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What caused the American Revolution?

2 min readdecember 17, 2021

Sander Owens

Sander Owens


AP US History 🇺🇸

454 resources
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When considering the causes of the American Revolution, we often think back to what we learned in very early history classes. For many of us, that is about all of those acts, especially taxing tea, because everyone knows the British colonists love their tea! ☕ The actual causes were much more complicated than that.

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The Causes In More Detail

By the mid-eighteenth century (1700s), there had been English settlers on the East Coast for about 150 years. They were beginning to diverge culturally from the British Isles, especially in places further from the population centers in New England. This, coupled with the differing lifestyle, meant that the colonists began to feel less connected with England.
New philosophical ideas by revolutionary thinkers of the Enlightenment gave the colonists new ideas about government. The Enlightenment was a new school of thought developed by philosophers and scientists such as John Locke, who formed new ideas about government by the people (democracy). 📚
And thirdly, those taxes! After the Seven Years War, England was broke and needed money. In order to cover the cost, the country decided to tax the colonies. However, the colonists had no representation in Parliament, the body responsible for creating these taxes. Hence, the issue largely stemmed from England wanting more control over the colonists and their trade with other nations. England's desire for colonial control over their economic livelihood eventually led to dissension that led to events such as the Boston Tea Party and Massacre. 💰
Now, this may seem a little confusing, since I haven't even mentioned the actual events of the Revolutionary War that began with the famous "Shot Heard Round the World" and ended with the 1783 Treaty of Paris. This is because the American Revolution is typically used to refer to the new ideas and changes that led to the Revolutionary War. 🇺🇸
Hopefully, the information above has cleared up some of your confusion about this pivotal conflict!
If you still want more information, watch this 🎥 American Revolution Q and A video, to find all your answers.

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