Road to Revolution: the causes leading to the Revolutionary War in America

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In the early 1760's, the majority of colonists in North America were happily British. Proud to be subjects of their king, they benefited from the imperial system with few costs. Until 1763 Britain, for the most part, left the colonies alone. The French and Indian War had come to an end, leaving the colonists eager to partake in all the opportunities of America. In the midst of this tranquility, the British imposed taxes on the colonies in an attempt to raise revenues. As Americans saw their liberties and power threatened, the relationship between Britain and America began to unravel. While several specific events marked the way to the Revolutionary War, the ideology of the colonists, deeply rooted in their convictions about rights and power, made the war inevitable.

The French and Indian War was perhaps the first event that cracked the door open to the American Revolution. For the first time, the very different colonies had been forced to work together to defeat a common opponent.

In addition, the war was soon entirely under British command and orders were issued to the colonists. When recruitment in the colonies slowed the British commanders begin forcibly enlisting the colonists. Officers seized supplies from local civilians and took shelter in their homes, usually without compensation. The conflict created over these British requisition and impressments policies confirmed for many Americans the British had no place in local affairs. Resentment of the British toward the colonists also began to mount due to the their military incompetence, the selling of food and goods to the French by some colonial merchants, and, most of all, their lack of contribution to the high costs of the war the British felt was largely for colonial benefit. Many English leaders began to think it necessary to tighten the reigns on...