Causes of American Revolution

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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“There are a few different causes of the American Revolution which started to define colonists as separate Americans. Some long-term causes include Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, and the French and Indian War. Higher taxes, no compromises from Britain, and the creation of the Declaration of Independence are some of the shorter term causes of the American Revolution.

Before the Enlightenment, colonists followed all laws of the England even though they were thousands of miles away. Enlightenment was the time of curiosity, questioning, and to find knowledge from reason, science, and logic. John Locke asserted that all knowledge is derived from observations and humans are not born with innate ideas so questioning and observing is necessary. (Norton, 2015). The Age of Enlightenment occurred from 1620s to 1870s. It put focus on reason, analysis, and individualism. This was shown in both intellectual aspect and cultural aspects. Challenged the authority of ideas grounded in tradition and faith. Focused aspects of this era can be reflected in the Declaration of Independence. Changed the way people thought, creating conflict. The Great Awakening occurred between 1730s and 1770s. It made religion a more personal affair than it has been prior to this. Overall this caused American’s understanding of God, themselves, religion, and the world around them to change. Two different opinions which were one who insisted on continuing importance of ritual and doctrine. The other who challenged tradition and encouraged emotional involvement. This rebellion of old tradition spilled over into the other aspects of the colonist’s lives. Which created a more argumentative age due to changed mind-sets.

The French and Indian War was a seven-year-long war between Great Britain and France (who was allied with the Indians). This occurred from 1754 to 1763 and they were fighting for territory in North America. The debt created by this war was one of the reasons the parliament decided to impose taxes on the colonists. The Stamp Act was put in place in 1765 forcing the colonists to pay England even more money for using specially stamped paper for any legal document. Colonies protest and resisted paying taxes due to not having any representation, as they wanted their own men to represent them. This later led to events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party where they dumped crates of Boston tea into the Boston Harbor. This showed that the colonists and the British began to disagree. Overall, they were growing apart and therefore caused conflict. British King refuses to compromise with colonists. This caused the creation of the Sons of Liberty and the Daughters of Liberty who organized protests. Such as the Boston Massacre where many colonists were killed by the British in a street fight. This was the cause of the American Revolution because it created a large amount of tension and produced conflict due to resistance. In 1774, 12 of the 13 colonies gathered for the First Continental Congress. The Declaration of Independence is the final product of the revolution. This spark of ideology turned into a flame – and that flame was the American Revolution (Norton, 2015).”

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Causes of American Revolution. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved from