American Revolution

5th hour

28 Sept. 2001

The American Revolution began many years before the actual American War of Independence. The Revolution began in the minds of the American people long before the first shot was fired. As the motherland began to implement more and harsher policies upon the colonials, they responded with actions. The idea that the “marked changes in British colonial policy were more responsible for the final political division than were the American actions,” is invalid because the guidelines placed upon the colonials were merely the stepping stones for their actions. These actions, not the changing policies, are what led to the final political division between England and its colonies. The Stamp Act, Townshend Tea Tax and Intolerable Acts all display how when placed under unfair colonial policies the Americans acted against these to eventually lead to separation and revolution.

Once imposed in 1765, the Stamp Act created the strongest uproar among the colonials. Prime Minister Grenville rationalized this act because it was implemented in order to raise revenues for the new military force. He believed that this was reasonable and just because he was simply asking Americans to help pay for their own defense. Americans viewed this as an attempt to strip them of their historical liberties. When they lashed out the Stamp Act was the focus of all their energy. Through their cries of, “No taxation without representation,” the British realized that they might have to fight back in order to keep the rebellious colonials in line. However the opposition the Stamp Act soon escalated beyond catchy slogans. The Stamp Act Congress was established in 1765 in order to create a statement of their rights and grievances addressed to the Kind and Parliament. This showed England that they could unite their own political bodies. When this body was ignored Americans saw that England was inconsiderate towards their political ideals and requests. After this display colonials felt the pressure to implement more powerful actions. There was soon a wide adoption of non-importation acts. This not only temporarily united to colonies but also showed England that Americans were serious about being heard by their leaders across the ocean. Often violence convoyed the protests, resulting in the establishment of the group known as the Sons of Liberty. Britain was hit hard with these actions and eventually Parliament felt forced to repeal the Stamp Act. This showed the colonials that they could get a response only through loud actions. Hence Americans were forced to abandon the authority of Parliament entirely and begin to consider their own political independence. These beliefs and actions are what began the separation between the motherland and its children.

Only one year after the Stamp Act had been repealed, the new leader of the British Ministry, Charley Townshend, placed the Townshend Acts into action. However, this tax was significantly different than the Stamp Act. The Townshend Acts were import duties on lead, paper, paint and tea. Townshend believed that these taxes would be less noticeable to the colonies because it was an indirect duty. This small distinction however was not nearly as invisible to the colonials as Townshend had hopped it would be. Worse yet, this tax was being used to pay the salaries of royal governors and judges in America. This time, rather rebelling with a slogan, the colonists dodged the acts by smuggling the products into the colonies. Colonials were again proving that they would overcome that which attempted to suppress or deceive them. Due to the defiance officials felt the division increasing. In order to maintain control, two troops were placed in Boston. Eventually the tea tax was lowered, however colonials saw this as a ploy by the British to trick them into giving up their principle of “no taxation without representation”. The colonials would not be swindled and again felt the need to resist the rules placed against them in order to prove a point. In Boston a group of white townsfolk, dressed as Indians, boarded a ship and dumped all 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, the is known as the Boston Tea Party. This display notified the British government that the colonials would not be tricked or ignored. Though the government thought that they could suppress the Americans through punishment, they very quickly