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Reasons for the defeat of Britain in the Revolutionary War

The causes for the defeat of Britain in the American Revolution had a long history.
The British Parliament had passed the Navigation Acts in the 17th century to control the activities of Dutch and prevent from making profits. The theory behind the act was mercantilism. The Act stipulated that only the British ships were permitted to export and import goods in the colonies. Some commodities such as sugar, tobacco, and Cotton wool were to be exported only to Britain. The colonists opposed these laws and began to smuggle goods. The colonists began to trade goods with non-British colonies in the Caribbean. The Navigational Acts were withdrawn in 1849 and the British had to follow the policy of free trade.

Sugar Act or the Revenue Act of 1764 was the first tax imposed by the British government over the American colonies. It was an extension of 1733 Molasses Act. The act was passed at the instigation of the West Indies, a major trading partner of Great Britain. Protest came from colonies especially from Virginia. The protests reached its full momentum with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765.

The Seven Years War, created a huge debt for the British treasury of about 150 million British pounds. Eventhough, the British parliament had to bear a major share of the expenses to keep the colonial empire, the Greenville ministry decided to extract some money from the colonies by the way of Stamp Act. The internal taxes until that time had arisen only from the colonial assemblies. Along with the Stamp Act, the parliament passed the Mutiny Act, which required the colonials to quarter the soldiers. The legislation of the British parliament backfired. All sections of the people in the colonies were affected by the Stamp Act. The colonists raised the slogan, "No taxation without representation." The Virginia Resolutions claimed that only the colonial legislatures had the right to impose an internal tax and not the British parliament. They found their support from the political writings of the philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, John Milton and John Locke who believed in the theory of the consensual government. In 1765, the representatives of the nine colonies met at Newyork at the Stamp Act congress and petitioned King George III and the parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. The British parliament responded by repealing the Stamp Act and passed the Declaratory Act to show their resolve to tax the colonies whenever it was necessary. Thus the colonies were able to resist the British from getting money from the colonies.

Sons of Liberty played great role in forming the public opinion against the British. When the Stamp Act was passed, a patriot organization known as the Sons of Liberty were formed. The Liberty boys met in each town under a Liberty tree and burnt the effigies of British officials. Sons of Liberty threatened the royal officials and committed excesses against the colonial governor. They were responsible for the Boston Tea party. Thus the secret organizations were able to undermine the British economy in the colonies.

Another important aspect that triggered the colonial agitation was when the Quartering Act was passed on June 2, 1765. Quartering Act was an indirect tax on the colonies for protection from the French. The provinces were liable to pay the bills that the regulars incurred in the colonies. The colonists did not consider French as a threat and opposed it. Violence broke out in colonies over the issue and many provinces implemented the provisions of the Quartering Act only for name sake.

Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer imposed an external tax on the colonies in 1767 known as the Townshend duties. The intention of the tax was to find revenues for the salaries of the royal officials in the colonies. The colonists who were already encouraged by the success in the Stamp Act had presented a thunderous opposition. Non-importation agreements were strengthened. Tensions in Massachusetts led to the Boston Massacre. The British Parliament acceded to the protests of the British manufacturers who lost terribly due to decline in colonial trade and growth of American industry. Townshend duties were repealed in 1770 except that of tea.

In 1773, the parliament passed the Tea Act to save financially troubled East India Company. The company had a collection of unsold tea of 18 million pounds. The Act was not aimed to raise any revenue from the colonies, but the colonies feared that it was a step to monopolize the tea trade. The radicals in America believed that the cheaper tea was aimed to get the public support to the taxes already in force. The colonists turned the British goods back from their ports. The unpopular Tea Act resulted in the Boston Tea party and the British did not get the desired result
The Committee of Correspondence was an idea developed by Samuel Adams. The first formal Committee of Correspondence was established in Boston in 1764. It was aimed to against the Currency Act and other British policies. These committees exchanged ideas to oppose to the British crown. The committee was responsible for convening the First Continental congress. The committees did a great job of uniting the colonists, informing the new the developments, and help raise opposition against the actions of British crown.

An important step in the American Revolution was taken in the First Continental congress. Until then, the colonists opposed the measures of Britain, but now they decided to start an open rebellion against Britain. They claimed that the actions of Britain had violated their natural rights and the principles of English constitution.
The defeat of Britain was also due to the role of the philosophers. One such philosopher was Thomas Paine. He published a document called Common Sense in 1776. He advocated that the colonial relations with Britain were harmful and it was high time to end it. He called upon the colonists to fight for their complete independence from Britain. His philosophy was based on the natural right philosophy of John Locke.
Thus we can see that the efforts of Britain to prosper economically was thwarted by the colonists and ultimately led to their downfall.

Solution Preview

The causes for the defeat of Britain in the American Revolution had a long history.
The British Parliament had passed the Navigation Acts in the 17th century to control the activities of Dutch and prevent from making profits. The theory behind the act was mercantilism. The Act stipulated that only the British ships were permitted to export and import goods in the colonies. Some commodities such as sugar, tobacco, and Cotton wool were to be exported only to Britain. The colonists opposed these laws and began to smuggle goods. The colonists began to trade goods with non-British colonies in the Caribbean. The Navigational Acts were withdrawn in 1849 and the British had to follow the policy of free trade.

Sugar Act or the Revenue Act of 1764 was the first tax imposed by the British government over the American colonies. It was an extension of 1733 Molasses Act. The act was passed at the instigation of the West Indies, a major trading partner of Great Britain. Protest came from colonies especially from Virginia. The protests reached its full momentum with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765.

The Seven Years War, created a huge debt for the British treasury of about 150 million British pounds. Eventhough, the British parliament had to bear a major share of the expenses to keep the colonial empire, the Greenville ministry decided to extract some money from the colonies by the way of Stamp Act. The internal taxes until that time had arisen only from the colonial assemblies. Along with the Stamp Act, the parliament passed ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes about the ten reasons for the defeat of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. It explains how the colonists were able to prevent the British from tightening its control, extract money and resources from them.

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