Many Reasons for the American Revolution
The American Revolution was a very interesting event in American History. It caused many great changes to the way we live. In my opinion, this topic is one of the most fascinating topics in American history because of the many complex pieces that come together to form the story of the revolution and the way that it has affected the way we live our lives today.
Although there were many reasons for the American Revolution, a few of the major causes were Taxation, The Sugar Act, and The Townshend Acts. Taxation played a major role in causing the American Revolution because after the Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian War, Great Britain passed the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act stated that Great Britain would place a Stamp on items such as playing cards, documents, and newspapers. These stamps would be paid for by the colonists in order to repay Britain for the Seven Years War and allow for them to get out of debt from the extremely expensive conflict. Great Britain justifies this act because they believed the reason that they went into debt was to provide the colonies with a more sufficient amount of new land. Due to the belief that they were fighting for the colonies, they believed that the colonies should help them pay off the war debts to get Great Britain out of the red. The Colonists were not happy about this tax. They did not necessarily have issues with the tax due to it being too high, but more so because they felt like they did not have a voice in the matter. The colonists believed they should have a say because it is their money that they had to pay, and they had no direct representation in the parliament that levied the tax. Not to mention that they were already upset about Great Britain keeping large numbers of British troops in the colonies even after The Seven Years War had ended. Having British troops in their land did not help the colonist’s reaction to the tax.
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The British were initially strict about the Stamp Act and made the settlers continue to pay the tax on stamps for a time period. However, the British eventually backed down and repealed the Stamp Act. Despite the colonists’ victory of having the Stamp Act repealed, Great Britain later tried to put even more taxes on the Americans in the form of the Townshend Acts. these acts led to boycotts, protests, and more organizational disobedience within the colonies. These acts overall led to an escalation of protests. One of the most infamous was the Boston Massacre in 1770. In this protest a total of five lives were lost. In 1773, a large number of colonists decided to rebel. They dumped close to a million dollars worth of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest of decisions made by the British Government. Some other ways that the Colonists protested taxation without representation were boycotts against British products. They enforced these boycotts with the Committees of Correspondence. The Committees of Correspondence spread information about who was and who was not observing these boycotts, they had another job which was to make sure that when they were boycotting a British product that everyone was participating, because if they were Boycotting a British product and only half of the Colonists knew about it and were participating in it then the other half of the Colonists would still be purchasing this product and Great Britain would still be making half of their regular profit. This system was a lot like a government. Only about 20% of Colonists stayed loyal to Great Britain during this time.
On April fifth of 1764 the Sugar Act was passed. It can also be known as the Plantation Act or the Revenue Act. The Sugar Act was an act by the British that was put on American Colonists. The Sugar Act was a tax that increased an already placed tax on goods such as sugar and mostly molasses. Molasses was used to make rum, so the American Colonists were really upset that they were, in a way, being taxed for their alcohol also. Originally there was an act called the Molasses Act, and it was very similar to the Sugar Act. It was a high tax on Molasses, because this tax was such a high tax, it was mostly never actually collected and often ignored. This then led to colonists evading the tax and smuggling goods in order to get out of paying the high tax and to get free goods. Of course, when the British found out that the colonists were doing this, they saw it as breaking the law. Since the Molasses law was going to expire in 1763, they decided that they needed to place another tax in order to replace the soon expiring act. That is when they passed the Sugar Act. The Sugar Act was when they lowered the high tax in hopes that it would result in it being followed more often than the Molasses Act was. The result of the Sugar Act was that the traders were not very happy about this newly placed tax on their sugar, molasses and also their rum. It also decreased profits because the colonies were not wealthy and now Great Britain is trying to tax them for more money that in reality they do not have. This causes the saying Taxation without representation to be created because the colonies feel like they do not have a say in what happens to them. Great Britain hears the colonies complaints which then leads to the Sugar Act being repealed in 1766.
The Townshend Acts are many acts or laws that were essentially passed to give the British more control of the American Colonies and to raise money. The Townshend Acts mainly go back to two people which are and Charles Townshend who the Townshend Acts were named after and King George III, who was the king of Great Britain. King George III was not very happy with what the American Colonies were doing because of how they had really protested the previous acts that were passed such as, the Sugar Act and the Quartering Act. Charles Townshend then comes up with some ways to make the American Colonies to start listening and obeying the king’s orders. A few reasons why they passed it was because the Americans were resisting British control and they were protesting and resentful towards the acts that were previously passed, which is one of the reasons why the king was upset with them. The British saw it as they are a part of the British Empire, so they need to listen and abide by every little thing that they say. The Townshend Acts were passed because the British needed money to get them out of their debt from the French and Indian War that was fought about a decade before this act was passed. Overall these acts were passed to fix the issue of control because the colonies were out of control and to also fix the issue of debt from the French and Indian war, also known as the Seven Years War.
One of the Townshend Acts stated that the British needed to pay local governors, because if the colonists are the one paying the governors then the governors are more likely to listen to the colonists. So, they are hoping that if the British are the ones paying the governors then the governors will be more likely to obey the British and follow the British rule. The result of the Townshend Acts was resistance, but unlike the Stamp Act, which had immediate resistance the Townshend Acts’ resistance was not immediate. Being specific, Massachusetts was the first of the colonies to send a letter to King George asking him to repeal the Townshend Acts. King George received the letters and was upset because he is the King therefore, he feels that his power and decisions should not be questioned by the colonies. The King then sent in ships to go enforce his laws and ruled the way he wanted. Boycotting was also another method of resistance, a lot like the Stamp Act the colonists boycotted British products. All of this leads to a partial repeal to the Townshend Acts on March fifth. The partial repeal basically meant that a few of the Townshend Acts were repealed, but not all of them. The main result of the Townshend Acts was the colonists coming together to resist against the British rule.
For the most part, all the resources that I used agree with each other. There were not any conflicts with the information that I was given.
The American Revolution was a very important event in American history because you can really see how the colonists came together to resist the British rule and King George. I chose the American Revolution for my topic because from the very first time I started to learn about it, it has always grabbed my attention and as I started to expand my knowledge over it I started to become more and more fascinated with it and I am extremely satisfied with the amount of information that I have learned from this project. I look forward to broadening my understanding of the American Revolution.
- American Revolution. 2018. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, January, 1; http://outlaw.odessa.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=funk&AN=am086000&site=eds-live.
- Townshend Acts. 2018. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, January, 1; http://outlaw.odessa.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=funk&AN=to075400&site=eds-live.
- Davis, Darla. “To Tax Or Not To Tax: The Rights and Justification.” Private Tutoring. Accessed December 09, 2018. https://www.varsitytutors.com/earlyamerica/early-america-review/volume-9/to-tax-or-not-to-tax-the-rights-and-justification.
- Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Acts of the American Revolution.” History of Massachusetts. July 29, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2018. http://historyofmassachusetts.org/american-revolution-acts/.