American Revolution Essay

1088 words - 5 pages

The costly French and Indian War created a divide between British Parliament and the colonists that was temporarily appeased when William Pitt returned recruitment control to the colonists and reimbursed farmers and tradesmen for their goods and services that had been forcefully taken. However, this peace was short lived when British Parliament tried to acquire complete control of the colonies and regain financial stability by passing the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Duties, the Tea Act of 1773, and the Intolerable Acts of 1774. The acts greatly inconvenienced the colonists and led to the Boston Massacre of 1770, the Boston “tea party,” colonial unity, and the first shot at Lexington ...view middle of the document...

To prevent further resistance Parliament passed the Declamatory Act, giving themselves full authority over the colonists. Although colonies celebrated the repeal of the Stamp Act, they were still burdened by the Mutiny (or Quartering) Act of 1765, which required colonists to shelter and supply British troops. The Massachusetts and New York assemblies refused to grant supplies to the troops and Britain, led by Charles Townshend, responded by disbanding the New York Assembly and passing the Townshend Duties.
The Townshend Duties meant taxes on British goods like lead, paint, paper, and tea. The boycott spread and the colonies lashed out with violence and more smuggling. After Charles Townshend’s death, the new prime minister repealed the Townshend Duties hoping to end the American boycott; all taxes except the tea tax were abolished. But before the good news reached America, the Bostonians suffered a great loss. The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770, when a group of colonists began shooting rocks and snowballs at the customs house. Captain Thomas Preston of the British regiment lined up several soldiers to mediate the situation and when the crowd did not show signs of backing down, the troops fired and five people were killed. The soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and given minimal punishment. This angered Bostonians who believed they were guilty of official murder.
When Britain’s East India Company found itself with a vast amount of tea they could not sell in Britain, they passed another unsuccessful act. The Tea Act of 1773 allowed East India Company to transport tea to the colonies without paying the only tax that remained from the Townshend Duties. Philadelphia and New York’s determined colonists kept the company from removing the tea from their ships and in Charleston they stored all the tea in a public warehouse to prevent it being sold. On December 16, 1773, fifty Bostonians dressed up as Mohawk Indians, boarded three East India Company ships, broke open the tea chests, and dumped the tea into the harbor. Once the news of the Boston “tea party” spread, other colonies followed with similar acts of defiance.
Britain responded by closing the port of Boston and passing the Intolerable Acts of 1774. This meant military rule of Boston and forced the colonists to...

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