American Revolution
Among the many complex factors that contributed to instigating the

American Revolution, two stand out most clearly: Englandís imposition of
taxation on the colonies and the failure of the British to gain consent of those
being governed, along with the military measures England took on the colonists.

Adding to these aforementioned factors were the religious and political legacy
of the colonies, and the restriction of civil liberties by the British.

Parliamentary taxation was undoubtedly one of the greatest factors inspiring the

American public to rebel in the years leading up to the American Revolution. One
of the most striking examples of this kind of taxation was the Stamp Act of

1765. After many years of fighting, England badly needed revenues from their
colonies, and they sought to acquire these revenues from the New World, thereby
increasing their influence over the colonial governments. These theories of

"New Imperialism" were what prompted Prime Minister Grenville to pass the

Stamp Act. The Stamp Act of 1765 stated that persons of almost any profession
were obliged to buy stamps for their documents. In other words, the act imposed
a tax on every printed document in the colonies. For example, a printer had to
buy stamps in order to legally be able to distribute his publications. While the
act itself was not so detrimental to the economy, it was the ideals behind the
act (a direct attempt on the part of the mother country to further itself and
raise revenues in the colonies) which drove the revolutionariesí cause. In

October of 1765, the same year the act was passed, the Stamp Act Congress met
with delegates from nine colonies and petitioned the King of England, along with
the two houses of Parliament. This petition and reaction to the act became the
first formal cry for reformation with regard to Englandís control over

America. In addition to the Stamp Act of 1765, other various taxations aroused a
spirit of revolution in America. One year before the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act of

1764 lowered the duty on molasses and raised the duty on sugar. While this act
was designed to raise money, the majority of the Americans did not view it as
any different than traditional taxations. Another set of taxes, known as the

Townshend Duties, taxed goods imported to the colonies from England. Townshend
judged this to be more practical because the duty was on "external" goods
(those imported to the country) rather than "internal" goods, which the

Stamp Act had attempted to address. However, the already distraught and
rebellious American public would not allow it. Soon after the Townshend Duties,
the colonial governments were urged by the Massachusetts Assembly to revolt and
stand up against every tax, external or internal, imposed by Parliament.

Eventually, as a result of all the taxes and regulations, the expression "no
taxation without representation" emerged. The Americans were clear and concise
on what they wanted: Whether the tax be internal or external, whether it be
designed to raise revenue or control trade, it could not exist without the
consent of the colonists who were being taxed. The final test of will came when
the British government passed the Tea Act of 1773. This act effectively cut out
the middleman, or colonial merchant, in the tea trade between Britain and

America. This infuriated the colonial merchants, because a powerful monopoly had
taken away their ability to trade in the valuable tea. Not only did the economic
results of the Tea Act anger the merchants, but also the idea of taxation
without representation once again sprang to the forefront of American minds. The
complete boycott of tea by Americans ensued. This boycott was extremely
important, because it unified the colonies in a mass popular protest. It is also
worth noting that American women became actively involved in this protest, since
they were the main consumers of tea in America. Riots and protests burst across
the county, the biggest and most influential one being the famous "Boston Tea

Party". In this riot, an English boat carrying tea shipments was docked in the

Boston Harbor. Three bands of fifty men each went aboard the ship, and wildly
emptied the tea chests overboard into the harbor. The Boston Massacre
exemplifies how British military measures backfired and allowed the Americans to
gain a sense of unity in working towards a common goal of independence. What
actually happened in the event was a bit unclear to historians. It seems as
though there was a scuffle between British soldiers stationed in the town of

Boston and Boston laborers. The soldiers had started to compete with the

Bostonians for jobs