Important Turning Points 1763 and 1776 In 1775 the American Revolution officially began, due to conflicts between the thirteen colonies and Britain. In 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed, granting the colonies their independence. The important turning points in the colonies break with the mother country are the French and Indian War (1763), Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776) and the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776). The revolution began as a disagreement over the manner in which Britain treated the colonies, in contrast to the way the colonies felt they should be treated.
Colonists felt they deserved the same rights as the English; on the other hand, Britain viewed them as only created to benefit the crown and parliament. This conflict is best shown in one of the most commonly used terms of the American Revolution: “No Taxation Without Representation. ” Beginning in 1756 and lasting until 1763, the French and Indian war was one of the most important turning points in pre-Revolutionary America’s relationship with Mother England.
The war was a result of an imperial struggle between the French and the British over colonial territory and wealth. Within these forces, the war can also be attributed to the localized rivalry between British and French colonists. Previous to the war, British Parliament passed the Navigation Act of 1696 and the Molasses act in 1733. Both of these taxes were viewed as acts solely to benefit Britain’s economy. Neither put a strain on the colonies economically, but both were despised because they represented another way in which Britain held power over the colonies.
In 1734, newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger was arrested and accused of seditious libel by a royal governor. In 1735 Zenger was acquitted after his lawyer convinced the jury that truth is a defense against libel. This event gained the colonists a greater amount of free speech, and thus became less fearful of openly showing their feelings towards Britain. The American colonists were active in fighting against the French and aided Great Britain, even though they felt as though the war was not directly their own.
Benjamin Franklin attempted to unify the colonies at a conference in Albany during the war. The Albany Plan was created during the conference, but the problem with the Plan was that the leadership community of the American colonies was small, government oriented, and conservative. The British were not willing to give up such control to their own colonists, so the Plan failed. However the politicians who met at the conference during the war networked, creating the bonds necessary for the American Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
The British began to tighten their grip of the colonists with the proclamation of 1763, increasing the number of British troops in the colonies, as well as creating taxes for earning back large war debt accumulated during the war. The Proclamation dealt with the Indians by essentially ignoring them; restricting ventures into western territory east of the Appalachian Mountains. This act was just another example of parliament limiting the colonies. No longer did the colonists need protection from the French, so soldier presence was unnecessary, as well as the fact that it was not the colonies obligation to pay Britain’s debts.
Many began to want to rise up against Britain’s paternalist government, which created a community for change in the American colonies. Both Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were important turning events in pre-Revolutionary America’s relationship with Mother England. Common Sense was published after the Boston Massacre of 1770 and during the American Revolution 1775-1783. In the Boston Massacre a mob harassed British soldiers and were then openly fired upon, killing three and wounding eight. This act marked one of the first physical confrontations of the war, and convinced many to want to part with Britain.
By the time of the American Revolution occurred, all ties with Britain had been cut off, and open war had begun. Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, was an instant best seller, both in the Colonies and in Europe. It brought blame for why the colonies had suffered directly upon the British monarch George III. It stirred the colonists to be patriots, and to hold strong and achieve independence. Many consider his work to have sparked the Revolution. Common Sense advocated for a declaration of independence, to show the obligations that America had to the rest of the world.
Soon after the publication of Common Sense, Paine’s argument was followed up in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was formed through the connections made at the Albany conference and stressed many of the same ideals Paine had in Common Sense, but in a more official representative way. It declares America as an independent sovereign nation that had all equal rights and responsibilities. The Declaration resulted in the inevitable war with Britain, which upon winning, America was finally granted the independence that they had so long been fighting for.
The American Revolution occurred because the colonies did not feel as though they were being treated as equals to their British counterparts. It did not occur from one specific instance, but through many over time. As a result of the French and Indian War the colonies began to feel an even greater sense of unequal treatment by the British. By the time Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence were published these ideas had increased ten fold marking each progressive event as a turning point in America’s dieing relationship with the mother country.