Catalysts for American Revolution Essay
The American Revolution, also known as the Revolutionary War, was a war that had raged on for eight years stemming from major political differences of opinion. Though, the fighting and the discontent between the two opposing forces, Americans and British, had been developing for years before the first shots ever had gone off to start the revolution. The reasoning for the tension between the two is traced back to one of the main catalysts being the Stamp Act that was imposed on New England colonies, then to one of the last being The Boston Tea Party that ended with British war ships being sent to Boston with attempts to keep in under control.
In the beginning, New England were colonies of the mother country Great Britain with main purposes for them to serve as vessels to provide for their main location across the Atlantic. In 1756, Great Britain was engaged in the Seven Years War, a world war, but mainly what is focused on for the American Revolution is the French and Indian war, which was fought on mainly American soil and primarily between British American and New French colonies.
This specific conquest of the war had continued for nine years, and ended with approximately ten thousand British troops to be kept in American colonies, as well as accumulated as massive debt of seventy-two thousand pounds during the war, plus an added two hundred twenty-five thousand pound debt to house the British troops in American colonies. The prime minister at the time, George Grenville, needed a way to pay off this debt, which ultimately led to the Stamp Act of 1756 being imposed on the American colonies. The Stamp Act was not the first choice, but it was their final choice.
The prime minister knew taxing in Britain was out of the question due to protests from the previous Cinder Tax set in place during the Bute ministry. The Grenville ministry had then decided that Parliament would raise the revenue by taxing the American colonies. The first attempt before the Stamp was the The Sugar Act of 1764 in attempts of gain a monopoly on molasses, but that had failed. With parliament knowing the massive success that other Stamp acts, they had decided to impose this on American colonies without their contest or epresentation in parliament.
This was an enormous mistake as the Stamp Act had encounter great resistances within the colonies. To the colonialists in American, this act had been passed and put into effect without their contest or representation in parliament. In other words, the colonialists felt that this was a major violation of their rights as Englishmen to be tax without their consent, consent that only colonial legislatures could grant. This was a key fundamental catalyst for the starting of the revolutionary war, ‘Taxation Without Representation’.
The viewpoint of the colonialists was actual representation, meaning in order to be taxed by Parliament, Americans rightly should have actually legislators seated and voting in London so they could have influence of taxes raise, levied, and spent. While on the British supported the viewpoint of virtual representation, the belief that a Member of Parliament virtually represented every person in the empire causing no need for a specific representative from Virginia, or Massachusetts, as examples.
Due to the massive feedback from the colonialists, as well as British merchants and manufacturers the Act was repealed and replaced by and even more important Declaratory Act. This Act stated that Parliament could take “whatever action they sought fit for the good of the empire. ” This Act and the laws instated in it were so big and important, but had god virtually unnoticed by the colonists because of their over enjoyment at the repeal of the Stamp Act.
As a result of this, Parliament began issuing several Acts upon the American Colonies of which they could do next to nothing about due to Britain simply stating it was for the good of the Empire. Acts that they had issues were ones such as the Quartering Act of 1766, which required the colonists to house British soldiers at their own expense. They also put forth the Townshend Acts that would tax all imports into the colonies. After the Stamp Act, and then Declaratory Act, which had been a scary thing to them colonists as it had also been used in Ireland, the colonists started to rebel against the British.
They felt that they could be a worthy rival to Great Britain, as Great Britain had been exporting only finished goods while the colonies were exporting the raw materials needed to produce many of these goods. Since a huge majority of the goods were imported from Britain, many felt that they should boycott all of British made items. George Washington agreed on this and stated that he believes and hoped that the boycott will work, but for it to work all of the people in the colonies must mobilize and participate in the boycott.
There was also the situation of Thomas Hutchinson, who was for more or less, an English spy, as he resided within the colonies and followed and trusted in English law. He had written several letters that were personal and against the colonists, one of them saying dire actions were needed and troops needed to be send to Boston. Benjamin Franklin, though he did have deep love for his home country of Britain, had taken the letters written by Hutchinson and published them.
He was put on court for what he had done, and from the actions taken upon him by the country he loved, turn against them to help fight and bring the French to help in the revolution. More major catalysts had constantly been occurring to lead to the revolution. Another big one was the Boston Massacre, which in the sense was not actually a ‘massacre’. The story goes that in Boston, kids had thrown snowballs at British soldiers, in which they had retaliated and fired back upon the kids, killing five of them.
This event was made even more publicized and larger of an ordeal by the cartoon that was made by Paul Revere. The cartoon exaggerated the events that actually occurred and depicted British soldiers firing upon innocent people for no apparent reason. This cartoon and event had caused even more of a stir in the colonies towards the British. One of the main and final catalysts that led to the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party. Before this specific event occurred, half a million pounds of tax British tea with control from the Easy Indian Trade Company were sent to America.
Just about every single port in which the British had landed were protested and sent away with the tea, not allowing them to unload the tax tea. Others were forced out of the ports, but stored in basically warehouses were none were purchased. In Boston, however, there was a giant standoff and protest between the colonists and Thomas Hutchinson. In the night, after British officials refused to return back to Britain with the tea not unloaded, a group of colonists dressed as Mohawk Indian Warriors went onto the ship and dumped 330 chest of tea into the ocean.
This, known as the Boston Tea Party, was looked at and realized as an act of great political defiance and the result being the British sending warships to Boston harbors. The fear of Tyranny was upon the Bostonians, and it had now seemed to come true. They warships had arrived and kept Boston on lockdown, ending the self-government in Massachusetts and leading into the Battle of Condord, starting the American Revolution. The causes of the American Revolution were deeply rooted in the colonist’s thoughts and ideals of personal liberty and autonomy.
The fundamental thoughts of colonists believing in actual representation, and the British beliefs of virtual representation were a giant catalyst in the events leading up to the start of the war. The colonists sense of individual freedom, along with the English policy of taxation without representation, the eventual restrictions on their liberties from the Declaratory Act, and the events of the Boston Massacre, as well as the Boston Tea Part are all what had led to the inevitable severed ties between the two. Including the very important letters and actions taken by Benjamin Franklin.
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