Short and Long Term Causes of the American Revolution Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: American History
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #27976060

Excerpt from Essay :

The Short-Term Causes of the American Revolution

Essayist Colin Bonwick writes that a short-term cause from the British perspective was the loss of revenue from taxes generated by American businesses and trading companies. And the short-term legislative measures by the British government were called the "Intolerable Acts" (Bonwick, 2002). More on the Intolerable Acts later on this page, but from the prospective of the colonists, their short-term causes included their rage at the " . . . indebtedness to rapacious British merchants and of navigations acts requiring them to trade through Britain" (Bonwick, 70).

On the subject of the Intolerable Acts (also called Coercive Acts), the short-term cause was created by the anger and frustration the colonists felt when Britain handed down unreasonable laws, designed to pinch the colonists in their pocketbooks, and basically punish them for their drift towards independence. The Boston Massacre happened on March 5, 1770, when a small group of British soldiers were attacked by colonists. Five colonists were killed in the battle, and the captain of the British forces involved (Thomas Preston) was let go notwithstanding murder charges against him. Then the Boston Tea party happened, in protest of the British taxing tea.

Then there was the Stamp Act, the Boston Port Act, the Quebec Act, the Justice Act; and all of these were designed to help Britain keep a strong hold on the colonists' economy. What it did was anger the colonists and motivate them to organize to fight back against Britain. Which they did, and convened the First Continental Congress in 1774 (a first step towards independence).

The Long-Term Causes of the American Revolution

The big picture vis-a-vis the American Revolution was that over time there was a strong desire among the colonists to break away from Great Britain. The passion to break free became specially prominent when the inequality between the colonists and the King of England (and Britain's Parliament) became too much to bear for the fledgling Americans. Great Britain began crossing over the line "politically and economically," and the colonists "did not have any representatives in Parliament" (Yuen, 2010).

These facts put great pressure on the colonists to object loudly and forcefully to the fact that they had laws forced on them without their own representation where these laws were being enacted, Yuen writes. The Proclamation of 1763 by Britain denied…

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