Reasons That Led To The American Revolutionary War

Essay by shablaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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The American Revolutionary War was fought and won by the Colonists because of an idea. The idea was freedom. There are many reasons why freedom became a pertinent idea to the colonists and in this paper I shall discuss what events lead up to this idea. I shall examine the British theory of mercantilism, the French-Indian War, and many of the acts that Great Britain sought to make the Colonists to abide by. Through these three events, the idea of freedom blossomed within many Colonists' thoughts, and like a growing child, the Colonists would stop at nothing to pursue the independence of adulthood and freedom.

British mercantilism was a theory to bring all thirteen of the American Colonies together. It is defined as an "economic system whereby the (British) government intervenes in the economy for the purpose of increasing (British) national wealth." Simply put, mercantilism set up trade between the Colonies and Great Britain so that money never left the British system.

Mercantilism created wealth through the importation of resources from the American Colonies to make exportable goods. Finished goods were then sold back to the Colonies and around the world. The theory of mercantilism can best be seen through the Trade and Navigation Acts of 1640 - 1776 . The acts stated that Colonial goods were allowed to be shipped only on Colonial or British vessels, thus limiting trade solely to Great Britain. The acts also stated that goods imported from outside of Great Britain must first pass through Great Britain to be taxed, thereby discouraging trade from outside Great Britain. Finally, the acts stated prescribed what goods the Colonists were permitted to manufacture. These goods, called "enumerated products" were sold only to Great Britain, forcing Americans to trade almost exclusively with Britain. The impact of British mercantilism on...