Reasons for the American Revolution

Essay by bam58College, UndergraduateA+, June 2006

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Soon after England established the colonies in the New World, it began a period of salutary neglect. The English rarely intervened with colonial business. It was during this time that the colonies gradually began to think and act independently of England. Any loyalty that the English had built with the colonists during the victory over the French in the Seven Year's War was soon dismantled by their actions. During this war England had established a huge national debt. King George III and the English Parliament felt the best way to solve this dilemma was to impose their power, laws and most importantly taxes on the colonies. This only accelerated the colonists' drive for independence and the start of the American Revolution.

Before 1763, the only British laws that truly affected the colonists were the Navigation Acts, which monitored the colonies trade so that it traded solely with England. Even though the British did not rigidly enforce this law, the colonists accepted and abided it with little fuss.

The colonies had no issue with England's right to monitor trade because it benefited both parties. This all changed in 1764 when England officially informed the American colonies that they would be governed, represented, and taxed by the British Parliament even though the colonists did not elect any of these officials. This was the first step England took to truly impose their will and authority over Americans since the foundation of the thirteen colonies. Most Americans took issue with this. The idea of being represented by someone that had not been elected by them was simply not acceptable. Americans felt that taxation without elected representation was direct enfreingance on their pursuit of freedom and liberty. A government without elected officials serves only itself and not the people it is suppose to represent. No...