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American Revolution

            One cannot say there is one cause to the American Revolution because there were many contributing factors. Historians argue that the revolution was political and the colonists were just trying to preserve their rights. Another view is that the colonists were concerned with economic issues. Others argue that distance and Great Britain's "benign neglect" made revolution inevitable. All are correct but some played greater roles than others.
             The period known as "benign neglect" took place in the early 1700s before the thirteen colonies were prosperous. England neglected the colonies because it was in their best interest not to interfere. For example, a Roman Catholic man named Lord Baltimore founded Maryland in 1634. Townspeople soon established a proprietary system of self- government. This is just one example of what was achieved without the help of Great Britain. Similar advances happened throughout all the colonies. When New England along with the rest of the colonies began to prosper and set up more proprietary systems of self-government England began to take notice that the colonies could be used as a source of profit.
             "Benign neglect" was an important aspect of the revolution. Without having been left alone for many years America would have not have developed the taste of independence. Independence was what the American Revolution was all about.
             Many Navigation Acts had been passed starting in 1650 but none were enforced until Britain noticed they could cash in on the now prospering economic system of the colonies. Mercantilism played this role. The idea of mercantilism was to achieve economic self-sufficiency by exporting more than importing. England viewed the colonies as an easy way to do just that.
             For example, the colonies were forbidden to produce for export woolen cloth and beaver hats, because the colonies were supposed to "compliment and not compete with British industry." Later in 1660 Charles II approved a stronger version of the previous Navigation Act.

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