How did the Colonists Justify Their Actions Before and During the American Revolution?
The American Revolution was a war in the U.S. that took place between 1775 and 1783. It was fought between the United Kingdom and its thirteen colonies. It can also be termed as the revolutionary war. The colonies joined together to free themselves from the powerful British Empire. It is also known that then the colonies fought the war in the attempt to extinguish overseas governing from the British Government. Additionally, none of the colonies had representation in that government. Americans were the original settlers of the colony or, in other words, the first colonists thus they had to pose a reaction to the invasion of their land.
During the studied period, American colonists were subjected to heavy taxation by the British Government. Although the taxes were not that high as such, the Americans reacted angrily to the matter since they saw it as a scheme to extract money from them. The colonists reacted on the basis that a person’s property could not be taken from him or her without mutual agreement among the parties involved. More so the Americans were not represented in the colonial government so why should they be taxed? Such resentment bore no fruits as the British employed dirty tactics to enforce the scheme like using soldiers to push the Americans (Morton 155).
It is also said that on the night before the war the colonists had gathered enough courage to oppose the British Government. This is evidenced by the nature in which they reacted to some of the colonialist’s declarations. Such declarations like Declaratory, Stamp, and Quartering Acts were imposed by the British Government. According to the Stamp Act, all the official documents in the colonies were required to have stamps on them. The Quartering Act, on the other hand, required that soldiers of the British Army to be quartered in certain parts of the colonies. These were clearly opposed by the British Government. This was an example of the burning desire in Americans to govern on their own. The French War was a great event that depicted the British inhumane actions. The Americans recalled Quartering, Sugar, and Currency Act of 1763 as some of the true actions that gave them the desire to break away from the colonial government.
Moreover, it should be noted that the thirteen colonies involved shared some similarities and differences of any kind. The major differences were mainly in terms of agriculture, economy and religion. To be precise, the colonies were subdivided into the northern, middle and southern ones. The reactions towards the invasions of the colonial government depended on the region they were carried out. The Northern region, which was based mainly on religious grounds, might have defended itself merely welcoming religious acts to the colony. This was since colonial Britain brought missionaries there ready to spread the good word to people. This is a clear example of one positive reaction from American citizens.
To strengthen its influence further, the British colonial government imposed acts like Quebec and Intolerable Acts. They were enacted between 1774 and 1775. The Quebec Act was finalized on 22nd June 1774; according to the deal boundaries of the eponymous province were to be enlarged. It was struck that Labrador, Ile d’Anticosti and more so Iles de la Madeleine supposed to be included to the province. The Indian territory – south of Great Lakes – was supposed to be part of Quebec, too. On the other hand, Intolerable Act was tough rules’ embodiment that the colonialists set up in their quest for total power over the American colonies. Another document that puts more pain in the American hearts was the Boston Act. Under the act, the colonial government closed the Boston Port demanding compensation for the loss the British Government incurred during the Boston Tea Party. These punitive measures further sparked rebellion from the colonist. Americans viewed them as a violation of human needs. Something had to be done. September 1774 is considered a turning stage since the Americans finally gathered to the point of holding a Continental Congress, to their revolt’s center. Tensions rose, as a result, and eventually the war broke.
This is just but few citations of what transpired. Nevertheless, it is still very evident that the British colonial masters played a huge role in the outbreak of war. They arbitrarily violated lots of human rights in their quest for glory. Some critics even suggest that they participated in genocide acts during the period. Their actions can be termed selfish as they only wanted to build their own reputation by employing forceful methods. The policy of colonialism pursued by the British Government was resentful enough for the colonist to start the revolutionary war. This was a painful period in American history. As Robert Trout boldly stated, “The American Revolution was, in fact, the battle against the philosophy of Locke and Utilitarian.” (Ross 71). Therefore, from my point of view, the colonist actions were fully justified in every sense.
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