Economic Causes of The American Revolution
British parliament’s economic faults also fueled the American Revolution.
Primarily, there are two core economic causes that we can easily observe for the major event.
1. First Cause: Mercantilism Policies of The British Parliament. These Policies Negatively Influenced Colonies’ Businesses But Highly Benefited British Businesses.
2. Second Cause: The Imposition of Excessive Fee And Strict Restriction Acts (Passing years: 1764, 1765, 1767, 1773, 1774). Especially, The Sugar Act (1764), The Stamp Act (1765), & Tea Act (1773) Were The Three Major Among All.
Now, let’s try to dig a little deep into these two causes, step by step.
2 Prime Economic Causes of The American Revolution
1. Mercantilism Policies of The British Parliament
So, the question is, what is Mercantilism?
Simply Mercantilism is a policy through which a country tries to protect its businesses from competition with other countries businesses.
This policy encourages maximizing export and minimizing imports. During the colonial era, imperialist nations like France, Great Britain, Portugal, Germany, and Spain implemented it using their political authority.
So, now let’s come back to our main topic.
Far around a hundred years before the rebellion began, in 1651, 1660, and 1663 the English parliament passed some acts, known as the ‘Navigation Acts’ in history.
As per those acts, only British ships were allowed to bring goods to the 13 colonies.
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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.
The acts even restricted direct trade between one colony with another colony. However, colonists were now able to understand that they can secretly trade among themselves, although they were not allowed to do that directly.
Because of 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.
2. Excessive Fee And Strict Restrictions Acts (1765, 1767, 1773, 1774)
Although the British parliament passed many acts to benefit their Empire; in reality, those acts were not being followed properly.
That’s why many American merchants were still smuggling goods directly to the other colonies and other countries.
Simply, for the trade, they didn’t pay any taxes to the British government. This all was going on, the same way for around 100 years.
But from the year 1756 to 1763, Britain fought a major war against the Empire of France.
This was none other, but the Seven Years’ War, where Britain gained a massive victory.
However, the War almost broke down the spine of the English economy, which later started creating some economic issues for the nation.
To solve that, now they needed money.
Therefore, to gain that money, the British parliament passed some taxation acts in the 13 colonies. One of those acts was the Stamp Act, passed on March 22nd, 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 revenue. Those acts were 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, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the imposition of the 5 Intolerable Acts, this economic cause led them to choose the path of rebellion.
Was The American Revolution An Economic Revolution?
Of course, a revolution must have a wide-ranging impact on each side of society.
The American Revolution had not only an economic but also a wider impact on America’s polity, culture, and social life.
Here are some major changes that came in American society after the revolution:
1. Economic change: It ended the British Mercantilism policies in all 13 North American colonies.
2. Political change: Politically, it ended the rule of Great Britain from the 13 colonies and formed a new nation. They named it the United States of America.
3. Socio-Cultural change: American society became more liberal and equal for all people (including various language-speaking people, and various religious belief followers). However, the nation took 100 years more to abolish slavery.