Why the Fuse Blew: the Reasons for Colonial America’s Transformation From Proto-nationalists to Revolutionary Patriots: 1772-1775
Description: The most well-known events and occurrences that caused the American Revolution are well-documented. No scholar debates the importance of matters such as the colonists’ frustration with taxation without representation, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Coercive Acts. However, very few scholars have paid attention to how the 1772 English court case that freed James Somerset from slavery impacted American Independence. This case occurred during a two-year stall in the conflict between the English government and her colonies that began in 1763. Between 1763 and 1770, there was ongoing conflict between the two parties, but the conflict temporarily subsided in 1770. Two years later, in 1772, the Somerset decision reignited tension and frustration between the mother country and her colonies. This paper does not claim that the Somerset decision was the cause of colonial separation from England. Instead it argues that the Somerset decision played a significant yet rarely discussed role in the colonists’ willingness to begin meeting with one another to discuss their common problem of shared grievance with British governance. It prompted the colonists to begin relating to one another and to the British in a way that they never had previously. This case’s impact on intercolonial relations and relations between the colonies and her mother country are discussed within this work.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis, Camille Marie