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Old 10-17-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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I have heard two reasons, not sure which (if not both) are accurate to a degree..
  1. The British imposed a higher tax on the colonies to pay for the Indian/ Spanish/ French wars which served the colonists more than the British
  2. The running of the British empire proved very expensive and Britain needed a quick easy way to make money
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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I know the colonists all viewed themselves as British, so when I say British I mean non-colonists... Those living in Britain.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I'm not really sure how your two options are different. But I'd say the Proclamation of 1763 was more the initial cause because it put the kaibosh (sp?) on westward expansion, which I think many colonists believed would be the result of victory in the 7 years/French & Indian war.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Default Which of these reasons caused the initial fued between the Colonies and Britain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRBXGOLD View Post
I have heard two reasons, not sure which (if not both) are accurate to a degree..
  1. The British imposed a higher tax on the colonies to pay for the Indian/ Spanish/ French wars which served the colonists more than the British
  2. The running of the British empire proved very expensive and Britain needed a quick easy way to make money
Both of these answers are reasonable. But we tend to remember the events of the 1760s and 1770s like the taxes and the Quebec Act and do not remember some more distant abuses.

For instance, I was in an Insurance class today and the instructor mentioned something I never heard or read before. Way back during the colonial period, Lloyds of London discriminated against a single class of British people by not allowing them to get life insurance. They considered that group to be risky. And that group of British people that were being discriminated against? The colonists in America.

Now its understandable that a British insurance company would not want to insure pioneers living on the dangerous frontier with the Indians. But try explaining that reasoning of wholesale denial of Americans to a wealthy merchant living in cities like Philadelphia or Charleston - and they would probably feel like second class citizens.

Its probably many things like this, hardly remembered today, that added up over time and helped lead to a separate American identity. And that helped lead to the American Revolution.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:24 PM
 
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Running the Empire was expensive and the Crown expected the colonies to pony up their share of the expenses involved in fighting the French and Indian War (which was just a small part of the global Seven Years War). The attempted containment of westward expansion certainly added to the tension.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:26 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Running the Empire was expensive and the Crown expected the colonies to pony up their share of the expenses involved in fighting the French and Indian War (which was just a small part of the global Seven Years War). The attempted containment of westward expansion certainly added to the tension.
I think the attempts to limit westward expansion played a large part. Most Americans came as people who had little future in Britan. Certain groups were deliberatly resettled in the border areas as a buffer for the 'civilized' areas. In a sense the British government created the problem. The desire to improve your lot did not end with the first generation, and when the British tried to stem it they ran into a situation they had created themselves.

I don't think most Americans by the time of the Revolution thought of themselves as entirely British. The language over the two hundrend years of settlement had already changed. The society and social mores had as well. Most people actually understood they did not live in the same society as their ancestors had lived. They may not have considered the difference enough to wish to seperate from the Empire, but were aware they were not the same anymore. The situation was set for that undersanding to be clarified when the British government began imposing edicts on governments which saw themselves as responsible for their own.

One of the most basic events which pushed things was the occupation of Boston. It was much more than the death of a handful of people in the square after an encounter with British troops. It was the job situation and the need for British troops to supliment their pay at the cost of locals, and the shock of the show of arms against other members of Britans empire, which had not happened before. But at the beginning, most of those who led the revolution, centered around Boston, were moderates, seeking some kind of peaceful negotiation. The Sons of Liberty was considered a bunch of malcontents. The idea of a revolution was not really in the wind. But after, the leaders of the revolution were proudly proclaiming their membership as Sons of Liberty, which was now honored for its goals and methods. And even if not generally spoken of, the idea of a seperation from the mother county by arms if needed had become real to the people for whom it mattered. The occupation had flipped a switch which had not been flipped before.

It was the sea change which made the splintering inevitable.
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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I've argued in the past for the strength of the westward expansion motive. It was more than just greed, although greed certainly was a part of it.

An element which gets often overlooked is the manner in which freedom and property were fused concepts in the minds of the colonials. Voting rights were still tied to property ownership, leaders were chosen from among the largest property owners because they were the ones with the most at stake in public affairs. With the immense availability of land for the first settlers and the next several generations, the percentage of landowners in America was four times larger than it was in Britain. Thus a larger segment of the American population was enfranchised.

The prevailing attitude in the second half of the 18th Century was that no man was truly free if he answered to another (worked for wages) or was in debt. The solution to all was to be a property owner, beholden to no one but yourself for your success or failure. Land and freedom....with one came the other.

Further, the situation was such that Americans enjoyed the luxury of ignoring primogeniture. In Europe all land ownership had long since been settled. When the owner died, the property was kept intact rather than weakened by distribution. It all went to the eldest son. Younger sons were left to seek careers in the military, the clergy or as merchants. In America the family farm might go to the eldest, but then younger sons simply moved west and established their own farms, as did their grandchildren.

It was when this spreading of new property owners bumped up against the Appalachians that problems arose. Out there was all the land that the Americans needed to keep spreading land ownership, and thus freedom. The British supported tribes who already lived there, stood in the way of this dream. Remove the Brits and the colonials were confident that they could displace the tribes.

So it wasn't just the huge property speculators of Pennsylvania and Virginia who stood to lose with the sealing of the border, it was an entire concept and identity, the newly created American identity, which was threatened.

That said, it is not my intention to downplay the New England tax revolt which was the other great motivator and trigger point for the revolution. New England's western borders were already closed by geography, they were not harmed by the 1763 Proclamation, their dispute was largely rising resentment over the decision of the British to start enforcing laws which had always been on the books (Navigation Acts) but had gone largely unenforced until the end of the French and Indian War. The enforcement of these laws fell heaviest on merchants, who also happened to be the wealthiest, and thus leading class, of New Englanders. With hothead trouble makers like Samuel Adams stirring the pot, things eventually got out of hand. It does seem like the disputed taxes were relatively minor burdens on the colonials and that if that had been the true root of the animosity, it could have been negotiated to a settlement without any revolution required. There had to have been something more and that something more was that new, less formal, more egalitarian and more enterprising American identity which was taking shape.

The Massachusetts Revolution began a year before any shots were exchanged. Crown authority was vanquished from every place in the colony not occupied by British troops, which meant everywhere but Boston. Royal office holders had to flee for their lives, forfeiting their property, no British officials would dare venture out of Boston without a strongly armed escort. During this year, the other colonies all vacillated. There were symbolic shows of solidarity with the New Englanders, but it was still being viewed as a regional, not colonial wide problem.

It was when firing broke out that those with interests in western expansion found common cause with the tax revolution up north. Had the issue of western expansion not been on the table for the middle and southern colonies, I do not see their support for the New Englanders being as strong.

So my reductionist bumper sticker summary was that the American revolution began as regional tax revolt, and evolved into a continent wide revolution when joined by those who minds were mainly on land issues.
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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I'm convinced that every question in the history forum, by now, has been answered at least once before in this forum...in this case it's still on the same current thread page.

A British View of the American Revolution
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:28 PM
 
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The first revolutionary act was in Rhode Island, over a year before
Massachusetts.
1772 Rhode Island attack on the British Navy armed schooner Gaspee
Gaspee Affair
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowball7 View Post
The first revolutionary act was in Rhode Island, over a year before
Massachusetts.
1772 Rhode Island attack on the British Navy armed schooner Gaspee
Gaspee Affair

And they still celebrate Gaspee Day with a parade and the symbolic burning of the Gaspee.
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