Events leading to the American Revolution Term Paper

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During the late seventeen hundreds, many tumultuous events

resulted in Colonial opposition to Great Britain. The conditions

of rights of the colonists will slowly be changed as the

constriction of the parliament becomes more and more intolerable.

During the Seven Years' War England was not only alarmed by the

colonists' insistence on trading with the enemy, but also with

Boston merchants hiring James Otis inorder to protest the

legality of the writs of assistance (general search warrants)

used to hunt out smuggled goods. "let the parliament lay what

burthens they please on us, we must, it is our duty to submit and

patiently bear them, till they will be pleased to relieve

us....". This is a very strong dictum, that in 1764, the

colonists were of a submissive nature, and were weakly pleading

for self-autonomy. This small fire of anger will become a huge

conflagration as the rights are slowly rescinded.

On October 19, 1765 the Stamp Act Congress and

Parliamentary Taxation committee's passed some laws that

attempted to strengthen the grip of the English crown.

"I.That his Majesty's subjects in these colonies, owe the same

allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain that is owing from his

subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination to

that august body, the Parliament of Great Britain."

This statement can be used as a summation of the entire document

that the Stamp Act Congress had initiated. The statement depicts

the colonists has having to be submissive and servile in the view

of Great Britain, this policy angered the colonists very much, and

was another component of the transition of the colonists'

rights and liberties.

When the Declatory Act was passed in March of 1766, many

colonies were attempting to claim that they were "seceding" from


"Whereas several of the houses of representatives in his

Majesty's colonies and plantations in America, have of late,

against law, or to the general assemblies of the same, the sole

and exclusive right of imposing duties and taxes upon his

Majesty's subjects in the said it declared ....,

that the said colonies and plantations in America, have been,

are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent

upon the imperial Crown and Parliament of Great Britain;".

The Parliament of course denounced the attempt at independance

and still dogmatilcally passed the following law to show that the

colonists were still british subjects. Again, the colonists were

infuriated and later will resist the british imperialism on the


"All before, are calculated to regulate trade, and preserve

prpromote a mutually beneficial intercourse between the several

constituent parts of the empite"", yet those duties were always

imposed with design to restrain the commerce of one part".

This statement by the colonist (John Dickinson), shows that th

sole rason for new taxes is just for the British gov't to make

money, at the expense of the economy of the colonies. Dickinson

makes a important distinction between the rights of the colonies

and the authority of the parliament. Dickinson's comments were

ubiquitous among the colonists, and thus infuriated them to

rebellion, and the seizure of basic democratic rights.

"From necessity of the case, and a regard to the mutual

interest of both countries, we cheerfully consent to the

operation of such acts of the British parliament as are bona fide

restrained to the regulation of our external commerce, for the

purpose of securing the commercial advantages of the whole empire

to the mother country , and the commercial benefits of it's

respective members excluding every idea of taxation, internal or

external, for raising a revenue on the subjects in America

without their consent ...."

The continental congress had presented it's colonial rights.

These rights enable the colonies to be more autonomous with

exception to those several states who are under the british

control. One important element of the document, is the idea of

taxation without representation; the said that raising taxes

without consent was illegal and that the commercial benefits of

the colony should be shared within the colonies, instead of

England becoming more and more economically prosperous.

The whole idea of mercantilism was about to be crushed, due to

this idea, of self-autonomy with respect to colonial economics.

"Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do, ye

are opening a door to eternal tyranny....". This statement made

by Thomas Paine shows the foreshadowing, of what colonists would

do. The British are trying to prevent independence, and from

doing so, they are being tyrannical. Again, the rights of the

colonists are being questioned and rebellion shortly will be


"That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive

of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to

abolish it, and to institute new government, laying it's

foundations on such principles and organizing it's powers in such

form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety

and happiness.". What the declaration is really saying, is that a

society who has no or little rights (such as the colonies) should

be destroyed, thus separation from England. A new society would

follow, where the people of the society would have these rights

necessary for self-autonomy. The Declaration of Independence was

a strong justification for revolution. The Revolution follows the

Declaration of Independence, where a transition occurs. The

transition has to do with the rights of the colonists. The

colonists acquire their rights through resistance to british

imperial conformity, by resisting certain policies detrimental to

the inalienable rights of a democracy. The transitional period

was from 1760's to 1770's. This is a crucial period of time,

because this is where the center of power is transferred from the

british government (Parliament) to the colonial citizens. A major

component to this center of power was the rights of the

colonists, the colonists gained their rights through resistence

to an imperial power. This transition is depicted through the

progression of time in the documents.

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