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The American Revolution was an Inevitable Event

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America’s War of Independence was a political and military struggle among the thirteen American colonies and England. Since the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in the French and Indian War, the result was British control over much of North America. This was had cost England a great deal of money and Parliament decided it was time for the colonies to pay a share for their own defense. The movement to resist the new imperial policies, a movement for which many people would die for, was thus at the same time democratic and conservative. It was a movement to conserve liberties Americans believe they already possessed. While it would be hard to point to any one event that singularly led to the revolution, there is no doubt that the American view that they were entitled to full democratic rights of Englishmen, while the British view that the American colonies were just colonies to be used and exploited in whatever way best suited Great Britain, insured the war was inevitable.

The American Revolution could have been avoided. England exposed harsh acts and taxes on the colonists without the citizen’s consent and the effect was that they fought back. If the money-hungry Parliament members had noticed that they had neglected them for so long; peaceful negotiations would have been possible. Parliament could have done this, or the colonies could have abided by England’s acts and cooperated peacefully. With England’s tradition of salutary neglect, resentment from the colonies should have been expected.

One basic principle, American’s truly believed, was the right of people to be taxed only with their own consent. The clamor about “representation” made little sense to the English. According to them, they represented the interests of the whole nation, not particular individuals. This English theory shows when in 1764 the British for the first time imposed a series of taxes designed specifically to raise revenue from the colonies. This tax became known as the Sugar Act. One of its major components was the raising of the tariff on sugar. The British, led by Prime Minister George Greenville, felt that the colonists should share some of the continued burdens of sustaining British troops in the colonies. Colonial protests and riots forced the British to scale back the tariffs.

In 1765, a Stamp Act was enacted. It imposed taxes on all legal documents. The colonists responded with vocal protests. Not only did these taxes hurt their pocketbooks, but they were highly visible. The protests, which began developing new slogans, such as “No taxation without representation” were becoming more frequent. Many colonies agreed not to import any British goods until the Stamp Act was repealed. One of the American reactions to the Stamp Act was the creation of a secret organization throughout the colonies, known as the Son’s of Liberty. They resolved to force stamp agents to resign from their posts. The Townsend Acts imposed new taxes on lead, paint, glass, and tea imported by colonists. The New York Legislature was also suspended. The most tangible colonial protest to the Townshed Acts was the revival of an agreement not import British goods. Within a year importation from Britain dropped in ½.

In response to colonial protest and increasing attacks on colonial officials, England dispatched 4,000 troops to restore order in Boston. The daily contact between British soldiers and colonists served to worsen relations. An armed clash between the British and the colonists was almost inevitable from the moment British troops were introduced in Boston. On March 5, 1770, a crowd of 60 towns people surrounded British sentries guarding the customs house. They began pelting snowballs and rocks at them and the soldiers shot eleven people, five were killed. In 1773, with the issue of the Tea Act, the East India Company was granted a virtual monopoly on the importation of tea. In protest, a group of Boston citizens disguised as Indians boarded a ship and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. This is known as the Boston Tea Party. Parliament responded with the Intolerable Acts. Accused colonists would be tried in England, American homes were forced to host British troops, and the Boston Harbor was closed.

This revolution actually began in the colonists minds long before the first shot was fired. After almost every single Act was passed from England, the colonists responded with some form of protest. The early Americans knew that they would probably never fall under this strict British rule, so they wanted their freedom. All of the colonists rebellion against the British rule contributed to an even greater wanting to govern themselves under their own nation. After years of “salutary neglect,” the new policies were, of course, unwelcome. England and America’s differences, which came to seem irreconcilable, propelled them into a war that would change history forever. The policies and acts the British so suddenly burdened the colonists with lead to the American Revolution which, in the beginning, was inevitable.

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