What were the causes of the american revolution essay

what were the causes of the american revolution essay
causes of American revolution essay

As a history student, you’ll often be required to write ‘what were the causes of the american revolution essay.’ The American Revolution was a political upheaval in the late 18th century in which the thirteen colonies broke away from British rule to form the United States of America. It lasted from 1775 to 1783 and was marked by military conflict, including the Continental Army led by George Washington, fighting against the British Army. Enlightenment ideas about government and the rights of citizens also influenced the revolution. The conflict ended with the recognition of American independence by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Below is a sample essay about the causes of the American revolution.

What were the causes of the american revolution essay


The American Revolution, or The Revolutionary War of 1774-1783, arose from the rapidly growing tension between Great Britain’s residents from the 13 American colonies and the colonial government, representing the British crown. Scuffles between the colonial militiamen in Lexington and the British troops and Concord kicked off the armed conflict in 1775. Rebels waged a full-scale war by the following summer for their independence. France’s entry into the American Revolution in 1778 on the colonists’ side turned what was initially believed to be a civil war into an international conflict. Consequently, the French’s assistance led to the winning of the war by the Americans by forcing the British to surrender in Virginia and Yorktown in 1781, though fighting didn’t end until the year 1783. The road leading to this historic Revolution didn’t just happen overnight; it took many events that happened over a significant period to push the colonists to a point where the only way to get their independence was through a fight. Some of these events are the believed causes of the American Revolution. The March 1765 Stamp Act, The Boston Massacre of March 1770, The Boston Tea Party of 1773, Lexington and Concord of 1775, and the March-June 1774 Coercive Acts are some of the events that triggered the American Revolution. 

The March 1765 Stamp Act

Firstly, the British Parliament passed the “Stamp Act” on March 22nd, 1765, to fund the British troops based at the colonies during the seven years of war. The act required tax paid by each colonist, represented by a stamp on different paper forms, playing cards, and documents[1]. It is believed that the stamp act taxed in the colonies a wide range of transactions which angered them. Before that, each colony had its government decide which tax would be collected and why. Although the British felt that they spent a lot of treasures and blood to protect the colonists from Indians and that the colonists should pay their share, the colonists didn’t see it that way. This, therefore, created conflict and became one of the causes of the American Revolution. 

the causes of the american revolution essay
American revolution essay

The Boston Massacre of March 1770

Secondly, British soldiers’ killing of five colonists on March 5th, 1770, in the city’s streets reflected the rapidly building tension between Great Britain and its colonists in America. In the article, “Influence of the Clergy, and of Religious and Sectarian Forces, on the American Revolution,” Van Tyne accounts how seething tension between Boston residents and the British occupiers boiled on the afternoon of March 5th[2]. According to him, approximately 200 colonists surrounded eight British soldiers while throwing different things at them. This made the soldiers lose their cool and started shooting at the crowd killing five people and injuring others. It is believed that this Boston Massacre later became a handy propaganda tool for the colonists to sell their hatred to the British, especially after an engraving aimed at misleading individuals into depicting the British soldiers as Paul Revere distributed the aggressors[3]. Therefore, the Boston massacre plaid a significant role in leading the colonists towards the American Revolution. 

The Boston Tea Party of 1773

Thirdly, the Boston Tea Party in Boston Harbor in 1773 also played a significant role in fueling the already existing tension between the colonists and Great Britain. The British enacted a new law in 1773 called the Tea Act that extended favorable treatment under tax laws to the British East India Company[4]. With the new action place, the company could sell tea, leaving the Merchants from America who imported tea from the Dutch feeling weakened. Because of this, the angered Americans dumped shiploads of tea into the water while protecting the British’s new tax law on tea. The growing tension that resulted from this event led to the famous revolutionary war, which led to America winning its independence from the Great British. For that reason, it’s easier to conclude that the Boston Tea Party played an essential role in fueling the tension that had already begun between the colonists and Britain and led to the beginning of the American Revolution. 

The March-June 1774 Coercive Acts

Fourthly, another major cause of the American Revolution was the Coercive Act of 1774, which was meant to punish colonists from Massachusetts for their defiance in the Tea Party protest. This act was meant to make an example of the colonies the Tea Party protest[5]. The British didn’t know that their action would make things worse and lead to an outbreak of the American Revolution. The Parliament passed a series of laws, closed the Harbor until they were paid for the damages caused by the colonists, replaced the colonist’s elected council with British appointed ones, forbade town meetings without approval, and gave sweeping powers to the British military. This action by the British angered the colonists even more and forced them to fight for their freedom and independence. Furthermore, they passed the Acts in Parliament assuming that both the Lords’ and the common’s interests were taken care of while in reality, only the Lords’ interests were taken care of. The war, therefore, was inevitable tension was already too high between the colonies and the British.

Lexington and Concord of 1775

Lastly is the Lexington and Concord event of 1775, where the British and the American soldiers fiercely exchanged fire, which marked the beginning of the Revolution. At the North of Concord Bridge, just after the British and American soldiers’ firefight, the British soldiers were confronted again by approximately 400 armed colonists forcing them to match back to Boston with American soldiers shooting at them General Thomas Gage of British led an armed British soldier to Lexington to capture radical colonial leaders John Hancock and Sam Adams and seize their gunpowder in Concord[6]. This failed after the American spies got wind of their plans and spread it all through. This event left about 73 British soldiers dead, 174 wounded, and approximately 26 missing – proving to them that the Americans no longer feared them as they initially thought. This event was the last nail on Great Britain’s last coffin and the beginning of America’s War of independence.


In conclusion, the American Revolution resulted from the growing tension between the American Colonies and the British colonial government. The Revolution didn’t just start in a day but resulted from events that angered the colonies. The significant events that became the most significant causes of the American Revolution include The March 1765 Stamp Act, The Boston Massacre of March 1770, The Boston Tea Party of 1773, the Lexington and Concord of 1775, and the March-June 1774 Coercive Acts. These events triggered anger among the American colonists leading to the beginning of the American Revolution and the gaining of independence by the Americans.


[1] G. L. Boggs and S. Kurashige, “The next American Revolution,” 2012, doi:10.1525/9780520953390.

[2] C. H. Van Tyne, “Influence of the Clergy, and of Religious and Sectarian Forces, on the American Revolution,” The American Historical Review 19, no. 1 (1913): doi:10.2307/1834806.

[3] Page Smith, “David Ramsay and the Causes of the American Revolution,” The William and Mary Quarterly 17, no. 1 (1960): doi:10.2307/1943479.

[4] Patrick J. Kiger, “7 Events That Enraged Colonists and Led to the American Revolution,” HISTORY, last modified August 20, 2019, https://www.history.com/news/american-revolution-causes.

[5] Kiger, “7 Events That Enraged Colonists and Led to the American Revolution”

[6] Jonathan Boucher, A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution ; in Thirteen Discourses, Preached in North America Between the Years 1763 and 1775 : with an Historical Preface (London: Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797).

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