American Revolution

Essay by nhenzieHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2005

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American Revolution

Among the many complex factors that contributed to instigating the

American Revolution, two stand out most clearly: England's imposition of

taxation on the colonies and the failure of the British to gain consent of those

being governed, along with the military measures England took on the colonists.

Adding to these aforementioned factors were the religious and political legacy

of the colonies, and the restriction of civil liberties by the British.

Parliamentary taxation was undoubtedly one of the greatest factors inspiring the

American public to rebel in the years leading up to the American Revolution. One

of the most striking examples of this kind of taxation was the Stamp Act of

1765. After many years of fighting, England badly needed revenues from their

colonies, and they sought to acquire these revenues from the New World, thereby

increasing their influence over the colonial governments. These theories of

"New Imperialism" were what prompted Prime Minister Grenville to pass the

Stamp Act.

The Stamp Act of 1765 stated that persons of almost any profession

were obliged to buy stamps for their documents. In other words, the act imposed

a tax on every printed document in the colonies. For example, a printer had to

buy stamps in order to legally be able to distribute his publications. While the

act itself was not so detrimental to the economy, it was the ideals behind the

act (a direct attempt on the part of the mother country to further itself and

raise revenues in the colonies) which drove the revolutionaries' cause. In

October of 1765, the same year the act was passed, the Stamp Act Congress met

with delegates from nine colonies and petitioned the King of England, along with

the two houses of Parliament. This petition and reaction to the act became the

first formal...