The American Revolution was a complex series of events that took place between 1765 and 1783. Often simplified as a ragtag group of Colonists standing up to an unfair monarchy, the revolution was so much more than that. It changed the course of history. To learn more about this important period in American history, check out these amazing facts about the American Revolution.
1) The Colonists didn’t like the Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was the first attempt by the British to tax their American colony. Before the colonies were settled, Britain and France fought the Seven Year’s War (1756 – 1763) to control North America. Britain emerged victorious and was granted the territory of the American colonies to settle and make their new home.
But the British were in debt from the war and needed to pay off their debt. The easiest way to do that was through taxes, and the easiest people to tax were their American colonies. The Colonists didn’t like the Stamp Act for a couple of reasons. First, they thought it was unfair for the British to tax them because they weren’t representatives in Parliament.
Second, the Stamp Act taxed just about everything, including newspapers and playing cards. The Colonists argued that these items were essential to their livelihood, so no one should be taxed on them.
2) There was a tax on everything
The British figured that since they were the American government, they could tax anything they wanted. So they did. The first tax they imposed was on tea. Since tea was a luxury item that most people drank, they thought it was a good item to tax.
To place the tax on tea, the British set up a government-run company that imported tea. The company then sold the tea to shops and people. The problem was that they charged almost double the market price. The British thought that the extra cost would make people drink less tea and that the Exchequer would make a boatload of money.
But the colonists did not like this tax, as it was an indirect tax that they couldn’t avoid. Americans didn’t like the idea of a company having a monopoly on their tea, so many either smuggled tea from the British East India Company or stopped drinking tea altogether.
3) The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
After the Colonists had had enough of the British government, they took action. One of the most famous actions that took place in Massachusetts was known as the Boston Tea Party. While this is a very American Revolution-sounding name, the event was a bit messy.
To protest the British tax on tea, a group of colonists dressed up as Native Americans and boarded British ships to throw all the tea overboard. This was seen as a very provocative act, as it was an attack on British trade.
When the British East India Company suffered financial losses, they sent a demand to the Massachusetts government demanding payment for the tea they lost. The government refused the demand and called it “unconstitutional” and “parliamentary tyranny.”
4) Americans celebrated Independence Day in 1776
In 1776, the Second Continental Congress was formed in Philadelphia and declared that the American Colonies were independent of Britain. However, the official declaration of independence didn’t happen until July 4.
Why did it take over 6 months for the Declaration of Independence to be written and signed? Because the colonists wanted to declare independence at the right time. If they did it too early, Britain might have ignored the declaration. If they did it too late, they would be forced to accept peace terms from the British. So they waited.
5) The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
The document we refer to as the Declaration of Independence is a very important part of American history. It was the official and final statement that marked the colonists’ departure from Britain.
But who wrote it? The declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson, with a little help from John Adams. Jefferson was the main writer, but he was also responsible for the articles about the king’s tyranny. Adams wrote about the rights of the people, which was a long list.