Reasons For The Revolution Essay, Research Paper
The Reasons For the Revolutionary War
Book By: Bob Tucker, Report By: Patrick Cullen
The cruel British rule of the American colonies in the ten years before the outbreak led to the Revolutionary War. The mismanagement of the colonies, the tax policies that violated the colonist right’s, the politics in England and merchant policies that benefited the English more then the colonists all show the British incompetence in their rule over the colonies. These problems were some of the causes of the Revolutionary War.
The interests of England within the colonies were selfish. The English were trying to govern the colonies by using the mercantilism system. Mercantilism is when The state directs all the economic activities within it’s borders . England was not attempting to make any changes that would help the colonists. They limited the colonies commerce to internal trade only. The English were exploiting the colonies by demanding that the colonies import more from England then they exported to the colonies. They were importing raw materials from the colonies and making them into exportable goods in England. They would then ship these goods to places all around the world including the colonies. Throughout the seventeenth century the English saw America as a place to get materials they didn’t have at home and sell them as finished products somewhere else. This was detrimental to the colonies because it prevented them from manufacturing any of the raw materials they produced and made them more dependent on England.
In addition, local political issues distracted them from the activities of the colonies. Throughout the sixteen hundreds, Great Britain was more involved in solving the Constitutional issue of who was to have more power in English government, the king or parliament. When this issue was finally resolved in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 , England turned its attention back to the colonies and found that colonists had developed their own identity as Americans .
There was no central office in England to control what was happening in the colonies. The authority in England was divided among several people that did not act quickly or together. Also the branch of government that knew more about the colonies than any other governing body in England did not have the power to make decisions or to enforce laws. Due to the distractions from issues and mest-up government problems the colonists felt further apart from England
The political scene in England was corruption. Officers of the government sent to the colonies were often bribe-taking politicians that were not smart enough to hold government positions in England. The most stupid was Lord North, who became Prime Minister in 1770 after the death of Charles Townshend. “North was the kind of politician George had been looking for —-a plodding, dogged, industrious man, neither a fool nor a genius, much like the king himself. For the next twelve years, despite the opposition of abler men, he remained at the head of the government. Corruption and incompetence in governing politicians often made their rule over the colonies ineffective.
In the years leading up to the final decade before the American Revolution, the relationship between Great Britain and her colonies in North America continued to fall. Unwelcome British troops had remained in the colonies. Debts from this war caused the Prime Minister at the time, Lord Grenville, to enforce Mercantilism in an effort to get the colonists to pay their share of the debt that had doubled since 1754.
England passed many Acts that were quiet sinister and had long term effects on the relationship between England and the colonies. The most controversial of these were taxes. The last time Parliament had tried a direct tax was as recent as 1765, when Lord Grenville enacted the Stamp Act which forced the colonists to pay for stamps on printed documents. The Americans had felt the taxes of Lord Grenville were “a deliberate aim to disinherit the colonists by denying them the rights of the English. The first of these acts were the Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 and placed new taxes on paper, paints, tea, lead and, glass. The new taxes would be used to pay for British officials in the American service. These acts upsetted colonists because they believed that Parliament had the right to put taxes on the trade of the colonies but could not place taxes directly on the colonists to raise money.
The spokesperson of the colonies, John Dickinson, wrote in his “Letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer,” on the issue of direct taxes. He distinguished between taxes that were imposed to regulate trade and those that were intended solely to raise money. If the tax was used to promote commerce it was justifiable, but if the tax was used only to gain money it was not viewed as a legitimate tax. The colonists believed that this new tax was not legitimate and were in strong opposition to it.
In 1773 the Tea Act was passed. The Tea Act not only put a three penny per pound tax on tea but it also gave the British East India Company a monopoly. In Boston the colonists held a town meeting to try to get their Tea Agents to resign. The Tea Agents would not resign and a few months later angered Bostonians dressed as Indians boarded three tea ships and dumped it all into Boston Harbor (Boston Tea Party).
In 1774 the intolerable Acts were passed. They were passed as a way to reprimand the Bostonians for the Boston Tea Party. This didn’t go over well in Boston because both the innocent and the guilty were being punished the same. There were five acts within the Intolerable Acts. The Massachusetts Government Act, a new Quartering Act, the Administration of Justice Act, the Quebec Act and, the closing of the Port of Boston. The Massachusetts Government Act said that the Governor’s council had to be appointed by the King and limited town meetings to one per year. The new Quartering Act, authorized the quartering of troops within a town whenever their commanding officers thought it desirable. The Administration of Justice Act stated that, any government or customs officer indicted for murder could be tried in England, beyond the control of local juries. The Quebec Act was not intended to be used as a punishment of the colonists, rather to extend the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the Ohio River.
During these years of rule, the causes of the Revolutionary War emerged. The colonists moves toward religious and commercial determination were overlooked while England dealt with the Seven years war and a political crisis. All these factors made the difference of the British and were the beginnings of the Revolutionary War.
The Reasons For the Revolutionary War explained part by part on how the revolution was born. Tucker did an extraordinary job on doing this. I very much appreciated this book and have learned quite a lot.