Revolutionary War

Causes and Outcomes of the Revolution

Part 1: Causes

Complete the grid by describing each pre-war event and explaining how it contributed to the Revolutionary War.

Pre-War Event


Contribution to the Revolutionary War

French and Indian War

The French and Indian War was a conflict between the French and American colonists over the control of the Ohio Valley and the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers (Middlekauff, 2005). The war was given this title because it was Britain and its American colonies versus French and their Indian allies fighting. In Europe, it was referred to as the Seven Years War, where more battles were fought between the French and English.

It contributed to Revolutionary War in two ways: 1) funding the war contributed to a great national debt for the Great Britain, which they perceived that Americans ought to help pay. The parliament decided to help pay the debt, which angered the citizens and began the rift between Britain and its colonists. This rift finally contributed to the Revolutionary War. 2) the French backed the effort for American independence with supplies and money, and then joined the fray after the Battle of Saratoga showed them that the Americans could win (Middlekauff, 2005).

Sugar Act

The Act was passed in the year 1764, where the British placed a tax on sugar, wine, among others. The British imposed this tax so that they can raise money to help provide security to their colonies. They also hoped that the act will force the colonists to only sell their good to Britain

This act made people in the colonies worried because trading with Britain only meant that they cannot sell most of their goods. Additionally, they could not buy the same amount of sugar, wine and other things with little money as they used to before the act was introduced. This made them feel that Britain is forcing them to spend more and more money for their goods through taxes, and this lead to a Revolutionary War.

Stamp Act

This act was started by the British government in 1765 (Middlekauff, 2005). The stamp taxes were levied on paper goods, documents and similar items. Anything printed on such items required a stamp that was purchased from the English.

Violent protest started throughout the colonies because people did not like it that they had to put stamps on every document. The stamps were costing them money that went to England.

Townshend Acts

The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 by the parliament and they imposed duties on tea, paper, paint, lead, glass, among other things that were imported into the colonies (Middlekauff, 2005).

People in the colonies felt that these acts were taxes in disguise and boycotted buying British items. This led to renewed protests in the colonies

Tea Act

This act was started by the British government in 1773. The principal purpose of this act was to bail out the staggering East India Company, which had a monopoly of the sale and importation of tea in the colonies (Middlekauff, 2005).

The people in the colonies had never acknowledged the constitutionality of the levy on tea, and this act aroused their opposition to it. Their resistance climaxed in the Boston Tea Party, where colonists boarded ships belonging to East India Company and dumped their tons of tea into the Boston harbor.

Intolerable Acts

The Intolerable Acts were passed in 1774 by the parliament as a result of the colonists’ reaction to the Boston Tea Party (Middlekauff, 2005). They were a form of punishment to the colonists, who destroyed the tea by dumping it into the water. These acts included the Quebec Act, the Quartering Act, the Impartial Administration of Justice Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, and the Boston Port Act.  

People in the colonies never wanted these acts but the British deemed them as necessary. Colonists saw these acts as cruel and unfair, and this stimulated a full-out boycott against the British (Middlekauff, 2005). They did not only boycott the British, but they also carried out extensive protests along the streets. Therefore, these acts riled up the colonists into a war.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party occurred on December 1773, when colonist dumped tea into the Boston harbor (Middlekauff, 2005). Their action was an indication that they disliked the British tea taxes.

The Boston Tea Party stands as a turning point in the Revolutionary War as it was a precursor of what was to come. Colonists were against the taxation of tea and they end up boycotting against the British by giving up on their tea.  Rebellion such as this demonstrates a way of how revolutions came to be.

Boston Massacre

This massacre was a street fight that took place on March 5, 1770 between the colonists, throwing sticks, stones, and snowballs, and a number of British soldiers (Middlekauff, 2005). Several colonists were killed and this intensified the rebellion for the presence of British soldiers in Boston.

This massacre was a signal event contributing to the Revolutionary War. It caused the Royal Governor to evacuate the British troops from the city of Boston. It soon brought the revolution to armed rebellion in the colonies.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the congress on July 4, 1776 (Middlekauff, 2005). It stated certain ideals that the American colonists perceived as essential for human beings such as equality and liberty.

The Declaration of Independence motivated the colonists to seek their independence. Through declaring themselves independent country, the colonists were able to obtain assistance from the government of France in the war against the Great Britain (Middlekauff, 2005).

Part 2: Outcomes

Complete the grid by describing each military event and explaining its relationship to the outcome of the Revolutionary War.

Military Event


Relationship to the Outcome of the Revolutionary War

Concord and Lexington

The battles of Concord and Lexington were two battles fought on one day, April 19, 1775. The first shots in the Revolutionary War were made in these battles.

The outcome of these battles was the declaration of independence and the start of the Revolutionary War.

Fort Ticonderoga


Second Continental Congress


Bunker Hill




Lake Champlain






Valley Forge





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