Colonists had to fight in a war that did not benefit them. They were promised land out West, but then England made a treaty promising not to settle on Indian territory. This angered colonists because England took back their promise even though the colonists needed land to expand.
The Sugar Act of 1764 was put in place because the Molasses Act of 1733 was widely ignored. The Act set a tax rate so high it made trade unprofitable for colonists.
The Act was put in place to help pay for Britain's war expenses. The tax was put on all printed items. Colonists such as Benjamin Franklin began to want representation in Parliament once this Act was passed. This lead to the first of many boycotts on British goods.
The Townshend Act was put in place to pay for the salaries of royal governors, judges, and other imperial officers. Charles Townshend wanted the royal appointees to better enforce the laws and taxes on colonists. By raising their salaries, he hoped it would encourage them to enforce more laws.
The Boston Massacre
March 5, 1770
1200 to 2000 troops had been stationed in Boston. On the night of March 5, nine British redcoats fired into a crowd. They killed five innocent townspeople. The Whig party labeled the indecent as a "massacre" to rally colonists against British imperial power.
The East India Company was in financial trouble. This company was a royally chartered company. The Tea Act gave the company a boost in revenue, but in the process the company cancelled all tea exported to Ireland and the American colonies.
Boston Tea Party
The colonists protested against the outrageous tax acts on the tea. The patriots dressed as Mohawk Indians and dumped the tea into the harbor. The rioters who sought personal gain were punished.
The First Continental Congress
Patriot leaders from the twelve mainland colonies came together to try and create a new political system and try to limit British rule to just trade. Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania led this meeting. At first, they wanted a political system similar to the one proposed by Benjamin Franklin at the Albany Congress. The delegates quickly changed their mind and wanted limited British control.
The Second Continental Congress
The Congress was put together to create a Continental army. British troops had just attacked American fortifications on Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. The creation of the army led to the beginning of the American Revolution. John Adams nominated George Washington to lead this army.
Thomas Paine's: Common Sense
Paine wrote about the need for independence and a republican form of government. He bashed the traditional monarchy order. In about six months, Common Sense had reached hundreds of thousands of people. This rallied colonists to form their own form of government and break away from England.