Causes Of The American War Of Independence

Causes Of The American War Of Independence

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The American Revolution is usually seen as being the same thing as the American War for Independence, starting in 1775 with the battle of Lexington and ending in 1783 with the treaty of Paris. This popular misconception has lead to the most important has lead to the real revolution being forgotten, the change in the way countries are governed and the ideas that lead to it.

With the end of the French and Indian wars, the first worldwide war, the British found themselves with a huge national debt. The only reason they won the war was that their treasury lasted longer than the French treasury. As part of the agreement for peace, the French offered to give all their holdings in America to the British. These new acquisitions were a problem for the British parliament because now they needed to stop settlers from the British colonies going into the new land in fear that the Indians would attack them. Therefore, to defend the colonists from Indians (and vice versa) the British parliament decided that the colonists should pay a small tax (compared to was paid
in England) to pay a less than half of the money needed for the army that would be permanently stationed in the Americas, so parliament introduced the Sugar Act.

The Sugar Act was something that actually reduced the tax on molasses eliminating the incentive to smuggle thereby increasing the amount of people willing to pay duty. This reduction, although a good idea, did not make much money. So, the British parliament brought in the Stamp Act. The parliament assumed that because the British people had been living with the tax for about 70 years and there had been no revolts in Britain that the Colonists would accept it. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

The Colonists were angry about the new tax because it covered so many things and they did not get any representation in the matter. The Americans saw the new tax as a way to enslave them, to deprive them of the very reason that may came to the Colonies freedom. The Americans started to think that they were the last bastion of English rights because the British had "obviously" lost theirs. So the Americans began to complain about the taxes to King George III and may secret organisations such as the Sons of Liberty, the Americans even boycotted British goods.

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When the British repealed the act the Americans had thought that they made a difference but the real reason the British parliament changed their decision was that the exports to the American Colonies had fallen by $3 million reducing the amount of tax they could get off their merchants at home. This ended the boycott on Britain, but at the same time did something monumentally stupid the released the Declaratory Act which in the end made the Americans angrier.

When the Townshend acts were introduced the following year, the Declaratory Act had sunk into the American's minds and they realised the implications. British thought that because it was an external tax that the Americans would not mind, but now the Americans were distrustful of parliament there was a quick boycott of British goods. Because of this boycott the officials were under threat in Boston so the parliament sent two regiments of soldiers to protect them.

This only made the problem worse because the Americans resented this so they attacked the soldiers who defended themselves by shooting at the crowds. This Minor incident where only 6 were killed but a man named Samuel Adams managed to turn into propaganda for a resistance group that ended up causing much more dire effects.

Because of the boycott on English tea, the East India Trading Company had mountains of tea piling up in warehouses that needed to be sold otherwise the company would go bust and there would be no English tea at all. So the tax on other goods was removed and they left a reduced tax on tea thereby undercutting the smugglers prices. The tea smugglers realised this so they said that if they were forced out of business the Co. would have a monopoly and the parliament would put up the tax again. As insignificant as this seems tea some how became a symbol of tyranny.

Samuel Adams organise the Boson Tea Party in which 342 chests of tea were thrown in the water as a way of saying they would not accept British tyranny. The point had been reached where you had to choose between Britain and Independence. The British had reached the breaking point with their patience so they set in place some acts to establish British Authority.

These acts were called the Intolerable Acts by the Americans and they included
• The closing of Boston until the colonists paid
for the tea.
• The Administration of Justice Act allowed British officials accused of murder while enforcing British law to be trialled in England.
• The Massachusetts Government act took away the right of the Massachusetts Assembly to appoint the council that advised the governor.
• The Quartering Act required the colonists to provide housing for British troops.
• The Quebec Act, which was an attempt to organise the area taken from France, seemed to the colonists to be an unjustified attack on colonial freedom.

The British thought this would bring the Americans under control but it did not. Instead, it only made them angrier and all the colonies joined together as one to fight against the British.

There were a few important people in the war like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and most famously George Washington. Washington was the military commandeer of the Continental Army

A few important dates were:
- Declaration of Independence, 4th July 1776
The declaration of independence is exactly what the name suggests.
- French Alliance to the Americans, 6th February
1778
This is the point the French enter the war and help the Americans fight off the brittish.
- Treaty of Paris, 3rd September 1783
Is when a document called the Treaty of Paris was signed which was when the United
States officially became a country.
I will not be going into the battles in detail because they unimportant.

The effect that the American Revolution had upon the world was momentous. It changed Western Civilisation forever by spreading the ideas freedom and liberty. It was in fact one of the main causes of the French revolution because when the soldiers got home they realised that what they were fighting for in America was possible for them to. Without it the world would probably sill be having monarchs as heads of state. The Declaration of Independence set of the idea of human freedom through out the western world. Another thing that the American Revolution caused was the settlement of Australia because the British used to send their convicts to America. When America stoped accepting the convicts the jails in England became very full which meant that they needed to find somewhere else to put their convicts, this is what lead to the colonisation of Australia.

The American Revolution also proved that
• Constitutions could work and could stop unreasonable laws from being passed
• That a large modern republic could exist
• That state governments operate under a federal government without major conflicts breaking out.

In retrospect I would just have to say what I said at the top which was that the American revolution was a revolution in the countries were governed and the ideals that they were governed by.
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