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The Features that Contribute to The Unique Character of The American Revolutionary War

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Words: 973 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

Words: 973|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

The American Revolutionary War was a very unique war. Instead of being a war about the upheaval of society, it was a war about ideals. There were various factors that incited the colonists to rebel, most of them being causes of new British policy towards the colonies. Parliamentary taxation, the restriction of civil liberties, British military measures, and the legacy of colonial religious and political ideas all contributed to the Americans decision to rebel against Britain.

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Parliamentary taxation was one of the direct causes of the revolution. Britain was virtually bankrupt because of the French and Indian War, and they needed to get some revenue fast. As a result, parliament levied many taxes on the colonies because many felt in Britain that they were not paying their fair share of taxes. However, Americans were upset at this because the only things that they were taxed on were imports. They were used to having their own colonial legislatures tax them. Consequently, when Parliament passed taxes such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act, the Americans protested. They were firm believers that they should not be taxed without some form of representation in Parliament. One of the first acts of rebellion occurred not too long after the Tea Act, which gave the failing British East India Company a monopoly on tea in the colonies. Americans were upset at this because they saw it as Britain’s attempt to force the colonists to pay the detested tea tax from the Townshend Acts. Because of this, a group of rebellious Bostonians boarded ships with tea on them and dumped the tea into the sea. Later dubbed the Boston Tea Party, this event angered Britain, and it levied many sanctions on Boston which would directly lead to the Revolutionary War.

Another important factor was the number of troops in Boston at the time. Britain responded to the colonists protesting taxes by sending two regiments of British regulars into Boston to keep law and order. The colonists saw these soldiers as a threat to their rights. The situation got so tense that finally a group of colonists goaded the British into firing upon them in the Boston Massacre. This event was widely publicized throughout the colonies, and was what started to speed the colonies towards rebelling. However, even after this incident, the British maintained their troops there, and five years later, under General Thomas Gage, a few hundred troops marched out to Lexington after hearing word that Sam Adams, John Hancock, and a supply of arms were said to be there. However, around one hundred militia men stood ready and Lexington blocking the way of the redcoats. This would prove to be significant because soon shots were fired, eight militia men were killed, and the Revolutionary War started. The increased number of military regulars in Boston ultimately led to the war.

Britain also restricted the civil liberties of the colonists. The first example of this was the Quartering Act, which forced colonists to house and feed British soldiers at the soldiers’ discretion. Due to this, the colonists started to dislike the presence of these soldiers more and more until the Boston Massacre brought the hatred to a head. Also, after the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed the Coercive Acts, which restricted the rights of Bostonians specifically, and the people of Massachusetts in general. The Boston Port was closed until the damages for the tea were paid, there were new restrictions on the town meetings of which Massachusetts residents held the utmost importance, and British soldiers who were accused of killing Americans could be sent back to Britain for trial. While Parliament was only trying to punish Massachusetts, all of the colonies felt that if Parliament passed those acts for that colony, it could do the same for any colony. As a sign of colonial unity, each colony sent food and aid to Massachusetts, and this new found colonial unity would prove to be vital in the Revolutionary War. Also, Parliament passed a law that said that all tax offenders of the Stamp and Sugar Act were to be tried in a military court with the assumption that they were guilty until proven innocent. This went against one of the basic rights that every colonist believed in, and continued to spark the flames of revolution throughout.

The final, and probably most important, factor leading up to the Revolutionary War was the long held legacy of colonial religious and political ideas. For the longest time Britain had used the policy of salutary neglect with the colonists. This is significant because when it started to take away some of the previously held rights of the colonists, they are not going to be happy. Before the French and Indian War, the colonists were allowed to run their own affairs. After that, the British government felt it had to change the relationship it had with the colonists because it needed money to pay off the war debt. These ideas of being left alone go all the way back to the Pilgrims, who had a history of going against authority. These political ideas were so strong that when the Americans finally got their freedom, they put many of the things that they were fighting against in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was based on the transgressions of the British government, and it shows that these colonists felt very strongly about these rights.

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There were many factors that pushed the Americans to rebel against the British. Parliamentary taxation, restrictions of civil liberties, British military measures, and the long standing political and religious ideas of the colonists all contributed to the war that gave America its independence. It is because of these factors that the United States of America exists today.

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The Features that Contribute to the Unique Character of the American Revolutionary War. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-features-that-contribute-to-the-unique-character-of-the-american-revolutionary-war/
“The Features that Contribute to the Unique Character of the American Revolutionary War.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-features-that-contribute-to-the-unique-character-of-the-american-revolutionary-war/
The Features that Contribute to the Unique Character of the American Revolutionary War. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-features-that-contribute-to-the-unique-character-of-the-american-revolutionary-war/> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
The Features that Contribute to the Unique Character of the American Revolutionary War [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-features-that-contribute-to-the-unique-character-of-the-american-revolutionary-war/
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