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The French and Indian war (1754-1763) is widely seen as the real cause of the American Revolution. Before it, there was little desire for independence from Britain, but after it there was a lot more. Three major reasons for this are:
1) Before the war, there was no feeling among the American colonists that they were Americans, rather than Britons. There was nothing to make someone from New York, for example, feel connected to someone from Massachusetts. During the war, though, people from the various colonies met one another in the army and came to feel that they were similar.
2) A second reason is that the French were driven out of North America by this war. Now the colonists did not have to fear the French. If the French had still owned Canada when the US became independent, the French could well have invaded and taken over the new country. With the French out of Canada, an independent US would have no real enemy to fear.
3) This is the most important reason: after this war (which was only part of a much larger war between Britain and France) Britain really needed money. The war had cost a lot. So they had to start taxing the Americans and, in general, paying a lot more attention to how the colonies were run. The Americans had been used to being left alone and were not happy about this change.
For those three reasons, the French and Indian War helped make American colonists feel like they could and should rebel against Britain.
Another thing to note is that even by 1775, only about 1/4th of the colonists supported independence, but most historians agree that the French and Indian War led to a series of events over the next decade that made revolutionary sentiment grow.
During the war, we notice that diaries of colonial militiamen use the word "American" for the first time to differentiate from the British. As the answer above notes, since the French were out of North America after the Treaty of Paris (1763), there seemed little reason for the King to maintain a standing army in the colonies at all, much less requiring them to pay for it (Quartering Act).
The first attempts by the British to collect revenue from the colonies to pay off its war debt brought little money to the King's coffers, and he was forced to become increasingly crafty and aggressive in collecting taxes, both direct and indirect. The fact the colonists had no representation in those taxation decisions was a primary motivation for revolutionaries.
1. The identity of being American
2. The non-existence of threats to independence
3. Dissatisfaction with high tax rates
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