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American Revolution pp (1)

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The American Revolution

The American RevolutionBy :Manny Moyet Dean Bidgood Matthew Leone

IntroductionMany events in early American history have had a significant influence on the United States forming the declaration of Independence from British rule. After 150 years of self governing, and limited tax paid to the crown of England, American Colonist were being forced to comply with new tax acts that will alter, and forever change their way of life. These taxes were heavily opposed, and came with great consequences to both sides. History will show them to be directly responsible for the American Revolution.

Molasses act of 1733The Molasses Act was a tax imposed on colonists of six pence per gallon of Molasses. This Act was passed by parliament at the request of the British West Indies plantation owners. At this time, the British West indies were Britians greatest trade resourcse and the colonies were increasingly importing the lower priced sugar and molasses from non-colonies British Indie islands. Parliament implemented a tax on mollases imported to the colonies from its rival nations to drive up the sale of British molasses. It was set to expire in 1763. (Boundless, ch.3,sec 1)

Outcome of Molasses ActThe result of this act in the colonies was not as planned by the British. Instead of colonists changing their molasses supplier, they resorted to acts of smuggling and bribery of customs officials. The act had not set in place affective means in which to enforce the collection of the tax. The unwelcomed tax and its ease of avoidance further united the people of the colonies and their resistance of British rule. (Boundless, ch.3, sec.1)

Sugar Act of 1764At the expiration of the Molasses Act, Parliament put into effect the Sugar Act. It served as a continuance of the molasses Act and was to assist in the payment of British debts from the French and Indian war. Further, the Sugar Act was devised to be more strictly enforced than its predecessor. The idea of the colonists paying for Britain's war was another source of resentment. (Boundless, ch.2, sec 3)

Outcome of the Sugar ActWith the increased enforcement of the act, smuggling and bribery were becoming more risky. Colonists began to succumb and pay for the tax, forcing them to raise their prices and depleting currency reserves. This greatly decreased the rum exports of specifically New England. In August of 1764, James Otis and Samuel Adams of Boston led a boycott of British goods. This movement sparkled similar actions taken in New York and strengthened the self-sufficiency of the colonies with increased manufacturing. (Boundless, ch.2 sec 3)

Stamp Act of 1765The Stamp Act imposed by Parliament was unprecedented in the fact that it forced the colonists to pay for a tax stamp on many British goods from playing cards to legal papers( Video: The Revolution, 4:00). It was a put into place to pay for a large peacetime army stationed in the Colonies, largely in part to keep the soldiers employed. British officials felt that the colonists should pay for their protection. The colonists did not take well to the stamp act which directly affected all ranks of society. (Boundless, ch.3 sec. 1)

Outcome of the Stamp ActThis act directly led to the formation of the Stamp Act Congress, the first official elected gathering of colonial representatives. This congress met in 1765 in New York City to organize British tax resistance. Colonists believed they were being treated unfairly because they had no representation in Parliament in regards to how taxes are levied upon them. The congress responded with the Declaration of Rights and Grievances. They also filed appeal to the Parliament and King. This marks a significant unified colonial resistance. (Boundless, ch. 3 sec. 2)


Sons of LibertyIn 1765 the formation of the Sons of Liberty was done in response to the Stamp Act. Leaders such as Samuel Adams led this movement which quickly spread to all 13 of the colonies. The sons had members from all social classes and spread the word of independence and liberty to other colonists through writings and organized protests. As this group grew in popularity it strengthened to become a shadow government and pushed British officials out of power in the colonies. (Boundless, ch.3 sec. 2)

Loyal Nine

The group of Boston merchants known as the Loyal Nine organized street demonstrations and pushed for boycotting of British goods. These demonstrations often turned violent. James Otis, commander of the Boston Gazette, was a prominent leader of the protests. This lead the greater organization of rebellion efforts (Boundless, ch.3, sec. 1)

Virginia Resolves

The Virginia resolves were a publication of resolutions by the Virginia House of Burgess claiming the British parliament has no right to tax them with no parliamentary representation. this went against British law in which taxes cannot be levied without representation. The resolves led to many of the Stamp Act Riots. As Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson said Nothing extravagant appeared in the papers till an account was received of the Virginia Resolves. Word of the resolves fueled a colony wide dissatisfaction in the Act ( Boundless, ch.3, sec.1)

The Quartering ActThe Quartering Acts of 1765 ordered the American colonies to provide housing and basic life provisions for the soldiers of the British standing army occupying the thirteen colonies.

Intention of the Quartering ActThe intention of the Quartering Act was for the colonists to alleviate the cost of boarding for British soldiers during peacetime, after the Seven Years War.Before the Act: Colonists supplied goods and provisions during the war but took issue to supporting them post warThe colonists felt it was not their duty to facilitate the soldiers during a time of peace, as they were not occupied before the French and Indian WarLt. Gen. Thomas Gage asked Parliament for assistance in persuading the colonists to support the troops

Outcome of the Quartering ActParliament passed the Quartering Acts as an amendment to the Mutiny Act. The Acts surpassed what Lt. Gen. Gage had expected.Why the colonists disputed the Acts:The colonists disputed the legality of the Acts because they interpreted this as a violation of the Bill of Rights of 1689They questioned the need of a standing army while at peacetimeAgain, the Americans cried no taxation without representation as they had no voice in Parliament to rebut the Act

ContinuedThe Parliament felt the taxation was justifiable because the troops had previously fought for the colonies in the French and Indian War and considered the tax as dues owed. They believed it was time for the colonists to support the cause that earlier supported them. The Parliament expected a sense of gratitude from the Americans and began to view the colonists as a drain on their economy. They also anticipated help alleviating the additional cost of the standing army..

Conflicting principles began to breed tension:1766- New York, Colonists refused the entry of a shipload of 1,500 British troopsParliament suspended New Yorks Governor and legislature for failing to comply with the Quartering Act.The suspension was not upheld, as the Assembly of NY would eventually contribute money to the quartering of the troops.The Quartering Act was circumvented in all colonies other than Pennsylvania, and would expire in 1967Proper representation of the colonists in Parliament may have been the only possible way to avoid the conflict that followed the Quartering ActsReference: Boundless Text; US History to 1877, Chapter 3, Section 1

Townshend Acts In 1768, the Townshend Acts were placed upon the colonists to tax a variety of common items that were manufactured in Britain and exported to the colonies.The colonists were fervently opposed to the Townshend Acts and there was general unrest in the port city of BostonThe British colonials in Massachusetts and throughout the colonies believed the Act was an encroachment on their constitutional rightsIn May of that same year, British troops were sent to Boston to protect crown appointed officials and to enforce the recently passed taxations.

Boston Massacre

On that night, the foundation of American Independence was laid.- John Adams

King street Massacre in the makingA young boy, Christopher Seider, is shot and killed by a customs employee on February 22nd,1770 peaking unrest and anger towards the crown.11 days later on March 5th, an altercation at the Custom House between colonist Edward Garrick and a British soldier escalates to the point of physical violence.British Private Hugh White is enraged to the point of striking Garrick with the butt of his rifle.Back up in the form of 8 armed soldiers arrived to support Private White. Shortly after, 100 or more colonials would hear of the incident and gather around the scene.Taunting, name-calling, and the launching of objects,( including the infamous ice ball) by the crowd would drive the soldiers to the hasty discharge of their weapons leading to the death of 5 Bostonians.

Aftershock and PropagandaAlthough five years passed between the massacre and outright revolution, and direct connections between the massacre and the later war are somewhat tenuous, it is widely perceived as a significant event leading to the violent rebellion that followed.Paul Revere created a sketch of the Massacre that would enrage the colonials and spark a portion of the fury that would change the views of public opinion towards the crown.Tensions remained high on both sides for the following four years as any small movement or ordeal could have pushed the Americans into an early war and the British would do all they could to avoid that.7 of the 9 British soldiers put on trial for the Massacre were acquitted of any crime,

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