The period of time between 1763 and 1775 was a pivotal period for the relationship between the North American colonies and Great Britain. It was during this time that the distrust of foreign rule started to spread, and the seeds of were sowed. This essay will address this breakdown of relations between the colonies and Great Britain, how their relationship changed as a result, and why this was inevitable as a result of the events that took place during these years. Prior to 1763, Great Britain and the colonies were bonded in war; although it would prove to be a very fragile bond. The Seven Years War, or as the colonists called it “The French and Indian War,” provided a common enemy to unify the colonies with the crown.
The Quartering Act of 1765 greatly intensified colonial resistance to the British. The Quartering Act basically stated the American colonists were required to provide a home for British troops. They were also required to provide them food, and clothes, and money. The Americans were strongly against this act. They revolted by not allowing British soldiers to come into their homes.
However, at the other side, colonies were angry at the British for taxing them without giving them a representative in the British government. They felt that they were only used for resources, but not considered equals. Eventually, the unfair treatments made colonies realized membership in the empire was not an advantage any more. On the other hand, the idea of freedom had been internalized into Americans. Many of the revolutionary leaders such as Thomas Jefferson were influenced by the writing of John Locke who raised the state of nature.
Washington waited for reinforcements and then attacked this fort, Fort Duquesne in 1754, marking the first bloodshed in the war. In 1756, after the conflict between the French and British turned into a world war, the British government changed. This change brought William Pitt into office as the head of the ministry. Some of Pitt’s actions and decisions not helped win the war in America, but they also were responsible for creating nationalistic views amongst members of the colonies. Pitt treated the colonists as allies rather than as servants that must follow orders.
Although Zinn argues that the conflicts caused by the differentiating social classes in order to dissolve the class divisions was the main cause of the American Revolution, the “other side of the story” is told by Schweikart and Allen, as they reason that it was actually the British who unknowingly burdened the colonies with oppression, which brought about the revolution itself. In Zinn’s fourth chapter of A People’s History of the United States, Tyranny is Tranny; he focuses more on the class differences in society that triggers the opposition against England, rather than the effects of British oppression. He states that the “American leadership was less in need of English rule, and the English more in need of the colonists’ wealth” (Zinn 60). With this said, the colonists then focused more on the pursuit of exploitation and profit, which would definitely spark rebellions of the poor against the rich especially because the poor had been overwhelmed by British taxes and the fact that only a small percentage of the wealthy controlled a huge majority of the city’s taxable assets. For this reason, the poor developed a hatred for the upper class that would
After the French Revolution though, the republic slowly began shifting to a totalitarian regime, first under the Committee of Public Safety and then completely under Napoleon Bonaparte .The facts show that the American Revolution was more successful in establishing a stable and long-lasting republican government that started a precedent for Europe, while the French Revolution’s republic failed to last, being turned into a totalitarian regime. Events leading up to the American and French Revolutions occurred for a similar reason: unfair representation. The people in the American colonies became progressively upset with Britain and its Parliament when they refused the colonists’ representation, while still imposing many different taxes on the colonists. Upset over this tax on one of their most valued imports, the colonists dumped all the tea into the Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party. This showed that the colonists were willing, and able, to live without depending on the British government.
The heart of the matter was far from being resolved. Actually, the colonists considered those measures as an attempt from the King to gain power over the colonies while the previous kings had delegated their power to charter companies so that they found companies in the New-World. Franklin helped the colonial cause by saying that the colonies were not opposed to all the taxes but the British replied by saying that repeal amounted to “giving up the legislature of the kingdom which will put us in the position of being dictated to by the Americans. Those statements revealed that the opinion verged on the extreme. The 1766 Declaratory Act stipulated that the British parliament had every right of legislation over the thirteen colonies whatever the
This caused a large amount of problems in New York where most of the British reserve were stationed . Eventually the act expired but, additional quartering stimulations were put into the Intolerable Act# of 1774. This act was a combination of laws that had been passed by the British empire. As result of the “Boston Tea Party”# Britain closed the Boston harbor, and established a new administration in order to further control the colonists. Much like the American colonists the French felt as though their government was corrupt, and felt the need to revolt.
They blamed the injustices they had suffered were the fault of the English parliament. They believed themselves to be loyal to the king and that they were just defending their rights and homes. But as the war went on some people started to blame the king. In January 1776 Tom Paine wrote the pamphlet entitled Common Sense. This became a best seller and popularized the idea of independence.
Revolutionary War Continuous Salutary Neglect and countless laws enforced amongst the colonies led to a revolution. The Revolution started in 1775, and the colonists were ready for change, independence and freedom from Great Britain. There were social, political, and economic reasons why the Revolutionary War was fought. The war also created a revolution that changed American society fundamentally. The colonists began to feel like they were second class citizens.