Any historical event with-world changing consequences will always have
two sides to the story. What most Americans refer to today as the
American Revolution is no
different. As Americans, most of us view eighteenth-century England as
a tyrannical power across the ocean, and see men like
George Washington as heroes who fought
against the oppressor. If history and wars were that simple, everyone would understand them,
and the need for wars would be diminished. The truth is, England was not the least bit tyrannical
to the colonies. Actually, the rebels had no idea, nor any intention of establishing a new and
separate government "of the people, by the people,
and for the people.
" They only meant to make a statement and attempt to avoid every tax
that Parliament could dream up in the process. Across the Atlantic Ocean in England's Parliament,
some men such as William Pitt and
Edmund Burke understood opposition to taxes by the American
colonists. After all, the colonies had been all but ignored by England since they were established
in the early part of the seventeenth century up until the
Seven Years War (1756 - 1763). Other men such as George
Grenville and Charles Townshend did not understand at all
the protests against any taxes implemented by Parliament . These men felt that was not only the
right of Parliament to demand taxes, but also their duty to raise money for the Crown. Parliament had
the power to demand a tax of every British citizen in the empire, and these men had developed their
own ideas about how those taxes would be implemented. These
ideas were expressed through the Revenue Act of 1763 (later called the
Sugar Act) and the
Stamp Act of 1765, the
Townshend Acts of 1767, and still later a new set of
acts that are referred to as the Intolerable Acts of 1774.
All of these acts were protested in America and,
eventually, the authority of Parliament in the American colonies came to be questioned by the colonists.
In the mid-eighteenth century, the previously mentioned members of Parliament took their sides and faced
the opposition from the colonies head on. The days of ignoring the rebellious colonies were over.