The American Revolution
The British government engaged in efforts to establish stringent control and raise revenue from colonies ever since the Paris Treaty (Lancaster, 23). This led to discontent among the colonists who protested and had had the British forced out of the territory. One of the causes of American Revolution was the citizen’s attitude. The people who lived in America in the 17th century were different from those who lived there in the 18th century. It appeared like they came from a different England. Most of them came from England and other European countries due to religious policies. As a result, they have a little love from their mother country and assumed America as a better home for them. There was more freedom in America than in Europe. Their religious views were tolerated making them loyal in the land that they lived. The English institutions that were transplanted to America in the 17th century developed tremendously.
The attitude of the British was also a factor towards the revolution of America. They believed that America was their colony. The colonists were English natives who were supposed to serve their mother country. As a result, the colonial government was brought under royal control. New Hampshire became a royal colony in 1679, New York in 1685, Virginia in 1624, Plymouth in 1684, New Jersey in 1702, North and South Carolina in 1729 and Georgia in 1752. The British government appointed governors and military commanders of all the colonies. The imperial control was increased to exploit the colonies. The Americans were unhappy and they had a view that they should be allowed to manage their own affairs. This resulted to a contest between the imperialism and the colonial home role.
The British Supremacy and mercantilism was a major concern in England. The colonies were perceived to live as servants of their mother country. They provided raw materials and supplies while serving as market for finished goods. Mercantilism rejected the establishment of self-government for British colonies. The navigation act was enacted to harm trade of other nations. The act provided that all ships ferrying goods to England should be owned and operated by British subjects. Other acts enacted during this time were the staple Act of 1663, the Enforcement Act, the Duty Act of 1673 and the Molasses Act of 1733 (Lancaster, 79). The colonists viewed these initiatives as against their interests hence they resented. They got unhappy since they believed that England was interfering with trade for selfish interests. Despite the protests, the Acts and initiatives were implemented and the colonists detested them.
The British offered restrictions on manufacture of certain products such as woolen goods and other luxury items. The law had it that these products must be imported from England. The Paris treaty led to the elimination of French influence in Northern and Western America. The French were a source of threat to the colonists making them yearn for protection. This protection was only available from the mother country. The colonists withdrew their dependence on the colonial government soon after the French threat was eliminated.
The French war left a heavy burden on the British government. Britain was of the opinion that the colonists should help in settling the debts incurred in their defense. The government thought that the only way out was to impose taxes on the colonists. This was resented fiercely by colonists and ultimately resulted to their independence. The Quartering Act of 1765 provided that a quarter of British troops were to be provide with accommodation by the colonists in case the barracks were unavailable (Lancaster, 36). This was to accompany other provisions from the colonies. The Stamp Act of 1765 was enacted to help raise revenue from colonies to cater for troops’ expenditure. The colonists protested the passage of this Act as additional taxation would affect the stability of self-government. Sons of Liberty was a political organization, which also protested the measure. The Stamp Act was repealed following the pressured mounted on the England’s prime minister.
The Townshend Acts of 1767 imposed taxes on the colonists. These taxes helped to make the officials independent of the colonists and comprised of duties on paper, glass, and tea. Smugglers multiplied their activities to evade the tax. The Boston Massacre of 1770 resulted after British and the colonists crashed in Boston. This was enough evidence that the colonists were not happy with the colonial rule in America. The first and second continental congress was held on 1774 and 1775 respectively. It involved all the12 colonies who hoped that their grievances would be heard by King George III. In 1775, a major victory for the colonists was realized. This led to King George III proclaiming the colonies in rebellion.
The American Revolution grew out from restrictions placed upon the colonists by their masters. The interesting thing was that only a third of the colonists supported the rebellion. One-third of the colonists continued to side with the British government while the last one-third of the colonists were neutral. They did not know whether to support the rebellion or to break ties with the British. Considerably, the colonists were tired of the British rule and hence yearned for independence. The British government on its side was not ready to allow them part ways. This resulted to the American Revolution.