Causes of the American Revolution
SYDNEY HALL 1763-1776
What was the American Revolution?
The American Revolution was a war of independence from the American colonies against Britain. It inspired political concepts all around the world. Causes of the revolution were mainly based off protests against the British and the colonists taking a stand for their rights. Protesting groups like the Sons of Liberty, Committees of Correspondence, and the Daughters of Liberty were brought into light. These causes are listed below. British policies such as taxing goods like tea, glass, and paper, limiting tea imports from other colonies, and housing British soldiers were to pay off debts such as from the French and Indian War and for military costs. I think some of these colonists' protests were exaggerated and not needed for some of the acts they fought against, but the British did treat them unfairly, so I believe the colonists did the right thing when protesting.
The Navigation Acts
The Navigation Acts, started in 1650, were meant to put mercantilism into motion. Colonists had to follow two rules with the Acts. The first was that when trading with other colonies, you could only use English or colonial ships. The second was that goods like tobacco, sugar, and indigo could only be shipped out in the empire. When the Sugar Act was passed in 1733, the law forced a duty on importing sugar from the French West Indies. Colonies did not like this law because it required rum distillers to pay for expensive sugar from the British. The Navigation Acts had an powerful impression because of the restrain of colonial manufacturing and rising hate against the mother country.
The Proclamation of 1763
The Proclamation of 1763 was first written after the French and Indian War. The proclamation was issued by King George lll in hopes to escape anymore rivalry with the American Indians. The proclamation enforced the law of colonists not being able to live west of the Appalachian Mountains. However, this made colonists angry because they wanted to live on the land, especially without British soldiers there.
The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act, passed in 1765, taxed anything printed on paper. This forced colonists to buy stamps or seals for paper products. The Stamp Act was written in efforts to pay the debt of the French and Indian War through taxes. However, the Committees of Correspondence protested with Samuel Adams by contacting other towns via mail and boycotting. Adams created the Sons of Liberty, who were a secret society that also protested British policies, sometimes using violence.
The Stamp Act Congress was a congress of nine colonies that discussed taxes. King George lll reacted to the boycotting and Benjamin Franklin's address to parliament by repealing the Stamp Act, having no other choice.
The Quartering Act
In response to the Stamp Act protests, Britain sent even more troops to remain order in the colonies. In 1765, the Quartering Act was created that forced colonists to take care of British soldiers by housing and feeding them. Colonists did not favor this act because they did not like the army of soldiers with writs of assistance. Writs of assistance are blank search warrants. Another problem colonists had were trying to take care of the soldiers because it was pricey.
The Townshend Acts
The Townshend Acts, created in 1767, taxed items such as imported tea, glass, paper, and others to pay off military costs. People such as the Daughters of Liberty protested the acts by rather buying British cloth, made their own. Despite the act's repeal in 1770, the British government pursued to tax tea to demonstrate that they still had the power to tax. The Sons of Liberty responded angrily to this by continuing their violent acts against the British officials.
The Boston Massacre
On March 5, 1770, groups of colonists gathered around and argued with soldiers, shouting insults until the tension was so high that the soldiers released fire, killing 5 colonists. Samuel Adams responded to the event by using it as propaganda to persuade the idea of public opinion. John Adams, the cousin of Samuel Adams, decided to represent the British soldiers in the trial to demonstrate that colonists value the right to a trial by jury for citizens.
The Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party
The Tea Act, created in 1773, was an act that forced the British East India Company, or BEIC, the only association that that could sell tea to the colonies. Despite the act making the price of tea decrease, colonists were still upset with it because they were still required to pay import taxes to Britain. In response to this act, the Sons of Liberty started the Boston Tea Party. During this, they disguised themselves as Indians and boarded ships, dumping crates of tea into the harbor.
The Coercive Acts (The Intolerable Acts)
The Intolerable Acts, formally known as the Coercive Acts, were created in 1774. Colonists referred to the acts as the Intolerable Acts because they thought the laws enforced were so harsh. The four laws that were put into motion were ending trade between Boston and Britain, not allowing town meetings, giving Britain control of the colony, and strengthening the Quartering Act. The other colonies responded with revolutionary spirit to the Intolerable Acts.