Why Did The Colonists Fight The British

Why did the colonists fight the British? I need two answers.

Asked on by babyj12650

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arwilliams's profile pic

arwilliams | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Americans considered themselves to be British citizens, but the Americans in the colonies were not treated the same as citizens living in England. As war with England became imminent, the colonies first made their complaints known to King George in the Olive Branch Petition. In this petition, the leaders of the First Continental Congress expressed issues the colonists felt were oppressive. One key complaint in the petition, and which would be a reason for war, was taxation without representation. The British government taxed the American colonists, but the colonists had no representation in Parliament. Without representation in Parliament, the American colonists had no outlet in matters of government yet still had to pay taxes.

In addition, the taxes against the colonists were the British response to paying for a war of their own.  The British had just won the French and Indian War in 1763. The colonists and Great Britain disagreed over who was responsible for the war debt. Colonists saw this war as Britain’s way of strengthening their empire. England saw this war as an aid to American colonists, and American colonists should pay the war debt. England began taxing the colonists in a variety of different taxes such as the Stamp Act.

By the time the Second Continental Congress met, the Declaration of Independence had been drafted, and this document outlined a total of 28 grievances the American colonists had with the British government.  

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The American colonists fought the British for one main reason.  They fought because they wanted to be independent.  Since you ask for two reasons, I assume that you need two reasons why they wanted to be independent.

One reason the American colonists wanted to be independent was British taxation.  Many Americans did not think that the British government had the right to tax them.  They felt that taxes on things like exports were okay, but taxes on things that they bought and sold within their own borders were not.  This is why they were so strongly opposed to the Stamp Tax.  They also did not like the idea of being taxed by a legislature in which they were not represented.  Opposition to British taxation, then, was one reason why the Americans wanted to be independent.

A second reason the colonists wanted to be independent was manufacturing and trade.  The American colonists wanted to be able to make whatever goods they liked.  The British did not allow this because they did not want the colonists to compete with British producers of a variety of goods.  The Americans also wanted to be able to trade with people from any country they liked.  The British did not want this because they wanted all colonial trade to go through Britain and thereby make Britain richer.  The colonists did not like having their commerce restricted in order to help the British.

So, we can say that taxation and restrictions on manufacturing and trade were two reasons why the American colonists wanted independence badly enough to fight for it. 

Sources:
norahill1's profile pic

norahill1 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The Colonist were happy about the treatment with trade restrictions and taxation. The Colonist had no voice or say in how they were governed nor were they represented in Parliament.

The British were in debt, due to the fighting of wars with Spain and Europe and were passing that debt to the Colonist.

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