A British Take on the Revolution?

Looking back at the American Revolution, taking place during the late 1700’s was truly just a bother to its mother country, Britain. How could the British government have ever imagined such resentment toward paying your own war debt? Or ever imagine an immature hatred to turn into the Boston Massacre? In order to understand the American Revolution, we cannot focus simply on American nationalism and pride. In a way, what the colonies did was irrational.

The colonies had seemed to have forgotten that the very country that gave them life, trade, and prosperity had a strong reputation. And everyone knows that in order to stay on top you have to make sacrifices. This means taxes! When the Navigation Laws began to really be enforced in 1763, Britain did not pass these laws out of malice for its colonies. Britain was just like a kid who just got their first pet! Sometimes it would leave the leash on too tight and other times it would forget to feed the pet altogether. The care Britain was giving to the colonies might have been clumsy and detrimental, but it was not done to purposefully hurt or anger the colonists.

Taxes on tea (Townshend Acts 1767), paper goods (Stamp Act 1765), and sugar (Sugar Act 1764) are all examples of how clumsy Britain was trying to make things better. After the recent French and Indian war, mainly fought by Britain for the colonies, had caused massive debt accumulation. However, why were British citizens paying taxes for a war that had no direct benefit to them? It was the colonists whose happiness was being sparred through British victory, it’s only logical that they pay for most of it. Not paying for a war on your behalf is like buying thousands of dollars worth of things on your credit card, but refusing to pay the bill.

The American Revolution may seem like a just and rational war fought for the liberty and freedom of the American people. But was it not also a debt-accumulating war that, in the end, led to conditions similar to those of British rule? The Brits had imposed taxes, a really strong point as to why the colonists were so angry. A group of them got together, forming the First (and eventually the Second) Continental Congress, where middle aged white men in wool jackets talked about mistreatment by a country more than 3000 miles away.

The revolution was not the colonists plan, all they wanted was for britain to loosen up the tight leash the colonies were being suffocated with. When their demands were not met, they went to war with the very colony which made them into the prosperous people they were. However, after the revolution, America had buried itself six feet under in debt. This wasn’t very much different from the debt the colonies were going to pay off with Britain anyways. Everyone knows war is costly!

Eventually, great people like George Washington and Ben Franklin led the people into democracy and central government, slowly resolving the issue of taxes on the way. The story of Americas Revolution is simply a story of unfortunate decisions made by Britain which led to a big group of unhappy people. This string of events is known as the American Revolution, which brings us to the doorstep of the present day United States of America.

Information cited:

Bailey, Thomas Andrew, David M. Kennedy, and Lizabeth Cohen. “Chapters 6 and 7.”The American Pageant. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. N. pag. Print. (The textbook)


One thought on “A British Take on the Revolution?

  1. An interesting take on the revolution. Your use of analogies here is quite effective — comparing Britain and the colonies to a kid and his first pet really conveys your argument well. Pointing out that the Revolutionary War put the colonies in just as much debt was another great point. Before I felt that the colonies were just in their rebellion, but you literally just convinced me otherwise.

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