The Role of Propoganda in the American Revolution

The Role of Propoganda in the American Revolution

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The colonists during and before the Revolutionary War believed that they had many well-thought reasons to rebel against England. Some of the most popular reasons would have to be the concept of "Taxation without representation" and the famous Stamp Act. Many colonists were not so concerned with taxes so they sided with the reason of the British restricting their westward expansion. But those colonists who did not go along with those excuses for rebellion just plain hated the British for invading their homes. But a single question arises: "What put all of these strong feelings toward Britain into the minds of the colonists?" The answer is simple: Propaganda.

Many of the colonists along the coast began to thing that the land they were living in was beginning to become a little too crowded. The majority of these colonists looked to the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, but there was one problem. In 1763 King George III created something known as "The Proclamation of 1763". The Proclamation of 1763 restricted the colonists in the English colonies from moving westward into the lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains. It also forced those who had already settled west of the Appalachians to go back to the eastern side. King George III made this law because he wished to keep peace with the Natives and keep the taxpayers paying taxes. He succeeded partially, but he also managed to confuse and upset a large amount of the colonists.
Another problem that made the colonists angry was the Quartering Act. The Quartering Act stated that the colonists must house British soldiers and pay for their expenses. Nearly every colonists was affected by this, even if they did not house a soldier, because the British soldiers would attempt to find odd jobs in their off hours. Thus, the colonists would be in direct competition with the British soldiers for jobs when the colonists were already underpaid due to taxes, such as the Stamp Act.

Taxes were a hard part of every day life in the colonies. Many of the taxes Britain placed on the colonies seemed to be very unreasonable to the colonists. One such example of the unreasonable taxes is the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act was put in place to help pay for some of the cost from the French and Indian War. Everything from newspapers to playing cards was taxed. This infuriated the colonists greatly, because the tax from the Stamp Act affected every one in the colonies in some way or another.

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"The Role of Propoganda in the American Revolution." 26 May 2019

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These taxes caused the colonists to believe that they should have "no taxation without representation."
James Otis originally thought of the idea of "No taxation without representation". Most of the colonists didn't have too much of a problem paying taxes, but they did not think they should have to pay them if they had no say in what type of taxes they were getting. In the English Parliament there were no representatives from the colonies giving the colonists absolutely no say in what was going on within the government that taxed them. In order to protest against these taxes, many merchants banded together and started to boycott British goods.

In most cases when there are people rebelling peacefully, the colonial merchants, there will also be people who rebel using violence. The Sons of Liberty, who were lead by Samuel Adams, were a prime example of the "violent resisters". They were originally formed to fight the stamp act and did so by burning the stamps and threatening the stamp agents. Some of them would even harass merchants who had not yet joined the boycott by stealing and destroying their British goods. Eventually, more and more colonists began to side with this resistance group which led to more violence.

One of the greatest factors in the American Revolution was propaganda. This is because many of the less wealthy colonists had been fine with British taxes. Fueled by their dream for real capitalism and more money, they richer colonists began to create propaganda-like ideas. James Otis, who was an Attorney, created one such idea, which was "No taxation without representation". Other propaganda that was used was nothing more then stories that had grown into tall-tales. The Boston Massacre is a prime example of this, because 5 deaths does not compare to a "Massacre". Many of the stories and reasons to rebel that had been passed around were nothing more then propaganda fed to the poor from the rich.

The American Revolution happened despite many of the reasons used to justify a revolution being nothing more then propaganda and tall-tales of British brutality. Many colonists gave up paying taxes to one government for paying taxes to a more local one. Thus, making the rich leaders of the revolution even more prosperous. At least the reasons for the revolution were well thought out by some one.
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