The American Revolution was the result of the cruel treatment from the British regime. The rebellion started from the year 1763, when the American general public finally realized that an illogical ruler, whether it is Parliament or the King, was violating their inherent citizenry rights. This realization made the justification for the revolt against the British. A number of events that occurred during the period of 1763 to 1776 made them more determined to rebel against the British regime. It is generally argued that the primary cause of the revolution was economics. Though the British colonists agreed that the economy should be governed through the natural laws and not through the royal assertions but in actual the colonies in America were restricted by the British laws that were for the benefit of their own. Only the southern colonies were bound to England by the tobacco trade. On the other hand, the regions of New England and the Middle Colonies started to trade with other foreign markets because they were unable to find markets for their products in the British Empire. These colonies gained prosperity from the trade to other territories because they earn more as compared to what they could have earned by trading with the British. The efforts to impose restrictions on their trade outside the empire lead to rebellion and upheaval against the colonists. The British theory of trade was in fact the commencement of all trade activities by means of the British Market. This was a big hurdle in the progress and economic prosperity of the New England colony. The economic causes that led to the revolution were the undue restrictions imposed on the colonies and most importantly the economic dependence, created by the British regime, of colonies to England.
The British monarchy passed several acts that were unacceptable for the colonies but the main rule that flared anger among the colonies was the stamp act. The stamp act negatively impacted to the interests of most of the colonists and moreover it constrained the growth and prosperity of the colonies. Hence, the imposition of stamp act led to heavy protests by the colonists. Some other legislation created the feeling of irritation among the colonists and led to a boycott of British goods. In response, the British passed the Currency act, hence making the value of the paper money negligible. As a result the colonies became totally economically dependent on England for obtaining hard currency. The main cause of a major rebellion, that was later called the American Revolution, was this economic dependence of the colonies on England. The British regime had passed the tea acts and a number of similar coercive laws that made the colonies dependent on the British economy. The tea act allowed the British to by pass the middlemen traders of the colonies and to conduct the trade on their own. This act of injustice and clear discrimination hurt the economic interests of the colonists, hence rising anger among them and motivating them to resist strongly against this inequality. The colonial resistance was noticed with an alarm by the British and they considered it an act of breaking the “British law”. In response, they passed the Coercive Act. This legislation closed down the port of Boston. This closed the door of economic prosperity, growth and advancement for New England. The British were also imposing undue restrictions on the colonists to produce raw material. This worsened the situation for the colonists, because it severely affected the economic prosperity of the colonies.
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Some people believe that the primary reason that caused the revolution was the economic inequality but in actual was not the only reason though it was one of the major reasons. The British regime had imposed undue restrictions with respect to the civil liberties of the colonists as well. It had restricted of the settlements of certain ethnic group in selected areas. These restrictions were perceived by the colonists as an illegal act of restricting the colonists to a specific area. The political liberty of the Americans was nearly negligible and the privacy right was totally abolished. The British policies were viewed with doubt and were considered a plan of the British government to steal the rights and liberty of the colonial citizens. That is why, the declaration of independence later formed by the colonists focused on the importance of the civil liberty. The basic motive was to make the British realize that how important liberty is for Americans.
The majority of the policies that affected the colonists between 1763 and 1776 were developed with an economic motive i.e. to bring economic favors for the British. However, in addition to this these policies very significantly affected the political liberty of the colonies in a negative manner. These were the major factors that led to the revolution.
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It is further argued that the King of England and the British Parliament were the direct causes of the American Revolution. Their extremely pressing demands to the colonists and ruthless reactions, to the failure of the colonists to meet their unrealistic demands, caused a great deal of irritation among the colonists. The demands were usually very pressing and unrealistic that was almost impossible for any American was able to fulfill. The colonies in America were heavily taxed and even commodities of very less importance were taxed. It was about to be impossible for a common American Citizen to make both ends meet with such a heavily taxed system. The colonists in the beginning tried to resolve the matter of taxes through proper way and in a very polite way complained against it but they soon realized that their efforts were going in vain. There were certain other regulations that forced the Americans to provide food and shelter to those men to whom they considered stealers of their jobs. All these differences led the American population to think that why should they keep working for the benefit of others and keep meeting the unbearable demands of the British regime. The act of the British to convert the currency from paper money into gold and silver was viewed as an act of wickedness and a conspiracy against the colonists because gold and silver was very scarce in the colonies, which made the colonies totally dependent on England. The Americans were not safe and secure from the British injustice in any profession. Even the sailors were exposed to extreme hardships and harsh treatments by the British. The British forcefully recruited them to the Royal Navy for participating in wars against their own brothers. The commodities used in everyday life were even out of reach of the American people. Imported goods were too expensive because of the restrictions and heavy duties on their imports. Most of the times people were forced to buy smuggled goods which were again not very easy to purchase because it was very difficult for the smugglers to bring things to America. The reason was that British had the right to search every ship without having any warrant.
Consequences of American Revolution on different population groups:
1) Northern Farmers:
The revolution brought significant benefits and opportunities for the Northern farmers as it opened new avenues of trade and commerce for them. They were no more required to trade their goods by means of the British economy on lesser prices nor were they required to pay heavy taxes on their limited income. The new opportunities brought to them as a result of the independence from the British regime brought them prosperity and growth. They were no more dependent on the British economy or restricted by the unjustified regulations of the British regime. Liberty in trade as well as in civil and political issues provided them enough motivation to work for the benefit of the country, which was now their own.
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2) Native Americans:
The Native Americans were the most ignored class in the colonial times. They were spread throughout the whole American continent and became the victims of the Brutalities of the Spaniards, the British and the Portuguese. The great Aztec empire was destroyed and totally humiliated by the Spaniards and hundreds of thousands were brought to death. Moreover, when settlers from England and Spain started to arrive, they forced the Indians to move away whenever they needed any particular piece of land. Because of this harsh treatment and inhuman treatment many Indians died out of hunger and several diseases. Later after the American Revolution, the United Stats started to expand its territories, it took control of a number of regions that were heavily populated by the Indians and gave all of them its citizenship. The Native Americans were still an ignored class in the beginning. Most of the economic resources were in the hands of the white settlers and they were required to work on their farms.
The African Slaves brought to the American continent played an important role in the revolutionary war of the America. The American Revolution did not brought any considerable differences on the lives. They were still the ignored and most harshly treated class of the country. The majority of the population was extremely poor and was even unable to fulfill their every day needs. Most of them were the servants and mistresses of the whites and were treated very unfairly and were given very limited opportunities to grow. But in later years it benefited them when they were given the rights of the citizenry and were given the respect and consideration that they deserved.
The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society, Nash, et al. Fourth Edition, Addison-Wesley Longman Publishers
Wheeler, William Bruce and Becker, Susan: Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence: Volume I: To 1877, Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.