The Causes of the American Revolution

The American Revolution resulted from several highly significant factors that contributed essentially towards the escalation of the conflict. The roots of these causes can be traced to the year 1763 that brought substantial changes to America. The British troops along with American Indians had defeated the forces of France in the French and Indian War. Consequently, this led to the tangible expansion of the British possessions, including the lands east of the Mississippi River, territories in India and the Caribbean. However, such acquisitions were earned the hard way. Furthermore, British expected Americans to express their gratitude in the form of helping their mother country to fight the devastating consequences of the war. Firstly, the national debt of Great Britain was doubled since the war was considerably expensive. There was a severe need in money in order to support the whole empire. Although the British taxpayers were suffering from substantial taxes, they resisted any further increase, as well. Meanwhile, the amount of taxes in the colonies was low as compared to the British one; therefore, British decided to impose a considerably higher tax upon the colonies in order to contribute a portion of the cost of the war that resulted in benefits for them. Consequently, the British Parliament passed a series of acts to tax the colonists. In 1764, there was the Sugar Act which resulted in little revenue; in 1765, the British government passed the Stamp Act which caused the rebellion of the colonists. According to Benjamin Franklin, Americans were in consent with paying the import duties on various goods they needed; however, they refused to pay taxes levied by the British Parliament in which they were not represented. Nevertheless, Townshend Acts were released in 1767 and stated the opposite viewpoint that the colonies avoided paying even import duties. The abovementioned acts were supposed to control the trade, although were designed to raise money; therefore, they were met with growing resistance in the colonies.

Secondly, another crucial problem, which did not end with the war, concerned the Indians, since they constantly participated in battles with British frontier settlers. Moreover, Pontiac’s Rebellion swept across vast territories. The constant threat of attack forced British to post a highly expensive army, whereas it was expected that there will be considerably lesser number of attacks due to the absence of French and American encroachment upon the territories of native inhabitants. Americans were interested in acquiring new lands, which led to conflict among the colonial governments and with the native people, as well. In order to solve the abovementioned problem concerning Indians, the British government issued a proclamation which main goal was to prohibit the expansion of settlements beyond the ridge of Appalachian Mountains. The proclamation was perceived by Americans negatively, especially by those who already lived beyond the conventional border line. Thus, another significant problem gradually had been emerging.

Throughout the eighteenth century, massive immigration played a significant role while contributing towards the growth of the American population to a considerable extent. The population within the colonies was growing rapidly; therefore, there was a need to expand the territories in order to establish new settlements. Meanwhile, the restricting land policy of the British government prevented the colonists from assimilation of new territories. The increase in numbers of people in America contributed towards the development of slow but uneven expansion in the colonies’ economies. This expansion was a part of a sustained increase of population, urban and westward movements, and increases in agricultural production, shipping, and overseas trade. The southern colonies grew more rapidly than those to the north. The primary reason for this growth lies within the scope of the increase in the numbers of slaves in the eighteenth century.

However, thirteen colonies, with very different populations, economic systems, social structures and with no formal communication system were joined solely through London. During this time, the number of Americans living in poverty increased dramatically. In addition, a certain tendency toward the stratification of classes emerged. On the one hand, there was an upper class of the society which attempted to separate itself in wealth and styles of life from everyone else. On the other hand, there was a lower class which was rather small in numbers, but genuinely impoverished. The largest single group of colonials belonged to a middle group of farmers who owned and cultivated their own land. Furthermore, the colonists watched themselves become poorer; meanwhile, the British aristocracy that governed them gradually became richer. While issuing laws that were designed to limit the freedom of colonists, the British government infringed upon the rights of Americans who had already suffered enough and were ready to rebel in order to protect their rights. Tensions increased further resulting in the First Continental Congress taking the first steps toward independence from Britain. Therefore, political and economic oppression not only caused, but played a significant role in shaping the course of the American Revolution.