There were many various reasons why many American colonists were rebelling against the British crown; not just John Hancock and Samuel Adams. It is probably too lengthy to try to list all of the potential reasons, so I'll try to address only a few. Probably the number one item on the minds of the colonists was summed up in the old adage that every American history student is taught when they are young... No taxation, without representation! In summary, there were many new taxes that the crown had levied on the colonies (in Britain's defense, this isn't unprecedented; it's expensive to run an empire). Many colonists, John Hancock and Samuel Adams included, were very unhappy about the new taxes. The problem wasn't the money necessarily, it was the fact that the colonies had no one to speak for them in the British Pariliament. They wanted to have a voice in what taxes would be levied. On top of that, there were a whole host of other brewing issues in the colonies. And with every one of them, the tension between the colonies and the mother country grew. Another great example would be the Boston Massacre. Without delving into the entire story behind it; the massacre encited thousands of new "patriots" to the American cause.