Events leading to the American Revolution

During the late seventeen hundreds, many tumultuous events resulted in
Colonial opposition to Great Britain. The conditions of rights of the
colonists will slowly be changed as the constriction of the parliament
becomes more and more intolerable. During the Seven Years’ War England was
not only alarmed by the colonists’ insistence on trading with the enemy,
but also with Boston merchants hiring James Otis inorder to protest the
legality of the writs of assistance (general search warrants) used to hunt
out smuggled goods. “let the parliament lay what burthens they please on
us, we must, it is our duty to submit and patiently bear them, till they
will be pleased to relieve us….”. This is a very strong dictum, that in
1764, the colonists were of a submissive nature, and were weakly pleading
for self-autonomy. This small fire of anger will become a huge
conflagration as the rights are slowly rescinded.

On October 19, 1765 the Stamp Act Congress and Parliamentary Taxation
committee’s passed some laws that attempted to strengthen the grip of the
English crown. “I.That his Majesty’s subjects in these colonies, owe the
same allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain that is owing from his
subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination to that august
body, the Parliament of Great Britain.” This statement can be used as a
summation of the entire document that the Stamp Act Congress had initiated.

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The statement depicts the colonists has having to be submissive and servile
in the view of Great Britain, this policy angered the colonists very much,
and was another component of the transition of the colonists’ rights and

When the Declatory Act was passed in March of 1766, many colonies were
attempting to claim that they were “seceding” from England.

“Whereas several of the houses of representatives in his Majesty’s colonies
and plantations in America, have of late, against law, or to the general
assemblies of the same, the sole and exclusive right of imposing duties and
taxes upon his majesty’s subjects in the said colonies….be it declared
…., that the said colonies and plantations in America, have been, are,
and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial
Crown and Parliament of Great Britain;”. The Parliament of course denounced
the attempt at independance and still dogmatilcally passed the following
law to show that the colonists were still british subjects. Again, the
colonists were infuriated and later will resist the british imperialism on
the colonies.

“All before, are calculated to regulate trade, and preserve prpromote a
mutually beneficial intercourse between the several constituent parts of
the empite””, yet those duties were always imposed with design to restrain
the commerce of one part”. This statement by the colonist (John Dickinson),
shows that th sole rason for new taxes is just for the British gov’t to
make money, at the expense of the economy of the colonies. Dickinson makes
a important distinction between the rights of the colonies and the
authority of the parliament. Dickinson’s comments were ubiquitous among the
colonists, and thus infuriated them to rebellion, and the seizure of basic
democratic rights.

“From necessity of the case, and a regard to the mutual interest of both
countries, we cheerfully consent to the operation of such acts of the
British parliament as are bona fide restrained to the regulation of our
external commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial advantages of
the whole empire to the mother country , and the commercial benefits of
it’s respective members excluding every idea of taxation, internal or
external, for raising a revenue on the subjects in America without their
consent ….” The continental congress had presented it’s colonial rights.

These rights enable the colonies to be more autonomous with exception to
those several states who are under the british control. One important
element of the document, is the idea of taxation without representation;
the said that raising taxes without consent was illegal and that the
commercial benefits of the colony should be shared within the colonies,
instead of England becoming more and more economically prosperous. The
whole idea of mercantilism was about to be crushed, due to this idea, of
self-autonomy with respect to colonial economics.

“Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do, ye are opening a
door to eternal tyranny….”. This statement made by Thomas Paine shows the
foreshadowing, of what colonists would do. The British are trying to
prevent independence, and from doing so, they are being tyrannical. Again,
the rights of the colonists are being questioned and rebellion shortly will
be forthcoming. “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive
of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and
to institute new government, laying it’s foundations on such principles and
organizing it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness.”. What the declaration is really saying,
is that a society who has no or little rights (such as the colonies) should
be destroyed, thus separation from England. A new society would follow,
where the people of the society would have these rights necessary for
self-autonomy. The Declaration of Independence was a strong justification
for revolution.

The Revolution follows the Declaration of Independence, where a
transition occurs. The transition has to do with the rights of the
colonists. The colonists acquire their rights through resistance to british
imperial conformity, by resisting certain policies detrimental to the
inalienable rights of a democracy. The transitional period was from 1760’s
to 1770’s. This is a crucial period of time, because this is where the
center of power is transferred from the british government (Parliament) to
the colonial citizens. A major component to this center of power was the
rights of the colonists, the colonists gained their rights through
resistence to an imperial power. This transition is depicted through the
progression of time in the documents.