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The Causes Of The Revolutionary War In America

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Europeans living in America began to think in terms of controlling their own destiny. In the beginning they wanted to maintain their political relations with England. Later they began to think that they were entitled for self Ð'-government. The British Government did not care for the feelings of Americans for self government. The southern planters wanted to escape from the burden of debt of the British merchants. The northern merchants felt that their trade expansion was restricted by British trade regulations. Britishers, on their part, thought that the colonies were meant for the benefit of England, and it was therefore, necessary to keep them under control. This selfish approach resulted in war in 1775.

During the Anglo-French war, Britain could not enforce commercial and trade regulations in America. Custom officials at port were given powers to search ships and warehouses for foreign goods imported without British approval or licensing. This was opposed by the people of Boston who were helped by lawyers like James Otis. It was asserted that interference of custom officials appointed by British Government was an open violation of the fundamental rights of citizens of the colonies.

After the American-French War, the Appalachian territories were snatched from France. This caused a new kind of tension. The territories were claimed by a number of colonies on the one hand and British trading companies on the other. The Americans started feeling that the administration of the colonies should be brought in their own hands from those of the British.

In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act which declared all the land north of Ohio to be a part of the Province of Quebec, under the British.

England defeated France in Seven Years War. As a result, France had to leave Canada handing over power to England. The British Parliament kept a garrison of 10,000 soldiers in America to protect it from possible attack by France. Since the army was kept in the interests of the colonies, the British Parliament wanted the expenses of the army to be borne by the colonies. The colonies however, declared that since there was no need for any garrison, the question of payment of expenses by the colonies did not arise.

In order to increase revenue, George Grenville, the Prime Minister of England, got passed the Molasses Act in 1733. According to this act a duty of six pence a gallon was to be paid o molasses brought into America from French and Spanish West Indies The main purpose was to compel the American merchants to buy from or through the British planters. This resulted into a great loss to American merchants.

In 1760, a new Navigation Act was passed by the British Parliament. According to this Act all the colonial trade had to be carried on in English ships. Certain commodities produced in American colonies including tobacco and sugar could be exported only to England. This Act caused strong resentment among American traders.

The British Parliament passed the Staple Act, according to which colonies were forbidden to buy goods directly from any European country except through England. The result of Navigation and Staple Act was that colonies received less for their exports but had to pay more for imports than what they would have done if they were permitted to trade freely.

As the Americans were already suffering due to shortage of currency and economic depression, this Act increased their debt. They considered British Parliament's imposition of direct taxes uncalled for and against the fundamental rights of American citizens.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister, Grenville, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 under which stamp duties were to be paid by Americans on newspapers, and legal and commercial documents. This was done to meet the cost of British soldiers kept in North America.

In order to oppose the Stamp Act the colonists decided to stop the import of all British goods. The British merchants appealed to their government for redress. So the new Prime Minister Rockingham had to repeal the Stamp Act in 1760 and also to reduce the duty on molasses to one pence per gallon.

Rockingham however, passed the Declaratory Act in the year 1766, establishes British parliament as the



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