Mr. Kaufman U.S. History Chapter 3 American Revolution There were numerous factors that eventually led to the American Revolution. Some of the factors that ultimately led to the colonies' revolt against their mother country England were: the evolving independence of America as a result of England's neglect, America's desire to expand trade and England's attempt to limit it, America's subsequent defiance of England's regulations, and America's geographical distance from England. By the middle of the 1700's, America's population had drastically increased. The population grew at a staggering pace. There was a very high birthrate and an influx of new immigrants. These young colonists had been born and raised on American soil.
Their ties to England were linked only through their heritage. They had no direct loyalty to England. Furthermore, these new immigrants were from all over the world. They emigrated from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Finland. These people had an even lesser connection to England. In 1689, William of Orange introduced England into the battle against France.
England was consequently engulfed in war for roughly seventy years. Meanwhile America had begun to prosper independently. There was no "mother country" to regulate what was done in the colonies. For many years England simply neglected its colonies in America.
This freedom from England allowed the colonists to evolve into a self-governing people, rather than a branch of the English Empire. American society prospered tremendously during England's period of neglect. The colonists set up many colleges, produced newspapers, and fashioned a well-rounded society. America began growing into an independent country. Along with its culture, America's economy also experienced incredible prosperity. In the colonies of Virginia and Carolina the tobacco industry flourished.
They engaged in trade with England for desired manufactured goods. The New England colonies on the other hand, did not have fertile farmlands. However, they improvised and soon discovered the plentiful seafood along the coast. These colonies soon began harvesting and processing these varieties of seafood, and began a lucrative trade with Europe. Also, as a result of the booming fishing industry, the New Englanders were in need of fishing boats. This demand produced a viable boat-building industry in New England.
Finally, as the war between England and France was drawing to a close, England began to take notice of their long-neglected colonies in America. They realized the colonies' incredible prosperity and saw it fit that they should profit from it. England thus enacted the policy of mercantilism. The underpinning of this policy was that prosperity in England was of the utmost importance, and that the colonies were no more than a medium for England to further its own economy. Furthermore, the colonists would not be allowed to manufacture any product that was competitive with a product of England.
One example of England's mercantilism policy was an attempt to limit the colonies' trade with other countries known as the Navigation Acts. These Acts restricted the colonists in the types of goods they could produce, the ships they were allowed to use, and where they could sell their goods. The general policy that England took regarding colonial trade can easily be summed up as 'trade with England or not at all" (56). All goods had to be obtained from England, and all exports from America had to be sold to England.
These many restrictive policies that England placed on the colonies led to an American resistance. The colonists were not quick to accept these restraining enactments after all their independence and prosperity. They defied Britain's regulations through smuggling. The colonists continued their profitable trading with other countries.
England's laws did not stop them. A prime example of the colonies disobedience is the Massachusetts Bay colony. They were in the aggregate more rebellious than any other colony. They entirely ignored the Navigation Acts, they introduced their own brand of money, they omitted the king's name from all legal documents, and they banned members of the Church of England. The vast distance between America and England hindered England's attempts to govern its colonies. England is separated from America by the Atlantic Ocean.
Therefore, since the only mode of travel was by sea, communication between the two countries was incredibly slow. This made it nearly impossible for England to effectively send information or receive reports from America. Due to its seclusion, America was forced to become independent from England, thereby creating its own laws, government, and culture. America becoming independent of England due to England's neglect of the colonies, the colonists strong desire for the ability to trade freely and England's attempts to tap into America's prosperity, America's rebellion against the sanctions imposed on it by England, and the geographical lay out of America and England were all factors that ultimately led up to the American revolution.