Causes of the Revolutionary War DBQ
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A great things started somewhere. For a powerful, free, and role model country like the United States of America started somewhere. The journey of our storied revolution and transformation to one of the world’s premier powers have its roots derived from Great Britain. Unjust colonial rules implanted by the King of England acted as the catalyst for revolution amongst the colonies. Once a happy family, key events triggered discussion about possible separation from the harsh rule of the mother country. The citizens of the 13 colonies were justified in rebelling from Great Britain due to the act of numerous grievances committed by the King, mistreatment and abuse by British troops, and unjust laws that summoned unethical actions like taxation without representation upon the colonists.
The colonists had every right to declare independence from Great Britain due to mistreatment and abuse from British troops deployed by King George. The colonist’s best argument for separation is the Boston Massacre. On March 5, 1770, it was said that a group of enraged Bostonians gathered and pelted numerous British soldiers with snowballs. The document then continues to state that, “Order quickly broke down and the frightened soldiers fired into the crowd. When the shooting ended, several people were dead and more were wounded.” There are several things wrong with this event. The first being that King George deployed troops originally in the colonies for protection.
This means that they should not be given quick orders to fire into an unarmed crowd just because outraged colonists threw snowballs at them; let alone kill some of the protesters. If anything, they should not be soldiers if they are frightened by a couple of snowballs. Also, colonists had to deal with unjust laws such as the quartering act. Within the excerpts from Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania, (1767-68) by John Dickenson, it reads that, “The parliament unquestionably possesses a legal authority to regulate the trade of Great Britain, and all her colonies.” Not once does it state that the colonists had go out of their way to provide housing for soldiers. Not only are the British army not doing much in terms of protection within the colonies, but hinder the lives of citizens forced to provide and live alongside them.
Amongst the colonies, the person who almost everyone had a problem was King George of England. His actions were the catalysts of the revolution in America. In The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell (1774-77), the young Englishmen recorded his travels through the American colonies. He noted how within the colonies, most notably in New England that, “The King is openly cursed, and his authority set at defiance…everything is ripe for rebellion,” and also how all this talk had, “persuaded the rest of the colonies that the government is going to make absolute slaves of them.” These opinions on King George reappear in excerpts of America’s founding document, “The Declaration of Independence,” and claims that the king has a, “history of repeated injuries and usurpations (unlawful seizures), all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” It goes on to call out how King George is merely a prince whose character defines him in every way as a Tyrant and, “unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
For the colonists as a whole, they are boycotting away from Great Britain because of a collection of wrongful acts committed by his acts. Although many colonists are firm on the stance of independence, there were still colonists who opposed. Those colonists felt unready to break off completely but still had their complaints for the King’s laws. They created the Olive Branch Petition, which proposed that the 13 colonies continue to remain with England but not pay the unjust taxes to the parliament. The congress sent this as confirmation of allegiance to the King but not the parliament. This was immediately rejected, letting us know that even after a confirmation of allegiance, if they didn’t follow his rules then he was unwilling to accept it. It was a true characteristic of a tyrant, and his behavior was uniformly unpopular throughout the colonies.
At this point, independence was inevitable. The colonists were outraged and began to secretly form militia to counter the English troops. Propaganda against the King corralled the volunteer soldiers, later know as Patriots, boosted the morale of each other as they rose up and were confident that they can make a difference. In the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms issued by the Second Continental Congress on July 5, 1775, justifies the violence and actions that the militiamen took at the skirmishes of Lexington and Concord. It reads, “The British declare that parliament can of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever…We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated British officials, or resistance by force, The latter is our choice.” Essentially, Thomas Jefferson and John Dickenson (the authors of this article) refer to these actions as a retaliation against the unjust orders of the King. The point of no return was prevalent in excerpts of Thomas Paine’s infamous book Common Sense.
This book was published in the January of 1776 and was served as propaganda to persuade various Americans that conflict with England is unavoidable and independence was America’s only choice if it intends to thrive. He pens down how, “…no man was a warmer wisher for a peaceful settlement than myself…but the moment the event of that day was made known, I rejected the hardened, sullen-tempered King of England forever.” Thomas Paine was alike many fellow supporters of the revolution. They were unbiased because they started out with saluting the King, but that decision was cut short after the collection of inequitable acts committed by King George of England.
At first, the patriots act of retaliation seemed rushed and not well planned. After analyzing these historical documents, it proves to not be the case. With how King George ran this country, and how the troops were being used, it was just setting the colonies up for failure. Therefore, the colonists of America were justified in rebelling from their mother country, Great Britain due to the act of many grievances committed by the King, mistreatment and abuse by British troops, and unjust laws that summoned unethical actions upon the colonies.