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Factors in Generating the Idea that America Deserves to Be an Independent Nation

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The original colonists of America believed in the right of revolution. They believed that the people had an obligation to revolt and become independent from their rulers, their rulers had become tyrants. They also believed that in these circumstances, the people must declare the causes which impelled them to the separation of Great Britain. When the colonists declared independence from Britain they listed several cases of abuse in the Declaration of Independence to prove to the world their reason to fight for independence was justified. Specifically, the colonists argued that Britain had prevented self-governance in the colonies, their rights, freedoms, and had begun to attempt to suppress the colonists by using physical force. However, King George was actually a just ruler, and oftentimes, it was the colonists who failed to see the rationale behind his decisions; therefore, the colonists fought against a non-existent tyranny, and the American Revolution was unjustifiable.

The Colonist Called these the Intolerable Acts, Up until the time of the Seven Years War (French-Indian War), the colonies were fairly independent and self-governing. The Proclamation Act of 1763 was one of the first mandates that the British Parliament forced upon the American colonists. The act created an invisible border along the Appalachian Mountains that the American colonists could not cross without having the permission of the British government. The goal was to limit immigration to the west until new agreements could be made with the Native Americans, who Britain wanted to prevent another war with and to protect business ventures such as the fur trade. This restriction came as a surprise to the American colonists, who felt that they deserved to settle this land after winning the war. To add insult to injury, the British Parliament, which was suffering from a huge amount of debt as a result of fighting the French, decided to tax the colonists to recoup their expense.

The Sugar Act of 1764, also known as the Revenue Act, was the first attempt by the British Parliament to raise revenue from the colonists. This act was basically a tax on trade–items that were brought into the colonies including sugar, tea, coffee, wine, etc. The Act also allowed British officials, without court approval, to take goods they believed to be smuggled. Merchants who were believed to have been smuggling were considered guilty until evidence proved they were innocent, and they could not take legal action when their goods were unethically taken. Later in 1764, Parliament passed the Currency Act as another way of lowering their debt. This Act banned paper money in the colonies since paper money did not have the same lasting value as non-paper money did. Both these Acts angered the American colonists, but it was the colonial leaders who were most upset because these Acts lowered the amount of money circulating in the colonies and limited some of their self-governing power. This started a propaganda war calling for “No taxation with representation” that helped fuel the fire that eventually became a revolution.

In 1765, as a way to further raise money, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act. Calling for stamps to be placed on almost all printed materials, including those produced in the American colonies, this tax “was the first direct tax Britain had ever placed on the colonists”. It was the Stamp Act that spurned a group that became known as the Sons of Liberty. Protests and riots broke out against the Stamp Act and a boycott of the stamps, and products imported from Britain, helped to force Parliament to repeal the Act in 1766. In order to help enforce their Acts and have a stronger presence in the colonies, the Quartering Act was passed. This act not only made colonists pay more money for the protection Britain was giving them at the time, but it also allowed British soldiers to stay in the colonist’s houses, or in public buildings, with the colonists paying for their room and board.

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Though they gave in a repealed the Stamp Act, Parliament asserted it’s power in the colonies by passing the Declaratory Act, reinforcing Britain’s right to enact laws governing the colonists; which they did almost immediately. In 1767, failing to understand the forces at work in the colonies, Britain enacted the Townshend Acts and found their exports to the colonies reduced yet again due to another boycott. The Townshend Acts included the Revenue Act of 1767, which again placed a tax on imported goods, such as paper, paint, tea. Much like the Sugar Act, the Townshend Acts “allowed officials to seize private property under certain circumstances without following due process”.

The resistance in the colonies grew even louder and stronger, and Britain’s response was to send additional forces to Boston, which further increased tension. Eventually, the tension boiled over, leading to a confrontation that killed five people. Colonial figures, such as Sam Adams and Paul Revere, used this event they called the Boston Massacre, to stir up anger against Britain. Other events such as the Gaspee Affair and the Boston Tea Party followed pushing King George to his limit. He decided that “The colonies must either submit or triumph!”.

After the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed Coercive and Quebec Acts that essentially took power away from the colonists, especially in Massachusetts, by shutting down their ports, limiting their right to self-governance, and reestablishing the Quartering Act. These acts, “violated several traditional English rights, including the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers”. The Quebec Act centralized government in Canada. After more than a decade of actions deemed unbearable by the American colonists, these “Intolerable” Acts made them decide that enough was enough. The First Continental Congress, with delegates from all the colonies, except Georgia, met in Philadelphia in September of 1774. They adopted a resolution that opposed the “Intolerable” Acts and asserted their Declaration of Rights and Grievances; an exercise that ultimately laid the foundation for the Declaration of Independence.

What started with a number of Acts that may have initially seem reasonable by the British lead to an idea; an idea that America deserved to be a nation independent of outside rule. A small rebellion against taxation and loss of power turned into a full-blown revolution known today as the American Revolution; changing the course of history forever.

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Factors in Generating the Idea that America Deserves to Be an Independent Nation. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from
“Factors in Generating the Idea that America Deserves to Be an Independent Nation.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Factors in Generating the Idea that America Deserves to Be an Independent Nation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 31 May 2023].
Factors in Generating the Idea that America Deserves to Be an Independent Nation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2023 May 31]. Available from:
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