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The Causes of the American Revolution

The American Revolution describes the period when the 13 North-based American colonies won political independence against the British colonizers. The 13 colonies then united to create the United States of America. This historical event occurred mainly due to Britain’s attempt to exercise greater control over the colonies’ affairs after an extended era of statutory neglect, which the locals rejected. This paper identifies the primary causes of the American Revolution.

One of the primary factors leading to the American Revolution was the Stamp Act in 1765. To recover from the accumulated huge debt due to the fight with France, the parliament passed the Stamp Act, which focused on taxing a wide range of business operations in the colonies. Before this law, every colony ran an independent government that made decisions on taxes to collect (Kiger). The British Empire felt that it had spent significant resources, including finances, to protect the colonies from Indians. Therefore, the British wanted to recover their share (Kiger). However, the 13 colonies were against this idea and rejected buying products from the British and paying tax (Spice). People started rioting to oppose Stamp Act, making it hard for the British to collect taxes. Even though Benjamin Franklin swayed the British to withdraw the law, this worsened things as the Americans developed the courage to resent the laws implemented by the British.

The second factor leading to American Revolution was directly related to the Townshend Acts in mid-1767. Again, the British parliament tried asserting its authority by implementing laws to tax products imported by Americans from the United Kingdom. The British Empire created a customs board to avert corruption and smuggling among colonies’ local officials, who ran the illegal trade (Kelly). Americans reacted to these laws by organizing protests and boycotting British products subjected to high taxation. Also, Americans started frustrating the British customs officials. The British then reacted by sending their troops to occupy Boston. As a result, Americans’ resentment towards the British heightened, triggering them to claim independence.

The Boston massacre in 1773 was also an important factor in the American Revolution. On one afternoon, tensions between the Boston inhabitants and the British occupiers increased due to a disagreement between a British soldier and an American wigmaker. This engagement resulted in 200 Americans surrounding and intimidating several British soldiers (Library of Congress). Due to growing tensions, the British lost control and opened fire on the crowd. This encounter led to the death of several people while many were injured. The massacre was used as propaganda against the British as they were considered oppressors. As a result, the American occupied colonies were ready to fight the oppressors.

The fourth main factor leading to the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Treaty. After leaving Boston and repealing the Townshend laws, the British enacted the Tea Act to bail out the poorly-performing British East India Company (Spice). The law allowed the British-allied organization to sell its tea at lower prices than the American traders who imported tea from Dutch merchants. The bias in tax regulation did not present a good to the Americans. Americans developed resentment against the British companies as they wanted to be free to transact with any country. As a result, a rebellious group identified as Sons of Liberty challenged the British and damaged over 92,000 pounds of their tea and dumped it in the port (Kiger). The defiance act triggered a response from the British as many of the company shareholders were parliamentarians. The British were ready to engage with the Americans.

After the event involving tea destruction, the British implemented the Coercive Acts in mid-1774 to tame the defiant American colonists. These laws led to the closure of the Boston Harbor awaiting compensation was made for the tea damages (Spice). The laws also saw the replacement of the colony’s council with the British appointed council, banned town meetings without approval, and extended the authority of the British governor. Another provision of the same laws provided immunity to the British officials involved in capital offenses. These officials would not be tried in Massachusetts. As an alternative, these officials would be transferred to other colonies or taken back home to Britain for trials. The law saw the British lose a considerable number of patriots and support (Library of Congress). Of the above provisions, the Quartering Act was the most provoking. It allowed the British army officers to demand housing for the soldiers in unoccupied buildings and houses in towns instead of staying in the rural areas. The Americans in these colonies were compelled to pay for these British soldiers’ feeding and housing expenses. Soldiers’ quartering became a major grievance in the Independence Declaration.

In 1775, British soldiers under the command of General Thomas Gage invaded Lexington to apprehend American radical leaders and then proceeded to Concord to take their gunpowder. However, they were confronted by American militia, where they opened fire on each other (Library of Congress). This military engagement further increased the intensity of the American Revolution as it resulted in the death of numerous British soldiers (Kelly). The ultimate factor that resulted in compete War was the British invasion of coastal towns. It led to the unification of the colonies against the British, thus leading to American Revolution.

In conclusion, the break up between the British Empire and the American colonies in 1776 was not abrupt. The coming together of the 13 colonies to fight for their independence against the British Empire was the peak of successive events which had started about a decade earlier. However, things were not intense until the conclusion of the Indian and French War in 1763 (Spice). The American Revolution was an important historical occurrence in the U.S that resulted in the complete independence of states.

Works Cited

Kelly, Martin. “What Caused the American Revolution?” ThoughtCo, 17 Feb. 2020,

Kiger, Patrick J. “7 Events That Enraged Colonists and Led to the American Revolution.” History, 20 Aug. 2019,

Library of Congress. “The American Revolution, 1763 – 1783 | U.S. History Primary Source Timeline | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress.” The Library of Congress,

Spice, William S. “Reasons Behind the Revolutionary War.” NCpedia NCpedia, 2002,


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