Causes of the
American Revolution~

The American Revolution began in 1775 as an open conflict between the united thirteen colonies and Great Britain. While no one event can be appointed as the solitary cause of the American Revolution, the war began as a disagreement over the way that Great Britain treated the colonies versus how the colonists felt they should be treated. Americans wanted the rights of Englishmen, while Britain felt that the colonies were created to be used in the way that best suited the crown and parliament. This conflict is embodied in one of the rallying cries of the American Revolution: No Taxation Without Representation.

Treaty of Paris

In the early 1750's, France`s expansion into the Ohio River Valley continually brought the country into armed conflict with British colonies. In 1756, the British officially declared war against France beginning the French and Indian war. By 1760, the French had been removed from Canada, and by 1763 all of France`s allies in Europe had either made a separate peace with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition, Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France also suffered defeats against British forces in India. The French and Indian War, otherwise known as the Seven Years War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France, and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. The treaty stated that France would give up all of its territories in mainland North America, ending any military threat there.

Proclamation of 1763

Although the king later ordered the Proclamation of 1763, which led to discontent among the colonies, the end of the French and Indian War was a cause for great celebration. The King and his council presented the proclamation as a measure to calm the fears of the Indians, who felt that the colonists would drive them from their lands as they expanded westward. Many of the colonists felt the objective was to pen them in along the Atlantic seaboard where they would be easier to regulate. The proclamation also provided that all lands west of the heads of all rivers which flowed into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or northwest were off-limits to the colonists. This excluded the rich Ohio Valley and all territory from the Ohio to the Mississippi rivers from settlement.

Along with the things it provided, the proclamation included a list of prohibited activities, enforcement of the new laws, and indicated unnamed people for dishonest practices in acquiring lands from the Indians in times past. This line extended from the Atlantic coast at Quebec to the newly established border of West Florida. Almost from its beginning, the proclamation was modified to suit the needs of influential people with interests in the American West.

sugar Act

On April 5, 1764 Parliament passed a new law, proposed by Prime Minister George Greenville, called the Sugar Act. This act was an extension of the Molasses Act of 1733 and put into place in order to raise revenue to help fund the military costs accumulated during French and Indian War. The idea of lowering the tax on molasses was to encourage importers to buy molasses from Britain instead of smuggling it from competing French and Spanish colonies. This infuriated Americans leading to protests and boycotts. The Americans protested the Sugar act primarily because of its economic impact, but for most “no taxation without representation” became a rallying cry against Parliaments right to tax the colonies. The Sugar act was repealed and replaced with the Stamp Act of 1765.

stamp Act

On May 22, 1765 the stamp act was passed. The British Parliament proposed this act to tax all citizens for every piece of printed paper they used. Everything was taxed from ship’s papers, legal documents, license, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards. This money was collected to help pay the cost of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists did not agree with this act, not with the cost but the standard they had set. The colonists thought that the stamp act was viewed as a direct attempt by England to raise money in the colonies without the approval of the colonial legislatures.

Boston Massacre

On March 5, 1770, British troops fired into a rioting mob, killing five American civilians in front of the Customs House on King Street. This famous pre-revolutionary incident is known as the Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre started out as what some people might consider harmless. The Patriots were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent into Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by the British Parliament. The Patriots began taunting the soldiers guarding the building, but they did not stop there. The Patriots started to throw snowballs and other objects such as rocks and clubs towards the British troops, but Captain Thomas Preston told his men to hold fire. The soldiers followed their order until Private Hugh Montgomery was hit, causing his gun to misfire into the crowd. The other soldiers began to fire a moment later, unaware of what happened. When the smoke cleared, five colonists were dead or dying-- Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell—and three others were injured. Although it is unclear whether Crispus Attucks, an African American, was the first to fall as is commonly believed, the deaths of the five men are regarded by some historians as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War.

Tea Act

The Tea Act was passed on May 10, 1773 by parliament to raise money in the colonies and put a monopoly on tea sales to the East India Company. The colonists were required to buy tea exclusively from that company. The colonists sent the tea ships back to Britain and refused to unload the tea bags off of the ships. This risky act led to the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party, a famous act of American colonial defiance, served as a protest against taxation of tea sales. While consignees in Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia rejected tea shipments, merchants in Boston refused to concede to Patriot pressure. On the night of December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in the Boston harbor, dressed as Native Americans, and threw 342 chests of tea overboard into the harbor. This rebellious act resulted in the passage of the Coercive Acts in 1774 and pushed the Great Britain and the colonies closer to war.

coercive Acts

The Intolerable Acts, also called the Coercive Acts, were British laws that were passed by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1774. These acts and laws were put in place as a punishment for the incident of the Boston Tea Party. The British Parliament enacted four acts. These included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, and the Administration of Justice Act.

Lexington And Concord

On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord in order to seize an arms cache. A confrontation on the Lexington town green started off the fighting, and soon the British were hastily retreating under intense fire. Although many more battles followed, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, officially started off the American Revolutionary War.

Meeting of the Second Continental Congress

Times had taken a sharp turn for the worse. Lexington and Concord had changed everything. When the Redcoats fired into the Boston crowd in 1775, the benefit of the doubt was granted. Now the professional imperial army was attempting to arrest patriot leaders, and minutemen had been killed in their defense. In May 1775, with Redcoats once again storming Boston, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. Georgia elected three representatives, Noble W. Jones, Archibald Bulloch, and John Houston to represent Georgia.

Declaration of Independence Adopted

By issuing the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies severed their political connections to Great Britain. The Declaration summarized the colonists’ motivations for seeking their independence. By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists were able to conclude an official alliance with the government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain.

Created By: Kylee McNutt and Izzy Schwartzer