Many colonists, in the soon to be United States, felt that the English government under which they lived was not fulfilling the needs of its citizens. The poor governing of the British parliament and king left the colonies in a position where seceding from great Britain was the most logical solution. Colonist is a term used loosely in reference to the revolution. The people responsible for the declaration of independence and other important revolutionary acts were not the average colonists, rather they were the rich and powerful land owners.
These men, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, were interested in making money and their only real barrier was England. Taxation without representation separated these men from their money and they felt that it was unfeasible to continue living under a government which such absolute power. England claimed that the colonies were virtually represented in parliament but the government in England was looking into the best interests of England and not the best interests of the colonies.
The forefathers of our great country were interested in forming a new government utilizing the ideas of the enlightenment period but they were also very interested in making money. England was making it increasingly difficult for these men to get richer. In 1765 a document called Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress was written. Within it the colonists pointed out several discrepancies in their governing powers, one of which was this excerpt. IX.
That the duties imposed by several late Acts of Parliament, from the peculiar circumstances of these colonies, will be extremely burdensome and grievous; and from the scarcity of specie, the payment of them absolutely impracticable. The powerful men of America certainly felt that they were not going to be able to make money, in fact from what they told the British government, they stood to lose money. They also felt that they might not only lose the ability to make money but also the ability to survive.
This next excerpt is from the 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up ArmsThe commercial intercourse of whole colonies, with foreign countries, and with each other, was cut off by an act of parliament; by another several of them were entirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their sustenance. When one thinks of revolution, one may conjure up images of angry citizens bearing arms with a mind set to gain political change.
The British were clearly inciting a revolution. The colonists felt that they were being greatly wronged by the English government. Not only were their goods being taxed, controlled and stolen but the people themselves were being generally oppressed. One of the basic rights that every Englishman had was the right to a free trial. This basic right was increasingly being encroached upon. The English were also introducing acts like the Quartering act in which the colonists were forced to feed and shelter British soldiers.
They were so incensed about his act that in our Constitution it very specifically says that no household will be forced to quarter soldiers. The colonists did not even have a say in what happened to them. They were not represented in parliament as said in this piece of the Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress. IV. That the people of these colonies are not, and from their local circumstances cannot be, represented in the House of Commons in Great-Britain. The colonists were enraged and when they wrote their, Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms and they let it be known.
Regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms. Yet, however blinded that assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimited domination, so to sight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause..
To the colonists it seemed that the the British government was looking out for itself and not its previously prosperous colonies. The colonists felt that England was not only more interested in being wealthy than the welfare of its people but also selectively ignorant of the peoples complaints. The legislature of Great-Britain, however, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and disparate of success in any mode of contest.
The Declarations of Causes and Necessity to Take up Arms, while stating the need to defend its self from continental threats, namely the Indians and French, it more specifically the English. Why would a countrys own people need to defend themselves against their government if that said government werent out for money? One might claim that the revolution was not inevitable but that a compromise could have been found. The main compromises would have been English. The parliament could have granted representation but not only was the parliament unwilling to do this but the colonists felt that it was impossible.
The British could have pulled troops out of control positions in the colonies but they would be unable to control a far away population previously angered by non-representa- tion and violations of basic rights. The English could have stopped taxes but they would reman in debt from the French and Indian war. So if the the taxes and restrictions were to remain in place ,which most did, the easiest way for colonists to begin profiting again would be to declare their independence.