American Revolution:
What caused it?

      The signing of the Declaration of Independence officially declared that the thirteen colonies were free from British rule, but there was more to it than that. Behind the Declaration, there were taxes, protests, boycotts, and congressional meetings; events such as these led up to the American Revolution.

The French and Indian War & the Treaty of Paris

     The French and Indian War was the North American conflict that was part of a larger imperial conflict between Great Britain and France known as the Seven Years’ War. This war was fought over the land west of the Appalachians. The French and Indian War began in 1754. Even though the war was fought between Great Britain and Spain, it was known as the French and Indian War because the war was fought in numerous countries including the colonies, Spain, Russia and India. there were also Native American allies involved. The war provided Great Britain enormous territorial gains in North America.The Seven Years' War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by France, Great Britain, and Spain.

Proclamation of 1763

      After the signing of the Treaty of Paris,  Great  Britain gained the land west of the Appalachians, which caused land disputes between Native Americans and colonists. This would lead to Pontiac's Rebellion. Pontiac's Rebellion begins when Native American warriors under Ottawa chief Pontiac attacks the British force at Detroit. After failing to take the fort in their initial assault, Pontiac's forces, made up of Ottawas and reinforced by other Native Americans , initiated a siege that would stretch into months. As the French and Indian Wars came to an end in the early 1760s, Native Americans living in former French territory  had settlers moving onto their lands. for a joint campaign to expel the British from the formerly French lands. According to Pontiac's plan, each tribe would seize the nearest fort and then join forces to wipe out the undefended settlements. The king would later issue the Proclamation of 1763. This royal proclamation, which closed down colonial expansion westward, was the first measure to affect all thirteen colonies. In response to a revolt of Native Americans led by Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, King George III declared all lands west of the Appalachian Divide off-limits to colonial settlers. The proclamation forbade private citizens and colonial governments alike to buy land from or make any agreements with natives; the empire would conduct all official relations. Therefore, only licensed traders would be allowed to travel west or deal with Indians.

king George III

        England’s longest-ruling monarch before Queen Victoria, King George III (1738-1820) ascended the British throne in 1760. During his 59-year reign, he pushed through a British victory in the Seven Years’ War, led England’s successful resistance to Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, and presided over the loss of the American Revolution. George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death.

Sugar Act

      This act put a three cent tax on sugar and increased taxes on coffee, indigo, and wines. It actually even banned importation of rum and French wines. These taxes affected a part of the population, such as merchants who were very vocal. Many thought it was unfair, since it was enforced without the opinion of the colonists. This was one of the first instances in which colonists wanted a say in how much they were taxed.

Stamp Act

        This act was the first direct British tax on American colonists. Enforced in 1765, paper products such as newspapers, pamphlets, and important documents had to have a Stamp or British seal on it. The Stamp cost money, therefore, the colonists felt they shouldn't have to pay for something they had been doing for free for many years. They responded with force and even with a diplomatic body called the Stamp Act Congress. The British government repealed the act in March 1766 seeing the hostile reaction in the colonies. Due to this act, the Sons of Liberty was also formed. The Stamp Act Congress gave the colonists a model for the Continental Congress.

Boston Massacre

       The Boston Massacre was an event that took place on March 5, 1770. The Boston Massacre was a fight that happened in the streets of Boston; a mob of colonists threw snowballs, stones, and sticks at British soldiers that were sent to the colonies to enforce taxation acts. The soldiers fired upon the crowd of colonists.5 colonists were killed that night; 3 were killed on impact, and 2 later died from gunshot wounds. British Capt. Thomas Preston and eight of his men were arrested and tried for manslaughter. Only two of Preston's men were found guilty; they were branded and eventually acquitted.

Tea Act

       The Tea Act was an act in which American colonists could buy no tea unless it came from the East India Company. The British saw it as helping the company by lowering its price to the lowest and giving it more business. On the other hand, American colonists saw it as yet another means of "taxation without representation" because this act was passed without the opinion of the colonists. They responded by not unloading the tea from the ships. This situation in Boston eventually led to the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Tea Party

       The Boston Tea Party was a protest against the British policies by American colonists. Great Britain put a tax on imported tea; this tea could only be imported into the colonies from Great Britain. The colonists were unhappy with this tax because it was a direct tax, so they decided to protest this policy. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Native Americans, boarded three British ships (the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver) and dumped 342 crates of British tea into the Boston Harbor. In response to this act of defiance, the British Parliament passed several laws to punish the people of Massachusetts. These would later be known as the Intolerable Acts.

Intolerable Acts

       After the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of laws to punish the Massachusetts colony; these laws were called the Coercive Acts.  Under these laws, the ports of Massachusetts were closed to trade, the colonists had to quarter the British soldiers,  The Intolerable Acts was the American Patriots' name for a series of punitive laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 after the Boston Tea party. They were meant to punish the Massachusetts colonists for their defiance in throwing a large tea shipment into Boston harbor.

Lexington and Concord

       Shots were fired between American and British troops. The British marched through Lexington to get to Concord because it was an arms depot (meaning the Americans had a secret stockpile of weapons there). No one knows who shot the first shot, but it was the "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Both sides opened fire; Americans were forced to withdraw, but the British advance. When the British arrived at Concord, Americans were waiting with force. The stockpile of weapons was saved; Britain was forced to retreat and was harassed by militiamen along the way. The skirmishes were preceded by Paul Revere's famous ride warning the people: "The British are coming!".

Second Continental Congress Meets

       The Second Continental Congress met in 1775 after the Revolutionary War had begun. This time, all 13 colonies had representatives at the meeting; Georgia sent three delegates to attend the meeting: Lyman Hall, Button Gwinnett, and George Walton, The Congress met to discuss the poor war situations of the Patriots; As a result, the Continental Congress created the Continental Army, naming George Washington as commander-in-chief. It continued through the summer. Out of discussion came the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation , and the Marines Corps.

Declaration of Independence

         The Declaration of Independence was a document drafted by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson and signed by members of the Second Continental Congress. The same delegates that represented Georgia at the Second Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. This document was written to justify the colonies  declaring their independence from Great Britain; in this declaration, the colonists proclaimed their natural rights the came from "The Creator", not the king. The Second Continental Congress voted on independence on July 2, 1776, and after two days of revising the Declaration of Independence, it was printed on July, 4 1776. Although the colonies would have to continue fighting, this day would later become known as Independence Day.

In conclusion, the colonists endured many struggles to gain independence; they endured taxes, wars and protests against unfair policies. The Patriots fought for natural rights, the appealing of taxes, and freedom and the end of the French and Indian War started it all.

                                      By: Gisele Miranda and Dynahsty James

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