was trade was to only be conducted with English or Colonial ships. The other was that certain enumerated items were only to be shipped within the empire. Trade destined for nations outside of the empire had to go first to England. Another part of the Navigation Acts was the Sugar Act. The Sugar Act was a duty that was placed on the importation of sugar from the French West Indies. This meant that rum distillers in America would be forced to buy more costly sugar from the British West Indies.
The Proclamation Line of 1763
The Proclamation Line of 1763 was created after the French and Indian War. It stretched from north to south and was west of the Appalachian Mountains. Since Britain won the war, they got all of the lands east of the Mississippi River. King George III issued the Proclamation Line so that he could avoid more costly wars and tension with the Native Americans after Pontiac's Rebellion. The colonists were not happy about this because they felt that they should settle on the land after the war since they won the land. They also didn't want British soldiers living among them.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was was an act that taxed anything printed on paper. This required colonists to buy a stamp or a seal for paper products. The Stamp Act was created because Parliament was trying to raise funds to protect the colonists and to pay off debts from the French and Indian War. Some colonists, like Samuel Adams and the Committees of Correspondence, protested the stamp act by boycotting. The Sons of Liberty was created by Samuel Adams and their purpose was to protest British policies. At the Stamp Act Congress, representatives in the colonies gathered and talked about how only colonial governments should be allowed to tax the colonies. Therefore, they sent a letter to King George III asking him to repeal the Stamp Act. King George responded by repealing the Stamp Act, but approved the Declaratory Act. This Act gave Parliament full authority of legislation in the colonies.
The Quartering Act
As a result of the Stamp Act protests, Britain sent more troops to keep order in the colonies. Because of this, the Quartering Act was born. The Quartering Act was passed in 1765 and it meant you had to let soldiers in your home and feed them and house them whenever they needed it. Two majors issues that the colonists had with the Quartering Act were that they didn't like an army of soldiers in the colonies with blank search warrants. They had lost their sense of rights over their property. The other issue was that housing and supplying soldiers was expensive and the colonists had to handle this. They did their part by protecting the soldiers from Indian attacks. In addition to this, soldiers began taking jobs at a lower wage which made the colonists even more upset and increased the tension between Britain and the colonies. Writs of Assistance were also known as blank search warrants.
The Townshend Acts
The Townshend Acts were passed by Parliament in 1767. These Acts required the colonists to pay taxes on imported goods such as tea, glass, and paper. This Act was passed as an effort to pay rising military costs due to the Quartering Act. The Daughters of Liberty protested the Townshend Acts by making their own cloth instead of buying cloth from the British. Eventually, in 1770, the British government repealed the Townshend Acts, but tea was still taxed. In response to tea still being taxed, The Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, attacked the homes of British soldiers and attacked tax collectors.
The Boston Massacre
There was building anger in the colonists that was continuing to grow as Britain sent more and more soldiers to Boston when colonists resisted taxes. This anger exploded on March 5, 1770. It started as an argument between a colonist and a soldier, but soon a crowd gathered and more soldiers arrived as the colonists started yelling insults and throwing snowballs at the soldier. Soon, shots were fired and five unarmed colonists were killed. This event was later known as the Boston Massacre. Afterwards, Samuel Adams decided to use the event as propaganda to influence the public opinion. He also shared the news and ideas with people in the other colonies through the Committees of Correspondence. John Adams, Samuel Adams' cousin, represented the soldiers in the case to show that colonists valued the right of a trial by jury for all citizens.
The Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act was an Act that made the British East India Company the only company to sell tea to the colonists. The colonists were unhappy with the Tea Act despite the tea price being lower because they were forced to pay import taxes to Britain. The Sons of Liberty responded to the Tea Act by dressing up as Indians, boarded a ship illegally, and threw 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. This protest was later called the Boston Tea Party.
The Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts)
When the Coercive Acts were passed as a result of the Boston Tea Party, the colonists called them the Intolerable Acts because they were so harsh. Four laws were enforced and they were, no trade was to be conducted between Boston and Britain, no town meetings, Britain gained control of the colony, and the Quartering Act was strengthened. The other colonies responded to these laws by giving Boston support by bringing in goods since the harbor was closed. In addition, these laws stirred revolutionary spirit throughout the colonies.