Why did the American Colonies choose to declare independence?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The American colonies chose to declare independence from Great Britain for many reasons. They believed the British were treating the colonists unfairly.  The British passed many tax laws that impacted the colonists.  The colonists had no representatives in Parliament to vote on or discuss these laws.  In English government, the people had to have representatives who could vote on taxes that would affect them.  The colonists had no such voice in British government.  Thus, they believed these taxes were unfair and illegal.  The colonists also felt the British were limiting what the colonists could do. By passing the Proclamation of 1763, the colonists were not allowed to move west of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists wanted to go here so they could get land cheaply.  They were angry when they were prevented from doing so.  When the colonists had to pay some of the costs for housing the troops who enforced the Proclamation of 1763, they were even less happy. As time went on, distrust grew between the colonists and the British.  The Boston Massacre angered the colonists.  They didn’t like how the young British soldiers acted toward them. When five colonists were killed, this incensed the colonists.  As we moved closer to independence, the colonists resisted other British actions. They protested the Tea Act by staging the Boston Tea Party.  This led to more harsh laws by Britain called the Intolerable Acts.  Eventually, in 1775, fighting broke out with casualties on both sides.  It was only a matter of time before independence would be declared.  There were many reasons why the colonists chose to become free from the rule of the British.

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justifyapple | eNotes Newbie

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"after Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. Under the banner of “no taxation without representation,” colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the tax. With its enactment in November, most colonists called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest in the colonies, Parliament finally voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. Most colonists continued to quietly accept British rule until Parliament’s enactment of the Tea Act in 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny. In response, militant colonists in Massachusetts organized the “Boston Tea Party,” which saw British tea valued at some £18,000 dumped into Boston Harbor. Parliament, outraged by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, called the Intolerable Acts by the colonists, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America and required colonists to quarter British troops. In response, the colonists called the first Continental Congress to consider united American resistance to the British. With the other colonies watching intently, Massachusetts led the resistance to the British, forming a shadow revolutionary government and establishing militias to resist the increasing British military presence across the colony. In April 1775, Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, ordered British troops to march to Concord, Massachusetts, where a Patriot arsenal was known to be located. On April 19, 1775, the British regulars encountered a group of American militiamen at Lexington, and the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. Initially, both the Americans and the British saw the conflict as a kind of civil war within the British empire. To King George III, it was a colonial rebellion, and to the Americans, it was a struggle for their rights as British citizens. However, Parliament remained unwilling to negotiate with the American rebels and instead hired Hessians, German mercenaries, to help the British army crush the rebellion." 

According To History.com

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justifyapple | eNotes Newbie

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The colonies declare independence through unfair taxes.Which also mean bad leaders.Many major events including the Boston Tea Party

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