Causes Of The American Revolution
In the beginning, the colonies were proud to be British. There were small instances of Parliament's control that bothered the colonists, like the Currency acts of 1751 1764. But when the French and Indian war took place (1754 – 1763), King George III lost a great deal of money due to buying expensive supplies for his army and the colonies. In order to pay off his debt, he imposed taxes on the colonies without their consent.
The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years War.
The signing of the treaty formally ended the Seven Years' War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American theatre, and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe.The two nations returned much of the territory that they had each captured during the war, but Britain gained much of France's possessions in North America. Additionally, Britain agreed to protect Roman Catholicism in the New World. The treaty did not involve Prussia and Austria as they signed a separate agreement, the Treaty of Hubertusburg, five days later.
The Proclamation of 1763, as it is known, acknowledged that Indians owned the lands on which they were then residing and white settlers in the area were to be removed. However, provision was made to allow specially licensed individuals and entities to operate fur trading ventures in the proscribed area. There were two motivations for this policy:
- To avoid warfare with the Indians. This aim had little to do with affection for the tribes, but simply reflected the facts that Indian conflicts were very expensive and that the British had not yet deployed sufficient soldiers in the west to keep the peace. Some Indians welcomed this policy, believing that the separation of the races would allow them to resume their traditional life and ways; others realized that the proclamation, at best, would only provide some breathing room before the next onslaught of settlers.
- To concentrate colonial settlements on the seaboard where they could be active parts of the British mercantile system. The first priority of British trade officials was to populate the recently secured areas of Canada and Florida (Treaty of Paris), where colonists could reasonably be expected to trade with the mother country; settlers living west of the Appalachians would be highly self-sufficient and have little opportunity to trade with English merchants.
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. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick- Luneburg in the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two Hanoverian predecessors he was born in Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.
His life and reign, which were longer than any other British monarch before him, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Year's War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American Revolutionary War. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The Sugar Act
On April 5, 1764, Parliament passed a modified version of the stamp act because the original was about to expire. Under the Molasses Act colonial merchants had been required to pay a tax of six pence per gallon on the importation of foreign molasses. But because of corruption, they mostly evaded the taxes and undercut the intention of the tax — that the English product would be cheaper than that from the French West Indies. Many colonists hated this idea so they had many boycotts against the law.
The Stamp Act of 1765 was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain that imposed a direct tax on the colonies of British America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. These printed materials were legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money. The purpose of the tax was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Year's War. The Americans said there was no military need for the soldiers because there were no foreign enemies and the Americans had always protected themselves against Native Americans, and suggested it was rather a matter of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers who should be paid by London. This law was very un popular within the citizens of the colonies. They felt that it violated their laws as an Englishman.
The Boston Massacre was the killing of five colonists by British regulars on March 5, 1770. It was the culmination of tensions in the American colonies that had been growing since Royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts in October 1768 to enforce the heavy tax burden imposed by the Townshend Acts.
The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston. The act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes. It was designed to prop up the East India Company which was floundering financially and burdened with eighteen million pounds of unsold tea. This tea was to be shipped directly to the colonies, and sold at a bargain price. The Townshend Duties were still in place, however, and the radical leaders in America found reason to believe that this act was a maneuver to buy popular support for the taxes already in force. The direct sale of tea, via British agents, would also have undercut the business of local merchants.
The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, on December 16, 1773. The demonstrators, some disguised as American Indians, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company in defiance of the Tea act of May 10, 1773. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor, ruining the tea. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution.
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. In Great Britain, these laws were referred to as the Coercive Acts.
The acts took away Massachusetts self-government and historic rights, triggering outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies. They were key developments in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of its colonies on the mainland of British America.
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the summer of 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met between September 5, 1774 and October 26, 1774, also in Philadelphia. The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties, the Congress acted as the de facto national government of what became the United States.
The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a new nation—the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. A committee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. The term "Declaration of Independence" is not used in the document itself.