What were the causes of the American Revolution?Enough points that I can write a 5 paragraph eassay

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If you are operating from a classroom text or some type of instructor based notes, I would strongly suggest using these as a resource.  This particular topic lends itself to divergent thought and if you are being assessed on specific points, those resources might be your first line of attack on this prompt.  I think that the causes of the Revolution existed in the Colonial demands for economic and political rights.  There can be strong cases made for one set of rights based demand holding more weight or compulsion than another, but in the end, I think that the demand for rights helped to do more in causing the Revolution.  For example, the Colonists outrage at British initiatives such as the Stamp Act can be seen as the desire for economic rights (the desire to keep and make their own money) and/ or the demand for political rights (the desire to not have thoughts censored or needing approval.)

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Those are some great and accurate factors in the post above.  Let me add some extra things so you have a variety to cover in your essay.

* For more than a hundred years, the British had pursued a policy called Salutary Neglect, where they gave the colonies a lot of slack in who and how they traded.  After the French and Indian War, when Britain was heavily in debt, they reversed this so they could receive more tax and profit revenue from the colonies. This was widely resented

*  The Quartering Act - Passed so that Britain did not have to pay for housing their army in the colonies.  Troops moved in with colonists, kept an eye on them and ate for free.  Widely resented, and seen as an occupation army that went against English law

*  Violence in the streets - The Boston Massacre involved the deaths of five colonists at the hands of British soldiers.  The actual event itself was blown out of proportion by the Sons of Liberty and their propaganda newspapers, but the idea that American colonists had now been killed in the streets by British soldiers pushed us farther down the road towards revolution

*  The Coercive Acts - a blockade of the Massachusetts colony after the Boston Tea Party.  Other colonies responded with aid and it further unified the colonies against the King

* Lexington and Concord - the immediate cause of the war.  Once American militiamen were killed by British soldiers, and subsequently began a running guerrilla warfare style gun battle with the British, there was no turning back.  The British would send a larger army to punish Massachusetts and the war was underway

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There were of course a lot of causes of the Revolution.  If I were you, I would talk about what it was about the French and Indian War and its aftermath that caused the Revolution.  Before that war, things were pretty good.  After the war, things went down hill very quickly.

To me, you could look at the following:

  • Increased taxes -- these were needed to pay for the war that had just happened.  The British thought it was reasonable to have the colonists help pay for it.
  • Increased feeling of unity between colonists because they met people from other colonies while fighting.
  • Increased feeling of difference from Britain as they saw how British soldiers were treated.
  • The French were driven out of North America and so the colonies did not have to fear being taken by France if they became independent.
krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The central cause of the American Revolution was the dissatisfaction of people in American Colonies of Great Britain, with British rule that adopted policies and practices that promoted interests of the British trade and industry a the cost of interest of local people.

In General Great Britain expected the American Colonies to serve its economic interests, and it regulated colonial trade. After the Seven Year's War with France ended in 1763, Britain sought to strengthen its control over its enlarged American territory.  In 1763, it stationed a standing army in North America, and two years later it ruled that colonists must provide British troops with living quarters and supplies. 

Britain also, with a view to establishing good relations with the Indians and prevent prevent future conflicts with them, issued a Proclamation in 1763.  reserving lands west of the Appalachians for Indians and forbade white settlements there. The colonists deeply resented this Proclamation of 1763.

Then Britain introduced in a three-penny tax on each gallon of molasses entering the colonies from ports outside the British Empire., which hurt the  interest of rum producers in America. Then in 1765 Britain extended to the colonies the traditional British tax on newspapers, playing cards, diplomas, and various legal documents. In 1767 thy extended taxes  lead, paint, paper, and tea imports. Also they set up a customs agency in Boston to collect the taxes.

There were wide protests and rioting by colonist in opposition of such taxes in response Britain withdrew many taxes but retained tax on tea. Colonist responded by smuggling in tea from Netherlands. To compete with the smuggled tea trade the East India company of Britain started selling tea at much reduced price while the government reduced taxes on tea.

The colonists resented these taxes and attempts of Britain to manipulate trade to benefit British interest at the cost of colonist. This resulted in protests and riots by colonist, including the famous incident known as Boston Tea Party. Britain tried to suppress such opposition by further tightening their control over the colonies, introducing new acts, which were termed by the colonists as The Intolerable Acts. These actions of Britain further strengthened the resolve of colonist to fight the British injustice, which ultimately led to the American Revolution.

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