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The Road To Freedom

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The American Revolution has shaped the history of the entire world, ever since it occurred in the 1700s. It is the story of the formation of one of the most powerful nations mankind has ever known. The title "American Revolution" holds within it the ideas of "freedom from oppression", "self-determination", and "freedom of expression". It also entails many other very powerful ideas that stir in a humans soul feeling of pride, honor, and a willingness to fight for what one feels is right. It is also the tale of a colony, a new land, and of people learning to live in this new land, as they yearn for fairness and freedom from a government and country that ruled them from afar. They struggled amongst themselves, as they searched their hearts for the proper responses to actions put against them, which they often saw as oppressive, hurtful, and eventually vengeful. The reactions of these people, when put together, add up to a Revolution. However, these great strides, in the advancement of freedom, were indeed made up of just a few small steps. They were just a few decisions made by the motherland, England, which in turn caused reactions from the American colonists, who served to set the stage for this Revolution of the ages. These small political and social maneuvers gained strength as they were tossed back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, until finally the first drop of blood was shed in Boston, at the now infamous Boston Massacre. The war that followed is the known as the Revolutionary War. However, it was only the small powers of the Sugar, Stamp, Townsend and Intolerable Acts, which began as a way of repayment to the debt from the Indian and French Wars, that later became a way of taxation on the colonies. As the colonists began to get comfortable with their new land, learning their strengths, and finding their voices, they began to highlight their thoughts and feelings. These assertions of power were met with increasing demands from England, which started as a movement for fairness, equality, and representation. It then quickly turned into a movement geared towards independence and was really pushing the first steps toward the road to freedom in America. Exploring the escalations that occurred between the two lands, in order to show how such seemingly simple political decisions can lead to immense changes to the history of far-flung lands.

The long awaited ending of The French Indian War was in the year 1763. While the colonists were busy celebrating with both the ending of the war and British pride, King George III and the English Parliament were busy planning and passing new laws set to repay the war debt. This act would ultimately cause the colonists to pay taxes on certain, yet desperately needed, items. On April 5, 1764, the newly revised Sugar Act was passed. This was a revision of the 1733 Sugar Act that placed a tax of sixpence per gallon on molasses in order to make the English product cheaper than those imported from the French West Indies. The new tax would cause the colonists to pay more taxes on items such as coffee, sugar, molasses and certain wines. While only affecting a small portion of the colonists, it was one of the first icebreakers of the American Revolution.

Tension had begun arise between the colonies and the British. The passing of the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 only added to the hostility building between them. The new act would impose a mandatory tax to be placed on all paper products including: newspapers, letters, legal documents, permits, wills, contracts, all the way down to simple playing cards. The colonists met the law with great resistance and it was never fully effective. In fact, very few tax collectors were willing to take the risk of collecting taxes from the angry colonists by this point in the Revolution. Just shy of a year later, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act on March 18, 1766. Even after being repealed colonists were still angry. Many began to call themselves Patriots (people who love their country enough to fight for it). The Patriots began to boycott many good imported from England that had taxes placed on them; while only about one third remained loyal to the King and continued to pay taxes and use the imported goods they were called Loyalist. This rise patriotism gave colonist in America more self-assurance as well as added fuel to the growing lilted separatist movement from the rule of England.

The American Revolution caused much turmoil and plight throughout its tenure. Many different acts of violence had begun to occur amongst the colonies in response to its hatred towards England. These acts of rebellion led up to the Boston Tea Party, which took place on December 16, 1773. A group of colonists, who called themselves the Sons of Liberty, dressed up as Mohawk Native Americans and proceeded to dump hundreds of loads of British tea into the Boston harbor. They did this in response to the new tax on tea, which they were extremely angry and frustrated about. A series of laws sponsored by British Prime Minister were then put into place in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party. They were called the Intolerable Acts.

The Intolerable Acts, which were also called the Coercive Acts, were basically comprised of five laws. The first law was called the Boston Port Act, which basically stated that the port of Boston would be closed off because the colonists dumped all of their tea into it. The port would not be opened back up until all of the colonists paid back the East India Company for the loss of the money on the tea. Consequently, this depleted any source of revenue for the colonies because they were unable to import or export goods with the port closed. The next law that was enacted was called the Massachusetts Government Act. This law, in effect, made all law officers subject to appointment by the royal governor and banned all town meetings that did not have approval of the royal governor. It made it so that nobody could get elected any longer, unless it had the Seal of Great Britain. The third law to come into play in the Intolerable Acts was the Impartial Administration of Justice Act. It stated that British officials, who were accused of committing crimes in a colony, were eligible have their trial moved to another colony or even England, in order to receive a fair trial. The next law set forth was the Quartering Act, which stated that it was all right for British troops to be housed in empty buildings or homes, if there were no barracks available for them. This infuriated the colonists because the last thing that they wanted in their homes was a British soldier. The fifth and final law introduced in the Intolerable Acts was the Quebec Act. This law granted civil government and religious freedom to Catholics that were living in Quebec. This was like a slap in the face to the colonists because Quebec residents had received the rights



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