causes of the Revolutionary War

By Marc Schulman

There have been volumes written on the causes of the American Revolutionary War. However, the cause for the American revolution was very simple. Americans wanted full rights as British citizens. The British refused to give full rights to the Americans. The British, did not consider those living in their colonies, whether in America, or in other colonies, citizens who should be represented in the British Parliament. The British government was tone deaf to the demands of the colonists to be given their rights. The British were focused, instead, on raising revenue.

To the British, raising revenue was primary. The French and Indian War, which had been part of larger British- French War had been costly for the British, who had been forced to send regular army units to North America. The British looked at the colonies as successful economic entities who could help pay for their own defense.

The colonists would have been willing to pay money for their defense. However, they wanted a voice in making decisions on how much and the way in which they would be taxed. Had the British understood the colonists' needs and found a way to give the colonies representation in the British parliament the Revolutionary War may never have occurred. 

Instead, however, the British ignored American demands. The British considered American demands to be an affront to the Crown. At times the British would pull back from their attempts at imposing taxes. Often British actions were too little, too late. The British could not agree to the colonists' prime demand. As a result, each confrontation with the British further developed the separate and unique American identity. Over a period of ten years a large number of colonists went from considering themselves British subject to considering themselves Americans.

Once the identity of the colonists as Americans was defined, the Revolutionary War became inevitable. The first shots at Concord and Lexington lit an inferno that was, by that time, unavoidable.