Causes of the American Revolution

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Following the French Revolution of the late 18th century, Goethe, a German writer, declared that a great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government (ThinkExist). However, his statement also mirrored the events that have taken place several decades earlier, on the North American continent, when the British administration have helped to ignite a major social uprising among colonists. The American Revolution (1763-1789) was generated by an amalgam of factors, translated into a dissonance between the British perspective on the colonies and the American colonial reality. The causes of the American movement for independence range from the benign neglect policy, the post-French-Indian war deals, the British taxation and legal strategies, to the steady emergence of a national American identity, different from the one across the ocean, in Britain. Combined, these factors gave birth to the American Revolution War.

In the beginning of the 18th century, Britain was practically indifferent to enforcing the laws it passed for the people of America. The Crown paid small interest in controlling trade regulations and offered significant freedom in the administration of local affairs, while trade barriers imposed on merchants had only limited repercussion. While Britain had the goal of keeping the colonies under control in mind, it turned out to be a perfect environment for the local political and economic administration bodies to flourish and strengthen their position and power (Davidson, 133). The colonists gradually embraced the idea of self-government. This further contributed to the development of a colonial social identity, distinct from the one in Britain. The expanding cultural distance between the Crown and the col...

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...izens had political representation, their American counterparts lacked it. Taxation without representation was one of the greatest complaints the colonists had toward the Crown (Greene, 126).

Works Cited

1) "Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Quotes." Quotations. Web. 05 Apr. 2011.

2) J. Hector St. John Crèvecoeur, "What is an American? (1770)" in Raymond Hyser and J. Chris Arndt, editors, Voices of the American Past: Documents in U.S. History, Volume I, 3rd Edition (Belmont, CA: Thompson-Wadsworth, 2005), 46-48.

3) Greene, Jack P., and J. R. Pole. A Companion to the American Revolution. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004. Print.

4) Davidson, James West. Nation of Nations: a Narrative History of the American Republic. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. Print.
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