Example Of Factors/Events Leading To The American Revolution Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: England, Colony, America, United States, Revolution, Boston, American Revolution, Tea

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/01

At the end of the French and Indian War in 1863, the American colonies were said to be “very British”. However, there were certain proclamations from the British side as well as events that took place thereafter that led to the change in sentiments in the colonies, eventually leading up to the American Revolution just a few years thereafter.
One factor was financial in nature. According to the website of the US State Department, it is mentioned that after the French and Indian War (and the co-occurring Seven Years’ War in Europe), Great Britain became heavily indebted. The British government then passed several laws, all with the intentions of increasing taxes in the colonies in order to increase its revenues. It passed the Currency Act in 1764 that prevented the colonies from issuing their own currencies. It also passed the Stamp Act soon after the passage of the Currency Act. The colonies were now required to purchase stamps for legal documents only from the British government. This Stamp Act intended to gather more taxes for the Crown. The colonies were violently opposed to these new measures. Resentment began to grow in the colonies because of the heavy taxes imposed on them.
One more factor was intellectual and religious in nature. An intellectual movement scholars name as the “American Enlightenment” had been brewing since the early 18th century. Among the foundations for this intellectual movement was Republicanism. Intellectual and political leaders then began to compare the current state of the colonies to other republics and nations being formed at the time. The ideology underpinning of republicanism in the American setting was that of putting an end to corruption and limiting the greed of the citizenry. A virtuous citizen was defined as one who defended liberty and who wished to put an end to corruption and greed (Wood, 2011, 325). They condemned the presence of the aristocracy in Great Britain, finding that corruption was rife there and that the colonies had to fight against the same. The Christians of the colonies linked republicanism to religion in the sense that the general feeling was that God was preparing the colonies for a “special purpose” (Kidd, 2010, 9).
Then there was the growing gap between the wealthy and the marginalized. Trade had made many merchants quite wealthy, but there were also the poor who could not even have three full meals a day. In the website of Libcom, it is mentioned that in 1770, five percent of Boston’s taxpayers controlled 49% of the taxable assets of the city. It is said that the leading politicians of the day herded the middle and lower class citizens of cities like Boston to come to town meetings to vent their sentiments and opinions and so that local politicians could listen to the same. These two classes of wealthy businessmen, landowners and politicians and the laborers and slaves somehow saw in the enlightenment phase opportunities to better the quality of their current lives. For the businessmen and wealthier citizens, the Enlightenment presented the opportunity to be rid of the constricting rules and requirements of the British Empire so that they could conduct their businesses in the colonies. On the other hand, for the “lower” classes, the sharing of ideas about freedom and the enlightenment gave them the opportunity to seek a better life in terms of economics and equality. They believed they would have the right to own property, for the slaves to become free men, and that the economic, social and political gaps between the ordinary laborer and the high and mighty businessman would somehow disappear.
These factors all contrived to lead to certain events that eventually precipitated the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre was 1770 incident wherein a “patriot mob” harassed and taunted a group of British soldiers. As objects were thrown onto the soldiers, the latter group fired into the mob, killing five and wounding others. In the days and weeks following this event, the supporters of the government and the supporters of the other group engaged in various forms of propaganda. The event is said to have convinced many colonists to turn away from the British Empire and join movements to work for the independence of the colonies (Knollenberg, 1975, 56). Another significant event is the Boston Tea Party in 1773. When the British government ruled that it was only the East India Company (owned by the British) that could unload tea in the US without taxes being imposed on the tea. This caused an uproar among the local merchants who had to pay taxes if the tea was to be purchased elsewhere. About 150 colonists then went aboard three ships containing the tea of the East India company while they were docked in the Boston Harbor, and threw away all the tea into the sea. This event not only showed the discontent of the colonists against the biased treatment of merchants by the British, but also it showed what the colonists could do when faced with such sanctions and activities (Volo, 2012, 2-3). The Battles of Lexington and Concord could be said to be the initial military engagements prior to the American Revolution. The Province of Massachusetts had come under fire from the British government because of the Boston Tea Party. The patriots had received intelligence about what the British were planning to do – to destroy the military supplies of the patriots and arrest their leaders. Patriots led by Paul Revere rode from Boston to Concord and Lexington in order to warn the other patriots that the “regulars” or British soldiers were coming to implement their plans (Brooks, 1999, 30-31). After the exchange of fire, the patriots were successful in decimating the British forces, and this gave the patriots the momentum to move into full revolution mode.

Works Cited

Brooks, Victor. The Boston Campaign. 1999. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Publishing.
Kidd, Thomas. God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution. 2010. NY: Basic Books.
Knollenberg, Bernhard. Growth of the American Revolution, 1766-1775. 1975. NY: Free Press.
Libcom. A People’s History of the American Revolution. 2011. Web. Accessed 26 March 2015 from: https://libcom.org/history/peoples-history-american-revolution
The US State Department Office of the Historian. Milestones: 1750-1775. 2010. Web. Accessed 26 March 2015 from: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1750-1775/parliamentary-taxation
Volo, James. 2012. The Boston Tea Party: The Foundations of Revolution. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Wood, Gordon. The Idea of America. 2011. NY: The Penguin Press.

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