There were actually several reasons why the American Revolution happened. There was no single major basis event that triggered it. Rather it was the result of a series of events that transpired.
The Gap Between the Colonists and the British
As the colonists settled in America in the 1760s their way of life began to change. Unlike in Britain, both men and women were free to own land. There were no lords, vassals of any sort. The vast amount of resources allowed everyone to set up and manage their own business.
This was in stark contrast to the way of life in the British Empire. Back home prosperity was limited to only a few individual landlords. As the years went on, the colonists became more prosperous than those in the British Empire. Therefore among the reasons why the American Revolution happened were the economic and cultural differences between the two.
The prosperity of the colonists weren’t lost on the Empire. Under the mercantile law the British back home could purchase materials at low cost in the US. By contrast the colonists had to pay a fortune for the same materials. The result was that business and trade started to get affected. This added to the resentment among the colonists who felt they were being exploited.
Presence of Foreign Troops
The rift intensified in the late 1700s. The British went to war against France over American colonies. The military campaign proved very costly. To pay for the costs the Empire imposed stiffer taxes on the colonists, which is another reason why the American Revolution happened.
The Massacre of 1770
The war meant that British troops were placed in various colonies. Their presence was unwanted, and there were confrontations between the two. These encounters ended in tragedy on March 5, 1770. Some people and British soldiers began exchanging heated words. The citizens threw some snowballs at the military. The soldiers responded with gunfire, killing five and injuring several.
This episode became known as the Boston Massacre. The incident resulted in outrage among the colonists, but especially in Massachusetts. Three years later another incident occurred that would escalate the tense situation.
The Boston Tea Episode
The taxes that were being imposed had made life very difficult for the colonies. It got worse in 1773 when the British permitted the East India Company to peddle tea. This would prove to be another factor as to why the American Revolution happened. For the colonists it meant more problems for their businesses.
In Massachusetts the colonists waited for the ship to arrive. When it docked, they boarded it and threw all the tea into the open water. This incident became almost as well known as the Boston Massacre.
The Start of the Conflict
When the Empire got wind of it, they were outraged. Parliament issued an edict outlawing self rule in Massachusetts in 1774. The colonists responded by forming militant groups to fight the British troop presence.
It wasn’t long before Parliament learned of it. They sent troops to stop the militants in Concord. The date was April 18, 1775. The militants responded by shooting the troops.
The reasons why the American Revolution happened were numerous. But in many ways it was the same as that in other nations; it was about freedom.