The Boston Massacre and Other Contributing Factors of the Revolutionary War
The Boston Massacre was not the only cause of the Revolutionary War. There were many events before and after that also contributed to the start of this war. They were the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Declaratory Act, Townshend Act, Quartering Act, Tea Act, the Boston Tea Party, and Coercive Acts. One of the first taxes put on the colonies by Britain was the Sugar Act.
The Sugar Act of 1764 was to raise money to help Parliament run the colonies. This act put a tax on goods such as molasses, coffee, and sugar. It also required shippers to have a detailed outline of their cargoes. Smugglers could also be tried in admiralty courts. If convicted, the offenders lost both the cargo and the ship that carried it. Most colonists believed they should only be taxed by a government they had elected. They did not like this taxation without representation. The Stamp Act was then passed to help raise money to run the colonies.
The Stamp Act was passed by Parliament in March 1765. This Act taxed the use of printed materials such as deeds, marriage licenses, advertisements, newspapers, diplomas, customs documents and even playing cards. Many colonial assemblies were against this taxation and wrote petitions demanding the repeal of this act. The first open resistance were riots caused by the Sons of Liberty who believed in action rather than talk. So, Parliament repealed this Act and then passed the Declaratory Act
The Declaratory Act was a statement of power. It said the colonists were under the control of Parliament and they could pass any law they wanted. This Act did not settle the issue of taxation without representation. When the Stamp Act was repealed, the colonists ignored the Declaratory Act. They still did not accept the idea that Parliament was to be superior to them. The Townshend Acts were the next taxes to be levied on the colonists.
The Townshend Acts of 1767 taxed imported goods such as glass, lead, paper, paint, and tea. Colonists used these items every day, but they were not made in the colonies. Townshend appointed a Board of Customs Commissioners and tried very hard to collect the taxes. However, these commissioners were crooked and trapped merchants by allowing minor things to go unpunished for a while. Then, when the merchants were used to doing business this way, the commissioners cracked down on them. They also brought false charges against shippers for smuggling. The colonists responded by organizing a boycott. So, in order to enforce the Townshend Acts the Quartering Act was passed.
The Quartering Act was a difficult law for the colonists to accept. It required them to support British soldiers stationed in the colonies to enforce the many tax laws. The colonists had to take the soldiers into their homes and provide them with food and lodging. In Boston and other cities, the colonists resented these unwelcome guests. This resentment led directly to the...