Who Can Claim Revolution

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Paige Powell

Hist 1700

Who Can Claim Revolution

The American Revolutionary War was preventable. However, once events passed a certain point there was no return from what had been started. Were taxation not the issue, eventually something else would have resulted in the want of freedom by the colonists from a foreign government expressing itself in a similar fashion. It would appear the motivating factor in all of the actions that resulted in the American Revolutionary War was greed on the part of the British. Greed led to the alienation of the Delaware tribes, and the Native Americans siding with the French against the British. Greed motivated the Royal Governor and other leadership handpicked by Britain to charge increasing taxes, creating a perceived strained environment and the appearance of a lack of proper representation for the American colonists. When talks began between the American leaders and the British, greed was also apparent in the dismissal of their concerns and refusal to acknowledge their rights to representation. This eventually lead to the events at Lexington and Concord and the start of the American Revolutionary War.

In the mid 1700’s the British began showing their greedy nature by overreaching and creating enemies of the native peoples as well as the French. “Does not the law of Nations permit, or rather Command us all, to stand upon our guard, in order to preserve our lives, the lives of our Wives and Children, our Property and Liberty?” “Delaware Indians on Alliance with French: Speech by Ackowanothie” 1.


Chief Ackowanothie, “Delaware Indians on Alliance with French,” Chapter 4

This suggests that the Delaware Indians were fighting to protect themselves, not trying to aggress into the British or French.Rather than fighting, they would want to possess their own land and leave the British alone.

It was more than an isolated incident, as can be taken from the information disclosed by Shingas. “...To which Braddock replied that the English Should Inhabit & Inherit the Land, on which Shingas asked General Braddock whether the Indians that were Friends to the English might not be Permitted to Live and Trade Among the English and have Hunting Ground sufficient to Support themselves and Families as they had nowhere to Flee Too But into the Hands of the French and their Indians who were their Enemies (that is Shingas' Enemies). On which General Braddock said that No Savage Should Inherit the Land” “Delaware Indians on Alliance with French” 2.

These excerpts from the meetings between Shingas and Braddock show that the British refused to cede any land to the Indians.This results in the British alienating themselves from any potential allies and making it so the Indians have to ally with the French.

A decade later, when the Royal Governor, under command from the British government, issued the Stamp Act, the colonists felt that it was for the sole purpose of making money. The Americans felt this would set a precedent for even more taxation without consent from the colonial assemblies, which they could not abide by. They started protesting in any way they could, feeling that they should have the same inherent rights that all English citizens possess.


Chief Shingas, “Delaware Indians on Alliance with French,” Chapter 4

The actions from the House of Burgesses resulted in the American people realizing they had the ability to contest the Acts that they felt were unfairly passed. The final resolution of the Virginia Resolves stated “...the general assembly of the colony, together with his majesty or his substitute have in their representative capacity the only exclusive right and power to levy taxes and impositions on the inhabitants of this colony and that every attempt to vest such a power in any person or persons whatsoever other than the general assembly aforesaid is illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust, and has a manifest tendency to destroy British, as well as American freedom.” “Patrick Henry, the Virginia Resolves” 3. The Virginia Resolves make the point that all American colonists are protected under the royal charters presented to the colonists by the then king to hold all rights in common with the British, including representation. The House of Burgesses decided that it was time to take a stand and hold out their rights, that to them were plain as day. They had royal charters stating that they had the same rights and deserved the same representation as citizens in Britain.

“Revolutions do not simply happen. They need organizers and leaders. Beginning in 1765, colonial leaders developed a variety of organizations for converting popular discontent into direct action - organizations that in time formed the basis for an independent government.The passage of authority from the royal government to the colonists themselves began on the local level, where the tradition of autonomy was already strong. In colony after colony, local institutions responded to the resistance movement by simply seizing authority on their own.” “Sons of Liberty, A Public Execution of the Sons of Liberty” 4.


Patrick Henry, “Patrick Henry, The Virginia Resolves,” Chapter 4


Sons of Liberty Handbill, “Sons of Liberty, A Public Execution of the Sons of Liberty,” Chapter 4

This clearly shows the evidence that the colonists were ready to take control on their own. Due to the actions of the British occupation to enforce the tax laws, the colonists felt like all of their freedom was being taken away. So they seized the opportunity after the example of the House of Burgesses showed that you can stand up to the unfair tax laws. Local assemblies began to take power back from the Royal Governor and spread the message. This resulted in a large scale spread of the message of freedom from tyranny.

Eventually, after exhausting all options, the colonists felt that the only way in which they would be able to obtain proper representation for their interests would be to fight the British occupation. The Boston Massacre provided the American colonists and leaders a reason to forcefully begin rebelling. After John Hancock’s oration on the third anniversary, it was very clear the American leaders were beginning the final stages of the revolution. By planting the idea of establishing local militia to prevent any kind even like this from happening again, American leaders insured that they would have a fighting force of people who were fighting for their livelihood, community, and families. He posed the question, “Is the present system, which the British administration have adopted for the government of the Colonies, a righteous government, or is it tyranny?” This brought to the forefront the truth of how the Americans felt about the situation. After years of issues with the British occupation, they were finally ready to stand up for their rights.

The British let their greedy nature govern all of their actions leading to the American Revolutionary War. By isolating themselves from any potential allies with their disputes with the Native Americans, they made sure no additional help would be provided by any other sources. They then over reached what their governing powers were, resulting in the public starting protesting it however they could. Due to the lack of preparation and communication, the British troops overreacted and the Boston Massacre occurred. This backed the colonists into a corner with two options, either give up hoping for representation, or fight for the rights they felt they deserved. The American Revolutionary War was inevitable, in a large part thanks to the greedy nature of the British.

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