Economic Causes of The American Revolution

Britain’s economic faults had also become a major cause of the American Revolution.

Primarily, there are two core economic causes that we can easily observe for the American Revolution.

They are mainly:

  • Mercantilism Policies of The British Parliament.
  • The Imposition of Excessive Fee And Strict Restriction Acts (Years: 1765, 1767, 1773, 1774). 

So, let’s try to dig a little deeper into these two causes.

Economic Causes of The American Revolution

Mercantilism Policies From The British Parliament

So, the question is, what is Mercantilism?

Simply, Mercantilism is a policy, through which a country tries to protect its own businesses from the competition with other countries.

This policy encourages maximizing export and minimizing imports.

During the colonial era, countries like France, Great Britain implemented it using their political authority.

So, now let’s come back to our own topic.

Far around hundred years before the rebellion began, in the years 1651, 1660, and 1663 the English parliament passed some acts, popular as the ‘Navigation Acts’ in history.

As per those acts, only British ships were allowed to bring goods to the 13 colonies of America.

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Again, those acts decided that if an American wants to do business with any other country, it would only be done through Britain.

The trades were mainly of Sugar, Cotton, Indigo, Tobacco, Wood, Rice, Silk, Lumber, Nuts, etc.

Even, the acts restricted direct trade between one colony with another colony.

Though, colonists were now able to understand that they could do trade between themselves; but they were not allowed to do that directly.

Due to all these obstacles of the British parliament, colonists started feeling that if they had to make economic progress; they would have to be free from the clutches of the Britishers.

However, it took a hundred-year long time from the mid of the 17th century to transform their feelings into reality.

Economic Causes of The American Revolution

Excessive Fee Increases And Strict Restrictions (1765, 1767, 1773, 1774)

Though, the British Parliament passed too many acts for benefiting their Empire; but still, those acts were not being followed properly.

That’s why many American merchants were still able to easily smuggle goods directly to the other colonies and other countries.

Simply, they didn’t pay any taxes to the British government, for the trade.

This all was going in the same way for around 100 years.

But from the year 1756 to 1763, England fought a major war against the Empire of France.

This was none other, but the Seven Years’ War, where Britain got a massive victory.

But, the War almost broke down the spine of their economy and it started creating some economic issues for the Empire.

To solve that, now they want money.

Therefore, to gain that money, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765.

Through this act, they unfairly increased the taxes in the American colonies and made rules stricter via the old navigation acts of the 17th century.

After this, in the following years, they also passed many other acts for increasing their revenue.

Those were such as the Townshend Acts (1767), the Tea Act (1773), etc.

These decisions of the British parliament increased anger among the American colonists.

Finally, after some other major events, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the imposition of the 5 Intolerable Acts, it inspired them to choose the path of Revolution.

So, this was how the economic causes above, lead the 13 colonies to the path of the American Revolution.

Was The American Revolution An Economic Revolution
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Was The American Revolution An Economic Revolution? 

Of course, it was a revolution and it must have a wider impact on each side of society.

The American Revolution was not only an economic revolution but also it had a wider impact on America’s polity, culture, and social life.

Here are some major changes that came in the American society after the revolution:

  • Economic change: It ended the British Mercantilism system from all the 13 colonies.
  • Political change: Politically it ended the rule of Great Britain from the 13 colonies and formed a new nation, name the United States of America.
  • Socio-Cultural change: American society became more liberal and equal for all kinds of people (including various language speaking people, various religious belief followers). However, the nation took 100 years more to end slavery.


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