In the year 1763, after 7 years of war and victory over The North American Continent and the land east of Mississippi, Britain turned it’s attention to The American Colonies.
After the huge, resulting, expenditures of war, Britain was now looking to The American Colonies as a way to help offset these expenditures.
Let’s take a look at some past events:
First were some restrictions put onto the colonies by Britain:
1. The Navigation Act of September 13, 1660 which basically restricted colonial trade with other nations.
2. The Royal Proclamation – October 7, 1763 which banned the colonies from negotiating land directly with The Indians.
So, perhaps at this point (1763), the colonies are concluding that Britain is playing big brother and really trying to control their way of life.
It gets even better:
1. In the year 1764, Britain passed the Sugar Act, this was the first law aimed directly at raising money from the colonies, for the English Crown. It increased the duties on merchandise that were imported into the colonies and not of British origin.
2. Then came The Currency Act. This barred the colonies from printing their own currency.
Then on March 24, 1765, the British exacerbated the colonists outrage by passing the Quartering and Stamp Acts.
3. The Quartering Act of 1765 forces the colonies to provide lodging and supplies to British soldiers.
Taxation without representation:
The colonists, of course, objected to these acts. At town meetings (Committees of Correspondence), beginning in 1764, in Massachusetts, in opposition to The Currency Act, taxation without representation began being cried out. At one such meeting, a unified protest throughout the colonies, was suggested. The protest of choice was non-importation, or declining to accept merchandise imported from Britain.
4. The Stamp Act of 1765 was the first direct tax to be imposed onto the colonies; it required that all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other documents issued in the colonies, to use a stamp.
The revenue generated from the sale of the stamps was designated for the defense of the colonies.
While the intentions of raising revenue for this purpose, were good intentions, to many of the colonists, perhaps it was still Britain imposing their will onto the people of the colonies.
Of course, many of the businessmen in the colonies were very affected by, and took exception to this tax.
Associations known as The Sons of Liberty were formed to organize opposition to The Stamp Act.
To name a few, well known names… Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere
With further reading, you can learn more about the subsequent events, such as The Boston Tea Party and The signing of The Declaration of Independence, which lead to the eventual American Revolution.
To draw a modern day parallel:
It isn’t hard to see (in the above) how big government and raising taxes on the people that have worked very hard, with little to no say as to where the taxes are spent and utilized, can be enough to stir some real emotions from the people.
While I personally love The American Revolution History, and my country, my intention of this post was to basically present some historical facts, then to let you decide if history is in fact, repeating itself.