Why did the American colonies fight The Revolutionary War? We were all taught phrases like “taxation without representation” as the driving cause of The Revolution. When I was a child, we were also taught with animation and song that “The shot heard ’round the world was the start of The Revolution.”
What they didn’t spend a lot of time explaining is why the shot heard ’round the world was fired. It was fired at a colonial militiaman defending a fundamental right, and it had nothing at all whatsoever to do with taxation. British forces were marching to seize weapons in an armory. Not a government armory, but an armory filled with weapons owned in common by the people, in other words, privately owned weapons. That’s right, King George was the original “gun grabber” and it was resistance to this affront, not taxation or the Intolerable Acts, that pushed the colonists from resistance and protest to taking up arms in revolution against the Crown and a country to which they had always been fiercely loyal.