What was the cause of the american revolution?

Essay by yoosukjungJunior High, 9th gradeA+, January 2005

download word file, 6 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 96 times

American settlers lived in a world completely unlike our own. They faced hardships nearly incompatible to a person in modern times. The settlers, however, gained strength enough to scrape by with no luxuries at all. As colonies, they were under the influence of the British government. When England interfered with their trade and industry, they had to do something in order to keep financial stability. When Britain demanded taxes that were extremely unjust, the colonists had to do something. England sent troops to compel obedience. This merely served to anger the settlers even more than before. Faced with this quick succession of uncalled actions, the Americans were forced to retaliate. They fought at first, only for their rights which had been cruelly ripped away. After a year of fighting they decided to completely break away from England in their first revolutionary war. There were many events and injustices that led up to the American Revolution although no one single incident may be cited as making the war inevitable.

In 1764 England imposed upon the colonies the Currency Act. This act prohibited the colonists from issuing any legal paper money. This threatened to weaken the entire economy of the North. In addition it represented the same problem towards agriculture in the South as it did in the North. When the colonists united against this act, it should not have come as a surprise to the British government.

In 1764, many merchants in Boston decided to boycott any tax on British luxury items. This occurred when James Otis raised the issue of taxation at a town meeting. In July of 1765 the Sons of Liberty, an underground organization, was formed in many towns. This group used violence and fear as its primary weapon to force many merchants from ordering English goods.

The Tea Act took effect in 1773. It stated that a three penny per pound import tax on tea will stay in effect. The act promised to save the East India Company from ruin and insure its future profitability. The company was allowed to sell directly to colonial agents without any interruptions by the middle class mans. This cut costs for them dramatically. They sold the tea for less than the colonial merchants could possibly afford. The tax on the tea, however, was expressly designed to raise more money. The merchants lost a huge amount of money from this Act and were understandably angry at the British government. These acts and proclamations caused the settlers to be reasonably angry at the British government. At first the colonists tried nonviolent efforts to deter ship captains from delivering tea to the colonies as they did not want to pat the extremely high tax. However that did not work and the people resorted to violence. This possibly could be the reason they revolted. It is more likely, however, that these trade interferences were only part of the problem that led to the American Revolution.

Many of the injustices that took place in the industrial sectors of the colonies also related to tax injustices. The Sugar Act was passed in 1764. It was passed by the English Government and the Prime Minister George Greenville, who had absolutely no understanding of the views of the colonists, to regain the debt brought about by the French and Indian War. Furthermore it was to help pay for the expenses of running the colonies. The Act increased the duties on sugar and other imported items such as coffee, wine, and especially molasses. Even worse, it doubled the duties on goods reshipped from England and forbade the import of foreign rum and French wines. This was not well received by the colonists who felt they paid too much in the way of taxes already.

In 1765 English Parliament passed the Stamp Act. Under this act all printed materials were taxed. Everything from newspapers to dice was taxed. This was the first direct tax on the colonies. For the first time they paid taxes directly to England instead of their own legislatures. The colonists all quickly united against this common enemy. They believed that the colonists could not be taxed without their permission. This opposition was led mainly by people who were more directly impacted by the Act, such as lawyers and publishers. These leaders stood to lose an extremely large sum of money when the Act went into effect.

English Parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Acts. These new acts forced a series of new taxes that were meant to balance the costs of managing and protecting the colonies. A few of the items taxed were paper, tea, glass, and lead. The Act also established a colonial board of customs commissioners in Boston. In October, many Boston citizens reinstated a boycott on English luxury goods. Again the colonists were faced with unfairly high taxes on everyday necessities. The reaction of the colonists was not as effective as the reaction to the Stamp Act, but the feeling of anger towards the English was still relatively high Trying to resolve the situation, Britain in early 1770 repealed all of the Townshend duties except the one on tea.

About eight thousand Bostonians gathered on December, 16, 1773 to hear Sam Adams tell them that Royal Governor Hutchinson had commanded that no ships in the Boston harbor were to leave until the taxes for the tea that they carried were paid. That night, colonial activists disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians and climbed aboard the ships. They dumped all of the tea into the water. This was the Boston Tea Party. In the March of 1774 a series of Coercive Acts were passed. These acts shut down all commercial shipping in the Boston harbor. The harbor would remain in that state until the taxes owed from the Boston Tea Party were paid as well as the East India Company for the loss of tea. This served to anger the settlers even more than they previously were.

Even after the government of England unjustly taxed and interfered with the colonists they also decided to take control of the government. The settlers were not allowed the right of self rule. The Coercive Acts were also involved in taking power away from the colonists. The Government Act was one of the Coercive Acts. By enacting the Government Act of 1774 the English took away this right from the colonists. The Royal governor and English government chose to rule the colonies. In addition to stripping the right to self-rule, English government created the Quebec Act. This act changed some borders between Canada and gave some of the land already claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia to the Canadian territory. The Coercive Acts produced an outburst in Massachusetts which swept away almost all British authority outside Boston by group of English armies.

The Quartering Act of 1765 inflamed the colonists even more and brought about the American Revolution. Under this act, colonists had to give room and board to incoming British soldiers. The Act was met with much opposition and anger. That Act failed miserably as the settlers did not enjoy their right to provide shelter and food for an unknown British soldier.

The causes that lead up to the American Revolution are numerous and diverse. First of all, the English interfered with the trade and industry of the colonies much too often. The settlers were stripped of their right to trade with the Native Americans. In addition the colonists were restricted in their right to exploration. They could not explore past the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists were prohibited from printing their own currency. Additionally, the British Government decided that because the colonies were just colonies they could be used as one more avenue to draw up more resources. This belief led them to tax the colonies extremely unjustly. The taxes that were placed upon the colonists were higher than what should have been. The Americans were forced to deal with many English soldiers who were sent to keep peace, a task at which the soldiers failed miserably. The colonists were also forced to give these soldiers room and board as a result of the Quartering Act which commanded them to do just that. These soldiers had many minor fights that served only to annoyed the citizens.

Overall the American Revolution was a war that, although it had many causes that could be cited, was truly caused by its mother country making horrible mistakes in the running of their colonies. The American Revolution itself was a war that involved a country fighting for its independence and ultimately, its place in the world. The British, by trying to strangle this urge to be free, only caused the enthusiasm to become even more impart among the colonists. Consequently, the England lost the thirteen colonies and America became the country of freedom.