Carly Zeravica American Revolution Essay Period 3 9/20/11 When did the American Revolution start? Some historians say that it began after the French and Indian War ended in 1763 and others say that it began when the colonists first came to North America in 1607. Regardless, the colonists achieved separation from the changeless ways in Britain and created new ideas for the “new world. ” After years of ignorance from Britain, the colonies began to form their own identity as a whole. They now had a vision of their future, but were restrained in numerous ways by the British.
However, the colonists refused to tolerate British limitations. The American Revolution was a product of colonial rejection to Britain’s attempts at taxation, legislation, and economic control. Britain’s triumph in the Seven Years’ War came with a price. Britain acquired a large amount of land from the defeated empires of France and Spain, accompanied by a large amount of debt. About half of this debt was a result of defending the American colonies. Therefore, the British government began taxing the colonies in order to pay off their substantial monetary obligation.
Americans became infuriated, especially with officials such as Prime Minister George Grenville, who imposed The Sugar Act. This placed a tax on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies. The British viewed taxation as colonial compensation for protection. The Sugar Act excitement settled after the duty was lowered, but it was soon followed by more taxing. Charles Townshend, a British politician, influenced Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts. These acts placed an import tax on items such as glass, paper, and tea.
Colonists rebelled once again, creating nonimportation agreements against the Townshend Acts. Although colonists were primarily angry with the tax on tea, they ignored the duties and began smuggling. Ultimately, taxation was a British effort to abuse the rights of the Americans. Taxes, along with Parliamentary legislations and economy, eventually built up, intensified, and led to the American Revolution. Throughout the seventeenth century, the American colonies argued with Britain about the level of freedom they deserved.
Britain believed that the colonists had too much freedom, while they claimed there wasn’t enough. Britain took action by passing a series of laws and acts, restricting the thirteen colonies further. London government started their restrictions by issuing the Proclamation of 1763. This document stated that the colonists could not settle land beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Proclamation was viewed as an “oppression” by Americans, particularly land speculators. They felt that their right to progress west was being taken from them, and were thoroughly angered at this.
However, British government wouldn’t stop here. Until 1763, Navigation Laws were faintly enforced, allowing products to be shipped to the colonies without going through British vessels or the country itself. Then, Prime Minister George Grenville demanded that the British navy strictly impose the laws. The Americans wanted to have control of their “new world”, and saw no logic in confinement to British rule. Nonetheless, more policies were issued, including the infamous Intolerable Acts. These rules were placed on Massachusetts, Boston specifically, taking away the rights of the colonists living there.
As a part of the Intolerable Acts, the Quebec Act was passed, expanding the Quebec borders to the Ohio River and granting French Canadians exclusive rights. Bitterness continued to brew in the colonies because these acts proved inequality within America. There was no colonial government whatsoever, and the British policies were strongly enforced. All that was left in the hands of the colonists was the growth of their economy, or so they thought. Wealth was power in the eyes of mercantilists, and wealth was determined by the amount of gold or silver a country possessed.
The thirteen colonies were used essentially as a factory by London government, producing what was necessary to fulfill their mercantilist goals. They were solely meant to generate goods for Britain, who saw their aspiration to have an independent economy as a unrealistic. All gold and silver was going straight to Britain, and the Americans soon ran out of funds. Consequently, they were required to print and utilize paper currency. Parliament banned this, shutting down this step towards economic self-sufficiency. Colonial production was only beneficial to the mother country and when Americans grasped this, it was the inal straw of toleration. Upon departure from Britain in 1607, settlers were guaranteed the “rights of Englishmen”. Following their arrival, these promised rights were rapidly being taken away from Americans. As the colonies tried to stand on their own, Britain strived to maintain power. Restrictions and regulations began to infest the colonies, and quickly became unbearable to the liberated Americans. Taking action against British smothering, the colonists revolted. The American Revolution was a product of colonial rejection to Britain’s attempts at taxation, legislation, and economic control.