South Carolina History - South Carolina - Causes and Effects of American Revolution

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The main cause, which led to the American Revolution, was a difference in perspective between the colonies and the British Empire: 

  • King George III, and the British Parliament, wanted the colonists to pay for the French and Indian War by imposing taxes on the colonies. 
  • Britain's colonies in America believed it was the right of their colonial assemblies to require taxes of its citizens, not the right of the King or the Parliament of England. 

The Stamp Act was the most important tax because the colonists paid this tax directly anytime they bought a newspaper or needed a legal document.  Most of the taxes, before this one, were paid indirectly by the merchants.  The merchants could then raise their price on goods, but the buyer did not directly see how the tax was being paid. The colonists got angry whenever they had to buy paper and pay this tax, so they began to protest "No taxation without Representation."

"The law required Americans to buy stamps for ALL printed material (including playing cards, newspapers, dice and legal documents), thus taxing the most mundane aspects of daily life" (AwesomeStories).  Colonists did not have anyone representing them in Parliament and, therefore, believed that they had no voice in the taxes being demanded from them.  Colonists wanted to have the ability to require taxes on their citizens by their own assemblies, not by people living in another country. 

The colonists banded together and formed a Stamp Act Congress and proceeded to boycott British goods. This boycott was successful and, finally, the British repealed the Stamp Act.

Next, the colonists organized secret clubs, known as the Sons and Daughters of Liberty, in order to continue to protest taxes by the British.  The Sons of Liberty operated the boycotts through threats and intimidation. They would invade and damage the homes of British officials and would burn or hang images of unpopular British figures. The Sons of Liberty were also in charge of keeping everyone up-to-date on what was happening and where it was happening.

The Daughters of Liberty were more quiet in their resistance.  They made their own products and refused to buy British goods. The ladies organized Spinning bees to make their own clothes.  

The British then passed the Townshend Duties—an import tax on paint, paper and tea, among other goods. The colonists also rejected this tax because it was a way to collect revenue, not to regulate trade. The Sons and Daughters of Liberty organized another boycott, and the British repealed the Townshend Duties but left the tea tax. 

The tea tax was not a tax in the true sense of the word. Instead, it gave the British East India Company the exclusive right to sell tea to the colonists.  At this time, the British East India Company was having financial troubles, and if it could sell exclusively to the colonists, its money problems would be largely solved.  This was Parliament's way to help the troubled company.

The Sons of Liberty feared that the colonists might buy the cheap tea even with the tax on it, and so they decided to have a tea party. In Boston, the tea was thrown overboard and became known as the Boston Tea Party. In Georgetown, and Charles Town (Charleston today), they had smaller tea parties which did not allow the tea to be sold. 

The Boston Tea Party was the reason why Parliament passed what came to be known as the "Intolerable Acts" by the colonists. The Continental Congress was formed to deal with the problems which arose from the Intolerable Acts.

In Charles Town (Charleston), representatives from all over South Carolina met to elect representatives who would go to the Continental Congress, held in Philadelphia, in 1774. The Royal Governor of South Carolina was replaced with a General Committee of 99 to govern the colony. 

Henry Middleton of South Carolina led the Continental Congress, being elected its President.  He helped to establish a non-importation and non-exportation agreement.   In the Continental Congress, the South Carolina delegates were successful in arguing that without rice the colony would not be able to sustain itself, and so rice was allowed to still be traded. Middleton served as President for a brief four days.

After the battles at Lexington and Concord, where both Britain and the Colonies lost men, revolution was the only outcome, as both sides were farther apart than before.  The Second Continental Congress was held in May of 1775, after the battles of Lexington and Concord. 

While some of the delegates wanted to heal the rift between the colonies and their mother country, the march to independence could not be stopped. The Continental Congress had to form an army plus find someone to lead it, create the Declaration of Independence and, significantly, find a government which would work for all Thirteen Colonies. 

War was on the horizon, and life would forever change for the colonists living in the New-World place that would come to be known as America. 

Original Release: Jun 27, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Dec 15, 2016

1) Bos, J.D., Carole, American Revolution - Highlights - TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, Awesome Stories.com, Feb/18/2015, Jun/15/2015, https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/TAXATION-WITHOUT-REPRESENTATION-American-Revolution-Highlights
2) The Independence Hall Association, 10b. Sons and Daughters of Liberty, ushistory.org,, Dec/31/1969, Jun/15/2015, http://www.ushistory.org/us/10b.asp
3) Unknown, The Townshend Acts, United States History, Dec/31/1969, Jun/15/2015, http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h643.html
4) Graver, Garver, Henry Middleton, Find a Grave, May/19/2004, Jun/15/2015, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8799217
5) Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia, BackHomeNext The American Revolution Share Your Thoughts 11c. Lexington and Concord, ushistory.org, Dec/31/1969, Jun/15/2015, http://www.ushistory.org/us/11c.asp
6) Unknown, Second Continental Congress (1775-1781) , American History Central , Jun/15/2015, Jun/15/2015, http://www.americanhistorycentral.com/entry.php?rec=471&view=quick-facts
7) Unknown, Grade 8 Support Document, Dept of Education Social Studies Standards, Jun/15/2015, Jun/15/2015, https://ed.sc.gov/agency/ccr/Standards-Learning/documents/Grade8SupportDocument.pdf

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