The year 1763 marked a great turning point for the American colonist, when the Treaty of Paris ended the worldwide Seven Years War. The British empire had had kicked the hated French out of North America, claiming territorial jurisdiction over French Canada and all the territory east of the Mississippi river. (Martin 80) The Americans saw this as a great opportunity to expand westward, of the Appalachian Mounts with out fear of the French any more. Seeing this as in opportunity to gain more freedom from the English parental rule.
Yet the British had the opposite in mind, the British were now concentrating more on their American colonies, and planned to levy more taxes to gain more revenue for all the loss during American wars and balance national debt of England. This disagreement would end an era of salutary neglect, under which colonist had relative freedom. (Martin 83) After imposing regulations on the English Mercantile system on what could and could not be grown in American colonies, and placing limits on what could be bought such as the sugar Act of 1764. Also by imposing the Stamp Act of 1765. And lack of representation for English taxation, on American colonies. Also American tried to set up a bank and monetary system, but the English repealed it.
American were looking for more freedom, and the English were becoming stricter, so then came the argument for independence, that split the colonies in three. Radicals, who wanted immediate change, and freedom from the tyrant rule of England, wanted a revolution for independence. Then there were the Moderates who did not like what the English doing, and wanted the English to be more lenient with self-rule, but were afraid that revolution was going to be a disaster. Then came the Loyalist who supported the crown, and wanted to continue being part of the English Empire.
Radicals such as Sam Adams, Richard Lee, Paul Revere, Ebenezer Mackintosh, Thomas Pain and nameless others at first were very unusual in America. At first radicals were the ones to oppose English taxes, such as the Stamp Act, of 1765, were taxation came from England without American representation. Also by boycotting British goods in defense of political liberties. (Martin 94). Starting Sons Of Liberty movement that was to promote American liberty but was more of a mob that went around picking on British supporters, and loyalist. When Parliament repealed the Stamp Tax, and was feeling the pressure from the American boycott the parliament gave in. American radicals saw this as a victory and that the English crown was weak, but the English saw it as keeping the peace, but could still tax the Americans at any willing time cause they were part of the English empire. (Martin 91)
Americans also wanted their own currency, and establishing their own bank, rather than using English money that was hard to come by. But the Currency Act in 1964 claimed that paper money of any colonial government could no longer be used as legal tender, nor could government issue any new paper bills. (Martin 84) This made it harder to pay debts, staggered American progress, and economical welfare for colonies.
Radicals were not only fighting for economic rights but as wall as political rights. Appointed governors, and from the Upper House, had had become tyrants that abused their powers, levied high taxes, at time when settlers were suffering economically, and gave favors to other fat cats. (Martin 60) Radicals saw that there was no chance of ever gaining the independence they wanted while under British rule; the only way to have complete freedom was to declare independence. As well colonist saw themselves more as Americans then they did British, years had gone by and ties with English traditions, and families had declined.
In the Second Continental Congress, was fighting for rights but by spring 1775, the pendulum swung in favor for revolution. And on July 4, 1776, everything was in place, and Congress quickly adopted Jeffersons Document explaining why colonists were seeking independence. With the aid of the French, and later the Spanish, Moderates and people who were indifferent to the revolution, joined the radicals on the pursuit of gaining their independence.
Then there were those apposed to independence. The loyalist such as Ann Houlton and the loyalist of Anson County, just like many moderates of the time did not like the way that Great Britain was treaty them but they thought that, that was the way it needed to be if we are going to be part of the greatest empire at the time. America had been part of the English Empire for one hundred-sixty- seven years, from the English first settlement in James Town in 1607. Ever since it has been a partnership or more like when mother is taking care of a child. The British have protected the Americans from the Indians, from the French, as well protected American trade. Americans also have right like English citizens (Stamp Act 128) and saw if Great Britain was prosperous then their colonies would also be prosperous.
And if the American colonies did try to revolt how could a bunch of unorganized colonies, not well developed or unified, beat the strongest nation at the time, this would only be committing suicide thousands of lives would be lost, as well as more taxes and stricter laws and regulations would be laid if the colonies were defeated. And what if by chance Americans did mange to defeat the British. What type of government will we have? Who would be running government? Who will be the head of government, who will be our figure?
As well that is why there were so may Moderates; reluctant revolutionaries did not like how Britain was treating them but they also feared independence, they envisioned internal chaos in the colonies without the stabilizing influence of British rule. They also doubted that whether a weak independent country could survive among aggressive European powers (Martin 111) Moderates feared the medicine was worse then the sickness. In a way so many people in the early 1770’s did not see a revolution for independence as the solution to their problems, they hoped that Britain would not be so tough on them and continue to be the way they used to be.
American colonists were divided in three when it came to favoring an American Revolution. There were the Radicals such as Thomas Paine and his Common Sense pamphlets that urged Americans to declare their independence, by fighting the King, and the Continent. (Paine 143) Then there were the Loyalist who remained loyal to the crown, who saw being faithful to the king and to Parliament as a civic duty, and opposed the revolution and braking away from the English Empire. Then the there were Moderates who like John Dickinson was not a radical, did not like how the British government was treating Americans but did not want a revolution, moderates some themselves as part of a whole, and thought that The parliament unquestionably possesses a legal authority to regulate the trade of Great Britain and all of her colonies.
Such as essential to the relation between a mother country and her colonies; and necessary for the common good of all (Dickinson 130) Radicals thought that America could had and would prosper without English rule, as Thomas Paine said America would have flourished as much and probably more had no European power taken notice of her (Paine 1440 Loyalist and moderates thought other wise; they believed they needed an alliance with Great Britain in ordered to prosper, and that they owed to the British for their present state of being, that their forefathers gloriously struggled to establish in which they were the noblest birthright and inheritance of all of Britains sons. (Loyal 136) Radicals had very strong views that called for change. While Loyalist and Moderates were much more conservative and would fight to be treated better
I personally believe that The American Revolution was more of a war for economical freedom then from political freedom. Since the begging of the colonization of North America by the English, the English had practiced Laiz Ifair policy were American practically had their own way, and elective democracy to pick their leaders, and did not impose harsh dictator rule. Also the lower House of Burgesses even if the elected representatives were rich they were still elected and gained power as time went along. When Parliament starting passing all these taxes, such as the stamp Act, the Tea Act, these acts wee passed to protect English economy, and in return these acts were postponing American prosperity, then American started to feel the pressure and the down sides of being part of the British Empire, then people started to protest and boycott, first for change of British policies towards American trade, later Americans or Americans to be saw that if they gained their economical independence, their economy might prosper.
For under British rule Colonist were not even allowed to have their own currency, or their own bank system, there were certain thing Americans could manufacture, and there were certain thing that Colonist could grow or what counties they could trade with. Colonist saw that Britain was holding them back, and was probably, was doing more damage then good to the colonies. When the American colonies were still young, taxes and tariffs were also imposed but were not felt as harsh as they did during the 1770s for early America was a country in its development if taxes were passed they were hard to enforce, and if they were enforced people were too poor to pay, but now in later colonial America that is more developed when taxes and tariffs are passed they are easier to enforce, and people start feeling the heaviness of British Rule.
Of course I am not say that political freedom did not play a vital role in claiming independence. In some way for every cause of the revolution there was a flip side that dealt with economical issues as well as with political, such as the Stamp Act, which was an English tax, and not American, also Colonist had no representation in England. I When Colonist were fed up of all these taxes, they thought it was time for a change.
There is talk claiming that this war, will be fought for independence of the colonies, as it is we have had so may problems and now this war, I personally wish all this would go away so we could keep living how it used to be, I am 19 and will most probably be recruited to fight in for the Continental Army, or in the Fifth Virginian Regiment. I dont want no war. I have some money from what I have earned with my pa, I was planning to buy myself a little piece of land around here and ask Mary Lou to marry me, to settle down and have kids and our own piece of land we can work, Alexandria Virginia, is a good place to live in, The land is good here, nice and healthy, this years harvest was good; me and pa work the land hard this year. I can see that next year will also bring a good harvest. Now this war comes along and destroys my hopes of own land and marring Marry Lou. I dont like what the British are doing, its Tax after tax we can barely make ends meet, but war is not the answer especially war for independence we relay on Britain.
Britain has protected our interest and us. How can we go up against our own mother that has nourished us since birth? We are part of a whole; we are part of the British Empire the mightiest Empire in the world, there is going to be a price to pay. We have to be loyal subjects of the English Crown, that is how its always been, and thats the way it should be. These radicals are crazy. I read Mr. Paines Common sense pamphlets on how England has been a tyrant, that we should declare our freedom, but how can a country of farmers and land workers beat England. Its not possible. The British will surely crush us, they are too powerful. I heard that General Washington, lost to General Howe, which we are out numbered and will surely be defeated. I dont want no war, Roy was just recruited to enlist, I know that next time it will be me and the chances dont look good for me returning. I wish these crazy radicals would stop this war, so we could return to how the way things were before.