Discuss the combination of ideological differences between the British and American colonists and the series of legislative actions that led to the American Revolution.

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were many factors that led to the Revolutionary War. Some of these factors were ideological while some were issues that were in response to laws passed by the British Parliament.

The British and the colonists clashed on ideology. The British believed they could do whatever they wanted to do with the colonies because Britain ran the colonies. The British took on the risk of gaining, developing, and running the colonies. Because they took these risks, the British believed they were free to run the colonies how they saw fit to do so.

The colonists believed that they were British citizens and had the rights of British citizens. They believed the British government needed to respect and honor those rights. Therefore, the British couldn’t do anything they wanted to do if those actions violated the rights of the colonists.

The British Parliament passed laws that upset the colonists. The colonists were against the Proclamation of 1763. They wanted to move to the land that the British had gained from France in the French and Indian War. This law prevented that from happening. The colonists objected to the Quartering Act that required the colonists to provide housing for the British troops that were enforcing the Proclamation of 1763, a law the colonists didn’t want.

The colonists were unhappy with the tax laws that were passed. Both the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts required the colonists to pay taxes in some form. The colonists said these tax laws violated their rights as British citizens because they didn’t have representatives in Parliament that could vote for or vote against these laws.

The colonists were unhappy with the Intolerable Acts. The Intolerable Acts were passed to punish the colonists, especially the colonists in Massachusetts, for the Boston Tea Party. The colonists said they wouldn’t obey these laws, and they formed their own militias.

When fighting broke out at Lexington and at Concord in April 1775, many colonists knew it was only a matter of time before the colonists would be fighting against Great Britain for their independence. That fighting began after the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. This war was called the Revolutionary War.