There is a common misconception that the sole cause of the American Revolutionary War was the taxes imposed on the colonies by Britain. If a closer look is taken at the history of the Americas, however, it is easy to see that idea of freedom had been pulsing through the colonies for years. Just how did His Majesty King George III lose his American colonies? The answer is a chain of events stringing from the French and Indian war to the day George Washington handed over his troops to the Continental Congress, officially ending the War for Independence.
Before the French and Indian War, Britain had used a system of Salutary Neglect with the colonies, giving them a sense of freedom. While Britain still acknowledged the colonies, and the colonists remained loyal to the crown, the colonies were generally left to govern themselves. After the French and Indian War, however, King George III saw in his colonies a way to capitalize. Britain was in a post-war economic depression, and needed a source of income (Stamp Act). The colonies provided a perfect answer. They had set up their own systems of trade and manufacturing during the times of salutary neglect, and were becoming increasingly self sufficient. In order to obtain some of the colonists’ finances, Britain began to pass a series of taxes.
The Stamp Act was passed in 1765, and placed a tax on any papered goods that were going into the colonies from Britain. This included newspapers, pamphlets, and playing cards, just to name a few (Stamp Act).The colonists had been so accustomed to their freedom from the crown at this point, that they were enraged. The relationship between the Mother country and the colonies did not get much better with the instatement of the Townshend Acts of 1767. These acts passed taxes on every day goods that the colonists needed, such as lead, tea, glass and paint(Townshend Acts).
By this point, the colonists were beginning to question Britain’s motives towards them. They believed they were being treated like slaves and being used solely for the economic growth of Britain. One night, in 1773, the colonists rebelled against these taxes on their tea. A group of men dressed as Native Americans boarded a ship at Boston Harbor and unloaded three vessels of taxed tea (Boston Tea Party). This event, known as the Boston Tea Party, enraged King George III, and inevitably prompted Parliament to pass the Intolerable Acts in 1774. These acts put a limit on the colonist’s westward expansion, while simultaneously barring their trading ports and limiting their imports and exports (Intolerable Acts).
This punishment was the last straw for the colonists. Fueled by their desire to free themselves of King George III’s ‘unfair’ ruling, the Declaration of Independence was written on July 4, 1776. This document declared the colonies’ freedom from Britain and detailed their...