Which Act Of Parliament Do You Think Was The Most Significant In Terms Of Causing The Revolution
Which act of Parliament do you think was the most significant in terms of causing the
Revolution? Defend your answer.
Martin CJ Mongiello
In the first Declaration of Independence, which was written and signed on May 20, 1775
in North Carolina, it is not lost upon the reader that common folk had tired of not being
properly represented in the undertones of, “taxation without representation.” The greatest
affront effectuating this policy was the attack and killings in Lexington and Concord.
These enraged the people of North Carolina with a deep seated anger and fervor.
Immediately, the news resulted in a heroic boiling point of explosive and dangerous
These reactions came from the aftermath of the Stamp Act and Sugar Act, as well as
other acts, but also were later intensified by the Declaratory Act of 1766 - which stated
that Parliament had the ultimate authority over all of the colonies. Lest anyone forget
who had the real power in government or your personal life – you might need to be
reminded. A slap across the face refreshes any grown man and woman. It is not reserved
for disobedient children. Parliament sought to use it on adults as well (Goldfield 131-
Parliament also believed in bottom spanking for adults. Not content to do so in public
through the pants only, Parliament often resorted to pulling a pair of pants down and
spanking an adults bare cheeks - in front of others.
Numerous incidents and Acts angered the hotbed of the colonies – North Carolina. Tea
parties were also held in the port cities of North Carolina. This state is particularly
mentioned as a hotbed of activity since it was first to have a city sign its own Declaration
of Independence (in Charlotte), the first state out of all the colony’s to declare
independence and provided the most men who fought at the great battle of King’s
Mountain – the turning point of the war. States like New York and South Carolina
argued over whether or not to sign the declaration sitting on a table in Philadelphia…
while North Carolina lunged at the opportunity in the air, and over desks – to be able to
sign. Being first to sign and without hesitation shows loyalty, fact, fidelity and truth.
Another incident involving many was the opening and then closing challenges posed to
Queens College in Charlotte, NC which the King refused to recognize properly. It
created great difficulties (Graham 19-24).
These facts are undeniably linked to the strong dislike towards Parliament and the
Declaratory Act. It was bad enough to have to endure all of the various and assorted, yet
insulting Acts themselves – one can barely keep up with the names of all of them! The
Declaratory Act was the final slap in the face (and forceful reminder) of who was really
calling the shots.
The Declaratory Act can not go unnoticed in its effect on the hotbed of the colonies.
Intense reaction also came from local leaders in North Carolina, against Parliament and
the appointed Royal Governor’s, due to the building of the fancy, brick made Tryon
Palace. Local leaders like Colonel Winston, Colonel Hambright (Hambrecht), Colonel
McDowell, Colonel Shelby, Major Chronicle, Colonel William Graham, Colonel
Cleaveland, Colonel Campbell, Colonel Sevier, Colonel Williams and a noted body of
others like Zachariah Isbill, John McKissack and James Johnston (not claimed to be a
complete nor comprehensive list) also knew of the complaints from humble people who
lived local locally about being ripped off. Taxes were paid and often 50% of such never
made it to the treasury. This was not the same situation for the fancy and wealthy ports
of the seacoast towns or the large landowners in the eastern portion of North Carolina.
This difference in Eastern Carolina versus Western Carolina was very strong and
continues only today with two distinct and different barbecue recipe styles. While the
two sides have long ago forgotten their differences, taxation has been properly balanced
and become equal – the distinct difference remains when asking which barbecue is best!
Or which one you prefer! Or which one is better?
Once again we see the overall damage that the Declaratory Act had on people’s thinking.
One could consider other acts as being much larger and written about – much longer.
However, it can often be the simplest thing in life, the simplest way in which you talk
WITH a person or TO them, that really matters. People don’t care how much you
know - until they know how much you care. The Declaratory Act says we know a lot
more than you do, stupid and puny child, but we really don’t care about you.
The Declaratory Act also says that the British government has no problem pulling an
adult persons pants down in public - and spanking their bare bottom. BUT, if we have to
- we will next use a wooden paddle. If you think a hand hurts, just wait until you feel
strong hickory wood.
These facts are brought up when studying the American revolution as they are critical to
understand not only where the Declaration of Independence was first signed (over a year
before the official declaration was adopted) but to also understand where the turning
point of the entire revolution occurred. Here, written about by three presidents, including
Thomas Jefferson, is the great battle of King’s Mountain (named after the King family -
who still lives locally).
Attention to the revolution is too often overly focused on other areas of the country,
which are quite historic, noted and deserving. Yet, the mathematic facts of the truth are
known and expressed by the Department of the Interior and National Park Service that
more than 200 battles occurred in the south - during the entire war.
With the colonial war stalemated for four years and little or no progress – Sir Henry
Clinton devised the great invasion of the south. It bears a minute of introspection to
remember that Lord Charles Cornwallis was not an advocate of making war in America.
However, since he was a military officer he did what was ordered when he invaded and
crushed the cities of Charleston and Savannah. Moving north to meet up with the
gentleman named Washington (never address him as a General in writing or by word for
that would give recognition) the time would come to destroy the Yankee Doodle Dandy’s
in either North Carolina or Virginia… At Camden, SC we see the American army ripped
apart – thusly, Cornwallis continues onward through present day Grover, NC and into the
Tar Heel state to humble Charlotte. Named after the Queen and young bride of King
George, the city falls. Lord Cornwallis is now ready to end the war according to a great
plan which included thousands of Tory supporters who were loyal to the King. Suddenly,
King’s Mountain occurs and it becomes the turning point of the war. Approximately 90
days later Cornwallis will suffer a tremendous defeat at Cowpens – not a mere few miles
away. In a few short months, after the turning point, the war was quickly over.
Amazing. Just as Carolina men fought in the troops of the Continental Line in the snows
of New York early in the war - the New England states would come south to help put an
end to Cornwallis.
Citizens living in the United States in the year 2010 celebrate and know proudly their
own history along with numerous professors in our colleges and universities. What many
do not know of, and are eager to study, is the British credit crisis of 1772 and how it
affected the American Colonies also. It can be ventured that the acts of Parliament in
signing the Treaty of Paris may be an obscure ACT that led to so many Acts being forced
down the throats of the colonies. Numerous historians write whole books on the various
Acts – yet many have missed the ACTIONS that led to the Acts themselves. For every
action there is a reaction.
“Few stones have remained unturned in an effort to reconstruct Anglo-American history
in the critical years from the Treaty of Paris in 1763 to the outbreak of the Revolution in
1775. Much has been learned by investigating such problems as public finance, colonial
administration, and mercantile policy within the context of an expanded British empire.
It is not always realized, however, that by the treaty of 1763 Great Britain acquired new
fields for capital investment as well as vast, new lands to govern. In addition to taxation
and public expenditure, such problems were raised as capital recruitment and allocation,
the modification of financial institutions, and the adjustment of debtor-creditor
relationships. Though distinct in certain respects, public and private finance impinged
upon each other in the period from 1763 to 1775. This was especially the case after the
British credit crisis of 1772, when, in addition to the controversy over to the, debtor-
creditor Relations between the thirteen Colonies and the mother country underwent
marked deterioration” (Sheridan 161-186).
In summation, the Declaratory Act was the largest insult provided by the British
Parliament and is the most significant Act of all to be passed. It further stirred up and
enraged the most active colony, of all thirteen, leading to numerous historic actions.
These are forever remembered and known in the United States for actions taken with pen,
parchment, sword, cannon, musket and rifle. The gifts provided by North Carolina in
blood drenched soil to other Americans are undeniable and all too often unknown. The
causes leading up to becoming the most active colony are often found in the problems
England made for herself secretly hidden inside of the Treaty of Paris.
Goldfield, David, Virginia Anderson, Jo Ann Argersinger, Peter Argersinger, William Barney, Carl Abbott
and Robert Weir. The American Journey: Teaching and Learning Classroom Edition, Combined Volume,
The American Journey, MyHistoryLab Series, Edition 5. New York, Boston, San Francisco, London,
Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Montreal: Prentice Hall, 2009. 131-
Graham, W. A. General Joseph Graham and His Papers on North Carolina Revolutionary History: With
Appendix: An Epitome of North Carolina's Military Services in the Revolutionary War and of the Laws
Enacted for Raising Troops. Edwards & Broughton, 1904.
Jones, Joseph Seawell. A Defense of the Revolutionary History of the State of North Carolina from the
Aspersions of Mr. Jefferson. Boston and Raleigh, 1834.
McKnitt, V. V. Chain of Error and the Mecklenburg Declarations of Independence. Palmer, Massachusetts
and New York: Hampden Hills Press, 1960.
“Resolves of the Mecklenburg Committee” South Carolina Gazette and County Journal, June 1775:
Number 498, Timothy's Carolina Gazette, June 13, 1775, New York Journal, June 13, 1775and
The Massachusetts Spy, June 13, 1775.
Sheridan, R. B. "The British Credit Crisis of 1772 and the American Colonies." The Journal of Economic
History 20.2 1960: 161-186.