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Example research essay topic: Causes Of The American Revolution - 1,211 words

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The American Revolution began for many reasons, some are; long-term social, economic, and political changes in the British colonies, prior to 1750 provided the basis for and started a course to America becoming an independent nation under its own control with its own government. Not a tyrant king thousands of miles away. A huge factor in the start of the revolution was the French and Indian War during the years of 1754 through 1763; this changed the age-old bond between the colonies and Britain its mother. To top it off, a decade of conflicts between the British rule and the colonists, starting with the Stamp Act in 1765 that eventually led to the eruption of war in 1775, along with the drafting of The Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Originally the fighting between Britain and France began in 1754 with a quarrel in North America. It had two different names. In America it is known as the French and Indian War. In Britain and Europe it is known as the Seven Years War, because the fighting lasted from 1756 to 1763. A result of the French and Indian war was a British decision to reconsider its relationship with its colonies. Prior to the French and Indian War, Britain had loosely controlled its colonies.

British leaders regarded the colonial government as inferior. As long as only a few serious conflicts between Britain and America occurred, the British government permitted colonial assemblies to oversee the royal governors and to pass new laws that suited to the needs of the colonists. In addition, the British did not always enforce their laws in the colonies. For example, the British Customs Service, which was unproductive, understaffed, and open to corruption, did not enforce the Molasses Act of 1733. British leaders did not insist on strict enforcement of this tax or other commercial duties because thriving American trade was making Britain very wealthy and powerful nation. British statesman and political theorist Edmund Burke, a orator who successfully championed many human rights and causes by bringing people to attention through his moving speeches.

Described his countrys policies toward the colonies as salutary neglect because he believed their leniency was actually beneficial. As a result of this salutary neglect, the colonists developed a political and economic system that was virtually independent. They were loyal, although somewhat uncooperative, subjects of the crown. (Encarta, 2 k 1) The war in North America was fought mostly throughout the Northern British colonies, and in the closing stages Great Britain overpowered France. During the peace talks, Britain gained French holdings in Canada and Florida from Frances ally, Spain. Nevertheless, Britain amassed a large debt over the course of the war.

To help pay off the debt, Britain came up with the idea to use the American colonies to generate lost money. The French and Indian War changed the connection between Great Britain and the colonies. Before the war, Great Britain had become very wealthy from the colonies, after passing such acts as the Molasses Act in 1733, which imposed a tax on molasses. Molasses was used for a variety of things including making rum and was very important to the colonies economics. During the early period, the colonists had developed a nearly independent political and economic system. Because Britain had amassed large war debts; the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765.

The act was intended to generate money from the colonies that would help pay for the cost to keep up a stable force of British troops in the American colonies. All authorized documents, including deeds, mortgages, newspapers, had to have a British government stamp, in order to be considered legal. Members of the Sons of Liberty, a patriotic secret group, were mostly active in opposing the stamp tax. They led a course of physical violence in which many official stamp agents were attacked by mobs and their possessions and property destroyed and taken from them. Resolutions of protest against the stamp act were adopted by a number of the colonial assemblies.

The Virginia House of Burgesses made five such resolutions offered by Patrick Henry the American patriot. In resistance to the stamp act the Americans formed a stamp act congress as a means to protest against the acts. American Merchants agreed to stop bringing in British goods until the act was abolished, and trade was considerably weakened. Rejecting to use the stamps on official and business papers became common, and the courts would not punish if the stamp was not on legal documents. British Parliament repealed the act on March 4, 1766, Benjamin Franklin argued to the House of Commons. Franklin was Pennsylvania's representative, in London.

He turned out to be more of a representative of the Colonies as a whole. Repeal was to go along with the Declaratory Act, which declared the right of the British government to pass acts lawfully binding the colonists. The unity of the American colonists in their dislike of the Stamp Act added significantly to the rise of American opposition, and the argument between the colonists and the British government. The Stamp Act of 1765 required the American colonists to apply tax stamps, like those shown here, to all official documents, including deeds, mortgages, newspapers, and pamphlets. The colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress to protest the act, which they called, taxation without representation. The Stamp Act is often considered one of the main causes of the American Revolution.

Then came the Townshend Acts, measures passed by the British Parliament in 1767, affecting the American colonies. The acts were named for their sponsor, the British chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend. The first measure called for the suspension of the New York Assembly, thus penalizing it for not complying with a law, enacted two years earlier, requiring the colonies to provide adequate quartering of British troops in the New World. The second measure, called the Revenue Act, imposed customs duties on colonial imports of glass, red and white lead, paints, paper, and tea. A subsequent legislative act established commissioners in the colonies to administer the customs services and to make sure the duties were collected.

The Townshend Acts were tremendously unpopular in America. In response to a published criticism of the measures, the British crown dissolved the Massachusetts legislature in 1768. Subsequently, the Boston Massacre occurred in March 1770, when British troops fired on American demonstrators. These events brought the colonies closer to revolution. The colonists who protested the taxes were able to distinguished between taxes designed to raise money, which they strongly opposed, and tariffs intended primarily to control trade, which the colonists had accepted, at least in principle, since the imposition of the Molasses Act of 1733.

They felt the distinction between revenue and regulation was subtle if not artificial. And Charles Townshend, who was a longtime critic of the American assemblies, misunderstood it. Townshend belief was that the colonists were only objecting to internal taxes, such as the Stamp Act, but not to external taxes. Therefore, he assumed that all the colonists would accept the external taxes. The Townshend Acts, which were passed in 1767, placed duties on colonial imports of lead, glass, and other necessities.

This act also specified that the tax money be to be used not only to s...


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