Events Leading to the American Revolution The American Revolution was a gradual process. It did not happen overnight. We were gradually pushed there by the English. They first gave us the right to govern ourselves, and implement our own laws such as the no taxation without representation law in Pennsylvania. Only then to impose trade restrictions like the Navigation Acts, Sugar Act, and the Stamp Act. The British also set limits on where the Colonists could settle as in the Proclamation of 1763, and finally new taxes which there were many that the English imposed.
The people in America had left Europe to get away from the monarch’s supreme rule and persecution. The monarch granted the settlers with royal charters which allowed them the same rights as they would have in England. Only to have the monarch in the end take away their rights and freedoms as Englishmen, and to abuse the British right to collect taxes with our proper representation. All of this pushed us to make our stand against the tyranny of Great Britain, and to assert our Independence in the American Revolution. Early on in the settlement of the Colonies there was a shift in priorities from finding gold to a society that valued family.
Therefore you have an increase in the population where there is now a need for more schools, churches, and other town infrastructure. With these advances there became a more educated population that helped aid in the advancement and growth of new modern thinkers such as Benjamin Franklin and his contributions to the Colonies during the Age of Enlightenment. Due to the growth in population people began settling further and further west encroaching on French and Indian lands causing friction that would later led to the French and Indian War.
A dispute over land in the American Ohio Valley between the Indians, French, Pennsylvanians, and Virginians brought about the French Indian seven year war. The first battle in the Seven Year War happened in May of 1754 where the Mingo Chief led a small group of George Washington’s men to a French encampment where he led them to victory. Washington was weary of retaliation so he had his group erected a makeshift fort called the “Fort of Necessity”, to which he later fled from due to the impending French retaliation.
The end of the war was signified by the Proclamation of 1763, which the Colonists ignored because it limited where Colonists could settle. This is one of the ways in which the Colonies and Great Britain’s relationship begins to deteriorate. During this time period England was involved in wars all over the globe, and because of it had racked up a large debt funding the various wars. They needed money to cover their expenses, so the King started to evaluate the Colonies and recognized that he needed to implement new laws in order to control the trade, and create new revenue.
Some of the various ways Parliament and the King of England implemented trade restrictions, and imposed taxation were through the Navigation Acts, Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and Townshend Duties. Each one of these in various ways angered the Colonies because they never had a chance to vote on any of them, due to the fact that they were not represented in England. Under your rights as a citizen of Great Britain you were supposed to be represented, but Parliament and the King did not care that they were implementing laws that would go against the royal charters and the basic rights of their citizens in the Colonies.
Another way Great Britain undermined its relationship with the Colonies was through the implementation of the Coercive Acts, otherwise known as the Intolerable Acts. All of the Acts mentioned above worked to create a lot of tension and strife between the Colonies and Great Britain. To further aid in the problem the people in the Colonies are now fourth or fifth generations, and have never been directly under the King’s rule or they have never visited England. So the Colonists start to get angry at this ruler whom they do not know, and start to get frustrated with Great Britain’s interference in their lives.
From this uprising the Colonies start to get organized and form various different Militias. The most famous group that impacted the direction of the American Revolution was The Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty helped to get the Colonists organized. They staged several events that demonstrated the Colonist anger and frustration toward Great Britain and the laws that Great Britain imposed on the Colonies. The Sons of Liberty were not a passive easy going group their demonstrations were very extreme, but they were effective in the repealing the Stamp Act and organizing the Colonists against the tyranny of British rule.
One such way the Sons of Liberty incited the masses to unite was when one of their founding members, Samuel Adams coined the term the Boston Massacre after the fight in Boston broke out between eight British army officials and the town’s people. The Colonists are beginning to become more unified. The Colonist formed the First Continental Congress in response to the Coercive Acts. Where they implemented a total boycott of all British goods, declaration of rights to Parliament, and gave Great Britain a time limit of six months to respond.
During the waiting time the Continental Congress advised its delegates to go home and start drilling their men to get them ready if they were needed. The Sons of Liberty were also instrumental in the Boston Tea Party, which was in response to Tea Acts. All of this helped to fan the roaring fire of the spirit of the American Revolution. Finally the last incident that really showed the British how organized and how serious the Colonies were was when Thomas Gage landed in Boston harbor with 400 British soldiers.
He was going to lead his troops to Concord to capture Samuel Adams or John Hancock, and locate a supply house to take away the Colonists weapons. They made it to Lexington were the British encountered a group of armed Colonists. Gage commanded that they lay down their weapons, but someone, we don’t who, fired their gun. That shot is called the Shot that was heard around the world. Gage went on to Concord, but was unable to locate anything except a bucket of bullets and a barrel of flour. On his way back to his ship Minute Men were posted along the trail, and the Minute Men ended up taking out over half of Gage’s men.
The Colonists were organized, educated, and willing to die for their rights. The British kept on pushing the envelope to see what the Colonists would take, and eventually they pushed too hard and the Colonists reacted. There are many events leading to the American Revolution, but the one thing that they all have in common is the right to Liberty and Freedom. The Colonies stood up to Great Britain, and they were successful in the American Revolution. ——————————————– [ 1 ].
Bruce and William Catton, The Bold and Magnificent Dream, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1978) 72. [ 2 ]. Ibid. , 74. [ 3 ]. Library of Congress, The American Revolution, posted January 2010 http://www. loc. gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/rebelln/. [ 4 ]. US Department of State Office of the Historian, Milestones in American History posted Feb 2011 http://history. state. gov/milestones/1750-1775/FrenchIndianWar. [ 5 ]. Bruce and William Catton, The Bold and Magnificent Dream, 261.
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