The Grievances of the Colonists

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Why did the colonists fight the British?

Two reasons the colonists fought the British are that they resented England's imposition of taxes on them, which they felt were unjust, as the colonists had no representation in Parliament and felt they were not responsible for paying off England's debts, and that they wanted to produce and trade whatever products they liked.

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After 1763 and the French and Indian War, the British Empire was left with a very big debt to pay. Because of this, the British government decided to tax the American colonists in order to get more money and repay the money they took from various British and Danish banks...

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After 1763 and the French and Indian War, the British Empire was left with a very big debt to pay. Because of this, the British government decided to tax the American colonists in order to get more money and repay the money they took from various British and Danish banks in order to fund the war; the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act of 1765 are just some of the laws that were created and passed with the purpose of getting more money from the American colonists. Naturally, many of the colonists did not appreciate the new laws and tried to appeal to the British government. However, the British leaders believed that it was right to tax the American colonists, because, according to them, the British army fought hard to protect the Americans during the war, and one way the American colonists could express their gratitude is to pay taxes, so that the debt can be repaid sooner.

Many of the colonists disagreed with these claims, as they believed that the main reason why the British Empire funded the war was to expand both its territory and influence, and not to protect or appease the colonists. Furthermore, the American colonists were largely underrepresented in the British legislative body and the British government in general; thus, they remained powerless when it came to the decisions made about their socioeconomic status, as the British parliament consisted mainly of British individuals who were chosen by the English population in Great Britain.

Even though some colonists did not want to meddle in politics, a big number of them also began to think about independence and decided to try to get as many people as they could to resist and ultimately put a stop to the British rule over the colonies. Soon, the growing displeasure with the British Empire's governance grew into a war of independence and marked the start of the American Revolution.

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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.  

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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. 

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