Causes of the American War of Independance (The Stamp Act stampact (The…
Causes of the American War of Independance
The Stamp Act
The most important decision that angered the Amercians was the decision to tax the colonists
The British had to keep troops in America to protect the land they had conquored, as the French war had been very expensive. To do this they had to tax the colonists.
Because of this the British Parliament, who were nearly 5,000 km away had infuriated the Americans as they thought of themselves as independant and were deciding to use thier own taxes.
The Stamp Act Congress was set up to fight the the tax. It contained members from most of the colonies. Often tax collectors were attacked and forced to give up their jobs.
In 1765, the British introduced the Stamp Act. This brought in a tax on the official documents such as wills.
The Boston Tea Party
When the ships carrying tea arrived at the port of Boston, the patriots made their move.
They dressed as Native Americans and, wehn the time was right, threw the boxes of tea overboard. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party.
There was big problem, however. The tea was still taxed. Because of this, the plan backfired. The Americans were annoyed that the British government was still trying to tax them.
This infuriated the British government. They passed a series of laws that closed Boston port until the patriots paid for all the destroyed tea. General Gage was sent to Boston to try and restore order, but the whole thing had to be closed down when the colonists refused to pay for the destroyed tea.
Because of the backlash The Boston Massacre caused, the government decided to allow the cheap tea to be sold to America. The British hoped the the cheaper tea would tempt the Americans.
The First Continental Congress
This Congress called on Americans not to buy British goods until the Intolerable Acts were removed.
The Congress was very important as it showed that the colonies could act togther against the British government.
Representatives from twelve of the thirteen colonies met in Philidelphia. This meeting was known as the First Continental Congress.
Americans became worried by the British actions. They began calling the laws the British made against Boston the Intolerable Acts. The decided they had to work together to protect their freedom.
The Boston Massacre
In Boston, the citizens and soldiers did not get on well. In 1770, a mob of about 50 people attacked a group of soldiers by throwing rocks, snowballs and oyster shells. The soldiers opened fire and killed about five out of the fifty. Eleven more were injured.
When the Americans heard of this, they were outraged. They made propaganda out of it, calling it The Boston Massacre, so named to make it seem much worse than it was. They saw it as an example of cruelty by the British.
The Americans retaliated by refusing to buy British products. To get around paying taxes they smuggled in goods. One port that was the centre of smuggling was Boston.
Some citizens felt it would be better if America controlled itself instead of the British. These people were called patriots.
Due to the overwhelming power of the opposition, the government backed down and ended The Stamp act, but foolishly continued to tax the colonists.