Causes Of The Revolutionary War Essay

1496 words - 6 pages

Causes of the Revolutionary War

The haphazard and disorganized British rule of the American colonies in the decade prior to the outbreak led to the Revolutionary War. The mismanagement of the colonies, the taxation policies that violated the colonist right's, the distractions of foreign wars and politics in England and mercantilist policies that benefited the English to a much greater degree then the colonists all show the British incompetence in their rule over the colonies. These policies and distractions were some of the causes of the Revolutionary War.

The interests of England within the colonies were self-centered. The English were exploiting were trying to govern the colonies ...view middle of the document...

When this complex issue was finally resolved in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England turned its attention back to the colonies and found that colonists had developed their own identity as American.

There was no central office in England to control what was happening in the colonies. The executive authority in England was divided among several ministers and commissioners that did not act quickly or in unison. Also, the Board of Trade, the branch of government that knew more about the colonies than any other governing body in England, did not have the power to make decisions or to enforce decrees. Due to the distractions from the complex constitutional issues and ineffective governmental organization the colonists felt further separated from England(Blum 51).

The political scene in England was laced with corruption. Officers of the government sent to the colonies were often bribe-taking politicians that were not smart enough to hold government positions in England. After Grenville and Townshend the most incompetent was Lord North, who became Prime Minister in 1770 after the death of Charles Townshend. "North was the kind of politician George had been looking for ----a plodding, dogged, industrious man, neither a fool nor a genius, much like the king himself. For the next twelve years, despite the opposition of abler men, he remained at the head of the government(Blum 104)." Corruption and incompetence among governing politicians often made their rule over the colonies ineffective.

In the years leading up to the final decade before the American Revolution, the relationship between Great Britain and her colonies in North America continued to deteriorate. Relations began to worsen with the great victory over the French and Indians in the Seven Years War. Unwelcome British troops had remained in the colonies. Debts from this war caused the Prime Minister at the time, Lord Grenville, to enforce Mercantilism in an effort to get the colonists to pay their share of the national debt that had doubled since 1754(Blum 95).

England passed many Acts that were ill conceived and had long term effects on the relationship between England and the colonies. The most controversial of these were direct taxes. The last time Parliament had tried a direct tax was as recent as 1765, when Lord Grenville enacted the Stamp Act which forced the colonists to pay for stamps on printed documents, the Stamp Act(Higginbotham 34). The Americans had felt the taxes of Lord Grenville were "a deliberate aim to disinherit the colonists by denying them the rights of the English(Blum 96)." The first of these acts were the Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 and placed new taxes on paper, paints, tea, lead and, glass. The new taxes would be used to pay for British officials in the American service. These acts infuriated the colonists because they believed that Parliament had the right to put taxes on the trade of the colonies but could not place taxes...

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