Gaining Independence In America And Britain History Essay
The American Revolution was one of the most important events in the history of the United States of America. It was revolutionary. The people broke free from Britain and gained independence. Only one-third of the colonists supported the revolution. The colonists were unhappy and tired of British rule. The original thirteen colonies that made up the USA were originally property of Great Britain. In comparison to the powerful and prosperous metro of New England, America appeared to be primitive, backwards, disorderly and turbulent, and without a real sense of aristocracy. The colonists constantly felt the need to apologize for being “less” than its counterparts because of their way of life, lack of art and literature, and the minute (unimportant) affairs.
In the 1760s, Great Britain forced their way of life upon the unexpecting colonists. America resisted to the sudden, imperial ruling and rebelled. Americans suddenly saw themselves socially equipped for a republican future. John Adams later said, “The Revolution was effected before the war commenced.” It was a change “in the minds and hearts of the people.” Not to be mistaken the American Revolution was more than just a “thought of change”, but a constant push for transformation. In an effort to explain the American Revolution the causes of the “rebellion” must be examined. The three main reasons for the American Revolution were: political, economic, and social causes.
Initially started by the rich and well born, the revolution began to involve the common people because they couldn’t be excluded. The revolution involved a massive military involvement. In 1763, no one set out to gain independence, but through complex series of events, full of unexpected turns, extraordinary creativity, and great personal sacrifice, a rebellion was started. George III (1760) was responsible for the preservation of the empire, but through his politics and the attitude of the Parliament the people and government could not see eye to eye. This failure of communication and the inability for the two sides to understand each other made problems escalated more. The colonists believed that King George III was too controlling over the colonies, with tyrannical leadership. This is shown in the Declaration of Independence, declaring the United States free from "absolute Tyranny over the States." To add to this conflict, British forces were attempting to intimidate the colonists into submission. The colonist's attitude towards this policy was that it only gave them more cause and justification for violence. The general belief among to colonists was that it was God's will that America and Britain be separated, and God's will was a pretty strong proponent and motivation for them. In 1775, the colonists took up arms against the British troops in the colonies. They met at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and some of the captured American soldiers were being executed. With all of these events, the adversity towards the English was growing.
Although these political conflicts were occurring simultaneously, the economic influences were greater. The colonists were very strong in believing that much of the taxation imposed on them by Britain was unfair and unreasonable. The colonists couldn't even afford to pay many of the taxes imposed on them. The Stamp Act, for example, taxed practically everything imaginable. The Stamp Act taxed newspapers, pamphlets, bonds, leases, deeds, college diplomas, dice, playing cards, and didn't end there. The British finally repealed the Stamp Act in 1766, but they immediately replaced it with the Declaratory Act, which stated that Britain had full authority to impose whatever taxation they wanted to. The Quartering Act, which was imposed in 1765, required all colonists to provide provisions and housing, which could be barracks or the use of their inns and empty buildings, to British troops under any circumstances. This was also thought to be unfair. When Britain imposed the Tea Act of 1773, the colonists realized that once they gained that kind of monopoly over tea, the same dominance and, in effect, manipulation would begin to appear on other commodities. These taxations made the colonists realize that the British needed to be stopped or they would always have control.
Taxation, the right to impose taxation, and representation in Parliament were also significant issues in the American Revolution. The main beliefs of the colonists were that they shouldn't be able to be taxed by people who they had no say in electing. Many documents throughout history, for example the Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776, and The Virginia Resolves, October 19, 1765, refer to popular saying "No taxation without representation." The colonists needed representation in Parliament to control taxes, because the representatives currently in Parliament didn't have the colonists' interests in mind. For example, the colonists shouldn't have had to pay taxes like the Stamp Act because the colonists were already largely contributing to their defenses, and that was the stated intention for the taxes. Many Americans at the time believed that the money collected from taxes wouldn't be used for the taxpayers' well-being or benefit, but for the strengthening of British control or increasing British revenue. It was argued that Virginians were entitled to the same rights and liberties that Englishmen had, and that representation was no exception. The controversy surrounding representation sparked many issues and began a lot of the conflict.
In the end Britain the strongest empire in the world ended up losing the Revolutionary War, and all of its land in America. Enlightenment thinking, economics, and geography all helped in some way toward an American victory. Enlightenment thinking help the American colonists to now what they want in a government. Economics such as taxation and the Quartering Act angered the American colonists, pushing them towards war. Geography made in hard for Britain to launch an attach on the Americans, leaving there incoming British troops vulnerable.
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