From: jennifer shaub
Time: 10:06:52 PM
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
Jennifer Shaub Weekly report 2/15/00
America's fight for independence from England was a long and complicated process. The British Parliament attempted to enforce many laws, taxes, and various acts upon their colonies. The Americans slowly grew tired of being governed by a distant Parliament in which they had no representation. By understanding the important steps in America's journey towards independence, one can understand how the United States of America developed in to the country we live in today. A key element in the struggle for independence is geography. Communication between the colonies and England took months. In addition, the English rulers had little or no idea about their new colonies. The American colonies were slowly beginning to develop their own ideas on government, whereas the English insisted that the Parliament had supreme authority. The colonies began to form individual assemblies, which allowed them to establish common political ideas. Americans slowly began to object to being governed by a Parliament in which they had no representation. In 1774 the Connecticut Assembly declared that, "NO LAW CAN BE MADE OR ABROGATED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THEIR REPRESENTATIVES." During this time newspapers and other published writings played an important role. Writers like John Adams and John Locke informed and persuaded the colonists about issues the colonies were facing with the mother country. A turning point occurred in 1765 with the Stamp Act, which resulted in riots throughout the colonies. This was the first real illustration of the strength and dedication of the American colonies. Following the Stamp Act were several other legislations, all of which were opposed by the colonies. The Declaratory Act of 1766, stated "Parliament declares its sovereignty over the colonies in all cases whatsoever." Two years later the Boston Massacre occurred, which raised tensions again. After a few years of peace and quiet, Samuel Adams came into the picture. "Adams developed a structure of political cooperation completely independent of royal government." (Divine 146) In December of 1773, after Parliament passed the Tea Act, the colonist rebelled in the most dramatic way possible. Disguised as Mohawks, they threw 340 chests of tea in to the harbor. Stunned and furious, parliament put in to effect the Coercive Acts, which quartered troops in Boston, restricted town meetings, restructured Massachusetts government, and infuriated the colonists. Finally during the summer of 1774 the committees of correspondence agreed to meet in Philadelphia. After much debate and conflicting viewpoints, the delegates agreed to stop all trade with England until they repealed the Intolerable Acts. The Association began networking with local committees to uphold their decision. The shots fired at Lexington and Concord were the point of no return for the English and the colonists. Shortly after, another meeting was held in Philadelphia. This time to establish a strong central leadership. They established a Continental Army and appointed George Washington as commander. The colonists were pushed to fighting the Revolutionary War. They were not being fairly represented or ruled by their government. The Americans had different ideals and the only real way to solve the problem was by gaining their independence from a country that seemingly held them down.