During the early years, the colonies and British had a good relationship in America. With the changing time, the relationship becoming worse as British attempted to take total control of the colonies. During this time, British did not use an acceptable approach in addressing problem raised by the colonies. Should the British have used different approach, perhaps the relationship would still be as it was before the revolution. There are many mistakes that the British made that triggered the revolutionary movement leading to independence. This paper analyzes the three major mistakes made by British triggering the revolutionary war.
First of all were the unfair laws on trade imposed by British on the colonies. In March, 1874, British passed the Coercive acts of parliament (“Time lime of the Revolution,” n.d). The name coercive was used in British while in America; it was referred to as the intolerable Act. It includes the Boston Bill that stopped the shipping of all goods except for military supplies. This was made to coerce Boston to pay duties and cost of the Tea Party. By May 20th the same year, more coercive Acts are passed by British. This angered the colonies very much since trade, the most critical economic times was been compromised greatly.
The taxation regime in America oppressed the colonies very much. In march 22. 1765, the first direct taxation act, The Stamp Act was passed in parliament. The main purpose of this tax was to cater for the British army in America. This move angered the colonies and it was met with a lot of resistance. When the colonies refused to abide by the stamp Act, in March 18, 1766, the declaratory Act was passed allowing the British Government to pass legislation that would have direct effects on the colonies without any restriction. In 1967, the taxation menace persisted. This time round, the Townshend Acts passed in parliament introduced several external taxes and duties. For example, items that were included in taxation included tea, glass, and paper. Due to this, Boston decides to reinstate the non-importation of all goods from British. In October, 1768, British troops arrived in Boston for the sole purpose of enforcing the custom laws. The process of forced taxation continued for some time. In 1770, the British troops in Boston originally send to enforce the custom laws shot four workers. Their killing came to be referred to as the Boston massacre. There are no clear reasons for such shootings that angered the residents of Boston. The issues on customs escalated until in 1773, December when Massachusetts patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians dumped many crates of tea into the Boston harbor.
Secondly, it is not only the tax that angered the colonies, even with the tax been paid; the colonies were required to surrender their residential homes for the British troops in America. Such requirement was passed on March 24, 1765-The Quartering Act (“The American Revolution,” n.d). The colonies felt oppressed since after paying tax to maintain the British troops, it was very rude and insensitive of the British to require by law that the colonies surrender their homes to foreigners. By December 15th the same year, The New York Assembly opposed quartering Act. The assembly refused to allocate any money for the soldiers something that lead to suspension of the legislature by the crowns.
Thirdly, British did not listen to the resenting and opposing voices of the colonies. There was an increase civil rights activity in the colonies that British turned a blind eye. For example, the Declaratory Act was very suppressive to the sides of the colonies. Passing laws with a direct impact without any possible limitation on the colonies was not only insensitive, but also ill-times. Anyone with a sound mind would at least listen to the opposing voice without allowing them to over-react or result to drastic measures to oppose the legislation. Another example is the fact that when the Townshend taxation were imposed, the resenting voices were great. Boston repealed the moves and when the Liberty ship, belonging to John Hancock was seized and the Custom officers (“Digital History,” n.d) where threatened with violence, British send troops to support the custom officer.
It could have been better if the British involved the colonies in the process of making laws so as to listen to their grievances and address them accordingly. Due to the insensitivity of the British, they repulsed all the peaceful approaches used by the colonies to air their grievances. The use of military to enforce the laws was also a fuelling factor. For example, as mentioned earlier, the British sent troops to help in the process of enforcing customs laws in Boston. Even in a democratic state, when the military is used to enforce laws that has civilian impact the repercussions are dire. The colonies pressed on till the declaration of independence (“US History/American Revolution,” n.d)
In conclusion, the British made three major mistakes that soured the relationship between it and its colonies. The first is enactment of insensitive legislation on trade and taxation and the use of military in the implementation process. Secondly, the quarterly requirement forcing the colonies to house the British soldiers, who, according to the colonies did not mean good to them. Thirdly, the general ignorance and insensitivity on the peaceful resentment of the colonies on various matters fueled repulsions other than encouraging unity. Should the British have used a different approach, perhaps, even today, they could be having territories in America.
Time lime of the Revolution (n.d). retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/chronicle_timeline.html
The American Revolution (n.d). Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad10
Digital History (n.d). Historians and the American Revolution. Chapter 14. Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/teachers/lesson_plans/pdfs/unit1_14.pdf
US History/American Revolution (N.d). Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/HIST312-4.4-American- Revolution.pdf