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The Road To Independence Essay

3615 words - 15 pages

In May of 1754 the French and Indian War broke out in the Colonies due to dispute over land in the Ohio Valley1. The Colonists fought with the British against the French to protect their home and families. After six years of war in the colonies the French were defeated with the capture of Montreal in 1760. Colonists were able to go back to the life they were used to living, but the British were heavily in dept with the cost of the war in America and in Europe. To reduce this dept the British ministry imposed many new taxes on the Colonists. Due to taxation, unfair representation in British Government and military tyranny the American Colonists eventually sought their independence from ...view middle of the document...

In the same year the Currency Act was established, it prohibited colonists from printing paper money. These acts were met with protests from the colonists. This also united many against British dominance. Town hall meeting were held to protest the “Taxation without representation in parliament.4” In July of 1764 James Otis published "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved." Otis inquired whether the power of government should be in the hands of one, a few, or many. He stated that when “administrators, in any of those forms, deviate from truth, justice and equity, they verge towards tyranny, and are to be opposed; and if they prove incorrigible, they will be deposed by the people.” 5 This help lead to the boycott of British goods.
In 1765 the enactment of the Stamp Act and the Quartering Act led to more protests from the colonists. The Stamp Act placed a tax on all printed materials including; newspapers, pamphlets, bills, legal documents, licenses, almanacs, dice and playing cards. The tax collected would also not go to local government but directly to England. Furthering angering Colonists the Quartering Act required Colonists to provide housing and supplies to British troops. The Stamp Act was issued in March of 1765 and was to be enacted on November 1, 1765. The Colonist quickly united in opposition of the acts. In Virginia “Patrick Henry presented seven Virginia Resolutions to the House of Burgesses claiming that only the Virginia assembly can legally tax Virginia residents.”6 Throughout the colonies a secret organization formed called the Sons of Liberty, their aim was to use intimidation to force stamp agents, who collected taxes for parliament, to resign. Before the act could even be enacted all stamp agents in the colonies had resigned.7 The Sons of Liberty also used intimidation to stop American merchants form ordering British goods. In October the Stamp Act Congress passed a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances," it not only asked for the repeal of the Stamp Act but also stated that without representation in Parliament, Parliament could not tax Colonists.8 On November 1st almost all daily business and legal transactions stopped as the Stamp Act went into effect. Most Colonists refuse to use the stamps; in addition violence broke out in New York City with protest to the Stamp Act.9 In December British General Thomas Gage, requested the New York Assembly to make Colonists house and supply his troops in accordance with the Quartering Act. The New York Assembly refused to enforce the Quartering Act.
In March of 1766 Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, some members of Parliament thought that the use of force should be used to enforce the Stamp Act while “others commended the colonists for resisting a tax passed by a legislative body in which they were not represented.”10 In the response of the repeal Colonists relaxed the boycott of British goods amidst celebrations.11
Even though Parliament...

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