American Revolution Essay Exam 2

American Revolution
"I have a right to!". How many times have you said this or heard someone else say this? Where did this come from? Your rights started with the American Revolution (War for Independence). There are several cause for the revolution from the French and Indian War of 1754 to the First Continental Congress meeting of 1774. Remember though, where the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening had affected the way many Americans thought about government these events strengthened their new ways of thinking even more.
"No taxation without representation", this famous line, I believe was one of the most important reasons for the war of independence. One of the problems that led to the separation was the fact that Americans were not represented in British Parliament. After the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), the British began taxing the colonists. Britain supported "virtual representation" (The concept of virtual representation was employed by Prime Minister George Grenville to explain why Parliament could legally tax the colonists even though the colonists could not elect any members of Parliament. The theory of virtual representation held that the members of Parliament did not only represent their specific geographical constituencies, but rather that they took into consideration the well being of all British subjects when deliberating on legislation. - http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/prerevolution/terms.html) . Most of the colonies' leaders considered themselves Americans, not Englishmen or British citizens, and demanded to be represented in parliament. Essentially it meant, "No taxation by Parliament. No representation in Parliament. Let us run our own affairs." The Stamp Act Congress in 1765 argued this form of representation.
The Stamp Act of 1765 required every colonists to pay taxes on all printed documents. Such as, licenses, commercial contracts, newspapers, and playing cards. This was basically an attempt by the British to collect money without having any consent of the colonial assemblies. American leaders and colonists, as we as I mentioned above did like the idea of this, and believed it was taxation without representation. Soon mobs began rising up in many colonies to go against the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty, the largest mob in Boston, burned the stamps, began terrorizing the stamp agents, and attacked Thomas Hutchinson ( he supported the stamp act when it became law). With the boycotting expanding, eventually repealed the Stamp Act in 1766.
In June of 1767 the Townshend Revenue Acts were passed. This put a tax on American imports-paper, paint ,tea, and glass. Just like with the Stamp Act, again the Americans refused to pay this tax. When boycotting began and governors began closing the assemblies other colonies were drug into the struggle. Originally this had really only affected Massachusetts, but now that the assemblies were being closed it started affecting all surrounding colonies. This helped to bring about the unity between very different colonies. Now the other colonies were more willing to help boycott and revolt against the British.
British soldiers that King George had kept in the colonies were patrolling like usual. The Americans at this point thought that the soldiers were there to take away their liberties and rights. So in 1770 the colonists began tormenting them by cursing or spitting on them as they walked by. Soon (a mob of dockworkers) "liberty boys" starting throwing rocks/snowballs at the soldiers and adults, finding this amusing, stood around insulting the soldiers. When the crowd grew larger the soldiers panicked. They fired into crowd. Five Americans were killed during this event and it soon became known as the Boston Massacre to the Americans. Many stories were told about what had happened, but the truth was lost in the propaganda that later came out afterwards. With the Boston Massacre being interpreted as the soldiers executing the five Americans, the colonists became infuriated and wanted to rebel. Not long after, the soldiers were removed and taken to Boston Harbor island.
(Paul Revere, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street, March 5, 1770.” Boston, 1770. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)
The Boston Tea Party was a result of the Tea Act of 1773. The colonists once again considered this "taxation without representation". A group of angered men decided to dress themselves as Indians and dump the tea off of the ships and into the Boston Harbor. News of this spread quickly and other colonists