From: Anonymous Eight
Time: 10:19:34 PM
Remote Name: 184.108.40.206
Anonymous Eight William Cutler History 67 8:40
When and how did the Americans decide that independence was their only option?
The actual time the Americans decided that independence was their only option is unclear. What is clear is that Congress, a group of 55 elected delegates from twelve colonies, voted for independence on July 2, 1776. What led up to motion in Congress was a series of acts that Britain imposed on the colonies, the first one in the series dated back to April 5, 1764. This act was known as the Sugar Act. It prohibited the colonies from trading with any country other than Britain. Its main purpose was to raise revenue for the British Army. The Americans protested this act, claiming taxation without representation. The colonists claimed that because no members of Britainís ruling class were originally from the colonies, then they were not being properly represented. Britain responded to the claim by saying that due to the collected common interests of its members, the colonies were being more than fairly represented. The colonists didnít buy this claim and, in return, protested. Another significant event was the Stamp Act. This was also an attempt at squandering monies from the colonists. It required that all legal documents must contain a special seal to be valid. The colonists, again, reacted with protests, in one instance, by burning a representation of the local stamp distributor. This was the start of a volley between the ruling class of Britain and the people of the colonies. Britain would pass an act, and the Americans would protest. May 1765, the Quartering Act was passed to help supply the British Army with housing while they tried to maintain the peace and enforce the previous acts. More protests by the colonists. I am now jumping ahead to 1774, between the months of March and June. In this time period, the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, were passed. These acts closed the port of Boston, restricted town meetings, quartered troops in Boston, and sent officials accused of crimes to England or Canada for trial. The Americans responded with boycotting British goods. This was a very important event. It was important because while the Bostonians were struggling from the closure of their port, the rest of the colonists sent them items to help cope. This showed unity throughout the colonies. This was the start of American pride. The colonists were finally feeling a sense of themselves, a separation from the British Empire. In December 1775, Britain struck again with the passing of the Prohibitory Act. This act prohibited America from trading with anyone, but Britain, until the Americans begged for forgiveness from their mother country. At this same time, a man by the name of Thomas Paine, produced an essay title, Common Sense. This essay helped bring the people of America together by stating what was wrong with Britainís form of government. It helped unite the common folk with the ďrevolutionariesĒ to form a power that was believed by the colonists, to be strong enough to defeat the biggest military power in the world, Britain. On July 2, 1776, a formal declaration for independence was written. It was their only option.