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The Causes of American Revolution

The American Revolution was caused by the unique nature of the American Colonists and their society in contrast to their relationship with the English Government and peoples. Life in America was not a life of leisure. American colonists had worked hard to cultivate their lands and develop their towns and cities. Rural life in the American colonies consisted not only of farmers, tradesmen also prospered. (Handlin. 24) By 1763, the American Colonies were spreading west. The expelling of the French and the Spaniards in 1763 opened lands of opportunity for the colonists. American colonists who settled in the new lands and the New World were a, “fresh breed of humans, self-reliant, rationalistic, disdainful of established ideas and authorities, vain, provincial, sometimes violent, often reckless”. (Handlin 130)

Tensions began to build in the Colonies immediately after the 7 years war, or the French and Indian War. At this time the American Colonies were prospering. The colonists in America had no oppressing chains to throw off. “In fact, the colonists knew they were freer, more equal, more prosperous and less burdened with cumbersome feudal and monarchical restraints than any other part of mankind in the 18th Century”. (Wood 4) They had achieved an economic and political maturity that resented outside interference. (Jensen 34) They did not discover new ideas after 1763, but held up ideas of the rights of Englishmen which had begun back with the Magna Carta. The route to the American Revolution was based on this unique American character and the lack of understanding, which the British Government had for it.

After the 7 years war, England was heavily in debt. This was the most that they’d ever been in debt in their history. Two years before the end of the war King George II died, and his grandson George III became king. King George III held the theory that to rule an empire you had to have a tight grip. “The colonies had always been the domain of the crown, administered by royally appointed officials. Parliament had seldom interfered—except to pass the Acts of Trade and Navigation, laws relating to finance, and laws prohibiting or limiting certain colonial manufactures. The attempt by parliament to raise money in the colonies by acts of Parliament, coupled with other restrictive legislation and administrative decisions, forced Americans, for the first time,...

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...t took for communication between the two nations it was very difficult for the British Ministers or King to fully appreciate the maturation and development of the Colonists. “The Revolution did not just eliminate monarchy and create republics; it actually reconstituted what Americans meant by public or state power and brought about an entirely new kind of popular politics and a new kind of democratic officeholder” (Wood 8).

Works Cited

Canfield, Cass. Sam Adams’s Revolution (1765-1776). New York: Harper and Row, 1976.

Cook, Don. The Long Fuse; How England Lost The American Colonies, 1760-1785. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995 .

Fleming, Thomas. Liberty! The American Revolution. New York: Penguin Group, 1997.

Handlin, Oscar and Lilian. A Restless People; Americans in Rebellion 1770-1787. New York: Anchor Press, 1982.

Jensen Merrill. The Founding of a Nation; A History of the American Revolution 1763-1776. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause; The American Revolution, 1763-1789. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.
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