The American War for Independence – Treason or Justified Rebellion?

The American War for Independence

As the year ends this December 1783, I can only reflect on the events that has shaped the American history over the last decade. Notable is the American War for Independence, which we all feel is a justified course towards liberation from England’s highhandedness. Many may wonder why this nation has chosen the “unrighteous” path towards war. The Catechism states that war must be avoided at all costs due to its evils and the resulting injustices (Keown, 2009). Nonetheless, Catechism also accords governments the right to engage in war for self-defense purposes if peace efforts have waivered. It is worth noting that the colonists have made all efforts to engage Great Britain in talks, but these have failed. This has led the colonists into a war for liberation from the British control.

Several factors have infuriated the colonists into a call for independence from Great Britain. Great Britain has closely monitored the expansion of the colonies towards the west. It has made plans to deploy over 10,000 troops in the colonies to protect their interests. However, many colonies perceive the troops deployment as Britain’s plan to curtail their liberties, such as expansion into the western settlements. The involvement of Great Britain in the French and Indian War has left the nation with a huge public debt (Leutze, n.d). Further, Great Britain made plans to burden the colonies with taxation in order to pay off the debt. The American colonists have rejected the taxation plans since they will destroy their economics and increase the cost of living.

In the recent past, Britain has passed a raft of policies that directly affects the economies of all colonies. These policies have a negative impact on every person. The first policy was the Stamp Act passed in 1765. This act has placed taxes on all printed material, raising even the cost of printing wills. Following protests by colonists against this tax, Britain went ahead to introduce Townshend Acts. These acts mandate the colonists to pay taxes on imported goods from 1767 (Leutze, n.d). The colonists are against any form of taxes by Britain. There has been a growing concern among the colonists that Britain is not supposed to levy any taxes on them. In 1773, Parliament signed into law the Tea Act (Leutze, n.d). This allowed East India Company to export tea tax-free to the colonies at the expense of local tea producers.

Mistrust between colonists and Britain have contributed to the War for Independence. In 1768, British officials captured a merchant ship, ‘Liberty’, belonging to a local merchant, John Hancock (Leutze, n.d). This action by the British custom authorities has aggravated the contention by locals against Britain. The capture of the ship has contributed to the unification of the colonists who went on the streets to protest against the British Parliament and the levies or taxes imposed on them. Following these protests, British Parliament has responded by sending more troops to Boston, fueling conflicts with the locals. Lastly, the colonies experience a power vacuum because the King is far away and not in touch with reality of what is happening on the ground (Keown, 2009).

References

Leutze, E. G. (n.d). Creating a Nation: 1763 – 1791. Road to Independence. Retrieved from             http://www.ugisd.org/docs/ugss/teachers/chap051.pdf

Keown, J. (2009). America’s War for Independence: Just or unjust? Journal of Catholic Social    Thought, 6(2): 277-304. Retrieved from            https://kennedyinstitute.georgetown.edu/files/KeownAmericasWar.pdf

Related:

Bacon’s Rebellion – A Justified Action or Personal Power Grab?

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