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Causes of the Revolution

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Raquell Russell

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Causes of the Revolution

Causes of the Revolution
The Enlightenment/The Age of Reason
John Locke --> consent of the governed/ the people's right to rebel against a wrongful government
The Great Awakening --> Individualism/people beginning to bring their bibles home to read and analyze alone/without the guidance of a bishop/etc.
The French and Indian War ---> taxation
Colonists involved in trade with the British/they are making money- British pro-tax in exchange for
When Parliament begins to tax the colonists in order to raise revenue colonists protested --> Rebelled --> The Revolutionary
The Sugar Act:
The Sugar Act was one of the first tangible signs of Britain's intent to gain tighter control over colonial trade.
The Sugar Act lowered the duty on foreign-produced molasses from six pence per gallon to 3 pence per gallon, in attempts to discourage smuggling. The act further stipulated that Americans could export many commodities, including lumber, iron, skins, and whalebone, to foreign countries, only if they passed through British ports first. The act also placed a heavy tax on formerly duty- free Madeira wine from Portugal.--- EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP! :)
In addition to a restriction of trade, many colonists felt the Sugar Act constituted a restriction of justice. The act allowed customs officials to transfer smuggling cases from colonial courts with juries to jury less vice- admiralty courts in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Sugar Act provided the British treasury with about 30,000 pounds per year between 1766 and 1775, a substantial source of income.
Enlightenment Ideas
Liberalism stemming from the enlightenment
Who were the Patriot leaders?
The Sons of Liberty
Colonial agents working in Britain express their concerns over the Stamp Act long before it is passed by Parliament on 1 March 1765. When news of the Act's official status reaches the American colonies in the spring, creative colonists begin planning an assortment of protest activities.
Adopting names including "Sons of Liberty," committees within each colony intend to prevent the Stamp Act from taking effect. Intimidation is their method of choice,and their primary targets are the colonists who have been appointed stamp distributors by the British ministry. While the protests occasionally turn violent, most demonstrations appear almost playful despite their menacing undertones.
Samuel Adams--> John Adams cousin
Some colonists opposed the taxes but were afraid of the crowds and riots-- they moved to organize a boycott.
Nine colonies sent representatives to a "Stamp Act Congress"
Consumer boycott of imported goods from England, called nonimportation agreements.
British merchants and manufacturers face ruin
Women play a major role in boycotts-- Known as the "Daughters of Liberty" , "homespun" cloth replaces British- manufactured cloth.
The Quartering Act: this act required the colonies provide housing and supplies for the British troops stationed there after the French and Indian War.
Comparing British and Colonial Governments
Great Britain
Differences in Colonial Government
The Colonists' Political Heritage
Salutary Neglect
Very similar structure- three branches
Distribution of wealth/education/ownership/voting (must own land)- issues
The American Colonies
inherited executive power
Divine Right
Appointed by and served the king but paid by the colonial legislature
The House of Lords
The House of Commons
Colonial Legislatures
Upper House/Council
Lower House or Assembly
Aristocrats with inherited titles also inherited legislative power
Elected by men who held property
Less than 1/4 of British men qualified to vote
Appointed by governor
Prominent colonists but without inherited titles
Elected by men who held property
About 2/3 of colonial men qualified to vote
Hence it is evident, that absolute monarchy, which by some men is counted the only government in the world, is indeed inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil-government at all…
Second Treatise, §90
For no government can have a right to obedience from a people who have not freely consented to it; which they can never be supposed to do, till either they are put in a full state of liberty to choose their government and governors, or at least till they have such standing laws, to which they have by themselves or their representatives given their free consent; and also till they are allowed their due property, which is so to be proprietors of what they have, that nobody can take away any part of it without their own consent, without which, men under any government are not in the state of freemen, but are direct slaves under the force of war.
Second Treatise, §192
But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rise themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for government was at first erected…
Second Treatise, §225

(falsehoods), avoid telling the truth
Clever deceit
Consent of the Governed
Treatise written,
Formal Legal Document Used:
Royal Charters of Maryland/ South Carolina.
The Mayflower Compact
In Britain...
In the American Colonies...
The British constitution was not a formal document, but a collection of laws and traditions accumulated over centuries.
1 in 4 British men had the right to vote
2 in 3 Colonial men had the right to vote
By 1760, political upheaval in Great Britain and Europe...
This allowed local colonial assemblies to increase their powers at the expense of the royal governors.
These assemblies were made up of a different class of people than what was accustomed in Britain:
leaders in both the assembly and council were wealthy planters and merchants (related by blood or marriage) but NOT holding a title/ non-aristocrat.
The assemblies often withheld salaries from unpopular British governors.
British officials hoped to change this situation and reign-in the colonists.
British officials began to tax the colonists in order to provide salaries to royal governors and judges.
Can anyone guess as to why the colonists DID NOT want this to happen (apart from the obvious taxation part)????
Crown salaries would make governors less interested in appeasing the colonists!
This alarmed colonists who had become accustomed to maneuvering around British law in the Americas for many years (salutary neglect).
Old man English...
Virtual Representation?
Members of British Parliament thought...
We defended you against the French and the Indians (nearly doubled debt)
We trade with you
We founded you!
We "virtually represent" every British subject
Colonists thought...
We are equal members of the British political body.
Only our own elected officials have the right to levy a tax.
New Taxes upset Colonists...
Colonial merchants had grown rich from trade, engaged in smuggling/ bribery to avoid tax on imports.
The new British prime minister, George Greenville, proposed raising money by collecting taxes ALREADY in effect.
The Stamp Act:
Unlike the Sugar Act, which was an external tax (i.e. it taxed only goods imported into the colonies), the Stamp Act was an internal tax, levied directly upon the property and goods of the colonists and was paid DIRECTLY to Great Britain.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Despite the revenue raised by the Sugar Act, Britain's financial situation continued to spiral out of control. In 1765, the average taxpayer in England paid 26 shillings per year in taxes, while the average colonist paid only one- half to one and a half shillings.
The act required Americans to buy special watermarked paper for newspapers and all legal documents-- tax on almost all printed materials.
The above illustration known as An Emblem of the Effects of the STAMP appeared
in American newspapers in October, 1765. As you can see, the artist who created the emblem was not particularly pleased with the Stamp Act.

William Pitt was the colonies' greatest defender in England. He argued that the colonies could not be taxed without representation in Parliament.
Colonial Protest
Intellectual Protests
Economic Boycotts
Violent Intimidation
Some thought the the British were conspiring against their new civil liberties
Other felt parliaments "virtual representation" was BS
"our presses have groaned, our pulpits have thundered, our legislatures have resolved, our towns have voted."
Baron Montesquieu:
Admired the English governmental system
The English government had three parts: a king to enforce laws, Parliament to create laws, and courts to interpret laws. The government was divided into parts, and each part had its own purpose. --Montesquieu called this the separation of powers.
Checks and Balances: Equal powers
Montesquieu believed that liberty is the peace of mind that comes from being safe.
If governments could provide and enforce clear laws that everyone would follow, it would increase liberty, reduce the problems of society, and improve human life.
Patrick Henry, Virginia Representative
Resolved, That the Taxation of the People by themselves or by Persons chosen by themselves to represent them who can only know what Taxes the People are able to bear and the easiest Mode of raising them and are equally affected by such Taxes Themselves is the distinguishing characteristic of British Freedom and without which the ancient Constitution cannot subsist.

Resolved, That his Majesties leige People of this most ancient Colony have uninterruptedly enjoyed the Right of being thus governed by their own assembly in the Article of their Taxes and internal Police and that the same hath never been forfeited or any other Way given up but hath been constantly recognized by the Kings & People of Great Britain.

Resolved, Therefore that the General Assembly of this Colony have the only and sole exclusive Right & Power to lay Taxes & Impositions upon the Inhabitants of this Colony and that every Attempt to vest such power in any Person or Persons whatsoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid is illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust, and has a manifest Tendency to destroy British as well as American Freedom.

The Virginia Resolves
So basically...
Only our Electors have the power to tax us.
The Virginia House of Burgesses accepted most of Henry's resolves, but rejected two- because they were deemed too radical
Colonial newspapers printed all of the original six believing that they had been accepted.
As a result...
other colonies adopted resolves similar to Henry's original proposal.
Colonial Newspapers played a major role in perpetuating revolutionary ideas.
including the resolve we just read.
Boston, protestors take aim at Andrew Oliver.
A group of men known as the "Loyal Nine" (forerunners of Boston's Sons of Liberty) recruit the town's mobs to ransack Oliver's home and office in August 1765.
Under the Liberty Tree
In the summer of 1765, nine merchants and tradesmen gather in Boston to organize opposition to the Stamp Act. Finding inspiration in the annual Pope's Day celebrations, the "Loyal Nine" decide to harness the manpower of the mobs that regularly parade (and occasionally riot) through the streets of Boston on 5 November each year. This collaboration proves formidable on 14 August 1765 when the mob, under the direction of Ebenezer McIntosh, marches an effigy of alleged stamp distributor Andrew Oliver through the town. Oliver "resigns" (even though he has not yet been appointed) which quells the mob temporarily. When Oliver receives his official commission as stamp distributor on 30 November, the Loyal Nine (now calling themselves the Sons of Liberty) fear that his August resignation may not have been binding. In response, they arrange a special event for Oliver, and all of Boston is invited to attend.
Tax Collectors were terrified, by the end of the year, every stamp collector in the colonies had resigned-- leaving no one to collect the taxes.
1. Intellectual protest
2. Economic Boycotts
3. Violent intimidation
Under pressure from British merchants and manufacturers- Parliament repeals the Stamp Act in 1766
They also passed into law an act declaring that the British Parliament DOES in fact have the power to levy a tax on colonists.
The Townshend Acts: an indirect tax on commerce, levied new import duties on everyday items such as glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea.
The money collected from this tax would pay the governors... WHY WAS THIS A PROBLEM FOR COLONIST?
Colonists greatly valued their financial control of the crown-appointed governors
In response to the Towshend Act- colonists revive their protests, boycotts, and street violence.
Again- largest riots occur in Boston
Mass legislature issues a letter denouncing the Act-- in response the governor dissolves the Massachusetts legislature
Liberty ship seized in 68' for smuggling, John Hancock (a wealthy merchant and politician), sets off massive riots against customs officers
To suppress riots the crown sends 4,000 troops to monitor just 16,000 colonists-- this fueled anger and resentment/ poorly paid soldiers stole colonial jobs
Violence Erupts in Boston...
Boston Massacre
March, 1770
A group of colonists throw rocks and snowballs at soldiers guarding the Customs House
Nervous soldiers fire into the crowd killing 5
Among those dead was Crispus Attucks, a sailor, possible escaped slave
Under Sam Adams- Patriots call the killing "The Boston Massacre"
Adams later organizes committees of corespondence throughout M.A
Committees promoted leadership and cooperation
Parliament backs down AGAIN!
The British withdraw from Boston
Drop most of the Townshend duties
The Boston Tea Party
British East India Company struggles as a result
Parliament passes a law allowing the company to sell directly to colonists (this would drive the price down even after the tax is calculated/ the rate was cheaper than the smuggled Dutch tea)
Colonists continued to boycott tea and smuggle in Dutch tea
Colonists felt the British were trying to trick them into paying the tax

In addition- if the East India Co. sold tea directly- it would damage business of the local, wealthy, colonial merchants who engage in smuggling the Dutch tea (competition)
December 16, 1773
Dressed as Indians, Boston Patriots boarded THREE English ships laden with tea and dumped the tea into the harbor.
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