It could be argued that there are multiple factors that could be argued to be the primary cause of the American Revolution. These factors include social, economic, and political causes, all of which branch out into far more intricate categories. However, a major precursor of the revolution was the tyrannical control with which Britain treated the Americans as an inferior people, mainly through absurd taxes.
The colonists began to see the economic restraints that Britain’s laws placed on their lives. Americans grew to believe that the many taxes were levied for the enhancement of British capital at the expense of American welfare. Britain was keeping the Americans in a position of economic youth by denying them economic freedom.
Such economic control dates back to before the French and Indian War in a period referred to as “salutary neglect.” This term was adapted because, although Britain did regulate trade and colonial government affairs, the British for the most part stayed out of the Americans’ way. What makes this description of salutary neglect disputable is the British policy of mercantilism, which was enforced in this time.
Mercantilism allowed for the belief that wealth was power and that a country’s power could therefore be measured in gold and silver—placing wealth at the forefront of their minds. Colonists were to help supply Britain with the resources Britain lacked (i.e. tobacco and sugar). The Navigation Laws, Wool, Hat, and Iron Acts, and the Molasses Act were all instituted to achieve the goal of mercantilism; they limited trade with countries other than Britain and prevented Americans from earning profit on anything that could potentially be earned for the British. All these acts, however, were loosely enforced and barely protested by colonists.
It was during the French and Indian War that the English realized the importance of overseas colonies for their own economic benefit. The British sent their trained, professional troops to fight in...