Causative Factors of the Revolutionary War Essay

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Causative Factors of the Revolutionary War

"What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the Revolution. It was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of 15 years before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington." — John Adams What did Adams mean? To begin with, an American inadvertently started the Seven Years War (1756-63), which Britain battled in every province of its Empire. It was none other than Lieutenant-Colonel Washington who had fired upon a French detachment near present-day Pittsburgh (Johnson 124). It is ironic that on that day Washington, who still sought British military post (Johnson 131),
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NEH).

Britain, itself a landed aristocracy (Bailyn 186), alienated land owners in America by regulating currency toward the advantage of the British real estate company London Agents, Robert Cary & Co (Johnson 131). Any serious British legal matter onerous and intolerably slow to resolve. Britain’s bureaucracy was a behemoth in the eyes of commonsensible Americans. To add to this toil was the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean.

Add to this grudge taxes. The Seven Years War more than doubled the British national debt, owed largely to British bankers. Noting that American colonists paid fifty times less taxes than British islands’ residents, George Grenville demanded compliance to pre-existing customs duties with such acts as the Sugar or Revenue Act of 1764 and a new tax for only the American colonies, the Stamp Act of 1765 (Johnson 132-3). Enough Americans recognized that these Acts followed "the logic of robbers and highwaymen" (qtd. NEH). Both Acts were financial failures; the Sugar Act losing 75% of every pound spent, and the Stamp Act grossing no revenue (Johnson 133). Colonial assemblies declared the policies unconstitutional, on grounds such as “no taxation without representation.”

Parliament repealed the Stamp Act but compounded the problem with a Declaratory Act, which asserted sovereignty over America (Johnson 134). This new act not only placed each citizen’s money at