IntroductionIt is April 19, 1775 and standing across the village common from each other in Lexington Massachusetts British soldiers and American colonist have their rifles pointed at each other; they are about to fire the first shots of the American Revolution. How did the tensions between Great Britain and its once loyal American colonies get to this point?
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In this section of American Revolutionary War Facts you will find a list of interesting facts about the events leading to the American Revolution. You will see how a series of events that began after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 gradually led to open warfare which resulted in independence for the Americans. The French and Indian War, fought between Britain and the French along with their Indian allies, from 1754 to 1763 left England deeply in debt. Great Britain won the war but now needed to raise revenue to pay its war debt. This would lead them to start levying taxes on the American colonies. The levying of these taxes were some of the main events that led up to the war as you will see in the list below. "No taxation without representation" was the main rallying cry of the rebellion. The end of the French and Indian War and the resulting removal of French forces from much of North America led to the colonist not depending as much on Great Britain for protection. Beyond actual events that caused the American Revolution there were other factors that played a role. The information below lists factors that led to the war followed by a timeline of some of the main events that led to the American War for Independence.
List of Factors Leading to the American Revolution
- The men and women who colonized the New World did so because they desired opportunity for themselves and their kids and desired a level of freedom. They were generally not the type of people who would tolerate these things being taken away from them.
- The formation of colonial legislatures gave the colonist a feeling of independence from British rule in that they were able to pass their own laws and muster troops.
- Prior to the end of the French and Indian War Brittan pretty much did not interfere with the American colonist and were very lax with many of the regulations that were in place. This British policy was dubbed salutary neglect. This all changed after the French and Indian War and the need of the British to raise money to pay their war debts. The colonist resented this interference.
- A cultural movement took place in Europe in the late 1600s and 1700s called the Enlightenment. Writers involved in this movement such as John Locke wrote about such issues as limited government and consent of the governed. This movement influenced the thinking of many of the founding fathers as they began to seek liberty and freedom from the control of the British.
List of Events Leading to the American Revolution
- Sugar Act (1764). This British law charged duties on sugar imported by the colonies. Several other products were also taxed.
- Currency Act (1751 and 1764). Several Acts which regulated the issuing of money by the American colonist.
- Stamp Act (1765). This British law required certain printed materials including newspapers in America be on paper produced in Brittan and stamped with a revenue stamp.
- Quartering Act (1765). This act forced the colonist to provide food and shelter for British soldiers when needed.
- Townshend Acts (1767). A series of acts passed By Brittan beginning in 1767 that taxed the colonies.
- Boston Massacre (1770). An angry mob of colonist confronts British soldiers in Boston. Five colonists are killed.
- Tea Act (1773). This act basically gave the British East India Company a monopoly on tea trade in the Americas.
- Boston Tea Party (1773). In response to the Tea Act patriots dressed as American Indians dump British tea into Boston Harbor.
- Intolerable Acts (1774). A series of laws also called the Coercive Acts passed by Brittan in response to the Boston Tea Party.