In concern to the American Revolution, there are two sides debating its primary cause. One set of historians believe the cause to be ideals and principles. The other set of historians and scholars credit economic and social interests as the primary cause of the Revolutionary War. Historians Jesse Lemisch and Dirk Hoerder used the mobs in colonial cities as evidence of the social concerns of Americans at that time. Another Historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger argued in a 1917 study “that it was the colonial merchants who were chiefly responsible for arousing American resistance to the British; and that although they spoke of principles and ideals, their real motives were economic self-interest: freedom from the restrictive policies of British mercantilism.” This argument is very concrete and is supported by the different legislation that the British Parliament passed after the Seven Years’ War. In fact, an act was passed in 1764 by the Parliament that was instrumental in specifically angering the merchants that played a major role in leading the Americans to independence. That piece of legislation was the Sugar Act which placed a tax on sugar being brought into the colonies. This tax was a significantly less than the one that was logged in the book previously; however, that tax had been ignored for years. The initial response of the merchants to this piece of legislation was anger because this new law cut off their highly profitable smuggling organizations which greatly affected their earnings. Soon after tha...
As proclaimed in the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms,” we agreed that the British government had left the people with only two options, “unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers or resistance by force.” Thus, in the early months of the dreadfully long year of 1775, we began our resistance. As the war progressed, the Americans, the underdogs, shockingly began winning battles against the greatly superior mother country of England. Actually, as seen in the battle of Bunker Hill, not only were they winning, they were annihilating hundreds of their resilient opponents. Countless questions arose before and during the War of Independence. Problems like: social equality, slavery, women’s rights, and the struggle of land claims against Native Americans were suddenly being presented in new and influencing ways to our pristine leaders. Some historians believe that while the Revolutionary War was crucial for our independence, these causes were not affected; thus, the war was not truly a revolution. Still, being specified in the Background Essay, several see the war as more radical, claiming it produced major changes above and beyond our independence.
Burke, Edmund. “Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event: in a Letter Intended to Have Been Sent to a Gentleman in Paris 1790.” Edmund Burke: Selected Writings and Speeches. Ed. Peter J. Stanlis. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1963. 511-608.
Without colonial consent, the British started their bid to raise revenue with the Sugar Act of 1764 which increased duties colonists would have to pay on imports into America. When the Sugar Act failed, the Stamp Act of 1765 which required a stamp to be purchased with colonial products was enacted. This act angered the colonists to no limit and with these acts, the British Empire poked at the up to now very civil colonists. The passing of the oppressive Intolerable Acts that took away the colonists’ right to elected officials and Townshend Acts which taxed imports and allowed British troops without warrants to search colonist ships received a more aggravated response from the colonist that would end in a Revolution.
“Is there a single trait of resemblance between those few towns and a great and growing people spread over a vast quarter of the globe, separated by a mighty ocean?” This question posed by Edmund Burke was in the hearts of nearly every colonist before the colonies gained their independence from Britain. The colonists’ heritage was largely British, as was their outlook on a great array of subjects; however, the position and prejudices they held concerning their independence were comprised entirely from American ingenuity. This identity crisis of these “British Americans” played an enormous role in the colonists’ battle for independence, and paved the road to revolution.
The origin of England's dependence on the colonies began during the French and Indian war, in the 1750s-1760s. In this war, the British were quite inexperienced; their European style of fighting did not work against the guerilla-warfare fighting style of the French. The British wore bright red coats, marched in long lines, often lugging cannons around with them, while the French hid behind trees and picked them off one by one. General Braddock relied on his force of ill-disciplined American militiamen, who used behind-the-tree methods of fighting in order to fight the Indians. After many years of fighting, the British finally came out victorious. Although England emerged from this war as one of the biggest empires in the world, it also possessed the biggest debt. They had poured much money and resources into these colonies in order to keep them as their own, and it was time for the colonies to give something back to the British for protecting them from the Indians. They finally realized what a precious gift the colonies were, and how useful they would be. In this war, the British realized that the colonies were their pawns in a global game of chess. At any time, the British felt that they had the right to impose taxes on the colonies, in order to make up for money that was lost in the French and Indian War to defend them. They had the view that because they had done so much to help the colonies, that the colonies had to repay them.
After the Seven Year War, Britain now needed to find ways to generate money, and felt that since the war was fought on American land that they should help pay for its cost, and they decided to issue new taxes on the colonies trying to offset some of the cost of the war. One of the first acts they presented was the Sugar act in 1764, lowering the duties on molasses but taxed sugar and other items that could be exported to Britain. It also enforced stronger laws for smuggling, where if prosecuted, it would be a British type trial without a jury of their peers. Some Americans were upset about the Sugar Act because it violated two strong American feelings, first that they couldn't be tried without a jury of their peers, and the second that they couldn't be taxed without their consent.
The Prime Minister George Grenville, creates the Sugar Act of 1764. This act, in short, taxed sugar. American colonists still had power because of the royal veto. The colonists were outraged, Grenville was taxing the prime ingredient in bread and alcohol, two of America's favorites. Also the colonists may have seen that this tax was paying for the British's problems.
The British also implemented new taxes. The Sugar act of 1764 sought to reduce smuggling, which occurred partly as a result of the earlier Molasses Act. This gave British possessions in the Caribbean the upper hand in sugar trade, which in the British view helped the empire as a whole, but to Americans, and especially the merchants, this put limits on their opportunities. The Currency Act, passed about this time forbade the printing of colonial currency. British merchants benefited because they didn't have to deal with inflated American currencies. The Americans felt they were at an economic disadvantage as very little sterli...
In 1959, Singapore gained its independence from British colonial rule with help from the People’s Action Party (PAP). The PAP started a rebellion against British colonial rule and ultimately led to the union with Malaya to create the federation of Malaysia. This federation did not last long due to cultural and political issues, and in 1965, Singapore officially became an independent nation. According to Edmund Burke’s Theory of Modern Revolution, after a country gains its independence, the country usually goes through four stages of modern revolution. These stages are: widespread support of the Uprising; change occurs, society becomes divided by the change, Civil War breaks out and a dictatorial power emerges, thus creating even more opposition and the new government takes more drastic measures (counter-revolution), and someone (group) comes along who takes matters into his own hands who will restore law and order and society ends up in a dictatorship. The country should go through these stages in chronological order, but at times, the country will not go through all the stages, skip stages, or repeat stages. There were racial, political, and cultural differences between the two groups of people and governments in Malaysia that could not be overcome and their federation ended two years after it started. The now independent nation of Singapore went through stage one and then circles back to repeat stage one and stage two of Edmund Burke’s Theory of Modern Revolution at the same time in 1959 through 1965.