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Who's Responsible? Essay

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JustJesy124's picture
Joined: Sep 2005
Who's Responsible? Essay

I have to write an essay on who is more responsible for the hostility right before the American Revolution,the American Colonies or the Brirish.I have some thoughts...Anyone here have any imput? :)

soozin's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

The Botson Massacre was reputedly started by the colonists but it was the British that imposed all the laws that made them want to seperate. What position do you take?

If you choose to sympathise with the British, which might be more difficult, your thesis could be about how the colonists didn't want to pay the taxes that everyone else in England had to pay and were roudy and disorganized hotheads, prone to unplanned, violent outbursts such as Bacon's War. After the 7 years war or the French-Indian war, the British needed money to pay for their expenditures in the colonies, so they imposed all their taxes. Afterwards, however, they still wanted the army to remain there to protect the colonies so they issued the Quartering Act (Colonists had to house/feed soldiers), to which the colonists protested heatedly.

If you choose to sympathize with the colonists, which it seems there is more evidence for, your thesis could be "No Taxation without Reprisentation", which was their primary complaint. The colonies weren't allowed any reprisentatives in Parliament, and though their presence wouldn't have mattered in parliamentary decisions it would at least have kept them happier with their taxes. The British laughed at this and said that they did have reprisentation--virtual reprisentation, saying "every member of parliament reprisenated all British subjects, even those Americans in Boston or Charleston who had never voted for a member of the london parliament" (The American Pageant 11e, page 127), meaning basically that Parliemant knew what was good for them.

--- Read page 122 about the Mercantile theory. This can be used both ways, both to justify the British heavy-handedness towards the beginning of the Revolutionary War and also to reason why the colonists felt rebellious and indignant.

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