AP US History
Many people say that the American Revolution was inevitable, but inevitability in history is a tricky thing to prove. Nevertheless, political, economic, and regional issues conspired to build up tensions that erupted into open conflict after more than 150 years as an English colony. A stew of causes led to this historic break between England's American subjects.
Although the English colonies in America grew to be different depending on regional conditions, in all cases there was nevertheless a clear path toward an eventual rupture in ties. New England's short growing season and rocky terrain forced her settlers to be resilient and turn to livelihoods other than farming. The cold waters off the coast provided plentiful fish and whales as well as a convenient highway on which to trade. Many settlers came over for religious reasons; the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay and the Separatists in Plymouth are but two examples.
They tended to come over in large groups, families remained largely intact, and unity of purpose promoted a sense of solidarity. Because of their religious nature and its requirement that parishoners be able to read, education became important - not only for personal salvation but for political unity against England as well! Town meetings and church councils were small laboratories of democracy. The Mayflower Compact, although seemingly inconsequential at the time, marked a landmark in a people's willingness to make a government that would work for them under dire circumstances. Connecticut had a democratically elected government under the Fundamental Orders, and the very nature of Rhode Island's foundation as a bastion of liberal and rebellious religious thinkers sowed the seeds of future dissent. Problems with the Indians, as when King Philip led the Indians of the northeast in a last attempt at unity against the whites,