America’s Journey to Freedom During the years leading up to the American Revolution there was a great amount of tension throughout the colonies. Taxes and Acts were passed through the colonies constantly by the British Government, making life hard for everyday people to make ends meet. King George III of England was a very controlling man of the people in England and across the sea in America. His greed for power and money was obvious in the lands he controlled. British Acts and actions against the colonists including the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and the Boston Massacre inspired a need for freedom in a corrupt government. Although these are just a few British actions against the colonists they are ones that set many over the edge in hopes of freedom. In the hopes of a country of accountability and honesty, the colonists slowly worked toward making America a free land. The most common way of opposing British law was to boycott or resist from buying British goods. Although it was a …show more content…
The Townshend Acts put a tax on all British imports. In 1768 when the Townshend Act was passed, imports cost about 2.2 million pounds of sterling. The act was later repealed in 1770 but a tax was still kept on tea (Document 2). Colonists were upset about the acts and people began protesting against the British. In March 1770, a crowd of drunk men outside of a tavern gathered around a group of British Soldiers. The men began cursing and throwing things at the soldiers in protest against the Townshend and Quartering Acts. Confusion and fright struck the soldiers resulting in the British firing into the crowd of angry colonists. Five of the colonists were killed and ten were injured due to the shots fired by the British. News of the event spread quickly throughout the colonies and the tragic night became known as the Boston
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Now, able to express their grievances and frustrations, the Colonies were able to essentially “stick it to the man” against Britain. Thomas Jefferson writes how Great Britain’s king had “impos[ed] taxes on [them] without [their] consent,” and “depriv[ed] [them] of the benefits of trial by jury.“ He goes on to say that the king had abolish[ed] [their] most valuable laws; and alter[ed] fundamentally the forms of [their] governments.” (Baym 342) This list of complaints goes on and on. The king took away all of their fundamental rights, and the colonists were fed up. Thomas Jefferson says that he didn’t just take away their rights, but he took away their basic human rights, and “waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him.” (Baym 343) These are very strong words from Thomas Jefferson, but they reflect the way these colonists felt. They were angry, and they had every right to
However, the Americans argued against the constitutionality of the act because its purpose was to raise revenue and not regulate trade, so the colonists organized boycotts of British goods. One of the boycotts involved the circulation of a letter to other colonies urging them to coordinate a resistance. However, the government quickly dissolved this assembly to organize a resistance by reactivating a statute which permitted subjects outside the realm to face trials in England for treason. This caused an outrage and on March 5, 1770 a large mob gathered around a group of British soldiers. The mob grew more and more threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks and debris at the soldiers. One soldier was even clubbed and fell. As a result, the soldiers fired into the crowd killing five civilians, giving the event the name the Boston Massacre. As a result of this event, Parliament withdrew all taxes except the tax on tea, giving up its efforts to raise revenue. This temporarily resolved the crisis and the boycott of British goods largely ceased. However, this resolve was only temporary because in June of 1772 American patriots burned a British warship that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations. These events eventually forced the thirteen colonies to create the Committee of
The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770 when a mob of civilians confronted the British in Boston after nearly two years of tension between the colonists and the British soldiers in Boston. In the fall of 1768, many British soldiers were stationed in Boston to maintain order, and enforce taxes on account of the colonists protesting the Townshend Acts with a fiery passion. The Townshend Acts were imposed by Parliament and Prime Minister Charles Townsend in 1767 to continue to raise funds to pay off Britain's enormous debt. The Townsend Acts suspended New York assemblies, forced the colonists to board British soldiers, placed duties on imported goods, such as glass, paint, paper, lead, tea, etc., and allowed customs officials to enter any ship or house they deem suspicious of
The Boston Massacre occurred March 5th in the year 1770. British troops were already in Massachusetts since 1768 to help enforce the Townshend Acts and tensions had been rising. The Townshend Acts was a tax of common goods (paper, glass, tea) imposed by the British government on the colonists. The colonists despised the ‘Redcoats’ and consistently taunted them by spitting, name-calling and fighting. It began with a disagreement between Private White (British) and a wigmaker’s apprentice (American); however the crowd increased quickly when Private White struck the apprentice.
As a result of protest by the British colonies by reducing British imports, the Townshend Acts were repealed by Parliament in 1770, but taxes on tea were kept. However, the result of these acts were boycotts and growing tension in the colonies, which eventually lead to a revolutionary war.
While Americans were struggling for their rights, King George only saw it as a rebellion in the colonies. All of the complaints that the colonists had were being ignored. Americans were tired of the overruling and unfair authority that Great Britain had over them.
Insults were exchanged between citizens and off-duty soldiers, mobs formed in the streets of Boston and taunts occurred all day. At one point a citizen insulted a red coat and all out violence occurred. The soldier called for assistance and many soldiers rushed to his aid. Verbal attacks then turned into a physical confrontation in which colonists pelted soldiers with ice,snowballs,stones and clubs. Someone from the British side began shooting and killed 5 people and injured 6 others. This caused tension between the colonists and Britain. News was spread throughout the colonies that a horrid massacre had taken place in Boston and many colonist were convinced that the citizens of Boston were forced to defend themselves from out of control British soldiers. Britain however said that the British soldiers were driven to violence by the abusive and threatening citizens of Boston. This event in Boston is what caused Parliament to repeal the Townshend Act. Only the tea tax was kept.(8) This was known as the Tea Act of 1773. The Tea Act promised to lower the cost of East India Company tea by eliminating costs elsewhere. Most Americans saw this tax as unfair because they saw this tax as a”taxation without representation” When news of the tax spread to the colonies protests became spread out across the colonies. Hundreds of people gathered in
After funding the French and Indian war the English Empire was poor and needed a new source of income. The American colonies did not have any members of parliament so the rest of England decided to tax those who could not represent themselves. After many pleas to the king the colonist were ignored, while their taxes were still being raised. After several riots that turned into fights, the King only punished them more. It was then that the colonist decided that they needed to take a larger action. They wrote the Declaration of Independence, as a final hope that the King would listen to them, he did not. Declaring themselves independent is what sparked the revolutionary
Unruly patriots taunted British soldiers, and the soldiers shot and killed a couple of colonists. Outraged by the deaths of the colonists more people started to join the cause for independence. At that point many of the important advocates for independence were at their peak. When parliament enacted the tea act that compelled the colonists to only buy British tea the Sons and Daughters of liberty took their first official action. Throwing tea into the Boston Harbor was their first initial set towards independence. Once you think the English were going to give up they enforced the intolerable acts which initially took away many of the colonists freedoms. This is when the sons of Liberty started thinking about a document to declare their independence. They initially knew that American motivation was already “animated”. An example of one of the motivational quotes were “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”-Declaration of Independence. People liked the thought of those things in a new government which the England have been taking away from them. Another right that was unfairly coordinated was the right to a fair trial. Colonists speculated and realized that they needed American lawyers, judges, and juries. It was an unfair trial because the
Later in 1765, the Quartering Act was formed. This law said that the American Colonists had to provide food and shelters to British soldiers when the soldiers needed it. The Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Quartering Act were all repealed, so King George III again taxed the colonists with the Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts, proposed by Charles Townshend in 1767 were multiple taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea. The American Colonists were furious and they boycotted all of the items Britain taxed. The people in Boston fought back the most, causing Britain to send in one troop for every four colonists living in Boston. Tension slowly rose over time in the Bostonians, and they took out their anger on the Redcoats (the British soldiers/troops) on March 5th, 1770, the Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre was one of the biggest events in America’s history. Nobody knows who started the skirmish, but we do know that the Redcoats shot at the colonists and five people were killed, and six others were wounded. The Boston Massacre helped unite the colonies to later fight for their independence. Once again, in 1773 the British passed another tax, the Tea
The original motivation in the American Revolution was conservative in nature. In the early to mid-1760s, when revolutionaries were beginning to speak out against the unfair position of America in the British Empire, separation was not viewed as a reasonable, or even conceivable, route. These revolutionary voices sought to gain a more equitable position in the British Empire and increased autonomy in governance, specifically the power of colonial assemblies. As time went on, England continued to be unreceptive to the colonists’ requests for self-government, and feelings of discontent continued to spread, and become more virulent, aided by the proliferation of speeches, pamphlets, and essays on the topic. By 1774, British oppression had risen
“Give me liberty or give me death”. This was a famous slogan used by the colonist who werefed up with being controlled by the British and by the 1780s the colonist wanted to be a free and independent state. The “Road to the Revolution” began when these major events happened: Navigational Acts of 1660, the French and Indian War:1754-1763, Pontiac’s Rebellion & Proclamation of 1763, The Sugar Act:1764, The Stamp Act:1765, The Declaratory Act:1766, The Townshend Act:1767, The Boston Massacre:1770,The Boston Tea Party:1773, and the Intolerable Acts:1774. The colonist feel like they are being treated unfairly and want to have more of a say in government. They don't believe what the
Americans wanted to be in charge of their own government and have more control over how their taxes were spent. The American Revolution or war of independence was fought to get rid of the king’s people, at that time in the Thirteen colonies, as they considered themselves British colonies.
There were many reasons and events that led to the American Revolution, but it really all boils down to England being selfish. They wanted to make as much money as they possibly could off the new colonies, feeling a sense of entitlement, as they had provided funds and supplies to the settlers to make the trip in the first place. The British Parliament enacted laws and taxes that affected the economies and the lives of those in the new colonies, but for the benefit of England. The new Americans were not given the same rights under the Parliament as the British people, nor did they have a say in what the Parliamentary decisions. At one point the colonist had enough and began to protest and fight back, leading them down the American Road to Revolution. The Americans no longer wanted to be under Britain’s thumb, and looking for solutions, and knowledge to change that. This led them to a series of actions that began the American Revolution.
Most of the tension leading up to the American Revolution lies in the rights of the colonies, and the rights of the British to govern them. The British believed they unequivocally held this right over their subjects. The colonies, on the other hand, felt differently. They felt that true liberty lied in the ability to choose for themselves. If the British had no representation for them, and all legislation was uncontested, then the colonies would resist such laws. This debate, combined with the debt incurred during the French and Indian War, caused a great upset in the colonies that turned into the American Revolution.