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Alyssa Signs

Mr. Smith
AP US History 1- Per. 7
December 28, 2013
The conflict between Great Britain and her North American colonies was rooted in
economics, and political and social controversies and differences. It wasnt just one problem that
lead to the rebellion of the colonists. Many factors contributed to the colonists anger and
resentment. As Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, When, in the course
of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have
connected them with one another, and to assume, among the powers of earth, the separate and
equal station to which the laws of nature and of natures God entitle the,. a decent respect to the
opinion of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the
Documents A, B, E, and D can be grouped together, as they all have to do with the
economics between Britain and the colonies. Writs of assistance proved became a useful tool in
the battle against smuggling. Shortly after the writs of assistance began, Boston merchants, the
group primarily responsible for smuggling in the colonies, hired lawyer James Otis to challenge
the legality of the writs before the Massachusetts supreme court, which he did in 1761. Otis
argued that the writs were "against the fundamental principles of law." (Document A)
In March of 1765, Britain issued the Stamp Act. Grenville hoped to raise revenues, in
order to support their military forces. One of few infamous acts passed by Britain, the colonists
were very angry, as it appeared Grenville was taking their local liberties away from them. A
rebellion group was formed, the Sons and Daughter of Liberty. They held a Stamp Act Congress
in New York City, representing nine colonies, demanding Parliament repeal the notorious Stamp
Act. That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of
Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally by
their representatives. This document also refers to the subject of virtual representation, thought
of by the British. Grenville claimed that every member of Parliament represented all British
subjects, even those in Boston or Charleston who had never voted for a member of Parliament.
(Document B)
After becoming known for his inventions, such as the bifocal lenses, Benjamin Franklin
became an influential politician during the colonial period. In an interview with Franklin, in July
1766, he discusses economic issues between Britain and the colonists. The colonies are
generally restricted in all their foreign trade, and even more in their shipping in all sorts of
waysIn general, no foreign nation is permitted to go to the colonies to buy products and carry
them away, much less to send their own goods over; both export and import remain a privilege
for British subjects or especially for inhabitants of England. From Benjamin Franklins point of
view, he was expressing strong, independent interests. (Document D)
In Letters from an American Farmer, John Dickinson is angry by the taxes being
imposed by Britain. If Great-Britain can order us to come to her for necessaries we want, and
can order us to pay what taxes she pleases before we take them away, or when we land them
here, we are as abject as France and Poland. (Document E)
Document C shows social aspects of the conflict, giving examples of the members of the
Sons of Liberty. In this document, a list of the members of the Sons of Liberty shows the variety
of middle class workers, and professionals. Americans were uniting against the British, coming
together with a common cause. Christopher Gadsen was a merchant, Alexander Alexander was
a schoolmaster, and Edward Weyman was the clerk of St. Philips Church. (Document C)
Documents F, G, and I all provide evidence of the political conflicts between Britain and
the colonies. In the Declaration of Rights, Samuel Adams explains the given rights the
colonists have. Adams declares, ...there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of
God to all Christians, except Papists. He also explains that every person born in the British
American colonies are ...well-entitled to all the natural, essential, inherent, and inseparable
rights, liberties, and privileges of subjects born in Great Britain. (Document F)
The Declaration of Colonial Rights and Grievances, expands upon the colonists rights.
They are entitled to life, liberty, and property...keeping a standing army in these colonies in
time of peace, without the consent of the legislature of that colony, in which the army is kept is
against the law...they have a right peaceably to assemble, consider their grievances, and petition
the king; and that all prosecutions, prohibitory proclamations and commitments for the same are
illegal. (Document G)
In the Proceedings in the Convention of Virginia Relating to the Proclamation of Lord
Dunmore, Lord Dunmore (governor of Virginia) offered freedom to the servants and slaves of
those he is pleased to term rebels, arming them against their masters, and destroying the peace
and happiness of His majestys good and faithful whose property is rendered insecure and whose
lives are exposed to the dangers of a general insurrection (Document I) The illustration,
America in Flames, depicts the conflict taking place in the colonies as the struggle for
independence intensified between Britain and the colonies. (Document H)
In the economic aspect of the conflict between Britain and the colonies, mercantilism
played a major role in the colonists rebellion. Mercantilists thought that wealth was power and
that a countrys economic wealth should be measured by the amount of gold it possessed.
Parliament passed several laws, all revolving around the mercantilist system. George Grenville
first gained the colonists attention when he ordered the British navy to strictly enforce the
Navigation Laws. The Sugar Act of 1764 increased the duty on sugar imported from the West
Indies. Then, Grenville increased the colonists resentment when he passed the Quartering Act of
1765, which required the colonists to provide food for the British soldiers, and a place to stay. In
the same year, the Stamp Act was passed to raise revenues for the British military. The colonists
werent angry simply because of the taxes, they felt that their liberties shouldnt be take away
from them, they believed it was their right. They fought back with the phrase, no taxation
without representation. Increasing the colonists spark of rebellion, Charles Townshend passed
the Townshend Acts. The most notorious was a light import duty on glass, white lead, paper, and
tea. Later, in 1774, the Intolerable Acts were passed, known as the massacre of American
liberty by the colonists.
Although there were political and social controversies that angered the colonists, the
conflict was rooted in economics. No taxation without representation became the principal
reason for resentment. There were political and social issues, such as the colonists rights and
freedoms, however, economics played a more crucial role. All the acts passed by the British in
the late eighteenth century ignored the colonists demand. They didnt believe an act should be
passed regarding their taxes, unless they were represented in Parliament. In conclusion, the
conflict between Britain and the colonies was economic in origin, rather than rooted in social and
political controversies.