What are the causes of the American Revolution?
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There is no simple answer; however in essence American colonists believed that they had been denied their rights of Englishmen and resented the fact that British soldiers were garrisoned in their midst.
Prior to the French and Indian War, American colonists had violated the Navigation Acts with abandon; political turmoil in England meant that the Acts were not enforced, and the colonists enjoyed a period known as "wise and salutary neglect." Following the war, the British minister, George Grenville, was determined to put the colonies back into their proper perspective. He first did this by sending customs agents to enforce the Navigation Acts.
Next, Grenville imposed the Stamp Act on the colonists, which imposed a tax on newspapers, dice, playing cards and legal documents. Colonists objected loudly because this was the first attempt by Parliament to collect revenue from them. Previous Acts had been for purposes or regulation. The colonists believed that as Englishmen they had the right to be taxed only by those whom they had elected, namely the Colonial Legislatures. This led to the cry of "taxation without representation."
Additionally, the colonists resented the presence of British soldiers. The soldiers tended to be of the low-life sort, prone to swearing, drunkenness and whore-mongering; yet at the same time looked down on colonists with disdain.
Finally, Lord North, the new British Prime Minister instituted legislation which gave a monopoly on the sale of tea in the Colonies to the British East India Tea Company. The act did NOT increase the price of tea, or put a tax on it as is commonly believed; in fact it lowered the price, but it gave the company a monopoly which hurt colonial merchants. This led to the famous Boston Tea Party, followed by the Coercive (Intolerable) Acts. The undesired presence of British Soldiers in Boston led to the so called Boston Massacre, and pushed the colonies and Britain to the brink of war.
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