In the 1760's and 70's many American colonists were becoming upset and angry about conditions in the colonies. They decided to rise up against England, their "mother country." New York, one of the 13 colonies, joined in this revolt. England did not want to lose the colonies and felt they owned the land in America on which the colonies were built. They believed that the colonists should help England, and that they owed them their loyalty and support.
French and Indian War (Seven Years War)
The French and English fought in America over control of the new lands. These battles became known as the French and Indian War, and lasted from 1754 until 1763. During the war the colonists helped the British Army. Indian tribes such as the Huron from Canada, fought on the side of the French against the English colonists. The British Army and colonists were victorious.
When the war ended France lost all of its territory in America except for New Orleans. The colonists now felt a sense of strength and pride. They had joined together and fought to protect their land. They felt they no longer needed the British Army to protect them and remind them that they must obey English laws.
The French and Indian War had cost a lot of money. King George III of England wanted the colonists to pay for the war through higher taxes.
Laws in the American colonies were made in England by the British Parliament. American colonists were not allowed to chose representatives to send to England to speak for themselves. They were not allowed any representation in making the laws they had to obey. The colonists wanted a voice. They wanted to make their own laws and did not want to be forced to follow laws that had been made so far away.
After the war England controlled all of North America east of the Mississippi River. Many colonists wanted to move across the Appalachian Mountains into land that the French had controlled before the war. King George made a law saying that these lands were to be "reserved" for the Indian Nations. This law was called the Proclamation of 1763 and stated the colonists could not move westward over the Appalachian Mountains. Those settlers who were already living there were to return to the east. The colonists were angered by this new law and many moved west anyway.
Taxation and Trade
The colonists were especially angry about the taxes and fees they had to pay. In 1764, the British Parliament passed a law called the Sugar Act, which would help to raise money for the British troops stationed in America. It forced the colonists to buy only English sugar and molasses by placing heavy taxes on the products from other countries. It also gave British customs officials the right to search any ships coming into the colonies from other countries.
The British government had passed a law in 1765 taxing all newspapers, pamphlets, books, important papers and licenses. They called this the Stamp Act. Stamps which the colonists would have to buy from the government were required to be placed on these items. The stamps varied in cost from one cent on a newspaper to ten dollars on a college diploma. The payments had to be made in gold or silver. Some colonists decided to boycott the stamps. They agreed not to buy or use any products which required stamps. The boycott worked and the Stamp Act was repealed. Boycotts were effective because English merchants saw that they were losing money. In the colony of New York, the Stamp Act never went into effect.
In 1767, the British passed the Townshend Act. This act placed taxes on glass, tea, paper, and paint that came from England. Many colonists refused to pay the taxes or to buy any goods made in England. Import taxes were put on products coming to America from England. Export taxes were placed on materials and products made in the colonies and sent to England. The colonists had had enough! They were angry and demanded to be represented in making decisions about their taxes. Their new slogan became "No taxation without representation!"
In 1765, the British sent 40,000 soldiers to the colonies to help collect taxes from the colonists. The Quartering Act, forced colonists to provide living quarters and food for British troops. The British Parliament told the American colonists that they would have to let the soldiers live in their homes. This made the colonists very angry.
Letís Review the
victorious: Parliament: representation: taxes: customs
in charge of inspecting goods and baggage entering a country repealed:
to take back
victorious:to win a fight or contest
Parliament:the lawmaking body of Great Britain
representation:having a voice or say in what is to be done
taxes:money paid to the government
in charge of inspecting goods and baggage entering a country
to take back