Professor Richard Avila
History 143 (M/W 2:25)
17 October 2011
Midterm: The American Revolution Essay Questions
Essay Question 1. Describe the philosophical, economical, political and social causes of the American Revolution.
Answer: Historically, several conditions existed between British rule over the thirteen colonies that became intolerable for our forefathers. These issues could have been dealt with by British Parliament when presented by the colonies thus preventing war. Unfortunately, due to the lack of an acceptable resolution to those issues, frustrations grew among the colonies as additional unresolved issues compounded the situation; ultimately, the colonist saw independence from the British Empire as their only option which resulted in war.
The events in history that led to the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution and ultimately our freedom from the British Empire began when Great Britain’s economy was seriously compromised by the Seven Year War (a mid-18th century global war between the major powers of the period) which ended in 1763. The war left Britain’s government deeply in debt. Parliament was looking for ways to lower the country’s debt and began imposing new taxes on the colonies. The British debt motivated Parliament to initiate both the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767. The Stamp Act required the colonies to buy and use paper for their legal documents, magazines and newspapers, etc. that came from England and carried an embossed revenue stamp. The colonies could not pay for the product with their paper money and could use only valid British currency. The Townshend Acts were ways to tax the colonies to pay for governors and judges that were independent of colonial rule and would support Britain’s control over trade in the colonies. War was never the first option of most forefathers. The members of the colonies wrote to Parliament and to King George III in hope of gaining his support...