The events of 1774 are a crucial part of the history of the United States. They served as the basis of what this country is today – its self identification, its rights and freedoms, its mentality and its appearance. The roots and causes of the conflict that happened between the British and the Americans are multiple. The confrontation has been approaching for a decade. Finally, in 1774 the thirteen colonies of America started a rebel. Generally, the causes that led to the American Revolution were of economic and financial character.
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Besides, the location of the colonies and the large distance between Great Britain and the American continent contributed to the gradual destruction of understanding between these two nations. People that moved so far away from Britain were initially predisposed to desire independence and freedom from the power of the Crown. For the British leaders the independent moods in America were hard to deal with because of the distance.
It has to be mentioned that initially all of the thirteen colonies situated on the territory of North American continent were proud to be British, but over time very significant differences started to appear in the British and American ways of thinking. First of all, one of the main causes of the conflict and the following confrontation between the British power and the colonies was the disagreement about the way these colonies should be treated and viewed.
The leaders of Great Britain were convinced that the colonies and people dwelling on their territory are supposed to serve to the Crown and fulfill its needs. The Americans saw themselves as independent settlers that were sharing the rights of the English people living in Britain. The conflict became worse when the leaders of the Crown tried to use the colonies in order to suit the parliament. This is why when the king of England George III faced financial difficulties related to the costs spent during the French-Indian War, his decision was to impose higher taxes on the colonies in order to re-gain the money that was lost.
Of course, the people of the thirteen colonies in America were very dissatisfied by that. The tax collectors were attacked and terrorized on the territory of the colonies, often the Americans started to protest and confront the British over the new rules of taxation. This also was the first time when the colonies united and started to struggle together, they agreed with each other and collaborated.
The rebels and open confrontation like the ones that happened in Boston, when the Americans destroyed some of the British goods and properties, caused a reaction from the Crown. The Intolerable Acts were passed and put restrictions on the actions of colonists, meetings and gatherings were forbidden. The colonists responded with the First Continental Congress of 1774 in Philadelphia, where the representatives of twelve of the thirteen colonies of America were present. This meeting strengthened the relationships between the colonies and resulted in the boycotting of British goods.
In winter of 1775 the leaders of the colonies, Massachusetts in particular, started to collect and put away gunpowder and armor as they were aware of the growing conflict and anticipated the possibility of attack from the side of the British leaders. The Crown decided to send a party that had a task to seize the storage of weapon. This is when the first actual battles between the Americans and the British happened.
Even though the confrontation has turned into an armed conflict, at least two thirds of people and leaders of the colonies were indifferent or unsupportive of the fight with Great Britain. It took the colonists quite some time to come to realization that the battle for independence was happening and become enthusiastic. At the Second Congress meeting of all the thirteen colonies George Washington, a tobacco farmer of English origin, was assigned to be in charge of the Continental Army (Washington and the American Revolution, par 1).
The Second Continental Congress members made an attempt to set peace with the British, but king George rejected it, as a result, the colonists united and the Declaration of Independence was created. The text of this document was inspired by the English thinkers of the Enlightenment era such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.
The idea of social contract between the people and the parliament viewed the relationship between the citizens and the leaders as a co-operative process where the leaders are obliged to take care of the needs of their people. The Declaration empowered the people to overthrow the governors that let them down. Generally, the text of the Declaration of Independence reflects the bitterness of betrayal the colonists felt because of being disrespected and mistreated by the Crown and legitimates the revolution against the king.
The war with the British caused a lot of disorders on the American continent, many fights were going on between the communities and colonies, this was the process of land grabbing and struggling for power and influence. The presence of the British troops on the territory of America served as the force bringing the colonists together.