American Revolutioin Essay

1966 words - 8 pages

The seeds of the American Revolution were sown in the periods of the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. By the early 1700's nearly 90% of New England's white male population could read and write. This was almost three times the literacy rate of England. Though the average colonist had little to read beyond the family bible and an almanac, ideas were exchanged freely between conversations with neighbors, church sermons and town meetings. The more well to do colonists however could afford costly books and newspapers. This access to the written word sparked an age of optimism where human reason could overcome ignorance and explains the world around them.The rational world of thought and ...view middle of the document...

This act stopped any settlements from being formed west of the Appalachian Mountains . This was a big problem for the colonists because it prevented them from expanding their land, though it did make peace with the Native Americans.In 1764, the British Parliament approved two major new taxes: the Sugar Act and the Currency Act. The Sugar Act raised the duties on imported sugar and other items such as molasses, coffee, indigo and wine. This would take a large portion of the profit from the colonial merchants. The Currency Act stopped the colonists from printing any legal tender. These acts affected both the north and the south, thereby uniting the two regions against them. Then in a town meeting in Boston, the issue of taxation without representation was raised by a man named James Otis. A few months' later Boston merchants boycotted British luxury goods.In 1765 Britain directly taxed colonists. This was the first time they didn't go through local legislatures. They did this with the Stamp Act. This act put a tax on all printed materials from newspapers to playing cards. In March the Quartering Act was created. This act said the colonies needed to supply the British soldiers with quarters, fuel, candles and cinder or beer. Later that year an underground group called the Sons Of Liberty was formed in a number of towns. This group opposed the stamp Act and they used violence to make British stamp agents resign .In October a Stamp Act congress met in New York with representatives from nine of the colonies. They wrote a petition to King George III and the English parliament asking for the repeal of the Stamp Act and the Acts of 1764. The petition said taxation without representation violated their basic civil rights.In March of 1766 King George repealed the Stamp Act after much debate in parliament, including Benjamin Franklin arguing for the repeal and a possible revolution if the Stamp Act was enforced by the British military. On the same day the Stamp Act was repealed the parliament passed the Declaratory Act, which said that the British government had total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies in all cases. In August that year violence broke out in New York between British soldiers and armed colonists when the citizens refused to comply with the Quartering Act.In the next year British Exchequer Charles Townshend came up with a new idea to get money from the colonies. He proposed that they tax things like tea, glass, lead, paper and paint. In June of 1776 the parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Acts. In response, the citizens of Boston reinstated a boycott of English luxury items .In 1768 Samuel Adams of Massachusetts wrote a letter and sent it throughout assemblies in the colonies. In his letter he called for the uniting of the colonies in their actions against the British government and opposing taxation without representation. Later that year Lord Hillsborough, England's Secretary of State for the colonies, ordered...

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