What are some reasons why the colonies should be independent?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several reasons why the colonies believed they should be independent of the rule of Great Britain. One reason was the colonists believed the British were trying to restrict their freedom. After the French and Indian War ended, the British Parliament passed the Proclamation of 1763. This law prevented the colonists from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains to the land Great Britain gained from France as a result of the French and Indian War. The colonists were upset because they wanted to move to this area. When the British passed the Quartering Act, which required the colonists to provide housing for British troops to enforce this unpopular law, the colonists became more upset.

The colonists also believed the British were violating their rights by passing new tax laws such as the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts. The colonists believed these laws were illegal since the colonists had no representatives in Parliament that could speak about and vote on these laws. A basic right of all British citizens is that they could have representatives in Parliament to vote on tax laws. Since the colonists were British citizens and didn’t have this right, they felt their rights were being violated.

When events turned more violent in the 1770s, more colonies began to believe they needed to be independent of British rule. In the Boston Massacre, five colonists were killed when the British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists gathered outside of the Custom House. After the Boston Tea Party, the British passed the Intolerable Acts. These laws were designed to punish the colonists, especially those living in Massachusetts, for the Boston Tea Party. The colonists refused to obey these laws, and they began to form their own militias. In April 1775, the colonists and the British fought at the battles of Lexington and Concord. There were casualties on both sides. While the Revolutionary War didn’t begin with these battles, for many colonists it was a signal that war with Great Britain was inevitable.

Eventually, the Second Continental Congress authorized the writing of a Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was formally adopted on July 4, 1776. We now claimed that we were free from British rule. We would have to fight and win the Revolutionary War to prove that we were really independent.