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Gunpoweder Essay

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European colonialism was at its highest and most powerful point during the mid 18 th century.

The British and French had endured a painful and expensive war known as the Seven Years War (or

French and Indian War in the Americas) that had left France without most of its North American

holdings (losing Canada to the British). The Thirteen original Colonies were left to help their

mothercountry, England pay of huge debt that was left after this costly war. The Colonies soon after

declared war and wished to free themselves from English control. The causes of such an event, the

American Revolution, can be traced to this very war as the Colonies did not feel it justified they have to

pay taxes since they were not given representation in Parliament. The Colonies were also greatly

influenced by the Enlightenment ideas that became prevalent in Europe during the time. They believed

they should have control of their own economic and political life something the English did not allow

due to mercantilism (the economic notion that a colony is to help the mother country exclusively). A

major effect of the American Revolution was it directly influenced political decisions in Europe,

specifically the French and thus leading to the French Revolution. It also inspired independence

movements in the Americas. Shortly after the American Revolution Latin American had also freed itself

from European hands.

The American Revolution had many causes for fruition. One major reason for the start of the

Revolution dealt with the 7 Years War and the taxation that ensued after. France and England were the

two most powerful countries in the world during the mid 18 th century and so it was a natural event they

go to war. They fought for territory and power. As a result, the English colonies were forced to pay

taxes they had not done so prior in order to offset the cost of this war. England had introduced the

Parliamentary system many years prior. People were given representation on the House of Commons.

The Colonists were not granted such a luxury. Since they lived in America the English crown did not

extend representation in Parliament. The colonists saw this as unfair since they had their own form of

democracy in their colonies and refused to pay the newly introduced taxes. This would lead to rebellions

begun by the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts. Two famous events occurred in that particular colony,

the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party. Both were acts against what was believed as an unjust

government. This ideas stemmed from the Enlightenment, a period that focused on changing the status

quo. The colonists believed their government was being unfair not fulfilling their social contract. This

was a new idea granted by philosophers Rousseau and Locke. These men argued that if a government

was not protecting or doing what was best for their people, the people had



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